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Understanding Global Cultures
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Understanding Global Cultures

 Summer 2020

List of countries of the world -- Wikipedia

language dictionaries and resources

International Development Indicators -- Human Development Reports, United Nations Development Programme

Global Open Data Index

OWL logo, Online Writing Lab, Purdue University.
topics and resources

World Clock Time

(A-F only; prereq Freshman, fewer than 30 credits; meets DLE req of Global Perspectives; meets DLE req of Social Sciences; meets Lib Ed req of LE CAT8; meets LEIP req of LEIP CAT08)

  Greetings ss2020 Memo

 List of Assigned Readings for the Term

Welcome to Understanding Global Cultures

Available on-line in your
folder at

This will be a great course, and a great experience.

You will see. . . .


The text is

Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, Sixth Edition
(Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2015)


Understanding Global Cultures, Sixth Edition (2015)
is currently available on-line from $107.85 new ppbk., and $79.50 used, and rent (from Amazon) $57.96.


[It is also being offered on-line for as much as $333.28, or even more, so be careful to check prices.]

(+ p/h, where applicable, at & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25).

(18 May 2020)

(It’s expensive, so consider renting one, or buy a used copy;
exams are open-book, so you should have a copy. We’ll be using this text again in the Fall (in Global Cultures) and in the Spring (in Anthropology of Europe), so if the UMD bookstore is back in operation there should be a local market for used copies.)

The exams will be open-book essays constructed from a list of study questions that you help create, so it would be a good idea for you to have your own copy of the text you plan to use in the exams.

For the exams you should normally just need to read the text and other assigned works carefully and be able to discuss them intelligently. That is, you should read these as if you had picked it/them up at an airport or neighborhood bookshop, or read them in the morning or on-line paper, because you were interested in the subject and wanted to know more about the subject, like literally millions of people are doing in everyday life.

PLEASE NOTE: Some students are used to principally memorizing facts in classes. This class is not one where that is the focus. It is about investigating new topics, reading, listening, synthesizing ideas, thinking, exploring, and becoming familiar enough with the various subjects, peoples and places to carry on an intelligent conversation in modern-day society. In short, this class aims to give you practice in critical thinking, and even creativity.

Critical thinking, involving evaluation and synthesis, has long been regarded as essential for success in the modern-day world. In recent years, actually for two decades, creativity has also become central to success, and "process skills" vital to creativity. Process skills involve "strategies to reframe challenges and extrapolate and transform information, and to accept and deal with ambiguity" (Pappano, "Learning to Think Outside the Box," The New York Times EducationLife, 9 February 2014, 8). Laura Pappano, writer in residence at Wellesley Center for Women at Wellesley College, points out that "In 2010 'creativity' was the factor most crucial for success found in an I.B.M. survey of 1,500 chief executives in 33 industries. These days 'creative' is the most used buzzword in LinkedIn profiles two years running" (2014, 8).

Related to that, here is an interesting article to think about . . .

A Memo to My Students
 Re: College and the Real World
-- Maryellen Weimer, Faculty Focus (17 August 2016)

With all of the class materials you will be expected to share your ideas and comments with others in the Class Forums and wikis.

It is not accidental that TAPS, Canada’s leading Beer Magazine—in fact it’s THE BEER MAGAZINE—features this these kind of exams in its editorial of Winter 2012, p. 2); at least one major former Editor in Chief thinks it’s message is worth noting and imitating.


In a nutshell, this course consists of three main segments:

In a nutshell, ANTH 1080 Understanding Global Cultures consists of three main segments:

  I Orientation and Background (slides)  
      Basic Concepts  
      Methods and Techniques  
  II Explorations  
      Comparative / Cross-Cultural  
      Ethnographic Case Studies from the Real World: Real People . . . Real Places from Around the Globe  
  III Student Presentations on Term Research Project


For the first part of the course much of the material for the week will be presented in the form of text materials and slide materials. In the second section of the semester, once you have mastered the basic information relating to Understanding Global Cultures, we will look (generally comparatively, cf., Main Characteristics of Anthropology in Week 01) at a series of video materials from around the world. The final section will focus on your research projects.

