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1) The Globe

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Please check to see if the Image(s) you are being asked to review has a title. If there is a title, then I expect you to click on the title and read the corresponding document about the image and phrase your answer in a way that demonstrates your comprehension of this document as it relates to the theory in the text.

Go to The Globe. Locate Mongolia (in Asia). Take a look at the photographs.

· Based upon the typical dwelling known as a ger (photos 14 and 15), would you say that this culture is individualistic or collective? Be specific and explain.


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2) Interesting Fact & Idea

In central Liberia, as well as many other parts of Africa, it is believed that certain men (variously called Zos, Shamen, and Witchdoctors) can control lightning and direct it to hit anyone or anything they choose. As evidence, of such powers, a college student from this region offered the following story: In his town, there was an occasion upon which someone stole meat from the cooking pot of the lightning Zo. Angered, the Zo announced that if the meat was not returned immediately, he would direct lightning to hit the guilty person on the following Saturday. On the appointed day, the meat had not been returned and the people all took their houses in fear; a storm blew up, and when it was over the people found a dead dog, apparently killed by lightning. The student, and all the townspeople, took the dog’s death as prima facie evidence of the power of the Zo.

” How does the text explain this notion? Provide detail and explain in detail.

3) Tales from Thailand Essay

” Relate Hofstede’s Value Orientation theory to the essay. Give an example from the essay that is representative of IndividualismCollectivism.


the link is for question number 1 and the screenshot and the essay es for question number 3


Tales from Thailand: Lessons from the Land of Smile

Thomas J. Knutson


Asking me to write about Thailand is like asking Julia Child to talk about cooking or Tiger Woods to describe golf. The Kingdom of Thailand, the “Land of Smile,” has fascinated me for more than a decade and, I confess, I am enchanted with her beauty and many charms. I love Thailand; it’s the most remarkable place I’ve ever lived. In short, don’t expect an objective essay about Thai people, values, and norms. Instead, I’ll try to explain the attraction of this beautiful culture in a way that I hope will inspire you to learn more about Thailand as well as intercultural communication. Thailand has so much to offer the world.


For the past several years, I’ve been a visiting professor in Bangkok at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok University, and Assumption University. I’ve lived in Bangkok for a total of three years and have traveled throughout the country, a place that can teach everyone about civility, enjoyment, and life itself. If you haven’t visited Thailand, you should; if you’ve been there before, you should return.


Thailand is located in the Southeast Asia and is surrounded by Malaysia Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Roughly the size of Texas, Thailand is situated in the center of the world’s most rapidly expanding economies. Although the Thai Baht has been recently devalued, most experts agree that Thailand will remain a major geopolitical force in the foreseeable future. You can actually feel the excitement of Thailand’s new growth and determination. Bangkok’s legendary traffic problems, the wild fluctuations in the Thai stock market, and the slow but sure development of the parliamentary system of government all contribute to an incredible laboratory for life in the modern age. Perhaps more than any other place on earth, Thailand epitomizes life in the new world order, completely involved in the intricacies of the global village.


Thailand must be the most sensual place on earth. The sights and sounds, the fragrances and feelings all combine to make every step in the Kingdom an exquisite encounter. Nowhere in the world will you find such awesome temples, towering golden spires glittering in the tropical sunlight inviting people to learn of Buddha. Traditional Thai music coexists with the sounds of Western tunes, traffic noise, and the persistent pleas of vendors in the countless markets. The scent of jasmine and the delicious aroma of Thai cooking make a stroll along any street in the Kingdom a unique pleasure. From the moment you arrive at Don Muang, Bangkok’s modern international airport, the Thai “feeling” envelopes, encircles, and enchants every moment of you stay.

