Sales toll free: Support toll free:
Things go Better with Us!

The Importance of Cultural Understanding in a Global Society

Abstract

Modern world is characterized by globalization in social, cultural, and economic spheres. Analyzing the value of cultural understanding could be useful in an ever-growing global society. Many scholars consider that changes that have taken place in all spheres of humans’ life are the result of the new approach and understanding of culture. New paradigms have been adopted in the people’s relationships. Old cultural values have been substituted by the new ones. This process is in the progress now, and it affects a global society and economic development. In an ever-growing global society, a specific set of cultural values and beliefs have been largely shared around the world. This paper tends to explain the socio-cultural phenomena that would lead to better understanding of the ever-growing global society.

Introduction

Many scholars acknowledge that a modern global society has been estimated as multicultural and pluralistic. It is a common fact that it is significant to understand the importance of culture in a global society. Culture has demonstrated its influence on the global market, academic discussions, mass media, and the political realm. The present worldwide cultural homogenization is a result of hegemonic control of highly-developed industrial countries. In a global society, old cultural values are considered to be no longer a concern (Ritzer, 2003). Sociologists acknowledge that traditional cultural forms have been substituted by the new ones. New cultural models have emerged from a new global society that different epistemic communities try to understand (Beck, 2000). There are different approaches to culture according to diverse and vibrant viewpoints. A fully global society requires understanding of cultural differences. Some analysts note toward the emergence of different states, societies, markets, and people; others point toward the increase of diversity among national, gender, class, ethnic, and religious identifications. It is worth noting that the impact of globalization in the cultural sphere has been mostly viewed in a pessimistic way (Tomlinson, 2003). Some analysts notice globalization of culture, while others assert that culture has become fragmented and should be understood locally, regionally, and globally. Many scholars acknowledge that culture has been associated with the destruction of cultural identities. This paper tends to explain how cultural identities have influenced the globalization of the modern Western society.

Business Etiquette

Business etiquette is an important issue in an ever-growing global society. Good business manners are important for working more effectively, establishing and sustaining long-term relationships as well as improving them. Being familiar with business etiquette enables to handle all business situations with confidence. Moreover, knowing the code of good business manners can help to recognize an individual’s talents, acceptable personal behavior, and get a competitive advantage (Robinson, 2000). Good business manners should be universal regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, or occupation. Business etiquette is supposed to be rather flexible in a global society, because it is always developing. Attitudes and behaviors change according to the norms existing in society. It is important to show that one has well-founded personal values based on respect for others. Therefore, if a person would like to settle an argument, discipline, or subordinate someone, the manners are supposed to be not only firm and fair, but also sympathetic. By doing so, a person will not only win respect of others but also enhance his own confidence and self-esteem.

Business etiquette and right manners are the patterns of behavior that indicate whether one can be relied on and act fairly when making business with others. If a business partner thinks that he/she is boorish, selfish, or undisciplined, the relationship is unlikely to prosper (Chaney, 2007). Conducting a business in a global society, it is important to show that one cares for the feelings of others. This business behavior can be encapsulated in the word “impact,” which summarizes the golden rule:

Integrity – requires an honest and truthful way of business.

Manners –stay unselfish and disciplined.

Personality – be aware of one’s own values, attitudes, and abilities.

Appearance – always present oneself in the best manner.

Consideration – consider other person’s view point.

Tact – think before speaking.

In order to succeed in today’s globalized society, it is important to understand that one should master the rules of business etiquette. It is not an easy process because it requires handling different rules in order to better operate them in different business situations regardless of their difficulty or commonplace. The research findings indicate that business success depends on the etiquette (Walzer, 2003). According to the available information, a lack of courtesy and respect for others is, currently, a serious problem in the United States of America. According to corporate trainers and educators who study business etiquette, in today’s global society people seem to become increasingly rude to their co-workers and colleagues. Most of the experts agree that companies experience numerous problems because they are not aware of proper business etiquette and behavior. It is rather important to know how to dress, eat, and behave in certain situations. To have good professional skills is not enough to be a good specialist in today’s global society. The awareness of perfect business etiquette may make a positive initial impression by providing, for example, good impression during the interview. Due to the modern globalization of business environment, it is worth noting that today people from diverse cultural environments are involved into different businesses. That is why it is essential to be aware of different cultures, traditions, and specific etiquette norms and standards. In order to succeed in the international market, organizational leaders must take into consideration this peculiarity of today`s business environment.