One of the four main characteristics of American Anthropology is fieldwork, "a primary research technique, involving “participant observation," which usually means living among the people one is interested in learning from and about. It would be wonderful if for anthropology classes we could just rent a bus or charter a plane and fly off for a year or more to learn first-hand from the people themselves. Money, time, and practicality prohibit that, so the next best things—when it comes to studying anthropology—is going to places and viewing subjects by video, and we will do a lot of that this semester. More information on Visual Anthropology is available on-line at <>.

In laying out a course one has many options. Given that time is limited one can, for example, opt for an approach that portrays basic features of a large number of cultures/countries, or one can focus more in-depth on a limited number of topics and cultures/countries. In class, we will focus more in-depth on topics and cultures/countries, focusing on a few rather than many. The readings, on the other hand, presents a broader view, featuring over three dozen cultures/countries/regions. Together, the text plus the in-class materials should give you a "pretty good" Understanding of Global Cultures.

You will find that there is "an awful lot" of materials on-line—maybe even too many!

BUT, you will find the required materials center stage in your Canvas folder. Most of the rest of the materials are optional, but you may find that material useful in working on your class project.


Where to start?

Probably the best place is by having a quick look at the "First Day Handout" on-line at <>.

Then have a look at your Canvas Gradebook folder, which gives a nice listing of the actual requirements and due dates for the course. (You'll find the link for that in the upper-left-hand corner of the top of Block 1. See the figure in the “First Day Handout.”)

Then have a look at the "Course Overview" in Block 1 (the top of page one) of your Canvas folder <>. See the figure in the “First Day Handout.”

Please heed the earlier word of caution. Canvas recommends that you use the Firefox browser (available free at <>). The Windows Internet Explorer (IE) occasionally will not display items on your screen. These items will simply not be there on IE when they are fine on Canvas or even on Chrome. Microsoft Word should likewise not be used to cut and paste things to; bad things can happen to your file if you do—randomly. Almost every time you are asked to enter text in Canvas, you will see the message, “Please do not copy/paste text directly from Microsoft Word.


A note on Metaphorical Analysls:

Gannon, Martin J. (2011). "Cultural Metaphors: Their Use in Management Practice as a Method for Understanding Cultures." Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 7(1).


So once again, welcome to Anth 1080 Understanding Global Cultures. This will be a great course, and a great experience. You will see. . . .

Thanks for signing on for Understanding Global Cultures.

I’m looking forward to "meeting" you in class.

My office hours and contact information (and other regular schedule information) can be found at

Many find a laptop quite useful in following the class materials. You can, for example, download all of the slide materials used in class.

Having said that, consider the latest research that suggests that . . .
"For better learning in college lectures, lay down the laptop and pick up a pen" -- Susan M. Dynarski, Evidence Speaks Series, Brookings (10 August 2017).

P.S. If you are new to the Canvascourse management system don't worry too much about that. Things may not "work" for you at first, but hang in there and we'll help you along. Canvas has a very good orientation tutorial.



| | | Barnes and Noble| | |

Textbook: Understanding Global Cultures

Understanding Global Cultures:
Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations
Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, Sixth Edition
(Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2015)

Understanding Global Cultures
, Sixth Edition
  is currently available on-line for $91.18 new, and $74.96 used, and rent (from Amazon) $29.49.

[It is also being offered on-line for as much as $333.28, or even more, so be careful to check prices.]

(+ p/h, where applicable, at & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25).

(29 January 2019)



general textbook information

Martin J. Gannon

 Martin J. Gannon

Professor, 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.

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.

