You are here

Understanding Global Cultures
Share

Understanding Global Cultures
Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:


March 2015 | 680 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In the fully updated Sixth Edition of Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 34 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity, authors Martin J. Gannon and Rajnandini Pillai present the cultural metaphor as a method for understanding the cultural mindsets of individual nations, clusters of nations, continents, and diversity in each nation. A cultural metaphor is any activity, phenomenon, or institution that members of a given culture consider important and with which they identify emotionally and/or cognitively, such as the Japanese garden and American football. This cultural metaphoric approach identifies three to eight unique or distinctive features of each cultural metaphor and then discusses 34 national cultures in terms of these features. The book demonstrates how metaphors are guidelines to help outsiders quickly understand what members of a culture consider important.

 
Preface: Understanding Cultures in Depth
 
Part I. Introduction
 
Chapter 1. Understanding Cultural Metaphors
Language Barriers

 
Using Cultural Metaphors

 
Constructing Cultural Metaphors

 
Using Metaphor

 
Reading and Using This Book

 
A Two-Dimensional Typology of Cultures

 
A Scaling Perspective

 
Defining Culture or Identifying Its Determinants?

 
When Culture Does, and Does Not, Matter

 
 
Part II. Authority-Ranking Cultures
 
Chapter 2. The Thai Kingdom
Loose Vertical Hierarchy

 
Freedom and Equality

 
The Thai Smile

 
 
Chapter 3. The Japanese Garden
Corporate Cultures

 
Garden as Metaphor

 
Wa and Shikata

 
Seishin Training

 
Combining Droplets or Energies

 
Aesthetics

 
Similarities and Contrasts

 
 
Chapter 4. Bedouin Jewelry and Saudi Arabia
History and Geography

 
The Desert Bedouins

 
Bold Form

 
Handcrafted Appearance

 
Traditional Design

 
Female Ownership

 
 
Chapter 5. Dòn Gánh: The Two Sides of Vietnam
History of Occupation

 
The French Defeat and Division Into Two

 
The Metaphor: The Dualities of Dòn Gánh

 
 
Chapter 6. Kimchi and Korea
South Korea

 
Kimchi

 
The 60th Birthday

 
Strangers by Day, Lovers by Night

 
Kimchi’s Public Role

 
The Irish of Asia

 
 
Part III. Scandinavian Egalitarian Cultures
 
Chapter 7. The Swedish Stuga
Early History

 
Modern Evolution

 
Social Democracy

 
The Swedish Summer Home

 
Love of Untrammeled Nature and Tradition

 
Individualism Through Self-Development

 
Equality

 
 
Chapter 8. The Finnish Sauna
From Survival to Political and Economic Success

 
Sauna: A Secular “Holy” Place of Equality

 
Communication: Comfort With Quietude

 
 
Chapter 9. The Danish Christmas Luncheon
Interdependent Individualism

 
Geographic Ambivalence

 
Coziness

 
 
Part IV. Other Egalitarian Cultures
 
Chapter 10. The German Symphony
Postwar Evolution

 
The Symphony Orchestra

 
Diversity of Musical Instruments

 
Positional Arrangements of the Musicians

 
Conductors and Leaders

 
Precision and Synchronicity

 
The Unfinished Symphony

 
 
Chapter 11. Irish Conversations
Early History

 
English Oppression

 
Identifying Links

 
Intersection of Gaelic and English

 
Prayer as Conversation

 
A Free-Flowing Conversation: Irish Hospitality

 
Places of Conversations: Irish Friends and Families

 
Ending a Conversation

 
 
Chapter 12. The Canadian Backpack and Flag
Historical Background

 
Egalitarianism and Outlook

 
The Canadian Mosaic

 
Canadians as Non-U.S. Americans

 
 
Chapter 13. Australian Outdoor Recreational Activities
Capturing the Imagination

 
New Realities: Beyond Stereotypes

 
Barbecue

 
Equality Matching Among the Tall Poppies

 
 
Chapter 14. French Wine
Pureness

 
Classification

 
Composition

 
Suitability

 
The Maturation Process

 
The Changing Portrait

 
 