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Of course, Thailand also provides challenges to the traveler. Bangkok has the worst traffic, the worst pollution, and the worst weather I’ve ever encountered. During the day, vehicles move through Bangkok traffic at a numbering speed of less than four miles per hour. Each day 550 new automobiles enter the traffic pattern. Carbon monoxide hangs in the air and the high temperatures coupled with the cloying humidity challenge even the healthiest sojourner. The Thai infrastructure teeters daily on the brink of collapse. Political corruption and an unequal distribution of wealth threaten government stability. You will find these problems met with a typical Thai insouciance, a confidence that relief will come soon. Even with these bothersome troubles, however, Thailand is the best place I’ve ever visited. Let me explain why.


More than any other attraction, the Thai people make their country the most civil and the sweetest place in the world. “The Land of Smile” is not just a tourist slogan; it’s real. Thais are nice people. Other countries may excel in economic power, military strength, and technological ability, but Thailand surely leads the world psychologically. The gentleness and genuine charm of the Thai people serve as a model for the enjoyment of diversity and the acceptance of differences. Of course, we must recognize that not all Thai people behave consistently in fashion compatible with Thai cultural values. Having made that disclaimer, however, I can say that the Thais I’ve been privileged to meet are the nicest people I have found in any of the more than 30 countries I’ve visited. My challenge is to explain that to you in a fashion consistent with intercultural and cross-cultural sensitivity.


You may have read about the various theories of social attraction, a popular variable in communication research. McCroskey and McCain (1974) provide an interesting method of describing the ways in which two people become attracted to one another. The technique adapts itself well to a preliminary examination of Thai people. McCroskey and McCain identify three dimensions of attraction: physical, task, and social. Physical attraction, which relates specifically to physical appearance, is considered the catalyst for conversation. Thai beauty is legendary. Countless visitors from around the world have been charmed by Thailand’s “physically attractive people and their beguiling ambiguity” (Kulick & Wilson, 1992). Thai people, with their ready smiles, dancing eyes, and impeccable personal hygiene, have little trouble attracting other for conversation. McCroskey and McCain explain that the physical attraction dimension is insufficient to maintain a relationship; the concern moves quickly to either social or task attraction. The international mark of friendliness, the smile, enables Thais to switch quickly to matters of social attraction. Spontaneous displays of happiness and sensitivity are hallmarks in Thai society, and visitors readily become fascinated with Thai hospitality. I have yet to meet a foreigner in Thailand who was not amazed at the quality of social relationships, the real “stuff” of interpersonal encounters. You will be astounded with the ease of talking with Thai people and their unique ability to display rhetorical sensitivity. The number one cultural value of Thailand is social harmony, a quality that can teach the world intercultural communication effectiveness. Thais are “other-oriented” in their conversations, an appealing characteristic for most foreigners. On the task dimension, Thais are noted for their long history of accomplishment. Work for the Thai, however, is insufficient motivation. To develop true task attraction, the Thai must have sanuk (fun) while engaged in chores and duties. Thailand taught me a big lesson about work. If I must do something I don’t like doing, I make a rewarding and fun activity contingent upon completing an odious task. That simple lesson evaded me for years until I lived with Thai people.


You have read about several methods of comparing and contrasting various cultures. I will use some of these to illustrate for you my love for and fascination with Thailand. Of course, my experiences are not intended as an exhaustive description of Thai culture, about which I have written elsewhere (Knutson, 1994). My purpose here is to relate interesting anecdotes loosely organized around some of the intercultural theories with which you are familiar.


