Understanding Global Cultures
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Understanding Global Cultures

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Textbook: Understanding Global Cultures

Understanding Global Cultures:
Metaphorical Journeys Through 31 Nations
Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, Fifth Edition

Martin J. Gannon

California State University San Marcos
Professor Emeritus, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

(Ph.D., Columbia University) is Professor of International Management and Strategy, College of Business Administration, California State University San Marcos. He is also Professor Emeritus, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park. At Maryland he held several administrative positions, including the Associate Deanship for Academic Affairs and the Founding Directorship of the Center for Global Business, and received the University's International Landmark Award.

Rajnandini (Raj) K. Pillai

Professor: California State University San Marcos

Professor Gannon has been the Senior Research Fulbright Professor at the Center for the Study of Work and Higher Education in Germany and the John F. Kennedy/Fulbright Professor at Thammasat University in Bangkok, and has served as a visiting professor at several Asian and European universities. He has also been a consultant to many companies and government agencies. Professor Gannon has lived and worked in over 25 nations for various periods of time as a visiting professor, consultant, and trainer.

Published By: SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2013

Pages: 680

ISBN-10: 1412995930
ISBN-13: 978-1412995931


"In summary, this is a significant book . . . for a multitude of audiences, including scholars, practitioners, students, expatriates, travelers, and those who are simply interested in culture. . . . This book is also an ideal reference tool, since the metaphors are easy to remember yet rich in contextual value and are presented in a logical structure for quick consultation. Overall, this book is enormously appealing, genuinely useful, and a worthy addition to any collection." -- Thunderbird International Business Review (reviewing the Third Edition)

"In Understanding Global Cultures, Fourth Edition, authors Martin J. Gannon and Rajnandini Pillai present the cultural metaphor as a method for understanding the cultural mindsets of individual nations, clusters of nations, and even continents. The fully updated Fourth Edition continues to emphasize that metaphors are guidelines to help outsiders quickly understand what members of a culture consider important. This new edition includes a new part structure, three completely new chapters, and major revisions to chapters on American football, Russian ballet, and the Israeli kibbutz.'

This book describes a method, the cultural metaphor, for understanding easily and quickly the cultural mindset of a nation and comparing it to those of other nations. In essence, the method involves identifying some phenomenon, activity or institution of a nation’s culture that all or most of its members consider to be very important and which they identify closely. Metaphors are not stereotypes. Rather, they rely upon the features of one critical phenomenon in a society to describe the entire society. The characteristics of the metaphor then become the basis for describing and understanding the essential features of the society. For example, the Italians invented the opera and love it passionately. Five key characteristics of the opera are the overture, spectacle and pageantry, voice, exteriority, and the interaction between the lead singers and the chorus. These features are used to describe Italy and its cultural mindset. Thus the metaphor is a guide or map that helps the student of foreigner understand quickly what members of a society consider to be very important.

The generic types of cultural frameworks developed by Triandis and Fiske, and the torn and cleft culture framework developed by Huntington, form the underpinning of the book. These frameworks allow the reader to gain new insight into various cultural metaphors and to begin to address the challenging issue of integrating cultural and economic perspectives.

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Understanding Global Cultures
Table Of Contents


[Afghanistan] [your-nation.com] [OnlineNewspapers.com]

Preface: Understanding Cultures in Depth
Chapter 1: Understanding Cultural Metaphors
Chapter 2: The Thai Kingdom
Chapter 3: The Japanese Garden
Chapter 4: Bedouin Jewelry and Saudi Arabia
Chapter 5: The Turkish Coffeehouse
Chapter 6: The Brazilian Samba
Chapter 7: The Polish Village Church
Chapter 8: Kimchi and Korea
Chapter 9: The Swedish Stuga
Chapter 10: The Finnish Sauna
Chapter 11: The Danish Christmas Luncheon
Chapter 12: The German Symphony
Chapter 13: Irish Conversations
Chapter 14: The Canadian Backpack and Flag
Chapter 15: French Wine
Chapter 16: American Football
Chapter 17: The Traditional British House
Chapter 18: The Malaysian Balik Kampung
Chapter 19: The Nigerian Marketplace
Chapter 20: The Israeli Kibbutzim and Moshavim
Chapter 21: The Italian Opera
Chapter 22: Belgian Lace
Chapter 23: The Mexican Fiesta
Chapter 24: The Russian Ballet
Chapter 25: China’s Great Wall and Cross-Cultural Paradox
Chapter 26: The Chinese Family Altar
Chapter 27: The Singapore Hawker Centers
Chapter 28: India: The Dance of Shiva
Chapter 29: India: A Kaleidoscope of Diversity
Chapter 30: The Spanish Bullfight
Chapter 31: The Portuguese Bullfight
Chapter 32: Australian Outdoor Recreational Activities
Chapter 33: The Sub-Saharan African Bush Taxi
Chapter 34: An Integrative Summary
About the Authors
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Textbook:  Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture

Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture, Third Edition

Authors: Philip R. DeVita (State University of New York, Plattsburgh) & James D. Armstrong (State University of New York, Plattsburgh) (eds.)

