Module 2: Intercultural communication, local culture and customs

Lesson Title

Cultural parameter: Rules and values



In this lesson, the focus is on different values and rules in society which influence the way people behave, or feel they should behave.


Lesson time foreseen

1 hour


Lesson Content

As for the different perceptions of hierarchy in society, the culture theory of Hofstede provides some hints:  Power distance is the extent to which the lower ranking individuals of a society "accept and expect that power is distributed unequally". It is primarily used in psychological and sociological studies on societal management of inequalities between individuals, and individual's perceptions of that management.

People in societies with a high power distance are more likely to conform to a hierarchy where "everybody has a place and which needs no further justification". In societies with a low power distance, individuals tend to try to distribute power equally. In such societies, inequalities of power among people would require additional justification.
Exercise: List forms of behaviour that can present barriers to effective cross-cultural communications.



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