Part V. Market-Pricing Cultures
 
Chapter 15. American Football
The Tailgate Party

 
Pregame and Halftime Entertainment

 
Strategy and War

 
Selection, the Training Camp, and the Playbook

 
Individual Specialized Achievement Within the Team Structure

 
Aggression, High Risks, and Unpredictable Outcomes

 
Huddling

 
The Church of Football and Celebrating Perfection

 
 
Chapter 16. The Traditional British House
The Traditional House

 
History, Politics, Economics: Laying the Foundations

 
Growing Up British: Building the House

 
Being British: Living in the House

 
 
Part VI. Cleft National Cultures
 
Chapter 17. The Malaysian Balik Kampung
Returning to Nearby Roots

 
Authority Ranking

 
Reinforcing Common Values

 
 
Chapter 18. The Israeli Kibbutzim and Moshavim
Zionism, Types of Judaism, and the Palestinians

 
A New Country

 
Continuous War

 
Religious Conflict

 
Explicit Values

 
Size and Behavioral Outcomes

 
Traumas, Worldview, and Personality

 
 
Chapter 19. The Italian Opera
North and South

 
The Opera Metaphor

 
The Overture

 
Pageantry and Spectacle

 
Voice

 
Externalization

 
Chorus and Soloists

 
 
Chapter 20. Belgian Lace
Wallonian Versus Flemish

 
History of Lace

 
A Land of Contrasts

 
Control

 
Cooperation and Harmony

 
 
Part VII. Torn National Cultures
 
Chapter 21. The Mexican Fiesta
Historical Background

 
The Mexican Fiesta

 
Primary Focus on People

 
The Emphasis on Religion

 
Experiencing the Present

 
Freedom Within the Social Order

 
 
Chapter 22. The Turkish Coffeehouse
A Unique History

 
Islam and Secularity

 
Recreation, Communication, and Community Integration

 
A Male Domain

 
A Modest Environment

 
Life Outside the Coffeehouse

 
Looking Ahead

 
 
Part VIII. The Base Culture and Its Diffusion Across Borders (Clusters of Nations): The Example of China
 
Chapter 23. China’s Great Wall and Cross-Cultural Paradox
The Great Wall: Long, Tortuous, and Complex History

 
Confucianism and Taoism

 
Sun Tzu, War, and the Marketplace

 
 
Chapter 24. The Chinese Family Altar: The Expatriate Chinese Outside of China
The Importance of Family

 
The Expatriate Chinese

 
Roundness

 
Harmony

 
Fluidity

 
 
Chapter 25. The Singapore Hawker Centers
Origins of the Hawker Centers

 
Singapore’s History

 
Ethnic Diversity but Unity

 
Efficiency

 
The Power of Women

 
Safety

 
Synthesizing Traditional and New Values

 
 
Part IX. India: Tradition, Modernity, and Diversity
 
Chapter 26. India: The Dance of Shiva
Shiva’s Dance

 
Indian Culture: Early History

 
Cyclical Hindu Philosophy

 
The Cycle of Life

 
The Family Cycle

 
The Cycle of Social Interaction

 
The Work and Recreation (Rejuvenation) Cycle

 
 
Chapter 27. India: A Kaleidoscope of Diversity
The Kaleidoscope of Religions and Cultural Celebrations

 
Images of Festivals and Feasts

 
Cell Phones, Call Centers, and Curriculum: Images of Change

 
The Changing Image of Cricket

 
 
Part X. An African Perspective
 
Chapter 28. The Nigerian Marketplace
Diversity

 
Social Dynamism

 
Balancing Tradition and Change

 
 
Chapter 29. South African Townships
An Insider’s View

 
An Outsider’s View

 
 
Chapter 30. The Sub-Saharan African Bush Taxi
Basic Operations

 
A Short History of Africa

 
African Time Orientation and Fatalism

 
Communalism and Community Sharing

 
Hierarchy in African Society: Seating Arrangements in the Bush Taxi

 
 
Part XI. The Struggle for Cultural Identity and the Splintering of Nations: The Case of the Russian Empire
 
Chapter 31. Russian Ballet
An Apt Metaphor

 
A Flourishing Art

 
Echelons of the Ballet

 
Drama and Realism

 
The Russian Soul

 
 
