Date of Award
Master of Science
Agriculture and Extension Education
This study has attempted to draw together and more clearly define some of the cultural assumptions and values that may influence our behavior as human beings. More specifically, it has attempted to clarify how these assumptions and values may influence the behavior of individuals in cross-cultural situations.
Assumptions were defined as the predispositions people employ to explain and pattern the world in a rational manner. Assumptions are relatively vague and very difficult to define or measure. Values are the explicit reflections of cultural assumptions, and are relatively concrete, specific, and more easily explained or measured than assumptions.
Considerable emphasis was given to a discussion of cultural patterns which are the individual's guides to the number and kind of alternatives he may choose from for solving problems. These patterns were broken down into four basic components, which were discussed in the body of this text: (1)the modalities of human activity; (2) man' s relationships with nature; (3) the temporal focus of human life; and (4) man's relationship with other men.
It was suggested that the effectiveness of many internationally related programs might be enhanced through the adoption of an attitude of culturally relativity, where the individual, group, or institution is able to scrutinize itself in the light of often different cultural attitudes and modes of behavior.
Edward Stewart's alternative for encouraging the adoption of this attitude was examined.
In conclusion, implications for further research into the character of cross-cultural communications and behavior were discussed.
Griffin, Anthony C., "Problem C: The Influences of Assumptions and Values on Intercultural Interactions. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1972.