Ideas about polite behavior are different from one culture to another. Some societies, such as America and Australia, for example, are mobile and very open. People here change jobs and move house quite often. As a result, they have a lot of relationships that often last only a short time, and they need to get to know people quickly. So it’s normal to have friendly conversations with people that they have just met, and you can talk about things that other cultures would regard as personal.
On the other hand there are more crowded and less mobile societies where long – term relationships are more important. A Malaysian or Mexican business person, for example, will want to get to know you very well before he or she feels happy to start business. But when you do get to know each other, the relationship becomes much deeper than it would in a mobile society.
To Americans, both Europeans and Asians seem cool and formal at first. On the other hand, as a passenger from a less mobile society puts it, it’s no fun spending several hours next to a stranger who wants to tell you all about his or her life and asks you all sorts of questions that you don’t want to answer.
Cross-cultural differences aren’t just a problem for travelers, but also for the flights that carry them. All flights want to provide the best service, but ideas about good service are different from place to place. This can be seen most clearly in the way that problems are dealt with.
Some societies have ‘universalist’ cultures. These societies strongly respect rules, and they treat every person and situation in basically the same way.
‘Particularist’ societies, on the other hand, also have rules, but they are less important than the society’s unwritten ideas about what is right or wrong for a particular situation or a particular person. So the normal rules are changed to fit the needs of the situation or the importance of the person.
This difference can cause problems. A traveler from a particularist society, India, is checking in for a flight in Germany, a country which has a universalist culture. The Indian traveler has two much luggage, but he explains that he has been away from home for a long time and the suitcases are full of presents for his family. He expects that the check – in official will understand his problem and will change the rules for him. The check – in official explains that if he was allowed to have too much luggage, it wouldn’t be fair to the other passengers. But the traveler thinks this is unfair, because the other passengers don’t have his problem.
1．Often moving from one place to another makes people like Americans and Australians .
A．like traveling better
B．easy to communicate with
C．difficult to make real friends
D．have a long – term relationship with their neighbors
2．People like Malaysians prefer to associate with those .
A．who will tell them everything of their own
B．who want to do business with them
C．they know quite well
D．who are good at talking
3．A person from a less mobile society will feel it when a stranger keeps talking to him or her, and asking him or her questions.
A．boring B．friendly C．normal D．rough
4．Which of the following is true about “particularist societies”?
A．There is no rule for people to obey.
B．People obey the society’s rules completely.
C．No one obeys the society’s rules though they have.
D．The society’s rules can be changed with different persons or situations.
5．The writer of the passage thinks that the Indian and the German have different ideas about rules because of different .
A．interests B．habits and customs
C．cultures D．ways of life
1．B 2．C 3．A 4．D 5．C