Hall described cultures as varying along a contextual continuum. In high-context cultures, interpretation of messages requires close attention to the physical environment in which a conversation occurs. Relatively little information is contained in the explicit message. Low-context cultures are the opposite, with most of the information contained in the explicit message. Thailand falls in Hall’s high-context category; most Western cultures are low context. This convenient dichotomy, although overly simplified, can best be illustrated by an example. My Thai friend Phan and I were enjoying a relaxing evening together at one of Bangkok’s pubs. During the course of out conversation, Phan said, “My brother is coming to visit me.” I replied, “You must be very happy since you’ve not seen him for a long time. When will he come?” Phan responded in one word: “Soon.” As a Westerner, verbal messages are extremely important to me, and I found Phan’s one-word comment quite perplexing, if not downright annoying. People from low-context cultures tend to see high-context communicators as evasive, indirect, and inscrutable. Thais, however, often stereotype Westerners as too direct, too talkative, and too loud. One of the more delightful lessons Thai culture can teach involves Thais’ cautious attitude toward words. In fact, there is no literal equivalent in the Thai language for English word “no.” In Thailand people say “not yes.” Thais value moderate expression and avoid confrontational or negative messages, which is not surprising given their emphasis on social harmony. The meaning can be found in the environment, in the context, and through nonverbal cues. For example, when I first developed friendships with Thai people, they would often ask, “Dr. Thomas, why do you always say the obvious?” Well, it was obvious to them in their high-context culture, but it was not obvious to me. Another example of this all-persuasive high –context influence in Thailand can be seen in my “contractual” relationships with Thai universities, where I have taught as a visiting professor. I have never seen a written contract describing the parties’ respective obligations and responsibilities. The contextual trust generated by social relationships is sufficient, a condition that causes my U.S. American colleagues to doubt my sanity. They often suggest that I should be worried about salary or working conditions not clearly and verbally specified (in their view of the world). My response leaves them glassy eyed and shaking their heads. I explain that the high-context Thai culture simply would not tolerate such an obvious interpersonal misunderstanding among friends.


Hofstede (1991), the Dutch management researcher, had had a profound influence on the analysis of cultural differences. His initial factor analyses revealed four dimensions on which cultures vary: individualism-collectivism, power distance, masculinity-femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term vs short-term time orientations.  His theory can provide a loose agenda for the discussion about Thailand.


Gadykunst and Ting-Toomey (1988) note that Hofstede’s individualism-collectivism dimension corresponds to Hall’s ideas about low-and-high context cultures.  The United States emerged as the most individualistic culture in the world, placing great importance on the “I”; Thailand is a highly collectivistic culture, emphasizing “we” in all aspects of communication.  The most important Thai value, social harmony, contrasts sharply with the U.S. emphasis on success and achievement, which is often measured by the acquisition of material things.  Buddhist teaching forms the basis for the Thais’ genuine care and concern for others, an idea known as nam jai (“water of the heart”), which seldom allows Thais to see strangers as threatening or suspicious.  The Thai term kreng jai refers to the desire to be “self-effacing, respectful, and extremely considerate as well as the wish to avoid embarrassing others or intruding or imposing upon them” (Fieg, 1989) Kreng jai and nam jai, probably unique to Thailand, characterize every aspect of daily interpersonal relationships.  Another anecdote will illustrate this attractive Thai attribute.


One night a group of us was happily enjoying beer and conversation.  The Thais, coming from their collectivist background, displayed great rhetorical sensitivity and concern for others in the group.  Suddenly, a huge and obviously intoxicated foreigner entered the area where we were sitting.  This drunken oaf proceeded to proclaim loudly that he was the biggest and best man on earth.  Although his behavior would have been seen as rude and impolite even in a low-context environment, the Thais viewed him as incredibly discourteous and disrespectful.  My Thai friends watched the inebriated stranger with a combination of fright and shock, but they remained silent and discretely avoided any direct encounter.  As the drunk shouted his personal attributes, his flailing arms frequently struck Phan’s head, violating one of the biggest taboos in Thailand (the head is the residence of the soul and is sacred to the Thais).  Throughout this humiliating episode, Phan remained stoic.  Finally when the drunk left, I turned to Phan and said, “I’m sorry, Phan. We’re not all that way.”  Phan turned to me with one of the special Thai smiles and said, “I know that.  I know you.  Anyway, he’s probably a nice guy when he’s sober.”  In Sacramento, where I’m from, this abusive behavior would not have been tolerated and the culprit would have been the victim of a firm and perhaps violent message.  In Thailand, however, overt expressions of conflict are discouraged.  Most Thais, including Phan, find something of value, even in the most difficult of situations.  Overt displays of anger jeopardize social harmony in Thailand, and they indicate ignorance, immaturity, and vulgarity.


