Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower


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Synonyms and antonyms of midlife crisis in the English dictionary of synonyms

Meinig has suggested ten possible responses to a given landscape. Distinct from this is the view of landscape as habitat, a visible history of human interaction with nature: the domestication of the earth. This is the spirit informing the writings of J. Others will observe the same scene and see signs of landscape as problem, an undesirable situation requiring correction — a common attitude among environmentalists and social reformers. For many, the interpretation of the scene will be the appraising one of landscape as wealth. Features will be assigned value, for their potential as resources or development prospects.

For some, positive or negative reactions may be personal, while for others they may be cultural, elements of the scene perhaps possessing symbolic meaning within a certain cultural context. Generally an enjoyable, nonthreatening activity, the D. The question of reaction or adaptation to cultural difference in environmental perception is an important one. Should houses and as much factual detail as possible, the process yielding towns be laid out with regard to the natural contours of crucial information as to what they notice and the order the land, or should the land be forced to conform to a in which they perceive such elements.

Language is ex- paper design, as in the grid-based planning of much of posed as the ambiguous communication tool that it is, the United States? In ics for environmental reasons. Environmental Space… development of a country generally corresponds to its distance from the equator, the pernicious argument has been made that people from these temperate latitudes are naturally more hardworking, productive and intelligent than their counterparts in the tropics.

Such is the intuitive appeal of this idea that prejudicial stereotypes can even be found within the same country, the industrious, ingenious Yankee being compared favourably to the indolent Southerner, workers in the north of Italy and Germany holding derogatory opinions of their compatriots in the south. In the southern hemisphere the same attitudes are found in the reverse direction, enterprising Australians from Melbourne tending to hold a dim view of the work ethic of Queenslanders, for instance.

Unfortunately though, proximity to the equator has too often been interpreted as a climatic determinant of character, producing people who are happy to lie in the sun plucking fruit from trees without the effort of cultivating them. It is therefore natural and right that the peoples of the northern latitudes have come to dominate the world economically and politically.

Such attitudes, often unconscious but tellingly embodied in racist jokes and stereotypes, only impede understanding and communication, and managers need to be highly sensitive to the existence of these damaging patterns. Open dialogue, mutual respect, and accurate information are essential.

In the present age, when the environment has become an issue of vital and immediate concern to humanity as a whole, it is more important than ever for people to consider how assumptions of similarity in environmental. It is essential to bear in mind that no single one of these perceptual modes is any more correct than any other, and that by exploring them in a spirit of curiosity and respect, we can not only reduce the potential for misunderstanding, but enlarge and enrich our own appreciation of the world around us.

References and Further Reading Berger, P. Burton, R. New York, NY: St. Diamond, J.

Nicholas Brealey

New York, NY: W. Ehrlich, P. Washington D. Groth, P. Understanding Ordinary Landscapes. Meinig, D. Shepheard, P. The Cultivated Wilderness: What is Landscape? Parents take care of and protect their infants. Infants depend on their parents, and behave self-centeredly. What is interesting about amae is that it is a reciprocal relationship and involves deep, interdependent emotional ties. In child-rearing practices in the Western society, this relationship stops at a relatively early point when compared with the Japanese.

The amae mentality continues well into adulthood in the Japanese society, and it is easy to see amae relationships in Japanese organizations. For example, the relationship between a boss and his subordinate is amae. The boss takes care of and protects his subordinate. In return, the subordinate shows loyalty to his or her boss.

In addition to his professorial duties, Dr, Unno travels extensively to deliver lectures on intercultural communication. Another example of amae can be seen in the relationship between a team leader and the members of a Japanese team. A team leader cares for and protects the other team members. These team members that are being protected feel that they have on to the leader. The concept of on carries with it the ideas of indebtedness, burden or load. To use myself as an example: I wanted to become a visiting scholar at American University. There were, however, no ties between my home university, Meiji University, and American University.

This posed some problems, but Professor Gary Weaver agreed to the arrangement. Gary did something meaningful for me. So, I have on to him. I became a member of his team, and in a Japanese team, the team members cooperate with each other on behalf of the leader to repay his or her kindness. Amae can also be seen in the relationship between a Japanese company and its employees. In this case, employees show loyalty to their company. The company provides an age-related promotion system and lifetime employment. The Japanese employees are promoted based on seniority.

Generally speaking, they are employed until retirement and tend to spend their entire career in one company. Although this situation is changing, working for one company for life is still a primary workplace virtue in Japan. In this new evaluation system, Japanese employees are asked to what degree they have achieved their goals, and a greater emphasis is placed on what kind of results they get.

This evaluation structure should sound familiar to American business people; it is a new phenomenon in Japan. Japan and the U. The old evaluation system contained amae, which is a relationship-oriented rather than results-oriented system. The new evaluation system destroyed teamwork and collaboration in companies.

