Three Tests for Racism in Cross-Cultural Advertising

 With over $600 billion in annual income/spending power at stake, advertisers more and more are embracing the importance of using images of diversity in advertising campaigns.  Sometimes it’s the strategy, as advertisers purposely create several versions of an ad to target different markets (think McDonald’s) and sometimes it’s part of the story line, as with…

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Family Friday: Children, Prejudice and Modeling Culturally Sensitive Behavior

 With an American mom and a Brazilian dad, you’d think our child would spontaneously be a model of behavior in multicultural settings.   A dinner conversation this week, however, reminded me that while setting a good example is important, a parent’s job is much more complex.  You can’t assume your child will learn how to be…

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Cross-Cultural Communications Competence: Practical Applications and Loving Your Family

 Call it “How to win friends and influence people,”  “Getting to Yes“, or call it cross-cultural communications, but it’s all the same thing–how to communicate to come to agreement or understanding with people who are different from you to achieve your objective.   In business, no matter how you slice it, it all flows back to…

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Intercultural Communications, and Diversity Metrics: the Bottom Line Meets Social Justice

 When looking at metrics to support training for communicating to people from different countries, it’s easy.  There’s a very clear cut set of rules.  You learn specific customs (e.g. don’t show the bottom of your shoe when sitting with legs crossed in Pakistan, exchange business cards with two hands in Japan, etc.); you go to…

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Obama Is Black. McCain is White.

Okay, now I’ve said it, so what’s next?  Traditional diversity trainings and rules of political correctness dictate you should suppress that instinct to notice race or be declared a racist.  The fact is that categorization is an innate survival response dating back to the era of the hunter/gatherer:  Edible, non-edible? Male-female?  Friend-foe?  Rather than suppress…

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What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

30 years ago the place where you learned about other countries was in foreign language class. I learned all about the government, cultures and history of countries throughout Central and South America in Spanish class. It seems incredulous that this has not changed, so many years later and after such drastic changes in the growth…

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