Over the years of growing up in your own family and community, you have learned meanings and values that are deeply rooted in your ways of thinking and patterns of behavior. By the time you are 16 or 17 years old, you probably know most of what you need to know to participate in your own society.
However, to participate in a new and different society, you will have to learn new meanings and new ways of behaving. This is more complex than simply learning to use a fork instead of chopsticks. Although you may not immediately recognize the ways in which your deep culture differs from that of your host country, there are techniques you can use to help you see these differences. Use essay service.
Red Flags. Red flags are simply your own reactions to the host culture. The technique is to use these reactions to warn you of deep-culture differences that could lead to misunderstanding. Exchange students frequently react to the host culture by thinking “These people are rude,” or “They are stupid.” It is probably not possible to avoid such reactions. However, instead of letting them stop communication, reactions can be turned into red flags to remind you that a different way of thinking exists in the deep culture of your host country.
Attributions and Stereotypes. We often explain behavior by identifying its causes. When we explain our own behavior, we are likely to attribute it to the particular situation in which we find ourselves. Suppose I am quiet one day during a discussion. I might explain my being quiet by saying that I was tired that day or that I did not have enough information to participate. If others were to explain my behavior, however, they might say that I am a quiet person. They would not be as likely to consider the situation I am facing, but would attribute the behavior to a personality characteristic.
Being alert to your own attributions and stereotyping is one way to make certain that these simplified judgments do not interfere with the relationships you are trying to build. You can begin to recognize the stereotypes you have of the host culture even before you leave home. Think about the images you have of people from your host culture. Do you see them as wealthy? Lazy? Rigid? Warm? Formal? All of these images form the basis of stereotypes. By reminding yourself that these are stereotypes and, therefore, misleading, you may be better able to avoid allowing such images to influence your opinions and feelings about the people you meet.