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Intercultural Conflict Styles and Inventory

Intercultural Conflict Styles and Inventory

Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

Recognize aspects of culture and their impact on managing conflict.

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What about intercultural differences? Is there a way to look at conflict styles in light of intercultural differences? The answer to that is yes. I'm Marlene, and today, I'd like to take a look at the impact of culture on conflict styles. Now, we know the Thomas-Kilmann conflict styles inventory is the best known for measuring conflicts styles. However, it's only one tool.

Why? Because the users of this particular inventory all come from US culture. That's how it was designed, with people from this culture. And these are people who all share the same assumptions and the same world view. So if people come from a different culture, it may not be as effective a tool. Let's pause for a moment and define culture.

Culture is a form of human social organization in which people identify themselves as members of a group, sharing symbol systems, norms, traditions, and viewpoints towards the world. So that's what our culture is. We're all part of the American culture here. However, we know that this country is a great melting pot. People came from all over into this country, and we've come together to form the American culture. But there is a lot of cross-cultural mix.

So what do we mean by cross-culture? Well, cross-culture is a term used to describe interactions between members of different cultures in which cultural differences may influence behavior, perception, or interpretation. I think if you've ever traveled abroad, you've run into these kind of cross-cultural differences. I know I certainly have. I've traveled to countries where I don't speak the language. And I've wandered in little villages and come across you know a lot of interesting cross-cultural differences, which I enjoy.

Now, when people come to this country-- immigrate to this country-- of course, they bring their cultural traditions, and norms, and ways of seeing the world with them. We learn to share on a number of things in common in this country, but quite often, will retained a lot of what we brought with us from our country of origin.

So within this country, we also have subcultures. Now, a subculture is a group with a different cultural orientation than the larger culture around it. So we can see this with influx of Latinos or Hmong. You go to New York City, you have Chinatown, Little Italy. I love visiting these little pockets where you've got people part of one subculture, because they have their own traditions and ways of seeing and doing things as well as, of course, assimilating into the larger culture.

It's important-- in closing, let me just say that it's important to recognize the importance of these cross-cultural differences in conflict. Now, there is an intercultural conflict styles inventory, and this is a tool that takes into account the cultural differences that people have. So if there is a conflict that involves cross-cultural elements, this can be an especially helpful tool to use. So I want to thank you for being part of this tutorial, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

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Terms to Know
cross-cultural

Used to describe interactions between members of different cultures, in which cultural differences may influence behavior, perception, or interpretation.

culture

A form of human social organization in which people identify themselves as members of a group sharing symbol systems, norms, traditions, and viewpoints towards the world.

subculture

A group with a different cultural orientation than the larger culture around it.