Cultural Codes

Cultural rules or codes of communication are at play in any interaction we observe. It’s interesting to see that it all comes down to the showing respect, or displaying authority and power (or so it seems). The same components of these rules are throughout (respect, slang/jargon, cursing, and attentiveness) just used in different ways depending on the culture and context. While interviewing co-workers, all agreed that the use of cursing in meetings would appall their mothers, however completely acceptable in the workplace. Then it was noted that if you were in a presentation to a higher up (Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates, say) or for customer (at a conference) you would refrain from cursing. This is reminiscent of the Teamster’s who’s behavior was modified in cases of asymmetrical relationships. Continue reading