The Thai desire for smooth interpersonal relationships can be seen in the Thai expression jai yen, the talent of remaining calm and in control of one’s emotions even during difficult situations.  Komin (1991) observes the importance of jai yen, which is


The core cognition behind the behavioral pattern of the everyday life social interactions of the Thai.  And it is this value of smooth and pleasant interpersonal interaction that gives Thai people the image of being very “friendly” people, and Thailand, the “Land of Smile.”


The soft-spoken politeness of the Thai can contribute to a greater understanding of interpersonal sensitivity throughout the world.  The phrase you will hear often in Thailand,  mai pen rai  (contented, never mind, or “it doesn’t matter”), and the condition of arom dii (always smiling), both show the great importance Thais place on social harmony.


Hofstede’s (1991) dimensions of power distance refer to the manner in which power is distributed in a culture.  Thailand can be described as a culture that has a large power distance; power and wealth are distributed unequally.  Differences in status are accepted in Thailand as useful signs of appropriate communication behaviors, and authority is given considerable deference and respect.  Chantornvong (1992) describes the variation in Thai language use and proper linguistic form.


Whereas English has “I” for the first person pronoun and “you” for the second person pronoun, a standard Thai speaker can choose up to 17 different forms of the first person pronoun and up to 19 forms of the second person pronoun, depending on the degree of politeness, intimacy, or role relationships and the relative status of the people involved.


My introduction to Thai power distance came on my first visit to Bangkok.

I arrived 18 hours late, totally exhausted, and suffering from massive jetlag.  When I arrived at my hotel, I was stunned by the courtesy and efficiency displayed by hotel personnel in assigning me to a room.  They knew I was tired, and a team of people installed me in a fresh and clean room, complete with fresh flowers and fruit.  The room boy eagerly turned down the bed and attended to the various things that make a weary traveler comfortable.  I watched him with fascination as he dealt with every detail in most unobtrusive fashion, quickly and efficiently.  When he finished, he turned to me, flashed that beautiful Thai smile, bowed, and gave a very respectful wai. (A wai, the traditional Thai show of respect, is made by placing the palms of the hands together with the fingers touching the nose.  The placement of the hands shows the degree of respect).  As a good and seasoned sojourner, I had learned a bit of the Thai language prior to leaving the States.  What better time to try out my language skills, I naively thought.  I faced the room boy, gave him a wai  with my fingers touching my nose, and said, “Khawp khun maak, khrap.  Sawasdee, khrap”  (thank you very much.  Good-bye).  The room boy’s reaction to my message startled me.  He immediately crouched low to the floor, backed out of the room, all the while giggling hysterically.  The door closed and I was left alone, pondering this bizarre scene.  The next day I told a Thai friend who had spent a lot of time in the States what had happened.  He looked at me with mock horror on his face and said, “Tom, in Thailand we never wai our social inferiors.”  That was the first of many lessons I would learn in Thailand, knowledge I would never have discovered at home.  Later that week, through a third party (it would have been far too direct to approach the room boy in person), I apologized to the room boy for my cultural insensitivity and gave him a gift.  The next time I saw the room boy, he was wearing his new sweatshirt from California State University, Sacramento.  He glanced at me quickly and delivered a beautiful smile and wai.  I smiled back, this time without a wai and with my exuberant Western feelings firmly in check.


