Based on what you have learned this week on culture, how can this information be useful for someone in their daily life as a communicator? Will cultural knowledge about the “norms” of others help us make sense of them and their behavior? For instance, in America it is very common to smile at strangers. But in Russia, it is considered strange, if not rude (Khazan, 2016). In fact, there is even a Russian proverb that says, “laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.” Extending this out, when asked to assess pictures of people with smiles and without, those in some countries assessed them as intelligent, while others judged them as significantly less intelligence. And in many countries, smiling is associated with dishonesty, so we must understand how our nonverbal cues might be interpreted!
When they hosted the World Cup in 2018, Russian locals were trained to smile, to make tourist more comfortable (Dawson, 2018). They were acting on this cultural knowledge to try to strategically welcome foreigners to their land. Therefore, there are strategic reasons to be aware of cultural differences and perhaps adjust ours to meet various goals. Russians wanted the tourists to be comfortable, spend money, and host other international events in the future, so they attempted to change patterns of nonverbal communication, perhaps just in the short term. When you do this segment of your paper, see if you can come up with other anecdotes to shine light on this topic.
Finally, note that there are many supplemental videos in the resources box. If you find it easier to learn through watching and listening, rather than reading, I especially recommend that you watch some of the videos.
Good luck everyone, and feel free to email me with any questions.
Instructor P / Elaine.Phompheng1@faculty.ashford.edu