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Cultural Self-Awareness Vs Cultural Intelligence: Analyzing The Strong Link In Between Them


Task: Provide a detailed report on Cultural Self-Awareness.


Due to its higher effect on people, culture is considered as one of the most significant aspects of life. Foundational instincts of a person like opinion, aspiration, concerns, and values get influenced by the culture followed by the person. It is the culture followed by a person that entails him with a particular identity and sense of having a place in the society. Different cultures could be traced in different communities, of which most of them are found in a blended form. Since it plays a very significant role in many aspects of human life, the factor of cultural self-awareness is considered to be very crucial for a person. It would be very difficult to communicate with people from other cultures if a person lacks cultural self-awareness. Different cultures are being followed by different people based on their backgrounds. Apart from the background, there are some other factors that make an impact on the culture, followed by a person. Let us take an example of people working in a particular organization; they would collectively be following a particular work culture that could only be found there. In the provided environment, the significance of cultural self-awareness gets more prominent since every person is required to respect the beliefs and values followed by the people.

Cultural Self-Awareness

Thesis statement: The concept of cultural self-awareness is closely associated with the notion of cultural intelligence.

In the following section of the report, various characteristics of cultural self-awareness are being discussed that would reveal its strong resemblance and association with cultural intelligence.

Before moving on to further discussion, we should understand the definition of both cultural integrity and cultural self-awareness. It is after going through both of the definitions that the further elaboration on the significance of cultural self-awareness in developing substantial cultural intelligence in a person is done.

It is the basic understanding of the values, opinion, inclinations followed by a person, and his culturally determined identity, which is intended from the term cultural self-awareness (Roysircar, 2004). The fair recognition of other cultures and understanding of the opinions and values of other people could be developed by acquiring cultural self-awareness. The factor of cultural self-awareness plays a very crucial role in developing the personality of a normal person. A person would get substantial advantages in society by understanding the cultural beliefs of other communities. It would make the person aware that every person follows a particular set of rules and laws which they are never ready to breach.

If the person from a certain culture becomes a leader in a certain institute, the specific beliefs and opinions acquired from the culture could be observed in the implied leadership style. The presence of cultural self-awareness in the person would make them aware of the possible biasedness and preconceptions that they could commit while implying the leadership. By this recognition, the leaders could avoid the negative consequences that may have occurred because of the false approach in leadership. The significance of cultural self-awareness in this aspect is very high since the ignorance towards different cultural features could generate irritation among colleagues.

Another field in which the significance of cultural self-awareness is high is the field of business. It is quite possible that the business commenced by a particular person is considered to be unethical and immoral by the cultural beliefs followed by another person. The certain belief would hamper the latter person to actively take part in the business, which would eventually affect the whole output of the firm. If the engaged parties have proper cultural self-awareness, then such instances could be commendably avoided by them.

Though if taken the context of cultural intelligence, it signifies the personal ability to adjust and prosper in a society with multi-cultured demography or environment (Harry, 1992). It is by evaluating the innate presence of characteristics like emotional intelligence and intelligence quotient in a person that cultural intelligence is calculated. To imply effective leadership in an organization, it is very crucial that the person should possess these qualities. The scope of cultural intelligence even pertains to the daily activities of a person (Weng, 2004). The understanding of the societies and the thought process followed by each individual from a particular community could be developed by cultural intelligence. This would help the person freely interact with any person by understanding their requirements and preferences. If said in a rough manner, the term cultural intelligence signifies the condition where a person is aware of the behaviour, thought process, preferences, values followed in his/ her own and other cultures. It is by the three steps of maintaining appropriate conduct, open rationale about cultures, and advancements to change behaviour that cultural intelligence could be developed in a person (Kraemer, 1973).

