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Cultural differences in health and social care communication

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´╗┐Cultural differences in communication Communication variant Western culture Asian/Chinese culture How it affects health and social care situations First meeting It is proper to shake hands with everyone to whom you are introduced, both men and women. It is expected to shake hands on most social occasions. Chinese should be addressed with a title and their last name. Always acknowledge the most senior member of the group first. Both cultures find it polite to shake hands, so for example, if an English doctor in a hospital was meeting a new Chinese patient, they would shake hands and both would find it polite. This would be a more formal occasion so both people would address each other as Mr/Mrs/Dr. In a group meeting with a group of care workers from a day care centre for adults with learning disabilities, if the most senior member is Chinese and he/she Is not acknowledged first, he/she may feel offended, leading to awkwardness in the meeting. Questions It is important to respect the British desire for privacy. Don't ask personal questions. Expect to answer and be asked intrusive questions about personal life. ...read more.


Touch and proximity The British like a certain amount of personal space. Do not stand too close to another person or put your arm around someone's shoulder. In Asia, female friends often hold hands and men casually embrace one another as they walk down the street. If two female work colleagues who had recently both started working in a care home for the elderly, and one of them was Chinese and the other was English had just become friends, and the Chinese one kept holding the others hand, as a sign of friendliness in their culture, this could make the other care worker feel very uncomfortable in this situation, and feel like the Chinese care worker Is invading their personal space. Body gestures The uses of a finger to indicate ?come here please? to someone else, or to point to someone/something is seemed normal and acceptable. This is the gesture is used to beckon dogs in some cultures and is very offensive. Pointing with one finger is also considered to be rude in some cultures and Asians typically use their entire hand to point to something. ...read more.


or "nice to see/meet you." There is also little distinction between formal and informal greetings, whereas in Western societies it is deemed polite to shake hands on more formal occasions and when first meeting someone new, and in China it is the expected to shake hands on most social occasions as an expression of courtesy and greeting when people meet or say goodbye to each other. When first meeting someone new, in both Western and Asian societies, it is polite to address them by a title, such as Mr, Mrs or Miss, and then their last name, until invited to call them by their first name. It is also highly appreciated when meeting Chinese people to show that an effort has been made to learn some words and phrases in their language, and possibly some of their history and culture, too. However, the orders in which people are greeted within a group are very strict. For example the most senior member of the group should be acknowledged first, and the host should be introduced to the guest first. On more formal occasions it is considered polite to give your full name, job positions and the place you work for. It is important, when speaking to people of western culture, to respect their desire for privacy. ...read more.

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