Hofstede’s masculinity-femininity dimension describes the degree to which a culture values achievement or social support.  Cultures rated high on masculinity evaluate people based on their performance and acquisition of material things.  Feminine cultures nurture people and emphasize the quality of life as central to their being.  Given the Thai emphasis on social harmony, you should not be surprised to hear that Thailand falls on the feminine, or nurturing, end of Hofstede’s masculinity-femininity continuum.  Komin (1991) describes a successful Thai personality as “one of competence and substance, but most important of all, [it] has to have a soft and polite appearance, presentation, and approach.” Bunkhun (the reciprocity of goodness) occupies a prominent place in Thai interpersonal relationships.  Kindness elicits gratitude, and bunkhun is the very foundation of friendship.  Klausner (1993) notes:


To be katanyu, or constantly aware and conscious of the benefit or favor another person has bestowed, is a highly valued character trait in Thai society.  To the contrary, one of the most reprehensible sins in the Thai social context is to be akatanyu, or ungrateful.


In Thailand, personal assertiveness, overt self-confidence, lack of feelings for others and expressions of superiority elicit mai sai, a mixture of disgust and suspicion.  Thai compassion and nurturing can best be seen in the Kingdom’s schools and its system of education.  Learning is seen as more valuable than material success, and people associated with knowledge and education are highly respected and esteemed.  Teachers and professors occupy the top of the Thai social hierarchy.


Several years ago I befriended a Thai student attending classes at California State University, Sacramento.  Tao was enrolled in my communication theory course, which is a requirement for majors, and she was committed and dedicated to learning, traits that would please any professor.  Tao and I worked hard together and she appreciated the extra time I took to help her with all of her classes.  I was amazed at her dedication and sacrifice to succeed as an international student.  Tao mastered the English language quickly, successfully completed her bachelor’s degree, and continued her education at the graduate level; she recently completed her MBA at the University of San Francisco.  Our friendship grew over the years.  Looking back, I now begin to grasp the meaning of bunkhun.  Tao introduced me to her parents, Sawanit and Chavalit who visited Sacramento many times, always bearing gifts and dispensing kindnesses and favors in a way I had never experienced.  Sawanit and Chavalit were never ostentatious, but their quiet and wonderful displays of appreciation and genuine affection made an indelible imprint on my life.  When I went to Thailand as a visiting professor for the first time, Tao insisted that she informs her parents, who, she said, would “take care of all of my needs.”  Upon my arrival in Bangkok, Sawanit and Chavalit overwhelmed me with Thai hospitality.  They picked me up at the airport, which is a rigorous challenge given Bangkok’s traffic, took me to their beautiful home, and insisted that I rest for a few days before they showed me their Thailand.  Sawanit and Chavalit treated me like family, taking me to all of the interesting sights in Bangkok and doing many marvelous and unexpected things to make my transition to Thailand enjoyable.  One day Sawanit and I were shopping in a jewelry store, as Sawanit if fond of the exquisite Thai gems and intricate patterns of handmade Thai jewelry.  While Sawanit talked with the salesperson, a gold pendant displaying the Venerable Kasem, the influential monk, caught my eye.  I asked Sawanit if the pendant was indeed in honor of Kasem, and she seemed surprised that I knew of him.  Later that night, Sawanit gave me a small package, beautifully wrapped in red and gold, containing the pendant.  My naïve inquiry was interpreted by Sawanit in her high-context environment as a marvelous way in which to display bunkhun.  She was correct, and the sentiment surrounding that little piece of jewelry went far beyond its monetary value.  When I moved from Sawanit and Chavalit’s house to my apartment at the university, they called weekly to inquire about my comfort and to invite me to numerous dinners and other uniquely Thai events.  When I left Thailand to return home in 1993, Chavalit took me to the airport.  We had a long farewell conversation that was filled with the bittersweet ambiguity about when we would meet again.  As I got up to leave for passport control, Chavalit gave me an amulet dating to the Ayutthaya period (14th century, C.E.) and told me that it would keep me sage and cause me to return to Thailand.  Chavalit was also correct.  I wear that amulet today, and it has brought me back safely to Thailand many times since that auspicious introduction in 1993.  More importantly, the friendship initiated by Tao knows no boundaries.  We are phuan tai, friends for whom it would be an honor to die.  You see, now I must display bunkhun to Sawanit and Chavalit, sure in the recognition that time and distance to not mitigate this sensitive point of Thai friendship.  It’s an honor few people outside Thailand can understand.


