Four Overarching Patterns of Culture

A Look at Common Behavior

By Robert Strauss, Christopher Strauss

Four Overarching Patterns of Culture

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  • ISBN: 9781532693182
  • Pages: 238
  • Publication Date: 8/20/2019
  • Retail Price: $29.00
Web Price: $23.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $23.20

Four Overarching Patterns of Culture

A Look at Common Behavior

By Robert Strauss, Christopher Strauss

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532693182
  • Pages: 238
  • Publication Date: 8/20/2019
  • Retail Price: $29.00
Web Price: $23.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

Justice has been the dominant cultural framework of people in the West for two centuries, ever since the rise of constitutional democracies. Consciously or not, most people in the West have a strong awareness of right and wrong. Their sense of morality is generally rooted in an obligation to the rule of law. In democratic societies, the rule of law ultimately relies on constitutional documents ratified by a widely-accepted process of development and implementation.

For millennia, honor has been the dominant cultural framework of most people in the East and Middle East. Here, people know that speech and behavior display respect or disrespect. While pervasive in all relationships, honor and shame are most important in the family, extended family, and local community. In the East, honor is not necessarily an internal feeling, as it is in a justice culture. Honor is more often an external attribution bestowed by others rather than claimed by oneself.

Harmony is prevalent globally in indigenous cultures. Many indigenous peoples do not distinguish between the supernatural and natural worlds. All aspects of life are connected. Interactions with spirit beings are the key to maintaining harmony in order to be secure.

Reciprocity is a common cultural framework in the Global South. Here, one learns to develop connections with the right people in given circumstances for needed resources. These connections may or may not be characterized as “friendships” and provide not so much close friendships as reciprocal exchange. In some places, reciprocity is the means whereby one survives.

Endorsements & Reviews-

Overarching Patterns is not only a wonderful piece of insightful research on a complex subject—culture—but an absorbing narrative on the variegated patterns globally. The flow of ideas, laid out in very succinct chapters, holds attention throughout and provokes incessant reflection. For anyone fascinated, intrigued, confused, or just inquisitive about patterns of culture in various global contexts, this is almost a mandatory read.”

—Prabir Jha, Mumbai, India, President and Global Chief People Officer of Cipla



“Fascinating! The book deepened my understanding about how ‘consciously incompetent’ I am when it comes to understanding other cultures. . . . This book is an extremely helpful resource for anyone engaged in cross-cultural work. It will heighten awareness and understanding of cultural divides and lead to more effectiveness in getting things done with and through people from other cultures.”

– Stephen Anson, Perth, Australia, Co-Founder and CEO of Vortala Digital



“We live in a world of architypes. All stories revolve around seven basic plots. Human personality falls into a limited number of predictable types. And culture, as the Strausses—father and son—so admirably show here, can be grouped into four overarching (though overlapping) patterns. This is the hitchhikers’ guide to the universe of perceptions and behaviors, applicable immediately and everywhere, from your next trip to a Chinese restaurant to a venture into the old quarter of Hyderabad. The tale is told through stories and anecdotes, as captivating as a travelogue. Their globetrotting—eyes wide open, curiosity and humility at full tilt, a passion for observing, learning, and synthesis—has led to this fascinating guide. A triumph!”

—Ken Strauss, MD, Brussels, Belgium, Endocrinology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Global Medical Director of Becton Dickenson



“What the authors have done is to artfully translate the understandings and perspectives of an anthropologist to the practical insights and needs of students of culture. The foundational, fundamental, and practical frameworks come together to assure that readers are better prepared for their intercultural and interpersonal interaction across multiple cultures. The personal stories and examples they share are equally delightful and insightful.”

—Kenneth Cushner, Emeritus Professor at Kent State University and Fellow with the International Academy for Intercultural Research



“The book is phenomenal. . . the father-son-scholars make cultural behaviors, values, patterns, and application of knowledge accessible to anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of cultural frameworks in a concise manner. With the publication of Four Overarching Patterns of Culture, Strauss and Strauss have given us a gift—a tangible strategy for building intercultural competency through triangulating observable behavior and patterns of culture with actionable insights.”

—Mary Kay Park, Executive Managing Director, Far East Broadcasting Company-Korea in Los Angeles, and Adjunct Professor in Intercultural Studies at Biola University, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and Gateway Seminary



“Countless introductory books on a topic are so general as to be impractical. Overarching Patterns is not one of them. Robert and Christopher Strauss give us one of the most concise yet comprehensive overviews of culture and worldview I’ve read. And somehow the book is full of concrete examples! Because they present various worldview patterns in a balanced way, this book also prepares people to appreciate cultural complexities with humility. What else could one ask for?”

