21 August 2014

Cultural Differences #8; We each have an indelible pattern of behavior - a great illustration

11th juror: (rising) ‘I beg pardon, in discussing… ‘

10th juror: (interrupting and mimicking) ‘I beg pardon. What are you so goddam polite about?’

11th juror: (looking straight at 10th juror) ‘For the same reason you’re not. It’s the way I was brought up.’

~ excerpt from Twelve Angry Men, by Reginald Rose

Twelve Angry Men is an American theater piece which became famous as a motion picture, starring Henry Fonda. The play was written in 1955. The scene consists of the jury room of a New York court of law. Twelve jury members who have never met before have to decide unanimously on the guilt of innocence of a boy from a slum area, accused of murder.

The quote above is from the second and final act when emotions have reached boiling point. It is a confrontation between the 10th juror, a garage owner, and the 11th juror, a European-born watchmaker. The 10th juror is irritated by what he sees as the excessively polite manners of the other man.

But the watchmaker cannot behave otherwise. 

After many years in his new home country, 
he still behaves the way he was raised.

He carries within himself 
an indelible pattern of behavior.

- - - - - -

Illustration from:
Cultures and Organizations; Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival
     by Geert Hofstede

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