Amae cannot function in these conditions. Second, young Japanese whose fathers became victims of restructuring and downsizing conclude that loyalty to a company and hard work may not guarantee survival in the company. Third, some young Japanese are reluctant to get a fulltime job, and have chosen instead to seek part-time employment after graduation. Others do not work at all, choosing to live at home with parents. Were I to simply focus on their dependency,. During and after the hardships of restructuring, Japanese employees learned that showing loyalty to a boss was no longer as important as it used to be: the boss could be transferred to another company tomorrow.

As we have seen, amae is everywhere in Japanese society. This traditional relationship system, however, has been compromised in the following major ways:. In order to adjust to the post-bubble economy, major Japanese companies restructured and downsized, transferring their employees to their subsidiaries and to related companies, and scaling back on new hires. During and after the hardships of restructuring and downsizing, Japanese employees learned that showing loyalty to.

It is still the case in Japanese companies that the current senior and middle managers were educated by older generations, and as a result share similar values of loyalty and on, as well as a common understanding of amae.

Are You Having a Midlife Crisis?

Japanese senior and middle managers often say that some young Japanese are on shirazu—they do not feel indebtedness, burden or load. On the other hand, young Japa-.

America's Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower by Adam Mendelson

On the other hand, avoiding is a lose-lose mode because both sides avoid their concerns. Thomas also argued that competing, accommodating and compromising are win-lose modes. In a competing mode, one side attempts to satisfy only its own concerns. How about a compromising mode? As a result, they get less than they actually wanted. However, if I use a Japanese lens, I see a different result.

Thus, for them, avoiding is a win-win mode. They continue to commit. They think that accommodating is a good strategy because in the long run it will satisfy both concerns. Thus, they see accommodating as a win-win mode. This means to look for where, when, and how they compromise. Thus, avoiding, accommodating, compromising and collaborating are win-win modes for Japanese in the amae generation. Japanese managers tend to think that discussion and assertiveness at a meeting could cause loss of face for some participants.

When they have to make a decision, they use nemawashi, which is a way of building consensus before making a decision. Nemawashi originally meant trimming all but the main roots of a tree to foster root development before transplanting. In many cases, the decision is often made before a meeting. As a result, no one loses face, and harmony is kept.

First, establish an amae relationship with your Japanese boss, subordinates or team members. Do something meaningful for them. They will feel that they have on to you, and welcome the amae relationship. Second, use feedback to help establish the relationship. Western researchers have. They concluded that collectivists tend to seek feedback because they want to avoid uncertain situations. Their research focuses on feedbackseeking behavior and uncertainty avoidance in collectivistic societies. Japanese managers, however, tend to seek feedback to establish amae relationships with subordinates.

The point of this behavior is not merely to acquire information or avoid uncertain situations. Western researchers are missing this point. How do they see the world?

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Why do they react in that particular way? Army Strong! However, when translated into Farsi it sounded like I have come as a meddler to get you to compromise your standards. These attitudes often rubbed off on some of our Soldiers and our command climate suffered as a re ative attitudes spilled over into our operational and created some bad feelings and fostered among some of others to counter these attitudes and comments aged the mission effectiveness of our battalion and have developed detailed training and products to multiplier.

We address the role and importance of religion, tribe, clan, and other factors that Soldiers consider ourselves. Often during our Seminar discus as I paid the compliment, I realized I had made a on the hanger outside of classroom hoping that effects on operational missions. There are also positive aspects to culture and about some observations he made during his trav during his travels throughout Afghanistan that in and there appeared to be a greater sense of pub PAGE 10 8 Military Intelligence of the cultural and tribal composition and tensions standing of the cultural and economic differences greater resources and capabilities to prepare and train soldiers.

Social Organization in the OE. The Cost of Operating in a Foreign Environment. Gender Issues in the OE.

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NGOs in the OE. Developing Ambassadorship. He began his career as an and staff positions throughout the world at the tactical to strategic levels. He may be contacted at harold. Steve McFarland, Mr. Steve Wilson, Mr. Jim Bray, and Mr. Bruce Wood are the major contributors to this article. Building an Enduring Capability. Smith has been in the Intelligence business for more than 50 years. He was first sworn into the U. Army on 1 July He is a retired Command Sergeant Major, having served in that position at both the battalion and brigade level.

Smith served as the First Sergeant of five different units. Additionally, he completed four combat tours in Southeast Asia. Smith is a graduate of the U. His civilian experience includes that of test writer, instructor, and evaluator. Civil considerations relate to civilian populations, culture, organizations, and leaders within the AO.

