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The Art of Crossing Cultures by Craig Storti

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4The Problem Explained

The first thing an Englishman does on going abroad is to find fault with what is French, because it is not English.

—William HazlittNotes of a Journey Through France and Italy

In chapter 3 we saw that it is possible to avoid cultural incidents, alas, at the cost of being less effective in an overseas assignment. Avoidance is thus not a true solution to the problem of such encounters. In the final analysis, the only true solution to these incidents is to keep them from happening in the first place, and in this chapter we will take the first and most important step in that process: we will look at what causes cultural incidents.

Let’s return to one of the Type I incidents from chapter 2, the vignette of the American posted ...

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