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Published in Egypt - First steps in eDominations - 0 - 19 Oct 19 12:35

Cultural knowledge is an important part of your cultural competence. People often focus on culture specific information when they interact, and while this knowledge is useful in a specific situation, it is not necessarily transferable to other cultures. Culture general knowledge provides a way of understanding differences that can be applied to any cultural group we encounter.Culture Specific knowledge refers to particular characteristics that belong generally to members of a certain culture (though not necessarily to every individual within that culture!) For example, compare the various ways human beings greet one another – a handshake, a wave, a hug, a bow, a kiss on the cheek, or both cheeks – many of these are characteristic of specific cultures. If we understand, for example, the appropriate way of greeting someone from a different cultural group, this is culture specific knowledge of that group.Culture General knowledge is concerned with dimensions or frameworks that can be used to describe and compare all cultures – a few identifiable dimensions are how cultures communicate, or show emotion, or relate to time. For example, for some cultures it is very important that schedules are followed closely, for others time is quite flexible, and schedules are not very important; understanding that different groups may relate to time differently is cultural general knowledge. Many more dimensions of culture have been identified by those who study culture - check the Resource Section of this lesson for information about this research.While culture specific knowledge may help you understand a specific culture a little better, culture general knowledge will help you understand and relate more deeply to cultural differences when you encounter them.


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