Cultural Intelligence

Globalization is a process that influences the interaction between people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is a tendency, which will increase in the future because of the globalization of international markets. Cross-cultural people’s skills have become very important in today’s global society, because employees in different organizations and companies have become multicultural. It is important to understand how to interact with people from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and ethnical groups (Pilon, 2009). Running business overseas makes business owners realize that cultural intelligence is an important tool of conducting business today. The new global, multicultural business environment requires a new approach to business and its management. A global society requires a personal growth through continuous learning and understanding of diverse cultural heritage, wisdom and values of people from different cultural backgrounds, what are inevitable attributes of cultural intelligence.

Globalization means integration of global economy, culture, religions and ethnic groups. Business is a key player in the global economic integration. That is why business plays an important role in the multicultural cooperation and intelligence. The research asserts that the successful business management of diverse cultural groups improves business activities and leads to greater revenues and business growth (Crane, 2002). It helps to foster intercultural understanding and dialogue among people from different backgrounds. Cultural intelligence is important in every workplace, and it helps organizational leaders and employees to solve problems and set up decisions explaining what is normal and valuable in a certain situation. Such aspects of culture as behavior, art, and music are easy to see, but others, which are usually most significant parts of culture, are hidden. For example, people’s beliefs, values, assumptions, attitudes, and expectations may be hidden, and it is not easy to understand or estimate them.

The importance of cultural understanding in a global society, therefore, is to help humans to decide what is normal for a new cultural environment. Cultural intelligence helps to shape and manage cross-cultural differences, which give the opportunity to predict future behavioral patterns. Cultural diversity is another important issue, which can be managed by cultural intelligence. Practical, collaborative initiatives may be a perfect opportunity to stimulate new cross-cultural ideas within a community or organization. The research asserts that a global society requires harness the power of cultural diversity among diverse amount of customers, employees, partners, and other business players. It is worth mentioning that in a new global society traditional management approaches do not fit anymore. Thus, cultural intelligence should be used in order to develop new approaches to management, marketing, and development of the business process (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005). Innovations should lead companies to long-term success that will launch company into new markets, create high return on investment, enable rapid growth, and create efficient markets.

Effects of Cultural Values

Cultural values are a crucial element to understand societies, analyze differences among them, and explain their economic and political development. These values may be often conflicting and diverse. In the process of globalization cultural values are supposed to become similar for all nations in a global society. Social scientists turned to cultural values with the aim to explain how they can form humans’ thoughts and beliefs in the postmodern society. It is acknowledged by many scholars, such as Baumann, Beck, and many others that globalization has influenced all sphere of humans’ life. Thus, Giddens (2003) notes that, “globalization is reshaping our lives.” Today many experts are wondering to what extend do cultural values shape economic and political development? Globalization brings with it a slogan of “human progress” in economic, political, and cultural spheres. Under this slogan the authors mean economic development, social-economic equity, political democracy, and material well-being.

According to the research, the word “culture” has different meanings. In sociology, scholars are interested in culture as how it affects societal development. It can be defined as a set of values, symbols, beliefs, orientations, attitudes, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in society. Cultural values, therefore, do affect economic and political progress and development. A growing number of scholars, politicians and sociologists are focusing on the role of cultural values and attitudes as facilitators of progress. Max Weber, for example, explained the rise of capitalism as essentially cultural phenomenon (Giddens, 2003). According to the research, differences in cultural values could have far-reaching implications for the development of a global society. Cultural values are defined by sustainable behaviors of different demographic groups. It is a well-known fact that American culture is not based on old traditions, because it is made by many nations and people. Therefore, there are no deep roots and cultural values to preserve and respect. American cultural value system is formed by the influence of media, while culture is associated with intellectual and artistic pursuits. Many experts consider American culture to be designed by people’s experience, and it requires active involvement.

Popular culture has become predominant in a new global society, what have influenced on traditional cultural values. The present worldwide cultural homogenization is a result of hegemonic control of highly-developed industrial countries. During last decades, these countries have promoted the consumption of fashionable products and services in the countries of the global North. For example, McDonalds is popular in many countries in the world, as well as Coca-Cola. Many scholars consider that new forms of cultural expression and values have emerged a global society. Hegemonic control of media and communication technologies leads to the fetishism of imported goods. Thus, traditions and customs of different people and nations have been substituted into a new hybrid form of culture and cultural values. The research asserts that in a global society, traditional cultural values and way of life are transformed and displaced by new ones (Walzer, 2003). It is a conscious process, which is defined as cultural imperialism, where a dominant group intentionally suppresses other cultures by suppressing their cultural values, languages, traditions, and way of life.

