SGTM 5 B
Attitudes & Behaviour
“Cultural Awareness”
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Structure of Presentation
 What
is Culture?
 Understanding Cultural differences
 Dealing with Cultural differences
 Case studies
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Culture
A shared system of
 meanings,
 beliefs,
 values
 behaviours
through which experience is
interpreted and carried out
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Culture Is ..
Relative
Learned
Collective
Changes
over time
Complex responsive process
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Forces Shaping Individual
Culture
Urbanization
Nationalism
Colonisation
Migration
Minority
Experience
Industrialization
Personal
Culture
Values
Crosscultural
Adjustments
Social
background
World-views
Ethnic
background
Beliefs
Behaviours
Profession
Religion
Gender
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Education
Language
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Dangers!
 Stereotypes
 Prejudice
 Ethno-centric
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perspectives
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Culture – In Peace Operations
Military – Military
(International)
Civilians –
Civilians
(International)
CULTURE
Military – Civilians
(Organizational)
International
actors Local
communities
Local
Communities
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
Asia
- chop sticks
Europe - knife and fork
Clean right hand in some
countries
Common plate
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
Beef
Pork
Horse
“Everything
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that moves”
TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
Pork
not eaten by Muslims for
religious reasons
Christians keep horses, dogs
and cats as pets
Fish is neutral
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Understanding Cultural
differences
Religion
– an important place in
many societies
Knowledge of religion of host
nation very important
Respect religious beliefs
Religion
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Family and Gender
Elders
are highly respected in
some cultures
Understand family ties
Different gender beliefs and
views
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Communication
Language
is culture specific
Avoid use of idiomatic
expressions
Humour
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Body Language
 Gesture/body
language have
different meanings
 Smile will never be misunderstood
 Polite handshake is accepted in most
cultures
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Dress Code
Depends
on culture, customs,
traditions and climate
Adapt to local customs
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Traffic
Peacekeeper
die in traffic
accidents
Different traffic conditions
Respect local traffic laws
Adapt to local conditions
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Time
People
have different concept of
time
Need to understand
“You have the clock, we have the
time”
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Building Cultural Awareness
Understand
your own culture
Understand and accept logic of
other cultural frameworks
Cultural differences as unique
and creative problem-solving
opportunity
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Host Country’s Culture
Knowledge
of history, culture,
customs and traditions
Background for the conflict
Expectations from “Blue Berets”
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Cultural Shock
Unfamiliar:
– Language
– Climate
– Currency
– Road signs
– Colleagues
Adaptation
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process
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The Adaptation Stages
Honeymoon
Initial
confrontation
Adjustment crisis
Recovery
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The Adaptation Stages
STAGE
SITUATION
Honeymoon
First exciting
contact with
new culture
Initial
confrontation
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First intensive
feeling with
new culture
APPROACH
REACTION
Observe
Excitement;
Curiosity;
Slight
concern
Solve
problems in
familiar ways
Confusion;
Mystified
about;
Others
behaviour
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The Adaptation Stages
STAGE
Adjustment
crisis
Recovery
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SITUATION
Problems
intensify
Sense of
belonging to
culture
emerges
APPROACH
Experimentation
with new
behaviours
New
strategies to
help one
function
effectively
REACTION
Frustration;
Anger;
Confusion
about
New culture is
understandable;
Enjoying many
aspect of it
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Maintaining Good Relations
Between
military and civilian
With other military contingents
Team work
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Cultural Awareness
“If you are
 Humble
 Respectful
 Friendly
you will always be fine”
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Case Studies
The
market place
The toilet experience
To walk hand in hand
Movement control at the airport
The gift
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Summary
 Cultural
awareness is increased by
giving you the most common
examples
 This is the first step to handle
cultural differences positively, avoid
conflicts due to misperception and to
make you interact positively with
host cultures
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Summary
 Closely
related to “Code of
Conduct”, where you get written
rules.
 In culture you may find few written
rules, but make sure, you know and
obey them
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
Questions ?
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TES / Mil Div / DPKO
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Cultural Awareness - University of Missouri