Chapter 32. Estonian Singing
Lyrics, or the Painful History of the Proud Nation

 
Vocalists, or Simple Pleasures Inspired by Nature

 
Performance, or Singing as a Weapon

 
Audience, or Estonia on the Global Stage

 
 
Chapter 33. The Polish Village Church
Historical Background

 
Central Place of the Catholic Church

 
The Partitioning and Polish Identity

 
Survivors

 
 
Part XII. Same Metaphor, Different Meanings
 
Chapter 34. The Spanish Bullfight
The Bullfight Begins

 
Cuadrillas

 
Sol y Sombra

 
The Pompous Entrance Parade

 
Audience Involvement

 
The Ritual of the Bullfight

 
 
Chapter 35. The Portuguese Bullfight
Pride in Traditions

 
Stratification Amid Unity

 
Artistry and Human Gore

 
Profitless Bravery

 
 
Part XIII. Popular Music as Cultural Metaphors
 
Chapter 36. The Brazilian Samba
Evolution of the Samba

 
Small-Step Circularity

 
Physical Touch

 
Undulation

 
Spontaneous Escape

 
Paradox of Dancers

 
 
Chapter 37. The Argentine Tango
The Tango’s Evolution

 
Tango Music and Composers

 
The Dynamics of the Dance

 
Tango Singers and Their Lyrics

 
Gender Relations

 
Applying What We’ve Learned

 
Summary

 
 
Part XIV. Overlapping Cultural Metaphors for Geographically Related Nations
 
Chapter 38. Cultural Metaphors for the Caribbean
A Brief History of the Caribbean Region

 
Cultural Metaphors for the Caribbean

 
Personal Experiences With Caribbean Metaphors

 
Developing Complementary Cultural Metaphors

 
Conclusions

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at http://study.sagepub.com/gannon6e for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Understanding Globaly Cultures. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected
Instructor Resources include a phrase/term glossary and an instructor's manual comprising the following:

I.        REPRINTING OF MARTIN J. GANNON’S Working Across Cultures: Applications and Exercises. Please note that some of the Learning Modules refer specifically to this book.

II.     
 LEARNING MODULES FOR CLASSROOM USE

1.   Learning Module: The Hawaii Case Study

2.   Learning Module Exercise on Generic Metaphors for Culture and Defining Culture

3.   Learning Module Involving Class Members in the Description of their Root Cultures in the First Class and Later in the Course

4.   Learning Module on the 14 Parts of the Sixth Edition

5.   Learning Module on the Extended Table of Contents and the Systematic Use of Cultural Metaphors through the Major Features of Each Cultural Metaphor

6.   Learning Module focusing on the strengths and limitations of the Dimensional Approach

7.   Learning Module: Debating the Relative Strengths and Limitations of Dimensions and Cultural Metaphors 

8.   Learning Module on chapter 1 Using Slides, Discussion Questions, and Exercises

9.   Learning Module Exercise on Time

10.  Learning Module on Creating Paragraphs and Surveys for Studying Cultural Metaphors

11. Learning Module on Cultural Metaphors and Business: Other Applications

12. Learning Module on Language

13. Learning Module on Types of Communication

14. Learning Module on Cross-Cultural Paradoxes

15.  Business Ethics and Decision Making Learning Module

16.  Cross-cultural Negotiations’ Learning Module

17.   Learning Module on World Religions

18.  Learning Module on Global Leadership and the Manager’s Role in Different Nations

19.  Three-Culture Joint Venture Exercise

20. Learning Module on the Long-Term Effects of Violating Cultural Norms and Values: The Case Study of the Hong Kong Orchestra and the Exercise “The Story of Upoli”

21. Learning Module: The Relative Effectiveness of Single-Culture and Multiple-Cultures Cross-Cultural Groups

22. Learning Module Involving the Individual Interviews

23. Learning Module: The Deaf Culture

24.  Learning Module:  Specific Suggestions for Using the Internet, Films, and Cross-Cultural Training Videos

III.  THE SYLLABUS (SPRING, 2015)

IV.   THE THREE EXAMINATIONS WITH ASTERISKED CORRECT ANSWERS FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS AND ESSAY QUESTIONS (27 OF THE 38 CHAPTERS IN THE 6TH EDITION)

V.     MULTIPLE CHOICE AND ESSAY QUESTIONS FOR THE NINE CHAPTERS NOT REQUIRED FOR EXAMINATIONS (Note: It is the Instructor’s Choice to Add to Examinations and Course Requirements)

VI.     DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR ALL CHAPTERS

VII.    AN INTEGRATIVE SUMMARY: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED

“Each one of these chapters is very detailed and the metaphor is sensible… This is a great introduction to cultural diversity for many different reasons, such as economy (Italy), religion (Malaysia), language (Belgium, plus Canada and Switzerland among many others).  It meets the demand for a business cultural geography companion text.”

