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Culture & communication

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2. Think of your own culture metaphor. Draw an image and explain it.

3. Write an essay on one of the problems below.

To sum up:

  • What is culture?

  • Why cross-cultural problems are essential nowadays?

  • Who in your culture do you admire most?

  • What your culture are you most proud about?

  • Why do you think culture is important?

  • If you could change one thing about your culture, what would it be?

  • Would you ever consider marrying or dating someone from another culture?

  • Would you ever consider living permanently in a country other than your home country? Why or why not?

  • What does it mean to be polite in your culture?

  • What is considered rude in your culture?

  • Is there anything in this culture that is considered rude that may not be considered rude in your culture?


Conversation Questions

  • If a group of people just came to your country from overseas, what advice would you give them?

  • What other cultures have you met people from?

  • What do you think is important when visiting another culture?

  • Do you think "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" is always good advice? Why or why not?

  • Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you had to "do as the Romans do"?

  • What culture besides your own do you admire and why?

  • If aliens visited your country, what might surprise them?

  • Do you pray before each meal?

  • How do you feel when you leave your home culture and enter into a completely new culture?

  • What is the best/most important thing your culture has given to the world?

  • What is the best/most important thing your culture/country has adopted from another culture?

  • If you could choose three aspects of your culture to put in a "time box" for the future, what would you put in it?

  • Customs

    • What customs do you practice?

    • What are your favorite customs?

    • What customs do you think should be revised?

    • What customs do you think should no longer be practice?

    • What customs (from elsewhere) do you think should be included in our culture?

1. Globalisation


1. What is Globalisation? What does globalisation mean to you? With your partner brainstorm all the words and phrases you associate with globalisation.

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation? Look at the following words and phrases then write them in two columns below. Add any others you can think of.

Advantages Disadvantages

……………. ………………

multi-ethnic / multi-cultural society, fast food, globally industrial development, fizzy drinks, English as a global language, multinational corporations, global market, popular films and songs, changes in national identity, international trade agreements…


  1. Fill the gaps in the sentences with the following idioms in the correct form.

the best of both worlds set the world on fire

not for all the world

in a world of one’s own dead to the world


1. He didn’t hear the phone ringing because he was sound asleep. He was …

2. “Would you like to live and work abroad?” “No! …!”

3. You could say that J.K.Rowling … with her Harry Potter books. They are so popular all over the world.

4. She lives on the edge of London so she gets … - easy access to the city centre and easy access to the countryside.


5. He’s not concentrating on what the teacher is saying, he is just starting into space. I think he’s …

  1. Read the following questions and use them to start a conversation with your partner. For each question consider the following points:


food family traditions music education clothes travel trade communication etc.

5. Read the ideas about globalisation of culture and discuss them with the group. Develop your own ideas.


Globalization of Culture

Technology has now created the possibility and even the likelihood of a global culture. The Internet, fax machines, satellites, and cable TV are sweeping away cultural boundaries. Global entertainment companies shape the perceptions and dreams of ordinary citizens, wherever they live. This spread of values, norms, and culture tends to promote Western ideals of capitalism. Will local cultures inevitably fall victim to this global "consumer" culture? Will English eradicate all other languages? Will consumer values overwhelm peoples' sense of community and social solidarity? Or, on the contrary, will a common culture lead the way to greater shared values and political unity?

^ 6. Read the article about American culture:

American Culture Goes Global, or Does It?


Since September 11, 2001, newspaper and magazine columnists and television pundits have told us that it is not only the economic power of the United States or the Bush administration's "unilateralist" foreign policy that breeds global anti-Americanism. Dislike for the United States stems also, they say, from its "cultural imperialism."

