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CULTURAL ISSUES

Katie Rawson identifies seven cultural differences between majority US culture (applicable to many Western cultures) and many non-Western cultures. She considers the practical implications of each of these differences.

Here is a useful diagram designed by Duane Elmer that recognises how significant exposure to cultural differences will inevitably produce dissonance and various negative emotions. Whether we end up with greater understanding, empathy and deepened relationships or with alienation, withdrawal and broken relationships will depend on (1) the attitudes with which we approach cultural differences and (2) the responses we make when cultural differences do cause difficulties in cross-cultural relationships and engender negative emotions.

Culture stress (or culture shock) is described and analysed. Causes, symptoms, defence mechanisms and ways to address it are considered.

Here are some helpful practical tips from Katie Rawson, Senior Resource Developer with International Student Ministry (ISM) at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Here are some helpful practical tips from Katie Rawson, Senior Resource Developer with International Student Ministry (ISM) at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Raleigh, North Carolina.

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