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Cross-Cultural Realities at Work

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 745
  • Category: Work

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I conducted an interview with my neighbor who has a very different cultural background than my own and who does a job that is much different than my own. I would first like to give a brief overview of things that we discussed and then I will take this information and try to answer questions of culture, values, work, behaviors, and give insight into communicating between cultures. My neighbor is Insert Name. She is Chinese and her family is from near Taiwan.

She is older than myself and currently takes care of her household. The answers and questions pertained to the last job she had which took place at the same time she was finishing her Master’s Degree. Insert Name was a teacher of Japanese and English. To be more precise the university in which she was pursuing her Master’s had Chinese students who were majoring in Japanese language studies. In this program you must take a second language as a minor and most students took English.

Insert Name taught these students Japanese and English as she was fluent in both and in Chinese. She was teaching this class in Japan and since she was so deep in culture mixing she had to be careful of certain things like diversity management as we read about on page 259 in our book. One example is that in Japan it is more important to be respectful than it was in her home country of China. Not respectful like saying hello, but more in a different way such as not making others feel uncomfortable.

If a student does well you would congratulate them alone after class and never single them out in the class and let everyone know how well they were doing. This would lead to major embarrassment and much grief. The thing she says she liked most about American culture is the freedoms it has. The people can do so many things she never dreamed of. They can even say what they feel even if it offends others. This also is one of the things she likes least. People in the American Culture she found can be unnecessarily rude to one another.

She does not like the rudeness, but understands why the freedom to do so is important. Being in the master’s program and teaching other students gave her a good status. In such a position she was respected by students and faculty and of course by her family who greatly loved that she was given such an opportunity. Connections of course were there between her gender, her race, and he ethnicity. She was a woman and thus was given more opportunity to teach form china, although that is not as true in Japan.

Being Chinese as a race meant she was a great fit to teach the foreign Chinese students who were trying to learn at the University. Also he ethnicity which was Taiwanese mean she grew up in an area in which many people knew how to speak English and Japanese. Taiwan is like an export hub for china and due to all the trading with Japan as well as English speaking countries she knew how to speak both fluently which lead to her being able to hand this work environment. He work culture required her to have certain values and behaviors.

She had to have a very strong work ethic since there was so much involved and teaching so many students at a time. She also had to be very courteous due to the expected politeness not only of the situation of being in a class environment, but from being in Japan which made such behavior expected. On page 260 of our book it says “in the enlightened workplace, there is a philosophy of pluralism and a relentless effort to eliminate racism, sexism, ageism, and other discriminations”. This is something I feel I took form the interview.

She seemed to really point out that although China and Japan had a heated past the students from China who were learning there had a love for Japanese culture. Otherwise they would not have chosen to learn Japanese. Everyone needed to work as a team to do their best work and put aside all their differences the best they could. This did not mean to ignore them completely as you needed to try and not offend someone and be courteous. The best way to make the workplace run as well as it can is to take a humanistic approach to everything you do.

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