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American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective [Paperback]

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Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Intercultural Press
ISBN  1877864013  
EAN  9781877864018  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
With a more globalized economy and a redefinition of the American in the overseas workplace, we have a growing need to address cross-cultural communication and determine how to bridge the inevitable gaps in understanding. American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, originally published in 1972, is an indispensable classic that has been used extensively as a classroom textbook for its comprehensive, critical approach to American thought and behavior. In this revised edition, Edward C. Stewart and Milton J. Bennett combine their expertise to describe Americans' perception both of themselves and the world as well as their values, their common patterns of thinking and their verbal and nonverbal behaviors. By juxtaposing these traits against the cultures of both Western and non-Western countries, we get a comprehensive look at the possible pitfalls in communicating with Americans and guidelines on how to avoid misunderstanding. Insightful and practical, American Cultural Patterns is a must-have for any who wish to communicate effectively with their American counterparts. ContentsIntroduction1 Conceptualization of the Cross-Cultural Problem2 Cultural Patterns of Perception and Thinking3 Language and Nonverbal Behavior4 Form of Activity5 Form of Social Relations6 Perception of the World7 Perception of the Self8 Intercultural Communication ApplicationsBibliographyIndex

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More About Edward C. Stewart & Milton J. Bennett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gary Althen served for thirty years as a foreign student adviser at the University of Iowa, many of them as director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. He has been president of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators and received its Marita Houlihan Award for his contributions to the field of international educational exchange. He is the author of The Handbook of Foreign Student Advising and is author, editor, or coauthor of many publications concerning international education and intercultural affairs. He has also lived and worked in Peru and Malaysia. Dr. Janet Bennett is the executive director and cofounder of the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI).

Edward C. Stewart was born in 1966.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Insightful  Aug 16, 2007
A fantastic book for understanding how much our culture defines us. The authors do explain that they are addressing the main American culture (versus our rich group of subcultures). Additionally, they do not privilege one culture over another (as one reviewer stated). Their goal is to (1) explain how deeply our cultural responses are ingrained and (2)to help us recognize that our American outlook is not universal--amazingly there are other ways of perceiving the world than the way most Americans do. The book is not a quick, easy read--both authors are university professors (who probably use their book as one of their required readings ;D) Academics & those used to scholarly texts will get the most out of, everyone else will need to be patient and take it slow.
Useful but dry academic read  Apr 15, 2007
I read this book as part of a sociology class back in my college days. The intended audience is the college student, scholar, and academic. It was a difficult read for me because it's not intended for the layperson.

I'm an American citizen but was born in West Germany and spent the first nine years in that country. Both my parents are Korean. At 9 years of age we moved to the United States. I've more or less lived on the west coast since then. I was aware of cultural differences since my youth.

This book helped me to understand why native Americans (particularly WASPs), think and act the way they do. The book doesn't claim that all Americans behave the same way, but that as a group, they generally do tend think and behave in a similar manner. Communication differences do exist between Koreans, Germans, and Americans. Communication differences also exist between subgroups of a certain country. For example, minority groups such as black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and so forth, typically not only know how to communicate according to white mainstream cultural standards, but also their own.

If you are new to sociological terms, you'll need to look up a few words in a good dictionary. If you are used to academic reading, you should have no problem with this book. Please keep in mind that the focus is on explaining the white American majority communication pattern.
Perhaps their patterns would be useful for knitting...  Dec 6, 2005
This book seeks to look at American cultural patterns within a cross-cultural perspective. A number of cultural stereotypes are compared with the American stereotype, particularly Japan. I say "cultural stereotypes" because this is what is primarily used. At times, I have to disagree completely with the authors' interpretation of the meaning behind the actions of the cross-cultural experience. For example they give some examples of difficulties the author(s) had in Japan and then they explain why this occurred, always giving the benefit of the doubt to the Japanese culture. However, if that same action would be seen as an insult by a Japanese person I really see no reason for the authors to explain it away using a Japanese cultural value. In other words, they fail to critically analyse different cultures either from within or from an American perspective. The end result is that you are to assume that other cultures always treat people with respect and it is only an American-centric view that would think otherwise. I am not American and can claim something of a dispassionate view on the subject.

At first glance this book appears to be a useful, quick read for those going overseas but in reality it is a tough slog through some unanalysed stereotypes. This book fails to get past surface meanings to the deeper reality of the cross-cultures with which it contrasts American culture.
Learning about the American way of thinking  Jun 23, 2000
I read this book as part of a class I took called socio-cultural perspectives on language and found this book very interesting and insightful. I teach German at an American university and since I am not American it is important to have an understanding of American culture. A lack of understanding can lead to miscommunications and frustrations both on part of the learner as well as the instructor. Though American Cultural Patterns is somewhat philosophical in its approach, it remains a very readable book with numerous comparisons between American and other cultures which are very helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in knowing more about American culture, be it for professional or personal purposes.

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