Jorge A. Gonzalez
University of Texas - Pan American

“This text more thoroughly increases cultural awareness to broaden students' perspectives of what they may encounter as they travel to different parts of the world. The chapters are well written; my students are challenged by, and maintain an interest in, the level of the book. It is a book that provides a challenge for the level of students in my course.”

Nancy Lyons
South Dakota State University

“This is the only textbook that I have found that actually discusses relevant information about contemporary cultures from all over the world…This is a wonderful text! I actually encourage other instructors to use it for their comparative cultures classes. It is easy to read and understand, discusses relevant information, and helps students become more aware of cultures that they may very well come in contact with. I will be using the next editions of this text, as it is the best I've found.”

Heather M. Smith
Gaston College, Isothermal Community College

“Overall I have enjoyed the text and have found it a useful resource for myself. Students who have used it as recommended reading have also found it helpful in developing a more colorful understanding of issues from the module.  The structure of the book is good, with an appropriate break up of countries as it demonstrates that despite major visible differences the cultures in each category actually have important base characteristics.  I am glad this text is available as it supports the broad themes of my course admirably well.”

Patrick Meehan
Canterbury Christ Church University

“It is one of the most interesting textbooks in the marketplace. The authors KNOW what they are doing. I love this textbook and have been using it for years now. It is one of the only textbooks that many of my students do NOT sell back to the campus bookstore!”

Patrice Hughes
Brevard Community College/Eastern Florida State College

“I enjoy using this book in my classes and students also seem to like it. I get positive comments on the text in student evaluations.”

Alexandre Ardichvili
University of Minnesota

“The book is a very useful resource for any one traveling to a foreign country because it provides unique in-depth insights to cultures. Thus, I encourage students to hang onto the book as a resource in dealing with customers from these countries. What I like about the current format is that the questions and the associated answers are infinite once you dig deeper into the metaphor and then start comparing/contrasting metaphors.”

Brad Koch
Grand Valley State University

“This is a fantastic book and I will continue to use it in whatever format.”

Jennifer Basquiat
College of Southern Nevada

Comprehensive and systematic this complex text formulates a framework to help us develop our understanding. Really valuable for students and practitioners in the sector.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University
June 3, 2016

This is a great book. The byte sized chapters cover a gamut of important areas for the students to look at. The tone makes it useful for those students who are familiar and completely new to the area

Dr Rohit K Dasgupta
Winchester School of Art, Southampton University
April 29, 2016
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • New chapter on South Africa’s  township system and its historical origin 
  • New chapter on Estonian singing provides a unique glimpse into Estonian culture
  • New chapter on the Caribbean explores the region’s countries and their substantial variation and overlap contrast 
  • Three new parts discuss the African perspective, the struggle for cultural identity and the splintering of nations through the case of the Russian empire, and overlapping metaphors for geographically related nations

KEY FEATURES:

  • Highlights religious and ethnic diversity within nations, recognizing that very few nations are predominantly monocultural
  • Each chapter links each nation's cultural metaphor as it relates to its history, religions, geography, demographics, and current events
  • Provides a framework for understanding national cultures by describing the culture-general emphasis of the Hofstede study, the GLOBE study, etc., and integrating them into an in-depth understanding of each national culture
  • The 14 parts of the book are balanced by parts emphasizing geography, such as the African perspective, and parts focusing on key cross-cultural issues such as authority-ranking cultures and torn national cultures. 
  •  A Password-Protected Instructor site includes 100 exercises from the book Working Across Cultures, multiple-choice questions and discussion questions for each chapter, a model examination, a suggested syllabus, PowerPoint slides, and more

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 15

Chapter 23


Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email textsales@sagepub.com.

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$53.00*
*180 day rental

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.