This is the second in a multi-part series on selected SOURCES to inform crossing into Other Cultures. Here are a few more “book-sources.”
A BOOK THAT MAKES SENSE OF CULTURES
Stewart, Edward C. and Milton J. Bennett. American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Nicholas Brealey; 2nd Edition edition, 2005. This is a favorite. It is NOT a fact book on American culture; NOT a simple book. The route to Other-culture awareness crisscrosses the American sub-consciousness. A brilliant analysis that can put you on the road to commonsense in Other cultures.
I like this from an Amazon reviewer—
“This book should be required reading for anyone attempting to understand American Cultural Patterns invisible to Americans belonging to the dominant culture. In other words, if you were born in another culture or belong to a subculture in the U.S. this book will explain why it is so hard to communicate with “rational white managers who have been in the same business for decades”. . . Individualism keeps the sense of future limited to one lifetime (or the next quarter earnings). Linguistic features of English lead toward linear chains of cause, effect and outcomes. Other cultures experience relationships as community, time as seasonal or celestial, truth as intuitive . . . It is worth the fifteen cents a page I paid for it.”
Pipher, Mary. The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community. Harcourt, Inc., 2002. An engaging book written 15 years ago, still timely. A best way to understand a culture that is foreign to you is to find and engage the owners of that culture, who now live down the street. In this sense, Pipher’s book is dual-pronged: a look at those of Other culture as they transition into “my” Home culture and a way to understand their culture.
Nydell, Margaret K. Understanding Arabs: A Contemporary Guide to Arab Society. Nicholas Brealey, 5 edition, 2012. From the expert.
Elmer, Duane, Cross-Cultural Connections. Downers Grove, IL: InterVaristy Press, 2002. This is basic. While aimed at Christian ministry, it is universally applicable.
LeBaron, Michelle and Venashri Pillay. Conflict Across Cultures: A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences. Intercultural Press, 2006. Especially in the Other culture we’d like to avoid conflict, but of course culture is about difference and difference means conflict.
Maranz, David E. African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa. SIL International, Global Publishing; Second edition, 2015. The roots of culture exposed.
Boye Lafayette De Mente. Korean Etiquette and Ethics in Business. NTC Business Books, 2nd edition, 1994. There are others in this series I have not read, but this one is very insightful.