—Jackson Wu, author of One Gospel for All Nations and Saving God’s Face



Four Overarching Patterns of Culture provides a practical framework for the critically needed but often underdeveloped and overlooked concept of worldview, as well as the cultural patterns of thinking and behaving that emerge from it. An integral part of culture, worldview is the powerful but invisible force that drives everything people think, say, and do. True competence and success in a global environment cannot be achieved without understanding predominant cultural patterns. On the cutting edge in the private and public sectors, this book explains four prominent patterns and outlines practical advice for applying that knowledge in real-world situations.”

—Elena Tartaglione, Germany, Founder of Global Perspectives Consulting



“I have had the honor of working with Robert many years as a scholar, practitioner, and fellow learner. I have seen his work put to practical use both domestically and internationally. Now he has captured not only the four overarching patterns of culture but also stories and recommendations to improve our cultural interactions. This book is a useful resource for both the scholar and the businessperson looking to improve self-awareness, interpersonal understanding, and intercultural effectiveness.”

–Angela Edwards, Coaching Practice Leader at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Owner of AK Edwards Consulting



“This is a beautifully written book grounded in both theoretical rigor and practicality. The stories are vivid and varied, ranging from the Middle East and India to the Southern United States. Whether you are a student or educator of culture or a business traveler who desires insight before embarking to a new land, this is a great read.”

—Paige Graham, Senior Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and President of Graham Consulting Group



“My reading of the manuscript was interrupted by a trip that involved helping a team analyze cultural material. Two days into the consultation, ‘fear/power’ leanings were suspected. Remembering one of Strauss’ chapter headings, we read ‘Harmony.’ Lights came on. All around.”

—Mike Matthews, Owner of Novel Approach Konsulting and author of A Novel Approach: The Significance of Story in Interpreting and Communicating Reality



“There are many books available that focus on cultural and intercultural issues. However, there are only a few that deal with these issues as comprehensively as Four Overarching Patterns of Culture. A study of culture is a study about the commonalities within communities of people, in terms of inward assumptions of reality and outward expressions of behavior. With intellectual expertise, out of a wealth of experience, Dr. Strauss and his son Christopher carry the reader first through a journey exploring the underpinnings of these community commonalities, then the construction of a framework to facilitate success when everything is common within the community but different to me. An abundance of diagrams and figures showing the nature and relationships of their observations provide clarity and understanding in the journey. Through the years, others have noted broad overarching patterns in culture. This book expands and deepens observations and connections within those patterns, providing the reader access to invaluable intercultural expertise to understand, live, and work comfortably within a variety of cultural contexts. The reader may simply desire to gain a greater understanding of why people from other cultures seem so different, and the discomfort felt by being the ‘outsider.’ Or the reader may be searching for insights to hone intercultural skills applicable for successful intercultural negotiation and navigation. Whatever the case, this book is a valuable must read.”

—John Cosby, Latin America Consultant for Worldview Resource Group



“Robert and Christopher Strauss do a deep dive into the complexities of culture, supported by both research evidence and applicable stories that allow the reader to more fully understand underlying cultural differences even in the most mundane interactions. Four Overarching Patterns of Culture should be an integral part of employee training and onboarding for international and domestic organizations alike.”

—Katie Kellett, Latin America Research Fellow at Love Justice International, and graduate student in the Masters of Nonprofit Management program of the Anderson College of Business at Regis University, Denver, Colorado

Contributors-

Robert Strauss
Christopher Strauss

Bio(s)-

Robert Strauss is the owner of Global Perspectives Consulting in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. GPC clients excel in complex global marketplaces through the acquisition of cultural competence. Strauss is also lead faculty of the courses “Program Development and Accountability” and “Research Methods” in the Anderson College of Business at Regis University in Denver, and he is the president of Worldview Resource Group, a not-for-profit organization that equips cross-cultural workers in a story-based worldview approach to mission. WRG works with agencies located in India, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Western Canada, Mexico, and all of Ibero-America. Strauss is the author of Introducing Story-Strategic Methods: Twelve Steps toward Effective Engagement (Wipf & Stock, 2017). He and his wife live near Denver.



Christopher Strauss has two masters degrees from St. John’s College in the Western great books and the Eastern great books. He has taught and tutored at Pikes Peak Community College, the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the Santa Fe Indian School, and Santa Fe Preparatory School. He owns and operates Sycamore Editing, and roasts coffee in Santa Fe, New Mexico for Ohori’s Coffee Roasters. After reading full tilt for twenty years, he still comes across writers he cannot believe he did not find sooner. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife and two children.

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