In fact, as a nation of immigrants from the 19th to the 21st centuries, and as a haven in the 1930s and '40s for refugee scholars and artists, the United States has been a recipient as much as an exporter of global culture. Indeed, the influence of immigrants and African-Americans on the United States explains why its culture has been so popular for so long in so many places. American culture has spread throughout the world because it has incorporated foreign styles and ideas. What Americans have done more brilliantly than their competitors overseas is repackage the cultural products we receive from abroad and then retransmit them to the rest of the planet. In effect, Americans have specialized in selling the dreams, fears, and folklore of other people back to them. That is why a global mass culture has come to be identified, however simplistically, with the United States.

Americans, after all, did not invent fast food, amusement parks, or the movies. Before the Big Mac, there were British fish and chips. Before Disneyland, there was Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens (which Walt Disney used as a prototype for his first theme park, in Anaheim, a model later re-exported to Tokyo and Paris).

American culture gained popularity in the 20th century with the development of modernism. Although modernism started in Europe, Americans turned out to be especially receptive to it. Actually, Americans borrowed modernistic ideas from Europe and then sent them back to Europe, providing them with a new packaging.

Examples of this sort are numerous. In the field of architecture, the European Bauhaus movement - intended in the 1920s as a socialist experiment in working-class housing - eventually provided the theories and techniques for the construction of skyscrapers and vacation homes in the United States. But the same architectural ideas were then sent back to Europe after World War II as a model for the reconstruction of bombed-out cities like Rotterdam, Cologne, and Frankfurt. Thus, the United States converted what had once been a distinctive, if localized, rebellion by Dutch and

German architects into a generic "international style."

To say that America's mass culture may not be all that American means that American culture itself is multi-cultural. American culture was born as a combination of several foreign cultures. Nowhere are foreign influences more evident than in the American movie industry. For better or worse, Hollywood became, in the 20th century, the cultural capital of the modern world. But it was never an exclusively American capital. Like past cultural centers - Florence, Paris, Vienna - Hollywood has functioned as an international community, built by immigrant entrepreneurs and drawing on the talents of actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, editors, and costume and set designers from all over the world. The first American movie star, after all, was Charlie Chaplin, whose comic skills were honed in British music halls.
What made American culture so popular all over the world? The power of American capitalism is not the only, or even the most important, explanation for the global popularity of America's movies and television shows. The effectiveness of English as a language of mass communications has been essential to the acceptance of American culture. Unlike, for example, German, Russian, or Chinese, the simple structure and grammar of English, along with its tendency to use shorter, less-abstract words and more-concise sentences, are all advantageous for the composers of song lyrics, ad slogans, cartoon captions, newspaper headlines, and movie and TV dialogue. English is thus a language exceptionally well-suited to the demands and spread of American mass culture.

American culture has managed to appeal to a broader international audience, since it put an emphasis on personal expression and has always displayed a tendency to be apolitical and anti-ideological. The refusal to browbeat an audience with a social message has accounted, more than any other factor, for the worldwide popularity of American entertainment. American movies, in particular, have customarily focused on human relationships and private feelings, not on the problems of a particular time and place. They tell tales about romance, intrigue, success, failure, moral conflicts, and survival. The most memorable movies of the 1930s (with the exception of The Grapes of Wrath) were comedies and musicals about mismatched people falling in love, not socially conscious films dealing with issues of poverty and unemployment. Similarly, the finest movies about World War II (like Casablanca) or the Vietnam War (like The Deer Hunter) linger in the mind long after those conflicts have ended because they explore their characters' intimate emotions rather than dwelling on headline events.

Such intensely personal dilemmas are what people everywhere wrestle with. So Europeans, Asians, and Latin Americans flocked to Titanic (as they once did to Gone With the Wind) not because it celebrated American values, but because people all over the world could see some part of their own lives reflected in the story of love and loss.