Commanders consider the natural environment, to include cultural sites, in all operations directly or indirectly affecting civilian populations. Commanders include civilian political, economic, and information matters as well as more immediate civilian activities and attitudes. Intelligence in COIN is about people. Commanders and planners require insight into cultures, perceptions, values, beliefs, interests and decision-making processes of individuals and groups.

These requirements are the basis for collection and analytical efforts. These tools are the operational and mission The operational variables are those broad aspects of the environment, both military and nonmilitary, that may differ from one operational area to another and affect campaigns and major operations.

The The mission variables are those aspects of the operational environment that directly affect a mission. Upon receipt of a warning order or mission, Army tactical leaders narrow their focus to six mission variables. Commanders and areas, structures, capabilities, organizations, people, and events. Knowledge about the operational environment requires aggressive and continuous surveillance and reconnaissance to acquire information.

The Future Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan individual components of collecting civil considerations information and producing intelligence that cap solutions. Understanding of foreign peoples, their cultures, customs and languages is a direct force multiplier that enables service members to sustain our long this understanding through training in language, vides Foreign Culture and Foreign paring for overseas assignments and de for the professional development and for the sustainment and enhancement of for dition to funding training to sustain and improve Technicians Interpretive, Intelligence Specialists, tivities at the Center for Information Dominance Detachment located at the Defense Language collect information on foreign cultures and related products.

CLREC is responsible for managing stu at by Christopher Wise PAGE 19 January March 17 Center for Information Dominance on professional language training and on matters pertaining to the career professional development, training and ed Past, Present, and Future single organization responsible for planning and adult learning and specialized training in foreign lan and provide the right cultural and language training, language and culture training programs.

Research and develop training solu Coordinate, schedule, and deliver ap propriate training solutions. CLREC established collaborative relation demia to implement best training practices. Where and distribute training. General verse environments. The OCAT is a Adobe Captivate format summarizing in formation about a nation and its peo and ethnic groups, languages, religious The overall intent is to mitigate the effects of cul ment. Sailors engaged in diverse missions, ranging from humanitarian assistance to civil affairs to com Conclusion demand for cultural and foreign language training vice counterpart culture centers to ensure the best and throughout the Department of Defense.

He is the principal advisor to the for Information Dominance on programs and policies pertaining to training foreign languages and cultures. Wise retired from the U. Navy in after 22 years, 11 years as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive and 11 During his Navy service, he held a variety of staff positions managing technical training programs and operational positions leading and performing airborne and shore-based signals and electronic intelligence collection and analysis missions.

Since its inception in , its stated ronments. The center, located inside a nondescript guages. It is there that CAOCL develops resources ties of different cultures, traditions, religions and languages. Our job is to make sure that Marines are best prepared to deal with war in foreign lands. Our specific niche is culture, with an understanding of the foreign languages that are involved, retired Marine Colonel George Dallas, director of CAOCL, recently told reporters.

Dallas is pushing for the adop tion of operational culture as the th Warfighting function. Think of it as the same level as planning fires, maneuver, logistics or intel. Just like you would be planning fires in support of maneuver, this would be planning culture in support of a scheme, maneu ver or operation. Were writing doctrine, were writing an overarching Marine Corps strategy on culture and language and regional studies, and we have built a Training and Readiness manual for culture and language that sets accepted standards across the Marine Corps.

Corps, is an ardent supporter of CAOCL and his re The more you understand that culture, the more effective warrior youre going to be in a counter-insurgency environment. When you have the support and the confidence of the local population, very positive things follow, he recently told reporters at the National Press Club. FergusonArming Marines with Cultural Knowledge: The 7th PAGE 23 January March 21 the one American uniform service that has con familiarization is a force enabler and crucial in pre an immediate impact on operations and success, leaders.

Through its training, CAOCL can lenges that can help them avert both immediate and New Missions for the New Millennium We must not create more enemies because we failed to understand the culture and religion. The overall goals and education continuum see Figure 1. Training the Full Continuum oping, providing, and coordinating operational lan tional environments.

This environment. Strong personal cultural terrain of their battle space. Culturally savvy Marines are a threat to our enemies. General J. Ferguson is a full-time reporter who has covered the Middle East for over 20 years. Cambardella PAGE 29 January March 27 tudes that could be applied for mission success in generalizable cultural education, Airmen also re locations.

A tailored combination of cultural, re gional and in some cases foreign language learning that point, the center became the Air Force Culture ments of the 21st regional, and foreign language education for Coordinate, support, and validate training in changes of station. Aim Before You Fire ing it relevant to Airmen.

Further, memorized local detail could not be gener Cross-Cultural Competence 3C the ability to quickly and accurately comprehend, then appropriately and effectively act, to achieve the desired effect in a culturally complex environmentwithout necessarily having prior exposure to a particular group, region or language.

In , the Center pushed the Center into the midst of the ongoing the same approach used in Air Force education.


