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Multicultural Manners: Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century Paperback – July 12, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0471684282 ISBN-10: 0471684287 Edition: Revised Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised Edition edition (July 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471684287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471684282
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your friend's mother-in-law is visiting from Korea. When greeting her, do you bow, shake hands, or kiss her on both cheeks?

The meeting with his international customers is going well for the corporate president—until he gives the thumbs-up sign. Why?

You welcome your new neighbors with a bouquet of your prizewinning daffodils. Yet your beautiful yellow blossoms are met with looks of shock and horror. Why?

Discover the answers in this incisive, award-winning guide to etiquette, now thoroughly revised to reflect today's truly multicultural society. Both highly informative and entertaining, Multicultural Manners gives you the understanding you need, the perfect words to say, and the correct behavior to use in a wide range of cross-cultural situations.

The book features completely updated etiquette guidelines with special emphasis on post–September 11 culture clashes as well as a brand-new section that demystifies unfamiliar cultures in the news. Norine Dresser identifies key cross-cultural hot spots and suggests methods that foster respect for diversity. You'll discover:

  • The dos and don'ts of successful business and social interaction with people from different cultures
  • Appropriate etiquette regarding body language, food, child rearing, clothing, word choices, colors, entertaining, romance, and gift giving
  • Detailed tips on avoiding embarrassment at work, in the classroom, in health care settings, on business trips, at meals, at weddings, at funerals, and on vacations and holidays
  • Amusing firsthand accounts of cultural gaffes that illustrate how miscues happen—and how to avoid them
  • A breakdown of customs, religions, languages, and ethnicities for seventy different countries

About the Author

NORINE DRESSER is a professional consultant, speaker, folklorist, and educator. From 1993 to 2001, she wrote the award-winning "Multicultural Manners" column for the Los Angeles Times. Dresser has been interviewed on the Voice of America and numerous other radio and TV shows.

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Customer Reviews

If you are a traveler to other countries, this book is a must.
A. Brandt-Williams
The chapters are short and easy to read with good illustrative stories.
Daniel Calhoun
The only two instances in which we are mentioned are not accurate.
Bluumoons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on March 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I wish that everyone would read this book, just to be aware that different cultures have different mores, and if someone is "foreign" to you, their manners may seem very odd. It is necessary not to jump to conclusions. Of course, since so much of communication is non-verbal, it's also difficult not to.

Obviously, one cannot adopt a single set of manners that would suit all people since people often have opposite customs. I worked with one group of people that hated to have money left on the counter, and another that preferred to have money left on the counter, and it was hard to remember to switch. Dresser notes that not all people from one country have the same customs, and as people live in the US for a few generations, they may forget ethnic customs. She tells a story on herself: visiting Hmong-Americans, she insists on removing her shoes, only to find out that the family has dropped that custom. Fortunately, I think most people appreciate the attempt to be polite, even if one stumbles from time to time.

The book is told mainly in the form of anecdotes about cultural miscommunications, with explanations of customs of various societies. After this is a section listing many, although not all individual countries. This is followed by an extensive bibliography and an index.

The index is one of the weakest points of the book. If one wants to use the book to learn customs for a specific group of people, the cross-indexing is erratic. If one is looking for Iranian customs, one also needs to look up Muslim and Middle-Easterners, but there are no cross references for this, although there are for some entries.

A useful book, if one is going to be interacting with a known group of people. Otherwise, at least a reminder that customs vary.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Pratt on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this book to have a major flaw in it's organization. There is a useful information about the customs and mannerisms of people from various cultures, but it is arranged by subject rather than by location. For instance, information about people from Taiwan might be located in several sections throughout the book, within sections such as "Greetings", "Holidays", etc. Each of these sections contains very brief information about the topic as it pertains to people from a few (not all) different countries. I find this layout to be very problematic. If I am in need of information about a different culture, most likely because I am either travelling to a certain country or will be interacting with a person from a certain country, it would be much easer to have information organized by location. One section on "Taiwan", etc., rather than having to look in multiple places throughout the book for what ends up being a sentence or two worth of limited information.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Brandt-Williams on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach a cultural psychology class and this book is a wonderful reference for the class. I also read excerpts to the class as we discuss the various topics in their text. If you are a traveler to other countries, this book is a must.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Dannaher on December 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although not as comprehensive as I had expected, I still learned a lot from this book and plan on using it extensively. I've learned a lot from it and actually had some of my own misconceptions cleared up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Etiquette is strongly based on culture and even within a country, geographical differences will impact the local culture so what might been deemed acceptable in the south, may be quite different in the north. To lump multi-countries' culture into generic headings makes this book way too broad that it becomes totally useless!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather Bridges on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this resource to add to my library of counseling resources. I was blown away with the quality of the material inside. It is easy to read and understand, and the sections are organized in a way that makes it an excellent resource for developing lesson plans for classroom guidance. Multiculturalism is becoming a concept that is important in every aspect of counseling and beyond.

I especially love that there is a section that talks about sterotype myths, and taboos for different countries.

I have recommended the others school counselors in my school system order this book as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bluumoons on May 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am part of a culture described in the book. The only two instances in which we are mentioned are not accurate. The reasons behind the tradition are not accurate which makes me wonder what other inaccuracies can be found. The reason I bought the book is to get familiar with what I don't know about cultures...and this book doesn't accomplish that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By namwan kalong on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was rather disappointed with this book since i was expecting more of a reference for social interactions than what was discussed. It was also very west coast and spoke at length about Hispanics and Laotians. In our midwest area, we have a strong Arabic community, and others which were not even mentioned. It really did not give a basis for the cultural reasons for the difficult interactions and it seemed more of a personal reflection than anything like etiquette in the genre of Emily Post or Miss Manners which is what i wanted.
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