The Art of Relationships

The art of relationships in a global society is determined by current research and debates of young people’s identities. Giddens (2003) notes that globalization has influenced the lives of young people, who are searching for new ways of their identities and living in a global society. Many scholars acknowledge that the process of globalization in the postmodern society has changed traditional relationships between people (Eade & O’Byrne, 2005). Due to modern technology and the Internet, the relationships between people became more virtual than real, because IT connects people all over the world. Initially, it seemed to be rather supportive in different spheres of humans’ lives. Globalization was primarily be regarded as an interdependence of societies, therefore, new relationships between people, organizations and whole nations were supposed to be established. In the USA, like any other western countries, globalization brought with it increase in economic migration. People, especially the young ones, were migrating to different countries searching for better work and higher living standards. A new wave of immigration has flooded the United States and other western countries, like the UK, Germany, and others. Coming from different backgrounds and cultures, people are prone to establish appropriate relationships regardless of their different identities, cultural values, religious beliefs and other attributes. Thus, the art of relationships in a global society has become an important issue.

The research asserts that the impact of the consumer culture on a global society has controversial opinions among people. Thus, many Americans believe that has had a negative effect on society, because they fill brainwashed. The consumer culture intends people to believe that they need certain products and services using such a strong tool as advertisement. Advertisement has captured not only the minds of adults, but also children’s brains. It is more dangerous, because children’s minds are not developed, what gives the opportunity to the mass culture to ensure children that they need a certain toy, game or clothes to have friends and to be cool. Traditional cultural values have been substituted by the consumer goods. Thus, the global society cultural relations are based not on traditional relationships, where people were charged for their positive personal values, but because of their lifestyle, status and wealth (Dana & Allen, 2008). Many experts acknowledged that most Americans have a lack of relationships nowadays. Therefore, they become lazy and rely on technology instead of going shopping with their friends or family, for example, they purchase things they want via the internet from their home. It can be obviously a proof that consumer culture has had a negative effect on a global society. Many scholars consider that in order to save people from the total consumerism, it is important to realize that personal communication among people can be very supportive and healing for depression and loneliness, for example. Young people are considered to be the main target of global consumer cultures (Ritzer, 2003).

New Paradigms

For a long time social reality was described and analyzed in political terms: war and peace, order and disorder, government and state, the republic and revolution. After the Industrial Revolution, it was displaced by economic and social paradigm: social classes and wealth, bourgeoisie and proletariat, stratification and social mobility, trade unions and strikes. Today, these social categories have become confused. Therefore, there is a need in a new social paradigm, because cultural problems have assumed such importance that social thinking must be organized around them. A new situation has been created on account of the great social flexibility of information systems. The research asserts that today’s world of organized political violence is no longer a social world. Modern countries were created through wars; today’s conflicts have no political or social function. In a global society, cultural categories replace social categories, where each person’s relations are significantly important. The upheaval humans are living through is no more profound than the humanity experienced in recent centuries. It should be admitted that the changes, which are occurring nowadays, cannot be reduced to the emergence of new technologies, expansion of the markets, or to altered attitudes toward sexuality.

Many scholars defend the idea that people are changing paradigms in their representation of collective and personal life (Touraine, 2007). In a global society, the transition from one paradigm to another is occurred, i.e. from a social to cultural. September 11, 2001 marks the end not only of a certain conception of American society, but the end of an era of the whole world. According to the available information, people in a global society no longer believe in progress. Many sociologists acknowledged that nowadays people are witnessing a resurgence of forms of social and cultural life that are traditional or nourished by a desire to protect a regional or national culture, which is under threat. Though everywhere, as a result of these conflicting tendencies, the decline of traditional forms of social and political life is accelerating.

In a global society people should have realized that all spheres of their lives have been changing. Thus, business cannot be carrying like usual. The climate change, overpopulation, and terrorism will soon make the Earth an unpleasant place to live. New paradigms in a global society need new thinking and new solutions of the problems, which most countries are facing today due to the globalization process. People cannot solve the problems with the same thinking that brought them to these problems.

Many scholars consider new symbolic and communicative codes as a cultural regression (Kivisto, 2002). Nevertheless, it is clear that, unless the assumption of bringing relations to the presuppositional level is adopted, the complexity of society which emerges behind the thrust of new symbolic and relational communicative codes cannot be treated adequately. The research asserts that a global society does not seem to be able to generate complex solutions, and hence, proceeds selectively to spread havoc among those subjects or problems which are needful of complex solutions that cannot be found.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that a modern global society has been overviewed like multicultural and pluralistic. It is vital to understand the importance and the role of culture in a global society. Analyzing the value of cultural understanding has become extremely useful in an ever-growing global society. Cultural dimensions, from the point of view of globalization and a postmodern society, have become a complicated phenomenon.

Need an essay on the same topic? 15% OFF YOUR FIRST DISCOUNT

DMCA.com Protection Status