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Foreign Language. The Air Force also has long debated the merits of developing sig the general purpose forces. This entire program is Negotiations. The reserve component not have accomplished its it appeared that the the Center had stabilized at about eight members. In order to the Center has developed a standardized approach more. And Air Force Education. The Center has developed a more comprehen course provides an educational grounding in the basic domains and characteristics of culture and Language and intercultural communication.

Religion and cultural heritage. Globalization, modernization and ethnic resurgence. Airmen had volunteered for the course, and the tural communication. While the U. The Air Force is committed to developing such assessment instruments and methodologies, and the Center is at the heart of that effort. In it see that development, and has committed hun and training programs.

Information Technology. The scale of the respon is engaged in multiple initiatives that leverage in language learning. Africans regard culture as es sential to their lives and future development. From the African perspective, culture embodies their phi and religion. This article is intended to capture the comprehen siveness of African culture, incorporating such im restriction to attitude and behavior, its globaliza tion, and the debates surrounding issues of tradi noring the alternative uses of the term.

Worldviews est part of Africa, a vast desert dividing the conti dissemination across North Africa, and Christian mis legends to spread from group to group and led to a structure of their societies. Religion and Myths of African life and is important in the determination a central place in the organization of social, politi cal, and cultural life and regulates the relationship Africa is home to more than 50 countries and ing, Ramadan, but the feast at the end of Ramadan, Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter.

During these times most businesses are closed and traditional religious events also attract great inter est regardless of faith. Islamic, Christian, and tra and celebrate. Traditional Beliefs lesser spirits, such as the spirits of ancestors. The number of gods and goddesses varies from African Republic have one of the largest pantheons, earth, sun, and moon as gods. In the Congo River are also used to obtain protection or to gain an ad PAGE 38 36 Military Intelligence as Wak tive on African sport that included a description of maraboutage marabouts or sorcerers but amulets, grisgris, charms, or sebenwriting Faso.

According to some groups, these spirits groups believe that the spirits of dead ancestors re main near their living descendants to help and pro tect them, as long as these relatives perform certain the spirits of a chief and other important characters PAGE 39 January March 37 cultures, it is said that the soul of a dead grandfa Zoa groups trace their origins, or the origins of all hu Kintu of the gods and married Nambe, daughter of the Garang and Abuk live along the Nile in the Sudan, trace their ances Nyikang Soundiata Keita the Caribbean islands and the U. The Caribbean the spider Kaku Anansi and the con artist hare.

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Sources Culture and Customs of Ghana. Lgendes et histoires des peuples du Burkina Faso african. PAGE 40 38 Military Intelligence PAGE 41 January March 39 Introduction or ethno cultural grouping of people, much less to of the region, nation and ethno cultural groupings are invalid or suspect or the results problematic I have been involved in one aspect or another of purposes of this article and the themes of this pub Common Themes havior or belief, that might be called characteris tochthonous cultural traditions and civilizations.

In spite of all the varieties of religion, language, ented, and tend to be focused upon a core set of values that can be said to emphasize the group over the individual, to emphasize the sense of by Hugh M. It is not clear that democratic in having become part of the Western tradition of Asian religions have had a profound impact on religious philosophies, in the main stemming from 1. As a dominant, living Chinese throughout China, interconnecting its cities, vil time immemorial. It has come to collective state of mind. Furthermore, it has become across the board, or even of the general situation or the local diversities of single nation states such as nation, from shared belief and collective represen tation.

The mation, all serve Chinese interests in meeting the challenges of modern development, albeit Chinese human universe that is called Chinese to obviate marginalizing and relativizing alternate realities through processes of compartmentalization of con becoming critical to the management of the Chinese erate distortion and misinformation to conceal the lithic faade. On the other hand, China has been the regular and practiced recipient of high level state secrets from the West, and has been the recipient parents and children.

The pattern of face and reciprocal obligation net into a modern, communist state. From this standpoint, therefore, there are The Chinese see the doctrine of human rights 1. Living in the USA. Lewis, R. Finland, cultural lone wolf. Mindess, A. Reading between the signs: Intercultural communication for sign language interpreters.

Nees, G. Germany: Unraveling an enigma. Nydell, M. Understanding Arabs: A contemporary guide to Arab society 5th ed. Platt, P. French or foe? Cincinnati, OH: C. Krehbiel Company. Renwick, J. A fair go for all: Australian and American interactions. Richmond, Y. From Nyet to Da: Understanding the new Russia. Into Africa: Intercultural insights. Sedgwick, M. Islam and Muslims: A guide to diverse experience in a modern world. Shahar, L. Border crossings: American interactions with Israelis.

Stewart, E. American cultural patterns: A cross-cultural perspective Rev. Storti, C. Americans at work: A guide to the can-do people.

Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower
Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower Americas Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower

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