Accession Number:

ADA501597

Title:

Identifying the Core Content and Structure of a Schema for Cultural Understanding

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. Jul 2007-Oct 2008

Corporate Author:

ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ARLINGTON VA

Report Date:

2009-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

35.0

Abstract:

Multicultural perspective taking skills enable Army leaders to adapt quickly when encountering individuals or groups from unfamiliar cultures and to function effectively in multinational alliances. In previous research, a schema for cultural understanding was identified as a key component of multicultural perspective taking. The primary objective for the present research was to identify core content and structure of a schema for cultural understanding that can be used to inform training for Soldiers deploying to unfamiliar cultures. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we extracted schema content through interviews and identified common themes and concepts. This process resulted in schema content consisting of attributes of culture, goals in using cultural knowledge, and tactics for cultural learning. Findings indicate that concepts of religion, values and beliefs, and customs or traditions are central attributes of cultural understanding. These findings can inform training development and guide further research on the skills needed to function effectively in multicultural environments. Whereas traditional cultural awareness training typically focuses on understanding members of a specific culture or country, augmenting this training by focusing on a schema for cultural understanding developed through practical experience will afford Army leaders broader cultural capability.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE