In my initial essay, I addressed the differences in culture betweenthe American schoolchildren and their Chinese counterparts. I noticedthat American schoolchildren had too much free time left after doingtheir homework. When growing up in China, parents always aimed atkeeping their children busy after school and during the weekends.Personally, I learned English, and playing the piano in addition todoing schoolwork during my free time. I also noticed that Americanshave a not so friendly way of solving conflicts. In my home country,all that is required to solve minor conflicts is an apology issuedwith respect. In the USA, I noticed that people could go to courtjust because the neighbor’s dog defecated in their yard. In thismodule, I will talk about media- based stereotypes and interest as abasic element to adapting to different cultural environments.
During my stay in the USA, I realized that most of themisconceptions I had regarding the country emanated from MEDIA-BASEDSTEREOTYPES in China (module 2: part 4). When I arrived at theDetroit airport, I was afraid to ask for direction because I thoughtthat the American culture prescribed a little disrespect and agilitytowards foreigners. The Chinese media was also awash with stories ofracism in the USA. During my arrival, I knew it was just a matter oftime before someone attacked me because of my race. I was also afraidthat a mass shooter could shoot me down on the street, becauseAmericans are known to be in love with their guns. However, upon myarrival, even before I could interact with the local, I realized howwrong the media- based stereotypes were. When a stranger decided todisrupt his schedule to show me the station for MSU buses, I realizedhow wrong I was about the American culture.
Interest as a basic element to adapting to different culturalenvironments.
One of the BASIC ELEMENTS TO ADAPTING TO DIFFERENT CULTURALENVIRONMENTS is taking interest in that particular culture (module 3:part 2). Interest involves finding out why people from a differentculture do things differently. It could also take the form of makingfriendship with people from other cultures in order to understandthem better. During my arrival in the USA, I was interested inlearning more about this unique culture. Part of the reason was tofit in and avoid displaying my cultural ignorance for all and sundry.Most importantly, I wanted to know why Americans hold differentvalues from their Chinese counterparts. For instance, I learned thatthe reason why most people solve minor disputes in court is that, thejudiciary of the USA is more efficient in comparison to that inChina.
This course seeks to address the issue of cultural differencessocieties. It goes ahead to give examples of some culturaldifferences between societies such as the USA and Japan. The coursealso aims at empowering the learner to cope with culture shock. Thecourse has helped me achieve several learning objectives. Forinstance, I have learned to look at cultural differences from acompletely new lens. Initially, I would disregard other people’sculture because I thought I was better off not knowing it. However,this course has taught me how to integrate with people of aculturally diverse background.