Hofstede identified the uncertainty avoidance dimension as relating to how cultures cope with ambiguity.  People from high uncertainty avoidance cultures experience considerable anxiety and stress when faced with change and innovation.  They establish rituals and rigid structural guidelines for dealing with uncertainty and reducing the threat created by ambiguity.  In Hofstede’s scheme.  Thailand falls at the average; Thais neither excessively avoid nor strongly encourage uncertainty.  For Thais, life consists of uncertainty, and their attitude toward the unexpected is one of passive acceptance: what will be, will be.  Thais see themselves as subjugated by nature, and they accept life’s events philosophically.  Thais display a curious nonchalance when confronted by seemingly insurmountable problems, a response that frequently strikes outsiders as unfounded self-confidence.  For example, when I was last in Bangkok, the Chao Prayha River was rising rapidly and the city was in grave danger of flooding.  Thais continued to conduct their daily lives with little concern for the impending calamity and destruction.  When the river at last spilled over its banks and inundated large sections of Bangkok, there was almost glee in wondering what would happen next.  Thais deal with uncertainty by invoking the Buddhist notion of karma, a belief that destiny is ordained by previous existences and that no single individual can do much to change the course of natural phenomena.


Another example of the Thai ability seemingly to thrive on uncertainty involves my friendship with Dr. Pramote Nakornthab, president of the University Foundation of Thailand.  Pramote is one of the most intelligent and creative people I know.  He also most certainly has the highest tolerance for ambiguity of anyone I’ve ever met.  We worked together in establishing a college in Nongkhai, located on the banks of the Mekong River across from Cambodia.  The area was in desperate need of higher education, and Pramote was committed to providing opportunities to the people of Nongkhai, who had lived for a long time without complaint or hope.  In the summer of 1995 we brought 20 U.S. American professors to Nongkhai to initiate the new school.  When we arrived, there were no buildings, no classes, no computers and no curriculum.  There were, however, hundreds of people eager to study and learn.  We spent several weeks socializing and making friends, reassuring everyone that school would begin soon.  Government officials, professors, businesspeople, and a wide cross-section of the citizenry overwhelmed the U.S. Americans with their hospitality, but little seemed to be being accomplished in terms of establishing a college.  One day, Pramote gathered all of the U.S. Americans together and empathetically announced that he was aware of our frustration that things were not progressing as quickly as they would in the States.  He smiled and said, “You must be patient, my friends.  The idea of the school was here long before the school.  The people of Nongkhai haven’t had a college for centuries; a few more months will be little bother.”  Drawing on the Thai importance of social harmony; Pramote explained that we had first to develop strong and trusting relationships with people before anyone could possibly take any action.  The school, according to Pramote, would emerge based on the friendship and trust of everyone involved.  There was a brief moment of argument before the U.S. Americans realized the importance of the cultural difference.  In the States we don’t waste time, we get things done, we establish and create, and we control the environment.  In Thailand that kind of behavior is seen as impossible.  Any achievement is founded on strong relationships, a condition that is far more important than anything Westerners would call progress.  When I last saw Pramote, he was his typical smiling self, proclaiming friendship and trust to all who would listen, and advising everyone to avoid troubling themselves over future difficulties.  He also mentioned, almost in passing, that buildings had been constructed in Nongkhai and curriculum developed.  The people have their college.