Rajnandini (Raj) K. Pillai

Rajnandini (Raj) Pillai

Professor: California State University San Marcos

Ph.D. Rajnandini “Raj” Pillai (Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994) is a Professor of Management at the College of Business, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). She is also Executive Director and founding member of the Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building (CLIMB) at the university. Her areas of research interest are leadership and cross-cultural management. She has published her work on charismatic and transformational leadership, leadership and voting behavior, and cross-cultural differences in organizational justice in The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, and the Journal of International Business Studies. She has also presented her work at regional, national and international conferences and serves on the Academy of Management Teaching Themes Committee. She has also co-edited two books, Teaching Leadership: Innovative Approaches for the 21st Century (2003) and Follower Perspectives on Leadership (2007) and is co-author of the 4th and 5th editions of Understanding Global Cultures with Martin J. Gannon. She serves on the editorial board of The Leadership Quarterly. Rajnandini Pillai has held mid level management positions in the banking industry in India, consulted with organizations in the U.S. on leadership effectiveness, and conducted workshops on leadership and global issues for the local business community. She has received awards for excellence in teaching and research including the College of Business Outstanding Professor Award, the Western Academy of Management Ascendant Scholar Award, the CSUSM President’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity, and CSUSM’s highest faculty honor, the Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award. -- Maureen Bickley Center

Published By: SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2015

Pages: 680

ISBN-10: 1483340074
ISBN-13: 978-1483340074


"In the fully updated Sixth Edition of Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, 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, continents, and diversity in each nation. A cultural metaphor is any activity, phenomenon, or institution that members of a given culture consider important and with which they identify emotionally and/or cognitively, such as the Japanese garden and American football. This cultural metaphoric approach identifies three to eight unique or distinctive features of each cultural metaphor and then discusses 34 national cultures in terms of these features. The book demonstrates how metaphors are guidelines to help outsiders quickly understand what members of a culture consider important."


"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.


Understanding Global Cultures:
Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations
Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, Sixth Edition
, 2015

Table Of Contents

(Readings assigned in the Global Cultures class are in bold letters)

Preface: Understanding Cultures in Depth
Chapter 1: Understanding Cultural Metaphors
For the Global Cultures course pick at least one of the following "Authority Ranking Cultures" . . . 
Chapter 2: The Thai Kingdom
Chapter 3: The Japanese Garden
Chapter 4: Bedouin Jewelry and Saudi Arabia
Chapter 5. Dòn Gánh: The Two Sides of Vietnam
Chapter 6: Kimchi and Korea
Chapter 7: The Swedish Stuga
Chapter 8: The Finnish Sauna
Chapter 9: The Danish Christmas Luncheon
Chapter 10: The German Symphony
Chapter 11: Irish Conversations
Chapter 12: The Canadian Backpack and Flag
Chapter 13. Australian Outdoor Recreational Activities
Chapter 14: French Wine
Chapter 15: American Football
Chapter 16: The Traditional British House
ss2020 Global Cultures Midterm Exam will be available Week 5, 6-10 July 2020. (up to 400 points)
Chapter 17: The Malaysian Balik Kampung
Chapter 18: The Israeli Kibbutzim and Moshavim
Chapter 19: The Italian Opera
Chapter 20: Belgian Lace
Chapter 21: The Mexican Fiesta
Chapter 22: The Turkish Coffeehouse
Chapter 23: China’s Great Wall and Cross-Cultural Paradox
Chapter 24: The Chinese Family Altar: The Expatriate Chinese Outside of China
Chapter 25: The Singapore Hawker Centers
Chapter 26: India: The Dance of Shiva
Chapter 27: India: A Kaleidoscope of Diversity
Chapter 28: The Nigerian Marketplace
Chapter 29. South African Townships
Chapter 30: The Sub-Saharan African Bush Taxi
Chapter 31: The Russian Ballet
Chapter 32. Estonian Singing
Chapter 33: The Polish Village Church
Chapter 34: The Spanish Bullfight
Chapter 35: The Portuguese Bullfight
Pick at least one of the Modern-day Latin American cultures with a musical metaphor . . . 


Chapter 36: The Brazilian Samba
Chapter 37: The Argentine Tango
Chapter 38. Cultural Metaphors for the Caribbean
About the Authors
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