Cross Cultural Differences


Cross cultural differences, interactions and communications between people from different cultural backgrounds do exist in our surroundings and do bring cultural misunderstandings. 

Faced with today's global problems and global solutions, having a proper understanding of our cultural subtleties such as our French and English accents, our traditions and our multiculturalism is always a plus, 

Cultural intelligence is defined as the "capability to relate and work effectively accross cultures". People with cultural intelligence simply observe and simply adjust their actions.

What is Culture in our Society


The UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization considers culture as: 

"a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features of a society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs".

That said, and to ensure the cohesion of our democratic society, our Quebec government promotes the foundations of our society through our Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Our "Charte des droits et libertés de la personne" in French defines the right to equality, prohibits discrimination in all its forms and outlines the political, judicial, economic and social rights of all citizens. 

Furthermore, "Québec Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion" mentions that: 

"While promoting its diversity and respecting differences, Quebec requires that the entire population respects its common civic framework which is a set of shared institutions and collective norms that determine our societal relations."

Layers of Cross Cultural Differences


The outer layer of our culture. Explicit culture is the observable reality.

Our typical French accent, our iconic foods such as our maple syrup and the pouding chômeur of our grand-mothers', our houses with their mix of French and English traditions, our not so high skyscrapers because they cannot exceed the height of our Mount-Royal west of downtown Montreal...

These are the symbols of the deeper level of our culture. Prejudices often start at this symbolic and obsrvable level.

The middle layer of our culture. Norms are the mutual sense we have of what is right and what is wrong.

Norms developed on a formal level such as written laws and norms developed on an informal level such as social laws and behavior. Our values determine our definition of good and bad and are closely related to the ideals we share as a group. 

Norms on an informal level such as not being cruel to the homeless, the animals or the environment or, not listening to music without a headphone or, not walking slowly in the middle of the sidewalk or, not driving a scooter in the bike line...

The core layer of our culture. Because we, as a group, have evolved in this unique environment, we have formed our own sets of logical assumptions on how to solve problems.

Problems such as those solved by our Official Language Act stating that French is the sole official language of Québec, or those solved by our Régie du logement Québec that governs our relations between owners of homes and tenants.

We, as a society, have organized ourselves in such a way that, over the years, we have improved our problem solving processes and increased our effectiveness.

Montreal GLOBAL Kit

Cross Cultural Differences by Rachel Louise Barry

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