Many critics have argued that American culture is "colonizing" everyone else's subconscious, reducing us all to passive residents of "McWorld." But American culture has never felt all that foreign to foreigners. And, at its best, it has transformed what it received from others into a culture that everyone, everywhere, can embrace, a culture that is both emotionally and, on occasion, artistically compelling for millions of people throughout the world.
So, despite the current hostility to America's policies and values - in Europe and Latin America as well as in the Middle East and Asia - it is important to recognize how familiar much of American culture seems to people abroad. If anything, our movies, television shows, and theme parks have been less "imperialistic" than cosmopolitan. In the end, American mass culture has not transformed the world into a replica of the United States. Instead, America's dependence on foreign cultures has made the United States a replica of the world.

a) Answer the questions:

1. Why has American culture spread through the world?

2. What made American culture popular all over the world?

3. Why is it called ‘multi-cultural’?

4. Do the origins of the ideas in many spheres of life belong to America itself?

5. What is the role of the English language in global popularity of American culture?

6. What is in the basis of American movies? What do they appeal to?

7. What does ‘McWorld’ stand for?

8. Have you seen the films mentioned in the article?

9. Do you know who Charlie Chaplin is?

10. What made the United States a replica of the world?

b) What do the dates refer to?

September 11, 2001; a period between 1930s’ and 40s’; 1920; 1930.

c) Surf the Net and prepare a report about:

- Hollywood

- Walt Disney

- Skyscrapers

- MacDonald

- Charlie Chaplin

d) Retell the article.

e) Afro-Americans – a politically correct word

2. Political correctness

Political correctness (noun) and politically correct (adjective) (PC) are the terms applied to language, ideas, policies, and behaviour meant to enforce ideological conformity to an orthodox authority.

^ 1. Translate the text into English

Мощная культурно-поведенческая и языковая тенденция, получившая название «политической корректности» родилась более 20 лет назад в связи с «восстанием» африканцев, возмущенных «расизмом английского языка» и потребовавших его

«дерасиализации» — «deracialization».

Политическая корректность требует убрать из языка все те языковые единицы, которые задевают чувства, достоинство индивидуума, вернее, найти для них соответствующие нейтральные или положительные эвфемизмы. Неудивительно, что это движение, не имеющее равных по размаху и достигнутым успехам в мировой лингвистической истории, началось именно в США. Английский язык как язык мирового общения, международного и межкультурного, используется как средство коммуникации представителями разных народов и разных рас. Вот почему эти народы и расы предъявляют к нему свои требования. США же — особая страна, население которой состоит из представителей самых разных народов и рас, и поэтому межнациональные, межкультурные и межэтнические проблемы здесь стоят особенно остро.

Политическая корректность языка выражается в стремлении найти новые способы языкового выражения взамен тех, которые задевают чувства и достоинства индивидуума, ущемляют его человеческие права привычной языковой бестактностью и/или прямолинейностью в отношении расовой и половой принадлежности, возраста, состояния здоровья, социального статуса, внешнего вида и т. п. Началось это движение с африканских пользователей английским языком, возмутившихся негативными коннотациями метафорики слова black [черный]. Оно немедленно и очень активно было подхвачено феминистскими движениями, боровшимися за права женщин в современном обществе. Вот примеры тех изменений, которые претерпели «расистские» слова и словосочетания в связи с тенденцией к

политической корректности:

Negro > coloured > black > African American/Afro-American

[негр > цветной > черный > африканский американец/афроамериканец];

Red Indians > Native Americans

[краснокожие индейцы > коренные жители].

Феминистские движения одержали крупные победы на разных уровнях языка и практически во всех вариантах английского языка, начавшись в американском. Так, обращение Ms пo аналогии с Mr [мистер] не дискриминирует женщину, поскольку не определяет ее как замужнюю (Mrs [миссис]) или незамужнюю (Miss [мисс]). Оно успешно внедрилось в официальный английский язык и прокладывает себе дорогу в разговорный.

С. Г. Тер-Минасова

^ 2. Get acquainted with the most common politically correct words

This dictionary will keep you out of trouble.

