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Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are | [The Great Courses, David Livermore]

Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are

Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.
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Publisher's Summary

Taught by an international adviser to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and governments, this eye-opening course reveals how you can actively improve your cultural intelligence in an increasingly globalized world.

Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.

In the first half, you'll analyze 10 cultural value dimensions that researchers have identified as helpful for comparing cultures; and you'll see how these "archetypes" play out in day-to-day lives. In the second half, you'll look at 10 cultural clusters around the world that - when combined with your understanding of the 10 cultural dimensions - provide strategic insight into how to be more effective as you live, work, and travel in our globalized world.

Why do people from certain cultures have little regard for time? Why might working overtime reflect poorly on you in Scandinavia? Why should you avoid using your left hand when interacting with someone from the Arab world? You'll find out the answers to these and other intriguing questions in Customs of the World.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (392 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Quaker Philadelphia 09-17-13
    Quaker Philadelphia 09-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quite possibly my favorite of The Great Courses"
    What did you love best about Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are?

    I absolutely love The Great Courses. I've listened to at least 30 of them, and I have to say that Customs of the World might be my favorite. It was so packed with observations that were both fascinating and practical, I think I'll find myself wanting to listen again in years to come.

    I'm struggling in my mind to suggest a better name for this course, because it's about so much more than customs. It's about how culture profoundly affects how people and societies interact, along with practical advice on how to observe and interact with people from all cultures and subcultures both around the world and at home. This course is invaluable not only to world travelers, but to anybody who engages with people from other cultures, whether at work or socially.

    Professor Livermore divides the course into three sections. The first explains the concept behind cultural intelligence. The second set of lectures is a comprehensive look at the ten established dimensions along which cultures consistently differ. The final set of lectures takes a deep dive into each of the major cultural regions of the world, pointing out the dominant norms of each, along with suggestions on how to observe and interact with people from within those regions.


    What about Professor David Livermore’s performance did you like?

    Professor Livermore is clearly a prominent academic leader in this field, but he is also a remarkably experienced traveler and a captivating storyteller. Throughout the course, he draws on his own experiences to enrich the discussion and make it personal. He is excellent.


    31 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Exsular France 11-23-13
    Exsular France 11-23-13 Member Since 2009
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    "11 hours in a breeze."
    What did you learn from Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are that you would use in your daily life?

    It's packed with insightful moments. And the more you listen, the more your own culture becomes strange to yourself. This means your cultural intelligence is growing. It will help you become more effective in your dealings with cultures around you.


    Any additional comments?

    My best audiobook, in 9 years of customer loyalty to Audible.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 07-06-14
    Saud 07-06-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    215
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    "Does what it can with the time it has"

    This course as an exploration of ten cultural value dimensions:

    1. Identity—Individualist versus Collectivist
    2. Authority—Low versus High Power Distance
    3. Risk—Low versus High Uncertainty Avoidance
    4. Achievement—Cooperative versus Competitive
    5. Time—Punctuality versus Relationships
    6. Communication—Direct versus Indirect
    7. Lifestyle—Being versus Doing
    8. Rules—Particularist versus Universalist
    9. Expressiveness—Neutral versus Affective
    10. Social Norms—Tight versus Loose

    Followed by applying them to ten global culture clusters:

    1. Anglo Cultures
    2. Nordic European Cultures
    3. Germanic Cultures
    4. Eastern European/Central Asian Cultures
    5. Latin European Cultures
    6. Latin American Cultures
    7. Confucian Asian Cultures
    8. South Asian Cultures
    9. Sub-Saharan African Cultures
    10. Arab Cultures

    It's not a full guide of do's and don'ts, but it provides some key guidelines on each social clusters and how to learn more.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 06-28-14
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 06-28-14 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unexpectedly brilliant!"

    I didn't have any interest in listening to a lecture from the Great Course series. After all, I spent umpteen years attending college. I figured that part of my life was over. But here was a topic that greatly interested me and at a great price, too. I couldn't let it pass.

    From the moment I started listening, I felt a deep nostalgia for my university days. I also knew I was going to really enjoy this listen. This course is so wonderful that I want to highly recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the subject of cultural intelligence. The format is so pleasant--a series of related but separate lectures, each one leading into the next one.

