- Give three compelling examples of how cultural issues affect your project.
Three cultural issues that can affect our project are:
- Cultural priorities and dimensions
- Trust and negotiations
Each culture or religion has their own specific rituals or practices that our birthing chairs might not be able to respect all of them, which can be problematic since we are trying to create a more comfortable and culturally appropriate birthing chair. Each culture prioritizes different things, so we cannot be sure that the American culture of viewing our priorities will be exactly the same as Philippines’ culture until we do a more thorough research and interview the residents there when we visit the Philippines. Furthermore, we need to understand their cultural dimensions such as hierarchy, directness, and more, in order to have impactful communications and negotiations with the people we are collaborating with in the Philippines as well as the negotiations we will have with the buyers of our product.
Communication is very important because if misspoken words are said or the misunderstanding happens because of cultural differences and misunderstandings, then it can be very problematic and can be possibly the termination of our project. Therefore, the correct form of communication is needed to be understood in order to not cause any cultural issues and misunderstandings that could have been easily avoided.
Lastly, in order for our products to be able to be sold, then we need to be able to gain the trust of our buyers and consumers through our negotiations since it is often harder for foreigners to trust each other if they come from different cultures. For this reason, it is very important for us to be able to learn about how to properly create and sell our products during our projects, in order to be able to have a more effective result at our negotiations.
- Have you experienced or observed any of these social situations at home? Describe at least three such situations.
As someone who immigrated from Iran to the United States, I have experienced some of these social situations in America because of cultural misunderstandings like:
- Being spoken to with words that would be considered rude in my culture that were considered normal in the United States
- Not being able to effectively negotiate with others because of language and cultural barriers
- Having different cultural priorities from Americans
Firstly, communication differences between natives of a country and foreigners happens frequently, however, as a foreigner, I was taught by my family and through observance of the culture, that I should be as careful as I can be with my attitude and bad communication skills in English, in order to not offend others. However, my experience with natives of the U.S. turned out to show that natives have not been taught to be careful of their tone of language when speaking to foreigners, which almost caused a big misunderstanding between my classmates and I, with what they thought to be a helpful order and what I conceived as a condescending command. This was most;y because of their tone and choice of words, that I later learned can have many meanings, which is why communication is an important aspect of understanding other cultures.
Another example is when I was given a role of a bank teller at my elementary school’s Happy State Bank shop, which students routinely rotated in schedule, so when it was finally my turn to sell something from our school’s shop to the kid’s parents, it was much more difficult for me to be able to explain to them the products that we were selling because I could not speak English fluently and was not skilled enough to understand what kinds of marketing strategies and negotiations work on Americans, due to that difficulty I was not able to sell as many products as my peers.
Finally, as I continued living in the U.S., I became surprised when I found out that family is not considered the first priority in American culture. Although money is important, my Iranian culture believes in prioritising family before anything because they are the ones that you will have for the rest of your life. However, I can understand how this might not apply to Americans as it is common in their culture to move out of their family’s home by the time they reach the age of eighteen, which does not exist in Iranian culture.
- Give three examples of cultural practices that can be leveraged to address community / market problems.
Three examples of cultural practices that can be leveraged to address community and/ or market problems could be childcare practices, medical treatment practices, and religious practices. If childcare practices in middle or lower income countries are not on par with childcare practices in high income countries, then they can be used as leverage to address community/ marketing issues, which can also be applied to the medical treatment practices. Religious practices could be used to address community if only one religion is dominating a country and restricting more minor religions to be persecuted or simply given more attention than the rest of the religions, which can signify that all of the community is not treated as they should be treated, which causes many problems and can be used as leverage as well.