Brianna Jentz
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September 15, 2010 @ 6:59 PM | Permalink


“If you are lucky enough to appear to be under 21 we will ask for identification for alcohol or any other restricted item purchase” reads the sign at LIDL's grocery. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but I am very amused by this cheery sign. It puts a complete new, cute spin on being I.D.'ed (as us, Americans would say). In the United States, signs stating that “you will be asked to show registration if you appear under 40” almost seem like threats. This may be a great example of a slight difference in Scotland's slight cultural differences from the United States. According the the Hofstede website, the United States is slightly more of a low-context (direct and to the point) culture than Scotland. It isn't much of a difference, but it could explain why Scotland's sign about underage drinking is more friendly that the U.S.A.'s. I wonder what the Scottish people think about all of these American students spending so much time in the pubs or purchasing so much alcohol from the grocery. I feel that this many only add to some of the stereotypes Scots have about Americans.


In class on Tuesday, 14/09/2010, we discussed the D.I.E. Model for intercultural competence. This takes the necessary skills, knowledge, motivation, and the other characteristics of communication to another level. It reminds us to describe, interpret, and evaluate. A great example of this was the burqa. Before class, I had never really considered the positive that a burqa may be a sign that a Muslim woman respects her religion (a major part of culture) and thus respects herself. As a feminist (women's rights is one area of culture that I tend to be very ethnocentric and need to self-monitor), I always thought of the burqa as a sign of feminine oppression. This was a great example of how my values influenced what I thought of a foreign culture. When I was reading my nightly news on CNN, I found out that France has officially banned the burqa and has placed fines for anyone who wears a burqa or anyone who forces another to wear a burqa. The French government has taken the narrow minded view that I held for a very long time. Here is the link:

France is in a time of turmoil for minorities. Not only have they banned the burqa, but they have also rounded up approximately 8,300 Romas (people of Bulgerian and Romanian descent who are commonly known as “gypsies”) and have transported them from their country. The European Union is now threatening legal action against France, noting that racial profiling should not be tolerated in the EU.

Another section of the book talks about how the family, religion, and history are essential to understand when trying to communicate between cultures. With this knowledge, the environments that each sender/receiver carries (when they are intersected) would lead to a clearer meaning. This would be following the interaction model. Still a competent communicator realizes that there is no set ping-pong action for communicating and all communicators share responsibility. As I am exploring Scotland, I am slowly learning about their history (through traveling, museums, and my British history class). My plan for the next week is to do some more research about their religion. I feel that I could gain a better perception of Scottish life once I understand how important religion is here. I also wonder if Henry VIII's breaking from the Catholic Church played a significant role in Scotland or if it was primarily England that was affected. There are still so many aspects of Scottish life that I need to learn about before I will truly understand. I am also interested to see how many protests and issues arise with the Pope's visit to the United Kingdom. I have already sensed major apathy and irritation about this. The visit is not only interrupting normal life for many Scots, but is also costing them lots of money. I am very intrigued to see the reactions.


I also found the textbooks take on American history quite interesting. I'm a history major and I found the interpretation that the book offered quite different than the perceptions that I have formed from my studies. The texts states that:

U.S. History books and folktales abound with examples of how one person can make a major difference in the world. We have all learned how Rosa Parks began the civil rights protest which Martin Luther King, Jr. almost single-handedly shaped into the civil rights movement, Cesar Chavez united the farmworkers, Bill Gates revolutionized modern technology, and Elvis Presley introduced us to rock and roll (54-55).


I know this is to demonstrate the individualistic culture of Americans, but I do feel that saying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. almost single-handedly shaped the civil rights movement discredits others such as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Black Panthers, and many others from the important work that they did to correct racial injustice. Dr. King was a wonderful orator and carried great influence, but he was not the only one to bring about civil rights. His death was a great tragedy, but I do not believe that he would like to be remembered as being the only one to act. Stating this is like saying that Susan B. Antony almost single-handedly pushed for woman’s suffrage. Let's just disregard the Seneca Falls Convention and all the other people involved in the eventual passage of the 20th amendment. I would also like to think that many Americans do not think this way.


Well now that I've said all I can think of for tonight, I shall close with one of my favorite John Lennon lines: “Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”


Posted on 9/20/2010 by

Brianna Jentz

I apologize for a very grave error that I included in this paper. The right for women to vote came in the 19th amendment which was passed in 1919 but was not put into action until 1920. Sorry for any error that this may have cause. My attempt at being overly organized before London led to a mishap in typing. Thanks!

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Please disregard this post and read the one titled "Invisible Packback 2" for a better representation of grammatical correctness.

Brianna Jentz on Invisible Backpack 2010-09-12

I apologize for a very grave error that I included in this paper. The right for women to vote came in the 19th amendment which was passed in 1919 but ...

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