Intercultural Interactions in a Military Context

Valentina Georgieva 1  and Petar Marinov 1
  • 1 “G. S. Rakovsky” National Defence College, , Sofia, Bulgaria

ABSTRACT

The article focuses on the impact of various factors on the process of communication between military specialists and with the local civilians during peace support operations. The importance of religion, national and ethnic identities, military subculture, social status, and personal characteristics for achieving success or failure in interactions is underlined. Some differences between civil culture and military culture are disclosed and the need for cultural knowledge of the military members is stressed. The study is based on presenting and analysing situations of current intercultural interactions in Afghanistan, which deal with various problems that could be encountered by servicemen on a daily basis, i.e. body language differences, expression of friendly, unfriendly or indifferent attitude, typical reactions to gestures, common everyday topics for informal chats. Although the cultural interactions take place in present-day Afghanistan, the conclusions and suggestions are applicable to a much wider context of interacting between people with different cultural background.

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