Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.
Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it. Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms. Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting. The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues. The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive.
"Freedom House has been at the forefront in monitoring threats to media independence since 1980. A free press plays a key role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good government, and economic development. Most importantly, restrictions on media are often an early indicator that governments intend to assault other democratic institutions."
This interactive map shows some intriguing spatial patterns about the freedom of press internationally. What other patterns to you see in matching up with the most free presses in the world (in green)? How does a free (or not free press) influence the cultural and political values of a country?
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original. This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well ove...
The following link has the video, parodies and infographics to help student explore the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon.
Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated?
Tags: popular culture, video, diffusion, globalization, culture, place, technology, unit 3 culture.
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