Actor: metamorphosing being, possessing great wealth
Actress: metamorphosing being, possessing great wealth (and occasionally great beauty)
Android: bipedal, non-human associate, bearing immense knowledge and skill
Bag boy: agricultural product organizer
Bald: follicularly challenged
Bomb: vertically deployed antipersonnel device
Boy: oppressor-to-be
Brainwashing: cognitive accommodation
Cafeteria: dining facility
Car: earth-unfriendly, vertically-challenged mode of transport
Car Wash Worker: vehicle-appearance specialist
Cat: quadruped non-human associate
Cheating: cooperative assignment
Computer: machine bearing immense power and fallibility
Criticism: unjust self-esteem reducer
Dead: metabolically challenged
Demand: propose strongly
Derision: nontraditional praise
Dirty Old Man: sexually focused, chronologically gifted individual
Dumb: cerebrally challenged
Evil: niceness deprived
Exercise: body enhancement through exertion
Failure: non-traditional success
Fart: human ozone depletor; ecologically incorrect expression
Fat: horizontally challenged: person of substance
Garbage collector: sanitation engineer
Gas Station Attendant: petroleum transfer technician
Girl: pre-woman
Guess: anomaly maneuvers: repetitive predictions
Handicapped: physically challenged
Heroine: hera
Homeless person: residentially flexible individual
Hurricane: himmicane (non sexist)
Ignorant: factually unencumbered
Incorrect: alternative answer
Individualism: uncooperative spirit
Information: overly structured trivia
Insane: reality challenged
Kill: creating a permanent state of metabolic dormancy; servicing the target (military)
Lazy: motivationally dispossessed
Lost: locationally disadvantaged
Man: oppressor
Misunderstand: personalized interpretation
Monster: person of scales
Mugging: unforeseen funding of underclass
Murderer: termination specialist
Nerd: under-attractive, cerebrally gifted individual
Numismatist: capitalist monetary acquisition expert
Nut: hexagonal rotatable surface compression unit
Off: energy efficient
Old: chronologically gifted
Perfume: discretionary fragrance
Pervert: person engaged in nontraditional espionage
Pissed off: satisfaction deprived
Political: amorally gifted
Poor: economically marginalized
Prisoner: client of the correctional system
Prostitute: body entrepreneur
Redneck: rustically inclined
Rich: economically maximized
Secretary: stationery engineer
Sex: cooperative physical fitness
Sexist: gender biased with niceness deprived overtones
Short: altitudinally disadvantaged: vertically challenged
Sleepy: under-alert
Smart: cerebrally gifted
Specialist: physician having concentrated on a particular field of tax shelters
Structure: impersonal hindrance
Tall: vertically gifted: altitudinally endowed
Teacher: volunteer knowledge conveyor
Teaching: personality repression
Television: medium of electrons moving in disorganized patterns
Tired: rest-challenged
Uglier: over under-attractive
Ugliest: over-under-attractively gifted
Ugly: under-attractive
Unemployed: non-waged
Unsure: conceptual conflict
Waiter: waitron
Waitress: waitron
White: melanin-impoverished; member of the mutant albino genetic-recessive global minority
Woman: w/o man; womyn
Zipper: interlocking slide fasteners

3. Read the extract from satirical "politically correct" fairy tale by Finn Gardner. Try to translate it. Discuss the politically correct terms and their usage. Try to write your own politically correct fairy tale "Kolobok".


There once lived a young wommon named Cinderella, whose natural birth-mother had died when Cinderella was but a child. A few years after, her fa­ther married a widow with two older daughters. Cinderella's mother-of-step treated her very cruelly, and her sisters-of-step made her work very hard, as if she were their own person­al unpaid laborer. One day an invitation arrived at their house. The prince was cele­brating his exploitation of the dis­possessed and marginalized pe­asantry by throwing a fancy dress ball. Cinderella's sisters-of-step were very excited to be invited to the palace. They began to plan the expensive clothes they would use to alter and enslave their natural body images to emulate an unrealistic standard of feminine beauty. (It was especially unrealistic in their case, as they were differently visaged enough to stop a dock.) Her mother-of-step also planned to go to the ball, so Cinderella was working harder than a dog

^ 3. When in Rome …

  • Traveling to all corners of the gets easier and easier. We live in a global village, but how well we know each other?
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