This paper is about comparing and contrasting the American style of communication and that of Bahrain. Different countries have their own interpretation for every single issue based on their culture background and their way of thinking. The most significant characteristics of American culture are: individualism, equality, competition, freedom and privacy, action orientation, directness, particularity, and a problem solving orientation.
In Bahrain is somewhat the same as other Arab countries, religion faith and local traditions play a large role in the people’s lives, although Bahrain constitution is more liberal compared with other countries in the Middle East.
Cross Cultural Communication Nowadays according to the fast growth of international businesses, communication between different cultures became essential. More and more of us are required to understand people who come from countries and cultures different from our own.
Communication with people of different cultures is difficult because people have different culture background and have different ways of thinking, seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world.
Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they speak the same language. When the languages are different and translation has to be used to convey ideas then the possibility of misunderstandings are tremendously increased. According to my own experience, I was worked in Bahrain before I came to the United States I can say that each culture has its own criteria.
Therefore a lot of researches had been conducted to help people understand and maintain good intercultural communication. In America people are equal and treated as the same in all aspects of life. In Bahrain according to the constitution all people are equal. But in fact people who belong to the royal family and people who are very rich, both of them have power to do whatever they want. They completely control the law and they always break the law. American wants to be successful. This is the American dream, which has attracted millions of immigrants and had been taught to generations of American children.
Everyone wants to succeed in America in something. If you do not think in that way you may be consider a failure. Success is almost the highest value of American life. (Nussbaum, 2005, pra 2) In Bahrain also people want to be successful. But they usually look for qualified people to help them to success in their business. In general they do not like to work they usually hire eligible foreigners to help them finish their jobs. The most important thing in the matter of success is the God fate. The God fate is much important than human ability which mean everything is determined by the God.
In addition, gulf countries governments support their residents with all their needs from birth to death. So people do not pay attention to the matter of success because everyone cans success without make huge efforts. Americans love freedom and privacy. In a way that means they love to be left alone. They do not want anyone interfering in their affairs, giving them advice, or trying to run their lives. It means that no one should object to anyone else’s way of living. If you like opera and I like country music that is fine.
If you want to get married and I want to live with someone without marrying her that is fine too. (Nussbaum, 2005, par 3) In Bahrain situation is completely different there are no freedom and privacy at all. Senior people usually intervene in young people life. Senior people they want to transfer their own experience to new generations through advice. They consider young people lack for experience, most of the time they enforce their children to fellow their directives. American people like action. They do not like too much planning.
That seems indecisive and perhaps a waste of time. They do not like rules and regulations that prevent action. They strongly dislike authority structures where people are expected to inform several other people before they do anything. (Nussbaum, 2005, par 6) In Bahrain people are conservative and they do not like unexpected events. Therefore they do a lot of plans to stay away from troubles. Also no one likes to take decision alone they usually looking for consultancies form other. Moreover their social traditions not accept unexpected actions or events.
Americans obey rules most of the time, but they see rules as someone else’s idea of how they should do things. They think the rule might have been appropriate in some other situation but it might not be appropriate for their situation now. Therefore they break it and do what they think is a better idea. Though Americans say, Rules are made to be broken, but they never say, “Laws are made to be broken. ” Laws are official legal “and they proudly claim that in America, “No one is above the law”. (Nussbaum, 2005, par 9) In Bahrain popular people obey the rules, otherwise they will under the risk of detention.
But people who belong to the royal family and those are very rich, they do not care about rules or even law they always break the law with any kind of accountability. In general, establishing business in Bahrain is straightforward. The government of Bahrain vigorously seeks to increase foreign direct investment in Bahrain especially from the United States and western countries. On other hand according to my own experience I notice that people who from Southeast Asia and Africa they have zero rights. For example, some private companies deport foreigner employees even without pay them money they deserve for the time they already work.
America may be the exception that commends the rule concerning the virtues of a secular state and a religious polity. It would be naive and unseemly to assume that the same combination would work identically for all other nations. For example, in Bahrain the nation as a whole seems a battleground between Muslim-Suni and Muslim-Shei. In addition if you decided to do any business in America or Bahrain you should be aware of the total spectrum of communication including: * Language: In America people use English language only.
In Bahrain people prefer using Arabic language as primary communication language for both written and oral communication although they use English when they communicate with people who are not belong to the Middle East. * Non-verbal communication: Americans prefer written communication rather than oral statements and a lot of business can be done by emails or letters. In Bahrain situation is similar. But for example if you write a proposal to someone; he/she will never get fulfilled by the written proposal and take a decision without asking you to come over and discuss it personally. Concept of time: In America due to active and expanding economy, time is very important value for them. The idea of time is money is deeply building in Americans minds and it affects American life. Wasting time is bad as wasting money. Punctuality is considered important for Americans and being late would be considered as an insult. (Nussbaum, 2005, par 10). In Bahrain the situation is different people usually careless about time for instance if you have an appointment with same one, you can expect delay even without any notification. Concept of space: In America maintains enough distance between interaction people not important. But in Bahrain is very important because they consider it as a kind of respect.
* Gender: In America women have almost same opportunity in all life aspect. In Bahrain although the Constitution provides equal rights to women and men . but women continues to be affected by religion and traditions. Women’s level of education is often high, but their employment opportunities are limited. * Greeting: In America people great each other often use “Hey, how are you doing? and the other may response “pretty nice,” or “good”; very short and fast. (Nussbaum, 2005). In Bahrain traditional greeting between men involves exchanging kisses on each cheek. But in business meeting they usually shakes hands. Businesswoman should wait a man to offer his hand first. * Alcohol: alcohol is legal in both America and Bahrain. * Religion: God actually does not come at the end of the list. For most Americans, God is much less a concern than success, money, and time. There are many Americans who put the god on the top of their personal list of priorities, but they are minority within American culture.
Succeed depend on you not God. In Bahrain religion play great role in life and business. * Dress: in America each employer has different dress polices. Some of them required full suits dress and some give employees the chance to choose their dresses. In Bahrain most of the body must always remain covered for both men and women although the weather is very hot. International business is rapidly increased in the last two decades due to widespread of communication methods especially the internet that makes the world seem like a village.
Now people from different cultures can easily discuss issues and make businesses through the internet. But they usually come up with different ideas about the same issue, which happens because they are interpreting the same ideas in different ways and here contradict of cultures communication might be occurs. In general communication with people of different cultures is challenging. Therefore to maintain good intercultural communication need you to study history, language, religion, traditions and values of other nations.
Moreover the goodwill and honesty and respect help to maintain a good intercultural communication. (Najafbagy, 2008, par3) In conclusion, there are many differences between American and Bahrain in many aspects. The most significant characteristics of American culture are individualism, equality, success, personal control of environment. On other hand Bahrain almost identical to other Arab countries their religion and traditional concepts plays great roles in their lives. In other word the good understanding of other culture is the key factor in intercultural communication.
Najafbagy, R. (2008). Problems of Effective Cross-Cultural Communication and Conflict Resolution. Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, 15/16(4/1), 146-150. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Nussbaum, S.(2005). American Cultural Baggage. The “Ten Commandments” of American Culture Retrieved from http://www.gmi.org/products/books/american-cultural-baggage/ten-commandments/
Cite this Cross Cultural Communication
Cross Cultural Communication. (2017, Mar 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cross-cultural-communication-2/