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Started by GyratingTrampoline on Oct 8, 2021 12:10:43 PM
Deferential cultures and non-deferential cultures

see post 1

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GyratingTrampoline - 08 Oct 2021 12:10:45 (#1 of 54)

In a previous job I did some cultural awareness training and it basically boiled down to, if you're in a place with a deferential culture, you mustn't criticise anyone higher up than you regardless of what they do. There was a test at the end with questions like "You are meeting the CEO of a prospective client in Japan. He turns up two hours late and obviously drunk. Do you a) mention his lateness and drunkness or b) not mention his lateness and drunkness

As far as I could tell from this course, the border between deferential and non-deferential is considered to run somewhere up eastern Europe. Moscow deferential, Berlin non deferential.

My mate is trained in the suzuki method of teaching the violin. But apparently you have to follow the suzuki method in its entirety or not at all because it was invented in a deferential culture and so for an ordinary teacher to innovate by picking and choosing which parts of this technique they find useful would be to set themselves above Suzuki himself, which is not allowed. You can't be a bit of a suzuki teacher.

I've also seen it said on here that the reason the North Koreans are stuck such abysmal governance is due to their deferential culture. The implication being that such a thing could never happen here as we would somehow use our non-deferential culture to topple any authoritarian regime.

Is there anything to any of this or is it a steaming pile of bollocks?

Ebadlun - 08 Oct 2021 12:12:46 (#2 of 54)

Berlin non deferential. ....

The implication being that such a thing could never happen here as we would somehow use our non-deferential culture to topple any authoritarian regime.

Think I've spotted one flaw already..

tasselhoff - 08 Oct 2021 12:12:48 (#3 of 54)

The UK is still largely owned by feudal dukes et al so I'm calling bollocks on that theory.

GyratingTrampoline - 08 Oct 2021 12:12:53 (#4 of 54)

Another aspect is in reality voicing ones own opinion or contradicting someone higher up in the pecking order is probably more likely to be frowned on if the person doing it is female, or black, or working class and so on. So we're probably more deferential ourselves than we'd like to think.

helbel - 08 Oct 2021 12:18:29 (#5 of 54)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_of_culture_on
_aviation_safety

browserbutton - 08 Oct 2021 12:20:54 (#6 of 54)

"The Indian arrived 20 minutes late to a meeting and his Swiss colleagues felt disrespected."

This sort of 'Cultural Management' bollocks is taught on MBA courses.

GyratingTrampoline - 08 Oct 2021 12:25:52 (#7 of 54)

Here's an article which starts from and doesn't question the assumption that there are deferential cultures and non deferential cultures

https://hbr.org/2014/07/learning-to-speak-up-when-youre-from-a-culture-of-deference

TheExcession - 08 Oct 2021 12:43:45 (#8 of 54)

It seems to be still common practice in the US and the Far East to call your boss 'Mr' or 'Sir'. If I did that here people would assume I was weird.

GyratingTrampoline - 08 Oct 2021 12:50:29 (#9 of 54)

My american cousin had to call his dad sir, but only during mealtimes

darkhorse - 08 Oct 2021 12:55:35 (#10 of 54)

"May I leave the table sir?"

"Yes you can, son".

"Phew, thanks fuckface".

Intowntonight - 08 Oct 2021 12:55:43 (#11 of 54)

This is a one off and hearsay:

Some years ago I was visiting a cousin who with her husband had retired to Spain: they lived in a modest development where the majority of the units were also holiday lets. I have to add that my cousin spoke very good Spanish.

Her view was there were clear cultural differences between the nationalities who rent- particularly with regard to noise:

Her assessment was as follows:

If they were German and you told them they were making too much noisethey would be quiet

If they were Spanish and you told them they were making too much noise,if they though they were making too much noise, they would be quiet - and if they didnt think they were making too much noise, they wouldnt.

If they were British and you told they they were making too much noise, they would tell you to fuck off. -

darkhorse - 08 Oct 2021 12:56:53 (#12 of 54)

That could be just the difference between sober and pissed holidaymakers.

Intowntonight - 08 Oct 2021 12:57:19 (#13 of 54)

A good point.

bossab2 - 08 Oct 2021 12:57:49 (#14 of 54)

The attitude of British Gammon.

mingmong - 08 Oct 2021 12:58:48 (#15 of 54)

I wonder if this coincides with Guilt cultures vs. Shame cultures. I'm slightly hazy about the supposed difference between the two, but presumably guilt is considered to derive from a more individual assessment of one's moral conduct, while shame is more about a sense of falling short in the eyes of one's community

Again, there is a built in assumption with this model that guilt is somehow a superior, more authentic emotion (as well as being more characteristic of occidental, Judeo-Christian cultures); whereas as shame is just about the internalisation of arbritary collective standards, and therefore characteristic of those passive, tyranised orientals

In reality, though, guilt and shame are pretty much the same thing. No-one forms their moral judgements in isolation. The collective is always there, shaping our thoughts, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Post deleted by user
Oldbathrobe1 - 08 Oct 2021 13:10:11 (#17 of 54)

It seems to be still common practice in the US and the Far East to call your boss 'Mr' or 'Sir'. If I did that here people would assume I was weird.



When I started, people above a certain grade were addressed as 'Mr.' etc, but it was changing at the time. Felt a bit weird after university, where Prince Dimitri Obolensky introduced himself to scruffy undergrads with a kindly 'call me Dimitry'- despite coming from a family that regarded the Romanovs as upstarts.

GyratingTrampoline - 08 Oct 2021 13:38:54 (#18 of 54)

I think in the US people sometimes say 'sir' when talking to a lower status person, for instance police might call someone sir immediately before tasering them. A bit like the way that here in the uk people will refer to a homeless person as "the gentleman"

FrankieTeardrop - 08 Oct 2021 14:40:41 (#19 of 54)

Is there anything to any of this or is it a steaming pile of bollocks?


What would I hope to gain mentioning the lateness and drunkness of a British CEO of a prospective client who turned up to a meeting thus?

christmasturkey - 08 Oct 2021 15:41:17 (#20 of 54)

Not what conclusions may be reached from this - but I work extensively as a fairly well credentialled finance consultant in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Almost universally, it is expected that in the client's office I address middle and senior management clients by titles - even if they just call me by common English diminutive. I don't regard them as deferential cultures at all - some of the most healthily vibrant places I ahve worked - or regard myself as remotely diminished as a result. I personally don't like being called by first name by telephone sales callers or email marketeers. Make of that what you will.

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