Intercultural Counseling - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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What is an intercultural problem?

An intercultural problem exists when the interaction between two people is unsatisfactory or conflict-laden due to differences in their cultural norms, attitudes and behaviors. An example of this would be when certain students who remain reserved or relatively unparticipatory in class as a way of showing respect for their professors are misinterpreted as being "passive" or "disinterested". This illustrates the differences in culturally embedded attitudes with regards to power and hierarchy; it can help German professors to understand that the apparent passive behavior some of their foreign students exhibit is actually intended to show respect and politeness. The majority of differences in learning and teaching methods are likewise rooted in culture.


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