Cultural Self-Awareness

The role of cultural self-awareness in developing cultural intelligence among the people
The person who possesses cultural self-awareness could develop personal beliefs and values. Let us take the example of Islam religion. The followers of the Islam religion are bound to follow certain values that should be passed on to further followers. It is the religion that makes several cultural clusters all over the world. The population under any such religious denominations could thus be considered as cultural groupings. Various philosophies and ideologies entailed in the religious literature itself mention that there are several other aspects in life that are more important than religion. However, it is not binding that the communities of other religions should follow this ideology (Yan & Wong, 2005). As per the ideologies mentioned in the Islam religion, every member of the community is being encouraged to view others as fellow brothers and sisters. The person belonging to any religion should not confine himself/ herself to a particular community and should explore and understand other religious cultures and should understand how their beliefs and values are different from yours. It is only by creating an overall understanding of different communities that a peaceful coexisting could be developed. This instance reveals the role played by cultural self-awareness in developing cultural intelligence among people. By acquiring cultural intelligence, a person could avoid the activities which counter the beliefs and values followed by him and would have an empathetical outlook towards the fact that the situation has emerged because of cultural differences in society (Lu & Wan, 2018).
If discussed further the cultural self-awareness, it helps in developing normality and novelty among the members of society. The people with specific characteristics could be easily identified by the people. It is the act of social recognition that makes the individual feel that he/ she has cared for in the community. Hence the cultural self-awareness instigates the development of cultural intelligence from this aspect also. It is in this situation when the mind of a person is free of any biasedness and avoids any type of stereotyping in the behaviour that he/ she could be considered to have cultural intelligence. Every person in society should understand that uniqueness is normal; every individual is bound to have a specific set of values and opinions (Fei, 2015). It should be conclusively stated that every person should be well aware and confident about the particular culture they followed and should not get intimidated by the customs followed in other cultures. Thus, the factor of cultural self-awareness is very crucial in the development of cultural intelligence.

The reason why the factor of cultural self-awareness helps others in acquiring cultural intelligence
The cultural values are being set highly in front of society by various communities since it is their classifying trait. It is quite normal that people tend to compare their culture with that of other cultures with a perception that theirs is better than others. Humans are social animals, and they couldn't survive without communicating with each other (Gallavan & Ramirez, 2005). To sustain peaceful and quality communication with each other, it is very crucial that the people should have an understanding of their own culture and the culture followed by other communities. Only the interactions done on the common grounds would help in building high moral, ethical standards in society.

 The foundation of peaceful interaction in society is based on the Ethical and moral values followed by the comprised individuals. The social nature of human beings and their high reliance on mutual communication in a daily manner reveals the strong influence of cultural self-awareness on cultural intelligence (Earley & Mosakowski, 2004).
If deduced from the above-provided discussion, it could be stated that the existence of cultural intelligence is highly reliable on the factor of cultural self-awareness. It is the culture which has shaped various societies and the same has an undeniable role in every person's day to day life. Though every community follows different cultural beliefs, it is very crucial that cultural intelligence should be acquired to develop necessary interaction skills.

Earley, P. C., & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Cultural intelligence. Harvard business review, 82(10), 139-146.

Fei, X. (2015). Globalization and cultural self-awareness. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Gallavan, N. P., & Ramírez, M. G. (2005). " The Lunch Date": A Video for Developing Cultural Self-Awareness. Multicultural Perspectives, 7(2), 33-39.

Harry, C. (1992). Growing cultural self-awareness: The 1st step in values clarification for early interventionists. Topic in Early Childhood Special Education, 12(3), 333-350.

Kraemer, A. J. (1973). A Cultural Self-Awareness Approach to Improving Intercultural Communication Skills.

Lu, R., & Wan, B. (2018). Culture self-awareness of culture's influence on the one: Implications for cultural identification and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(6), 823-837.

Roysircar, G. (2004). Cultural self-awareness assessment: practise examples from psychology training. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35(6), 658.

Weng, C. (2004). Multicultural lawyering: Teaching psychology to develop cultural self-awareness. Clinical L. Rev., 11, 369.

Yan, M. C., & Wong, Y. L. R. (2005). Rethinking self-awareness in cultural competence: Toward a dialogic self in cross-cultural social work. Families in Society, 86(2), 181-188.


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