6 x 9 paperback
264 pages
2023
PDF download
EPUB
Audiobook

Culture General Guidebook

Globally Applicable Concepts and Skills for Military Professionals
Kerry Fosher, PhD; and Lauren Mackenzie, PhD
with contributing authors Erika Tarzi, Kristin Post, Eric Gauldin, and Gregory Marshall

DOI: 10.56686/9798986259543

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Current and future operating environments require forces that are as prepared as possible to deal with a multitude of complexities, not least of which are the people within those operating environments and a need to understand them. At the core of understanding people is culture, and developing competence in the art of understanding people through culture requires a deliberate and persistent effort. This guidebook represents an important step in adopting a methodical approach to culture in operations and describes an evolutionary approach to understanding the human dimension. The concepts and skills presented here under the umbrella of culture general provide a pragmatic toolkit to prepare servicemembers for global employment through the deliberate application of culture general knowledge and skills to specific cultures and regions. The concepts and skills presented in the guidebook are general in nature, and applicable in many, if not most, intercultural interactions. This guidebook serves as a good baseline for military personnel to develop the cognitive, metacognitive, and behavioral skills they need in an increasingly complex national security environment.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

Preface to the New Edition

Preface to the Original Edition: Why Focus on Culture General?

Acknowledgments

Acronyms and Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Culture General in Context: The Learning Domains in DOD’s Cultural Capability

Region-specific Knowledge

Culture-specific Knowledge

Language and Communication

Culture General

Cross-cultural Competence

What Is Culture?

A Note on Service Frameworks

Rules of the Road

CHAPTER 2: CULTURE GENERAL CONCEPTS

Concepts for Thinking Systematically about Culture

Holism: Building Situational Awareness with a Holistic Perspective

Variation and Change

Variation

Change

Culture General Concepts for Understanding Behavior

Interaction with the Environment

Overview

Getting, Sharing, and Saving Resources: Subsistence and Exchange

Overview

Digging Deeper

Corruption

Reciprocity—Connecting Exchange and Social Relationships

Generalized Reciprocity (what goes around comes around)

Balanced Reciprocity (you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours)

Division of Labor

Resources—Distribution, Access, and Ownership

Organizing and Interacting: Relationships, Roles, and Identity

Overview

Digging Deeper

Groups and Networks

Identity

Race and Ethnicity

Group Membership

Organizations 

Tribes

Cohesion: Ritual, Narrative, and Symbol

Mobilization

Answering Questions: Beliefs, Logic, Questioning, and Investigation

Overview

Digging Deeper

Questioning and Investigating

How People Use Beliefs and Logic

Influencing: Power and Making Decisions

Overview

Digging Deeper

Contract and Personal Trust

Social Control and Managing Conflict

Overview

Communicating: Information Flow, Sources, and Trust

Overview

Staying Well and Dealing with Illness: Health, Nutrition, and Wellbeing

Overview

Learning and Teaching

Overview

Expressing Ideas and Identity: Arts, Literature, Media, and Performance

Overview

Having Fun: Leisure, Play, and Humor

Overview

Digging Deeper

Leisure and Work: Are They Two Different Things?

Conclusion

CHAPTER 3: CULTURE GENERAL SKILLS

Observation

Discussion

Key Points

Interpreting the Cultural Landscape

Common Pitfalls

Suspending Judgment

Discussion

Self-regulation

Discussion

Perspective-taking

Discussion

Intercultural Communication Skills

Discussion

Key Points

Skill 1: Leveraging Communication Styles

Skill 2: Employing Effective Interaction Management Skills

Skill 3: Practicing Active Listening

Skill 4: Managing Paralanguage Use and Perception

Skill 5: Decoding Nonverbal Messages

Preparing for Interaction

When Things Go South—Trouble Recovery

POCESAD

Building Rapport

Discussion

Key Points

Face

Revisiting Perspective-taking, Suspending Judgment, and Self-regulation

Nonverbal Expression of Rapport

Revisiting the Concept of Identity

Identifying and Managing Culture Shock

Discussion

Key Points

Causes of Culture Shock

Value Conflicts

Uncertainty

Unmet Expectations

Recognizing Culture Shock

Dealing with Culture Shock

Accept Things You Do Not Like

Suspend Judgment, Maintain Tact and Bearing, Take Alternative Perspectives

Reframe Your Problems

Take Control

Relax

Talk

Working with an Interpreter

Discussion

Key Points

Unique Considerations when Involving an Interpreter in Your Interactions

Planning

Planning Questions

Rehearsing

Contact and Engage

Debrief and Check for Understanding.

Conclusion

 

Appendix A: Select References

Appendix B: Additional Resources, Annotated

Appendix C: Teaching Tools

Appendix D: Historical and Contemporary Relations between Social Science and the Military