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Katie Harding
Dr. Manuela Gonzlez-Bueno
C&T 491
28 June 2016
Cross-Cultural Awareness
1. When the behavior in culture A is identified by an observer from culture B as being the
same as in his/her own culture, but actually has a very different meaning.
One behavior that immediately comes to mind is the motion to beckon someone
to you. The motion is when your palm is face up and you bend your fingers towards
your body to call someone over. In the United States, this is an accepted way to
beckon someone; however, in Korea, this is a very rude way to beckon to a person.
This motion is reserved for pets and animals so to do this to a person is extremely rude
and condescending. In Korea, the proper way to beckon someone is to place your palm
face down and then bend your fingers towards your body.
2. When different behaviors in culture A and B actually have the same meaning.
The way to politely greet one another in America and Korea are different. For
American culture, it is important to be confident and direct. You make eye contact
and shake their hand firmly while greeting them. In Korean culture, looking someone
in the eye who is higher socially than you is very rude. You bow to someone and
politely say hello. Depending on their status, you would bow lower or higher. The
lower you bow, the more respectful it is. In addition, do not have your hands in your
pockets or bow to the side. One must face the person and bow respectfully. Placing
your hands over your stomach is also a polite gesture when bowing.

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3. When the behaviors in cultures A and B have the same meaning, but are distributed
differently in time and space.
Korean food and American food are very different from each other, especially in
how they season the food. Most Koreans think that American food is very salty, while
Americans think that all of the fermented food that Koreans eat is strong and salty.
Each has a different way of bringing out that strong flavor. Also, in America we have
sweet breads, but our bread mainly is unflavored for a variety of uses. In Korea, most
of the bread has an added, sweetened taste. It is difficult to find bread that is not
4. When members of one culture assume the way they do things is the correct way
One aspect of Korean culture that some Americans assume is wrong is the social
hierarchy of Korea. You show respect and listen to people who are older than you or
higher in social status. Some people only see the negatives of this structure, such as
higher ups pressuring coworkers or other people to do things they might not
necessarily want to do. However, there are positives to this structure as well. There is a
respect for the elderly and taking care of your elders that a lot of American culture has
lost. In America, the youth tend to be glorified and the older population not regarded
as important as they deserve. There is so much value in having respect for others and
for those older than you.
5. When members of culture A assume that culture B is uniform (stereotyping).
In general, there are many stereotypes that each culture has about the other.
Americans think that Asians are good at math, are short, and look younger than they

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actually are. This leads to a lot of Asians in America being made fun of and
discriminated against. A lot of Americans see Asia as one entity, one homogenous
culture, and do not view it as separate cultures. Mainly, people see Asia as China.
Some stereotypes Koreans have about Americans are that they are loud, blonde, and
have a lot of money. Americans who do not fit this stereotype sometimes are not
considered American by Koreans. Those who do not have blonde hair and blue eyes
might be asked multiple times where they are from. Also, they tend to see Americans
as living a free life, a life of opportunity. However, there are many problems and
limitations when living in America; it is not just a life that is full of opportunity.