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In situations in which people of different cultures meet, it is people who are unaware of subtle cultural differences can easily find themselves in a situation. Here are two simple examples:
- Someone from a culture where people generally smile to passing strangers might assume, when in a foreign land, that the locals do not welcome their visit.
- A waiter expecting a tip might become angry with a frequently returning foreign customer unfamiliar with the custom.
Within communication studies, cross-cultural studies, or any similar field of study, is there a special term to describe these "situations of misunderstanding" which are brought about not by a language barrier, but by differences in culture, and a mutual lack of understanding of the culture difference by one or more parties involved?
The answers in Word or phrase meaning 'Misinterpretation of tone due to language or cultural barrier' do not fit this meaning:
- First, they have the connotation that "someone has made a mistake violating the norms of a particular culture", which is not always the case in these situations.
- Second, I am looking for a term that does not refer to a specific action committed by one person, but by the created situation.
- Finally, these words do not address the potential mutuality of the situation, but rather, connote blame on one individual.