Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are : The Great Courses: Better Living

  • by The Great Courses, David Livermore
  • Narrated by Professor David Livermore
  • Series: The Great Courses: Better Living
  • 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Taught by an international adviser to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and governments, this eye-opening course reveals how you can actively improve your cultural intelligence in an increasingly globalized world.
Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.
In the first half, you'll analyze 10 cultural value dimensions that researchers have identified as helpful for comparing cultures; and you'll see how these "archetypes" play out in day-to-day lives. In the second half, you'll look at 10 cultural clusters around the world that - when combined with your understanding of the 10 cultural dimensions - provide strategic insight into how to be more effective as you live, work, and travel in our globalized world.
Why do people from certain cultures have little regard for time? Why might working overtime reflect poorly on you in Scandinavia? Why should you avoid using your left hand when interacting with someone from the Arab world? You'll find out the answers to these and other intriguing questions in Customs of the World.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Quite possibly my favorite of The Great Courses

What did you love best about Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are?

I absolutely love The Great Courses. I've listened to at least 30 of them, and I have to say that Customs of the World might be my favorite. It was so packed with observations that were both fascinating and practical, I think I'll find myself wanting to listen again in years to come.

I'm struggling in my mind to suggest a better name for this course, because it's about so much more than customs. It's about how culture profoundly affects how people and societies interact, along with practical advice on how to observe and interact with people from all cultures and subcultures both around the world and at home. This course is invaluable not only to world travelers, but to anybody who engages with people from other cultures, whether at work or socially.

Professor Livermore divides the course into three sections. The first explains the concept behind cultural intelligence. The second set of lectures is a comprehensive look at the ten established dimensions along which cultures consistently differ. The final set of lectures takes a deep dive into each of the major cultural regions of the world, pointing out the dominant norms of each, along with suggestions on how to observe and interact with people from within those regions.


What about Professor David Livermore’s performance did you like?

Professor Livermore is clearly a prominent academic leader in this field, but he is also a remarkably experienced traveler and a captivating storyteller. Throughout the course, he draws on his own experiences to enrich the discussion and make it personal. He is excellent.


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- Quaker

Does what it can with the time it has

This course as an exploration of ten cultural value dimensions:

1. Identity—Individualist versus Collectivist
2. Authority—Low versus High Power Distance
3. Risk—Low versus High Uncertainty Avoidance
4. Achievement—Cooperative versus Competitive
5. Time—Punctuality versus Relationships
6. Communication—Direct versus Indirect
7. Lifestyle—Being versus Doing
8. Rules—Particularist versus Universalist
9. Expressiveness—Neutral versus Affective
10. Social Norms—Tight versus Loose

Followed by applying them to ten global culture clusters:

1. Anglo Cultures
2. Nordic European Cultures
3. Germanic Cultures
4. Eastern European/Central Asian Cultures
5. Latin European Cultures
6. Latin American Cultures
7. Confucian Asian Cultures
8. South Asian Cultures
9. Sub-Saharan African Cultures
10. Arab Cultures

It's not a full guide of do's and don'ts, but it provides some key guidelines on each social clusters and how to learn more.
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- Deep Reader

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-13-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses