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Examples Of Intercultural Conflict

Decent Essays
When dealing with an intercultural conflict, it is important to keep in mind the cultural differences that keep either side from approaching the situation in the same manner. This paper will illustrate a conflict between a Vietnamese teacher and an American teacher. It will then explain the way that the Vietnamese culture views conflict. Followed by the way an American would view conflict. Finally, it will explain how both sides could proceed when dealing with another intercultural conflict. This example of conflict appears to be very simple but given that the Vietnamese culture is a collectivist culture; it can be very complicated. In this scenario, we have an American teacher, a Vietnamese teacher, and a class of second graders. The…show more content…
A collectivist culture is high-context, meaning that this culture does not use direct language or is straight forward with their problems. In collectivist cultures, it is known for the people to not acknowledge hostility or issues that they face. Conflict avoidance is viewed as a strategy of conflict resolution (Dsilva, Whyte, 1998). In this situation, the Vietnamese teacher was doing what her culture has taught her to do; see an issue and not address it to avoid any more issues. It is very common for someone in a collectivist culture to give someone in their in-group the benefit of the doubt. It is a way for the Vietnamese teacher to show respect to the heads of the school board to not question the standards that they have set (Dsilva, Whyte, 1998). The American, on the other hand, approaches the way differently. The American teacher, true to being an individualist, believed that the only way to deal with the problem was to meet the problem head on. Due to the avoidant nature of the Vietnamese teacher, he became frustrated for the lack of physical resolution. In conflict resolution in individual cultures, there is a goal that has to be attained that leads to outcome satisfaction (Ohbuchi, Fukushima, Tedeschi, 1999). For the American teacher, this goal was to confront the school board and since that was never accomplished the conflict was never resolved for
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