    Even if you aren't planning overseas travel, you will find so much relevant information here that will explain behaviors that have puzzled or even irritated you in the past. And if you are planning on overseas travel, you will have a bunch of new information that will be immensely helpful to you. If you aren't able to interact with the "natives", you will still be equipped to look for various things that will tell you much about the culture you are visiting. Additionally, Professor Livermore gives you some do's and don't's to further enhance your knowledge and your travel. He is a wonderful lecturer, too.

    I enjoyed this book so much that I know it will be a repeat listen for me. It has also inspired me to look for further Great Courses subjects that sound interesting. This experience has been as enjoyable as any of my favorite audiobooks.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fredetteb 04-07-14
    fredetteb 04-07-14 Member Since 2012
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    "One of the best of "Great Courses" books"

    This has to be one of the best "Great Courses" books I have listened to. Professor Livermore has a great delivery and is incredibly knowledgeable of the topic. Anyone that travels or works with different cultures needs to listen to this course.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adi 06-21-14
    Adi 06-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Wide breadth of material, yet lacking depth"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to most people as a primer to various cultures around the world and familiarise them to the various dimensions that are used to measure differences between cultures.While it serves as a useful index of cultural norms and practices, it does suffer from broad generalised claims. The writer did admit that not all members of a certain culture would behave as he described, he did not try to investigate too deeply upon the internal differences of cultures.There is also a missed opportunity to address the effects of variables such as economic, religious and other factors that might affects how a group of people manifest their practices as a culture.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wish that the writer would address how socio-economic, religious and other factors affect cultures, and also the malleability of members of certain cultures to new practices. The audiobook resembles a travel guide more than a rigorous study of culture.I am sure that this book could've benefited from incorporating the latest literature on behavioral economics and anthropology.


    What about Professor David Livermore’s performance did you like?

    I think his reading is personable and I can't find discernible flaw throughout the audiobook.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I have the opportunity to, maybe I will listen to it in one sitting, but some parts made me cringe too much. It is usually the part where the culture I am familiar with is described to be an unrecognisable caricature.


    24 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 09-22-14
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 09-22-14 Member Since 2007

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

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    "An interesting delight"

    This Great Course is an interesting and informative exploration of customs and cultures of the world. With the 30-minute chapters it is easy to listen to in chunks, with insights to each cultural theme or region gained at the end of the chapter. This Great Course would be an asset to anyone, whether an international traveler or not.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 08-10-14
    Mary 08-10-14

    Mary

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    "Very informative and easy to listen to"

    Thorough description of different cultures and behaviors and how we must consider these when traveling or communicating with people from different cultures. Easy to listen to and understand, lots of information! I will listen to this one a few times to keep my memory fresh.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tmancill 08-06-14
    tmancill 08-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Starts strong but fades..."

    The first half of this course is interesting and really pretty good. Professor Livermore has participated in some interesting research and developed a system/language for talking about cultural awareness/intelligence ("CQ" in the course). And there is definitely some good information and concepts that will help you gain perspective and be better equipped to understand and interact with people from other cultures.

    The 3-star ranking is because of the tendency the author has to talk about his own personal experiences, many of them banal, and present them as evidence of some general cultural dimension. This ranged from annoying (and frequently so) to contradictory in few cases. Another problem with the course is the author's multiple exhortations to "slow down" and "relax" and "enjoy" cultural differences. The repetition kept reminding me that I wasn't learning anything new after about lecture 10 or 11.

    My impression is that the first half of the course is well researched, and thus fairly coherent and well presented, but that the second half of the course is thrown together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noelle R Brodeur NM 07-06-14
    Noelle R Brodeur NM 07-06-14

    Noelle

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative and well presented"
    Where does Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Having had a lifelong interest in diversity and the ways of other cultures, I found this lecture series to impart a wealth of information. The professor was engaging and extremely well-traveled and informed. He shared a personal and valuable insight into the patterns of other cultures and how they think and act, offering many illustrations. Having recently traveled to SE Asia for the first time, it shed light on some of my perceptions and experiences, and encouraged me to appreciate even more all the fascinating and wonderful people who share the world. I especially appreciated his discussion of the importance of being open to experiencing new foods, music, religious beliefs, and etiquette in order to fully engage and benefit from the beauty and wonder of those less familiar to me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are?

    The discussion of how the importance of family, food, and religious beliefs color customs and culture in various groups.


    Have you listened to any of Professor David Livermore’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I'd like to hear more of his insights.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are?

    The importance of one being respectful, accepting, and open to the different customs of the world's inhabitants to fully be a member of the human race in all its diversity.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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