Published By: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA, 2002

Pages: 197

Paperback (ISBN 0534556485)


The book is intended for use as a supplement for courses in cultural anthropology, sociology, history, English, and American studies. It is designed for any course where the goal is to show remarkable aspects of our U.S. culture. The book covers the subjects of family, kinship, class, and language. It is valuable to professors who want to teach such topics as ethnocentrism and relativism, the problems of cross-cultural experiences, and the ethnographic method.

Anthropology has a long history of the "other," yet we can look right here at home for the strangeness we seek. We often neglect to ask the questions that reveal our own culture's underlying value and beliefs. In this volume, we bring the American culture into focus. For students to understand the full impact of ethnography, to experience cultural relativity and to gain a foundation to build informed comparisons, students need a firm grasp of their own culture--and need to use this volume. The Third Edition consists of 19 essays written by anthropologists and other scholars using an ethnographic perspective. The essays enable students to understand themselves better by focusing on their own culture and seeing it from a new perspective. This collection gives anthropology a comparative perspective that provides a reflective lens, a mirror, for understanding ourselves and the world in which we live.

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Distant Mirrors
Table Of Contents

1. "One Hundred Percent American" by Ralph Linton
[American Cultural Anthropologist]

2. "The American Cultural Configuration" by Lowell D. Holmes and Ellen Rhoads Holmes
[American Cultural Anthropologists]

3. "Body Ritual among the Nacirema" by Horace Miner
[American Cultural Anthropologist]

4. "Professor Widjojo Goes to a Koktel Parti" by Weston LaBarre
[American Psychiatrically Oriented Anthropologist]

5. "An Outsider's View of American Culture" by Janusz L. Mucha
[Polish Sociologist]

6. "Growing Up American: Doing the Right Thing" by Amparo Ojeda
[Philippine Anthropological Linguist

7. "My American Glasses" by Francisco Martins Ramos
[Portuguese Anthropologist]

8. "American Graffiti: Curious Derivatives of Individualism" by Jin Kim
[South Korean Communication Professor]

9. "The Young, the Rich, and the Famous: Individualism as an American Cultural Value" by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel
[Thai Philosopher]

10. "America and I" by Herve Varenne
[French Anthropologist and Professor of Education]

11. "Encounters with the Elderly in America" by Yohko Tsuji
[Japanese Anthropologist]

12. "Neighborly Strangers" by Honggang Yang
[Chinese Applied Anthropologist]

13. "Pais de Mis Suenos: Reflections on Ethnic Labels, Dichotomies, and Ritual Interaction" by Gisela Ernst
[Peruvian Anthropological Linguist]

14. "Giving, Withholding, and Meeting Midway: A Poet's Ethnography" by Saleem Peeranina
[Indian Poet]

15. "A Russian Teacher in America" by Andre Toom
[Russian Mathematician]

16. "First Impressions: Diary of a French Anthropologist in New York City" by Francoise Dussart
[French Anthropologist]

17. "Life and Cultures: The Test of Real Participant Observation" by E. L. Cerroni-Long
[Italian Anthropological Asian Studies Scholar]

18. "Learning to Hug: An English Anthropologist's Experiences in North America" by Geoffrey Hunt
[English Anthropologist]

19. "A European Anthropologist's Personal and Ethnographic Impressions of the United States" by Emanuel J. Drechsel
[Swiss Anthropologist]

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  • Keeps theoretical language to a minimum to enhance readability

  • The articles are selected for their captivating, and often humorous, critical view of American culture

  • Challenges students to look at their culture with a fresh perspective, helping them to realize that what is routine for Americans is not elsewhere

  • Short introductory paragraphs preface each reading, conceptualizing the essays within anthropological methodologies, theories, themes, etc.

  • Study questions follow each reading to enhance student understanding the concepts presented

  • Wadsworth Anthropology Video Library! Qualified adopters may select full-length videos from an extensive library of offerings drawn from such excellent educational video sources such as NOVA, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, The Disappearing World Video Series

  • The latest news and research articles online, updated daily and spanning four years! Choose to package InfoTrac College Edition with this text and you and your students will have 4-months of free access to an easy-to-use online database of reliable, full-length articles (not abstracts) from hundreds of top academic journals and popular sources. Contact your Wadsworth/Thomson Learning representative for more information. Available to North American college and university students only. Journals subject to change.
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