World Cultures Exam Terms (2023)

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Conforming (to a different culture)


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Mr. Lubbers Semester review terms

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Conforming (to a different culture)

The ability of a person to view a different culture from the perspective or with the same cultural framework as someone who is a native to that culture.

Complaining (about culture)

When a person gripes about a different culture but only to another person within that culture (as way of bonding and setting up cultural barriers)

Confronting (culture)

Where a person opposes a different culture because their own culture is (obviously) the correct one and the other (foreign)culture is the wrong one.

fear, powerlessness, and partial knowledge

The 3 factors that lead to misunderstanding of "the other" according to Smith in Chapter 1 in "Learning from the Stranger"

limited spiritual horizon

Smith's notion how we (Christians) assume that God is at work in our own culture but not in the culture of the foreigner.

Richard Freeman's theory about diversity within academic fields

Academics are more likely to do better research when they work with people outside their cultural group.

Adam Galinsky's finding about intercultural relationships

He discovered that deeper romantic relationships affect how you view your culture and other's cultures.

dignity culture

Culture where personal insults are ignored or (if bigger) depend on governing authorities to solve. (usually affiliated with people from northern states)

honor culture

Culture where personal insults are met with violent reactions (usually affiliated with people from southern states)

low context

Cultures where communication is direct, explicit, and verbal.

high context

Cultures in which less has to be said or written because meaning is conveyed by the shared context.


The neurological process by which we become aware of our environment.

field dependence

The degree to which perception of an object is influenced by the background or environment in which it appears.


A three step process of selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory information.


The first step in the perception process- conscious manner in which our senses are attuned to what we focus on.


The second step in the perception process-our capacity to group objects into a unified whole.


The third step in perception process-our ability to attach meaning to sensory information.

"TV as birth control"

Article that explores the theory that TV soap operas actually reduce the number of children in developing countries due to the number of strong women who were in empowered on these shows who did not have big families.


Shasta Nelson's 3 components of friendships (positivity, vulnerability, consistency)

David Crystal

Language expert that explains the recent historical dominance of English is not because it is a superior language, but mostly because of imperialist policies of the US in other countries.

Receiving the kingdom of God like a child

Has nothing to do with "innocence" but rather a realization of a lack of power (Being a child was to be beneath everyone) Jesus here is telling us to recognize that we have no power. Unless we are okay being at this lowered place, we will not fit in the kingdom of God.

Samaritans (reasons why they were hated)

  1. They were ethnically compromised (the "half breeds" of Assyrians and Jews) 2. They opposed the rebuilding of the temple (because they built a temple on Mt. Gerizim) 3. They only considered the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) authoritative.

Darrel Block's interpretation of the Good Samaritan

Loving your neighbor as yourself means loving the foreigner as yourself [1. Learn THEIR language, 2. Work to Understand THEM 3. Be attentive to THEM]

Amy Oden ('s danger within the Good Samaritan story)

She fears Christians will always see themselves as "host" (provider/ the generous rescuer/helper) and never entering into the others perspective, to share the other's pain or even to see one's own need.

John Nolland

Interprets the Good Samaritan as teaching us the "ditch perspective" --that only when we are in greatest need will we be able to see that refusal to provide assistance that can convict us of not being neighborly.


One of the great fathers of the early Christian church and author of "Confessions" where he described God's grace to him as an infant.


Learning to behave as expected within a social/cultural situation


The preference of certain values and assumptions because a person belongs to a certain culture.

Modern (mindset)

The emphasis within a culture on one's individuality--being independent and in charge of one's own thoughts and uncontrolled by anyone else.

Postmodern (mindset)

The critical evaluation of the modern mindset where people realize they are often products of their environment and do not independently value their preferences, but favor them because of their unique environment/community.

Common Grace

The grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation (police officers who work to stop crime who may not necessarily be Christian)

primordial grace

David Smith's term describing the nature of receiving an identity from a nurturing context (culture) we did not construct.


Smith's label for the process of placing all the benefits of culture onto one side and all the effects of sin onto another culture.


Smith's label for the process of recognizing our cultural differences and deciding that none is better than any other ("live and let live")--various cultures are a type of colorful carnival that we can enjoy or ignore.


Smith's label for the process of assuming we are trapped in the cages of our own culture--and there is nothing you can do to get out of it.

Imago Dei

Latin for "image of God" (Smith uses this to describe the obligation of humans to make the world better equipped for the flourishing of all creatures.)

High degree of power distance

People accept their rank in society regardless of unfairness

low degree of power distance

People work to make society as equal as possible & demand justification for inequalities of power.


A loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves (& family)


A tightly-knit social framework in which individuals can expect their in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.


A preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success.


A preference in society for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.

long term orientation

A societal preference for a pragmatic approach to the future--do what works to prepare a changing future.

short term orientation

A societal preference to maintain time-honored traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion.


A society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and human drives related to enjoying life and having fun.


A society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms.

High/Strong Uncertainty avoidance

A society that maintains rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of different views

Low/weak Uncertainty Avoidance

A society with a more relaxed view of differences where practicality matters more than principles.


The scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, and societies, in both the present and past.