Different cultures have different worldviews, frameworks for making sense of the world. Each day, we see and hear a smorgasbord of worldviews, relating to things such as religion, the universe, humanity, nature, or other philosophical issues that address who we are or our concept of being. For example, different worldviews exist regarding our relationship to nature. Many Asians and Native Americans emphasize unity with nature and reverence for nature. In other cultures awareness, humanity and nature are seen as separate. To many North Americans, nature is something to overcome or control. However, in some African cultures, people believe that nature is beyond our control. Whether or not we recognize it, these worldviews affect all aspects of culture, including our priorities, behaviors, and how we express ourselves. In a culture that attaches great importance to personal expressiveness, we are likely to observe people engaging in a wide variety of facial expressions and gestures. To offer another example, we would expect to find a great deal of emphasis on the process of communication in a culture that values harmonious group relations. In a culture such as this, the emotional exchange of communicating and
The relationships communication gives rise to be apt to be valued as much as the end product of communication. In spite of globalization, individuals may find themselves working in organizations that do not respect multiple worldviews. Fortunately, this is slowly changing as evidenced by recent corporate developments such as the following:
• Employees of a major airline in the United States are now allowed to wear turbans, yarmulkes, and hijabs as pan of their uniform.
• A multinational power equipment maker which operates in 128 countries has rewritten its corporate statement of principles. It now reflects not just its traditional Lutheran values, but Muslim and other values as well.
• A large hotel in a major metropolitan area in the United States has set aside a room for its Muslim employees who need to pray several times during their shifts. This provides those employees with a private room in which to place their prayer rug when they pray towards Mecca.
Cultural beliefs regarding modesty differ. In her research. Dr. Caryn Andrews found people’s beliefs about modesty can affect health-care utilization. As an example. Certain procedures, such as disrobing or having personal contact with a technician, might be at odds with tzeniut, the Hebrew belief in modesty. Research on other cultures, such as Muslims. Hispanics. Asians, and the Amish. show modesty can interfere with screenings. Check-ups. And overall health care. In order to study this issue in more detail. Dr. Andrews created a questionnaire to measure patient modesty. The result is a modesty scale, used by hospitals nationwide to measure degrees of modesty. By taking cultural modesty into account, providers show utmost respect and sensitivity.° What are some ways in which health care providers are adapting? Solutions can be relatively simple, such as putting up a curtain or making it possible for the patient to cover tier body while waiting for a provider. In some cases, hospitals now provide gowns that cover the entire body. When discussing private issues. Providers can make sure the door is closed and ask the individual if he or she would like to have a family member or someone else present.