Cross cultural sensitivity

The concept of cross cultural sensitivity encompasses the knowledge, awareness and acceptance of other cultures.

Opinions in favor of cultural sensitivity

Opinions in favor of promotion of cultural sensitivity are based on ideological or practical considerations.

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan advocates cultural sensitivity as an essential value in the modern world.

Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected.Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
In some countries, photography of government buildings or monuments is a criminal offense

Cross cultural sensitivity can impact the operating income of corporations seeking to expand their activities to foreign markets. An American manufacturer of golf balls packaging balls in packs of four and failed to successfully operate in Japan, where the number four holds the meaning of death.[2]

Cultural sensitivity can increase the security of travellers. Lacking awareness of foreign cultures can have adverse legal consequences.[3]

Cultural sensitivity can have positive effects in academia. In 2002 Unity College, Murray Bridge began a Student Exchange Program with Chuo University Suginami High School in Tokyo, Japan. This program has been successful due to the both schools' focus on cross cultural awareness [4]

Cultural sensitivity training in health care providers can improve the satisfaction and health outcomes of patients from different minority groups [5]

Criticism of cultural sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity can lead to acceptance of genital mutilation and other forms of torture. According to UniSA child protection expert Professor Freda Briggs, culturally sensitive Australian doctors of medicine perform genital mutilations on children of refugees.[6]

See also


  1. United Nations. Retrieved on 2009-04-06
  2. Kwintessential. Retrieved 2009-04-06
  4. Unity College. Retrieved 2009-04-06
  5. "THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN HEALTHCARE". Cultural Candor Inc. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
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