Cultural Characteristics Case Study

Laura is a new secondary school teacher from the U.S. teaching in a small, rural Kenyan community. Along with Laura, the school has a staff of eight Kenyan teachers. Beatrice is the only other woman on the staff, and the two have become fast friends. Nevertheless, after each long day Laura looks forward to going home and spending time alone reading or writing letters.

Laura’s route home passes right where Beatrice lives, and Beatrice frequently invites Laura in for tea each time she spots her walking along the dirt path. On a few occasions, Laura has accepted and stayed for two hours. Laura felt as though she should stay for a long visit although Beatrice never insisted that she stay. Laura has never been sure about how to tell Beatrice that she could only stay for a short while, as she wished to hurry home and have the rest of the day to herself. As a result, Laura has begun to decline Beatrice’s continual invitations. She now simply waves and says, “Tutaonana kesho!” (“See you tomorrow!”) as she hurries home.

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Beatrice has continued to invite Laura for tea because she feels that is the polite thing to do. But because Laura always declines now, she has begun to feel as though Laura no longer wants to visit her home.

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Identify what you believe are the specific U.S. characteristics illustrated in this scenario.
Identify what you believe are the specific Kenyan cultural characteristics.
How might Beatrice characterize U.S. culture if this were the only interaction she had experienced with someone from the U.S.?
How might Laura characterize Kenyan culture if this were the only interaction she had experienced with someone from Kenya?
Using your list of Kenyan and U.S. cultural characteristics, list the ingredients of culture that you have identified.
What misunderstandings between Laura and Beatrice are taking place?

Choose one of the following case studies and answer the questions. Please note you will need to do some research on Culture Comparisons in order to complete this assignment. Write your paper as a summary of your thoughts/reflections, and not a Q & A. Paper should be 3-4 pages in length with references and correct MLA citations. For more information on Cultural Characteristics Case Study check out:


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