An example of the Thai importance of the long-term orientation to life can be seen in the manner in which my friend conducts business.  Voravud and I have known each other for many years.  He’s a prosperous businessman in Bangkok and is involved in both the plastics and garment industries.  On my last trip to Bangkok, I noticed that Voravud was doing much more business with the Japanese and less with the U.S. Americans.  We talked about this change for a long time, and Voravud told me that the U.S. American products were equal in quality to the Japanese goods, and that in some cases he could strike better deals with the U.S. Americans.  Since our friendship traces back years to when I met Voravud in the States, I felt comfortable asking him why he preferred the Japanese.  His reply clearly illustrated the Confucian dynamism notion. Voravud explained that the Japanese businesspeople really cared for him and his company.  The Japanese would come to Bangkok and enjoy many dinners with Voravud, play a lot of golf, and generally display the great interpersonal concern necessary for Thai business negotiations.  Voravud explained, “Dr. Tom, I really like the Americans.  After all, I studied there.  But when the Americans come to my office, they want to deal only with profit and make deals quickly.  They never send the same people and it’s difficult for me to get to know anybody.  I wish you were in the plastics business, Dr. Thomas.  We could make a fortune together because of our friendship, and grow old knowing that we have little concern for the future.”  This simple yet profound idea was reinforced later that day when we walked together in the noontime heat of Bangkok.  I was perspiring profusely, yet Voravud was fresh and seemingly unaffected by the high temperatures and humidity.  As I recall, we were late for an appointment, and I was racing along in a hurry to get to our meeting.  I turned to Voravud and said, “Why are you not sweating?  I just can’t get used to this heat.”  Voravud looking at me with a beautiful Thai smile and said, “You walk too fast.  Slow down and we can enjoy our conversation.”  Voravud’s care genuine concern, and wisdom at that moment will stay with me forever.  Why hurry to get some place when the journey itself can be enjoyable?  I had avoided conversation that would build our friendship because I thought it was more important for me to arrive at our destination quickly.  I turned to Voravud and said, “Let’s stop for a coffee.  It’s okay to be a little bit late, right?”  Voravud laughed and said, “Dr. Thomas, I think you were Thai in a previous life.”  You cannot imagine how much that observation meant to me.


This brief essay cannot identify all the wonderful lessons from the Land of Smile, but now you know some of the most noteworthy.  Thailand can offer the world some amazing psychological techniques to improve the human condition and to increase intercultural communication effectiveness.  The Thai ability to display gentleness and respect for all human beings can certainly improve our lives.  The freedom from aggravation, the voidance of criticism and conflict, the rejection of harsh words, the ability to find value in the moment, and the importance of friendship can make the world a more pleasant and a safer place.  Culture is learned, and all of us can learn kreng jai, bunkhun, jai yen, and nam jai.  These are simple but profound ways to manage the mysteries of cultural differences.  You will likely meet more foreigners than you would have at any other time in the history of the world.  Learning Thai values can help you to develop the harmonious relationships necessary for success in today’s global environment.  I wish you sanuk, arom dii, and nam jai on your journey, and I urge you to learn more about the remarkable lessons from the Land of Smile, Sawasdee Khrap!



Bond, M. H. (1987). Chinese culture connection: Chinese values and the search for culture-free dimensions of culture.  Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 18, 143-167.

Chantornvong, S. (1992). To address the dust of the dust under the soles of the royal feet: A reflection on the political dimension of the Thai court language.  Asian Review, 6, 145-163.

Fieg, J.P. (1989) A common core: Thais and Americans (E. Mortlock, rev.). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Gudykunst, W.C., & Ting-Toomey, S. (1988). Culture and interpersonal communication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Hall, E.T. (1976) Beyond culture. Garden City, NW: Doubleday.

Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Klausner, W.J. (1993). Reflections on Thai culture (4th ed.). Bangkok: The Siam Society.

Knautson, T.J. (1994). Comparison of Thai and U.S. American cultural values: “Mai pen rai” versus “just do it.” ABAC Journal, 14, 1-38.

Komin, S. (1991). Psychology of the Thai people: Values and behavioral patterns. Bangkok: National Institute of Development Administration.

Kulick, E., & Wilson, D. (1992). Thailand’s turn: Profile of a new dragon. New York: St Martin’s Press.

McCroskey, J.C., & McCain, T.A. (1974). The measurement of interpersonal attraction. Speech Monographs, 41, 261-266.

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