Intercultural workshop, SIETAR (France)

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Saturday: January 19th, 2008
In Paris/France
9h30 – 12h30 & 14h00 -17h00
Workshop in english and in french
By Roger Baumgarte, Ph.D.

“Research on Cultural Variations in Close Friendships”

Most interculturalists and other world travelers frequently develop close friendships with people of other cultures. These friendships are often perceived as different compared to those within a common culture. Sometimes these differences broaden one’s social life in enjoyable and rewarding ways. But they can also present unique challenges which are often difficult to interpret even for those well versed in cultural differences.

This workshop will review current research on cultural variations in friendship patterns. The role of culture in friendship runs quite deep and isn’t always predictable from well-established cultural dimensions such as individualism and collectivism. Thus, understanding how people view their close friendships can provide a unique vantage point for viewing cultural differences. Initially, this workshop will approach friendship from a strictly research perspective demonstrating, for example, that even the definition of friendship is culturally influenced. Such research presents a number of troublesome methodological problems, each of which will be explored in turn. Workshop participants will respond to examples of common survey items which will form the basis for much of our discussion.

Then we will move on to the findings from various cross-cultural studies, which will provide ample material for developing insights into the issues that arise in cross-cultural friendships. Interpretations of these findings will be aimed at helping interculturalists understand the nature of their own friendships in addition to exploring the relevance of this research to the clients they serve.

More explicitly, this workshop is intended to:

1. Assist participants in gaining an appreciation of the complexities of doing survey research across cultures and thereby becoming more knowledgeable consumers of the cross-cultural research literature in general.

2. Provide participants with information about the range of cultural variation that can occur in close friendships and how these variations are sometimes inconsistent with common conceptions of cultural differences.

3. Provide participants with insights into their own friendships which cross cultures.

4. Assist participants with developing ideas about applying this research to their counseling and consulting settings.

Roger Baumgarte
was born in the U.S.A. completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Detroit and his doctorate in cognitive and experimental psychology at Bowling Green University in Ohio. He taught for 30 years at Winthrop University where he received the highest award for teaching excellence. He spent the 1988-89 academic year teaching at the American University in Paris. At that point, he learned to speak French and over the course of the year, developed new friendships which have since endured. Upon returning to the U.S., he was struck by how differently he perceived these friendships compared to his ongoing friendships at home. From these experiences, he gained a keen interest in cultural differences in friendship and decided to explore these differences across a number of cultures. He has conducted survey research on friendship patterns in China, South Korea, U.S.A., France and Romania. He spent the 1994-95 academic year teaching for an extension of the University of Maryland in South Korea. For three years, he served as director of the International Center at Winthrop University where he would often interview international students about their friendships with local students. In addition to the research on friendship, he has provided numerous workshops aimed at helping immigrants and visitors adjust to living and working in the U.S.


Langues et Entreprises, 18, rue de Tilsitt, 75017 PARIS

(mtro Etoile-Charles de Gaulle)

From 9.30 to 12.30 & 14.00 to 17.00


70 euros for SIETAR member,

120 euros for non member,

50 euros for student (-26 years old)

Way of payment: by Paypal

We invite you to pay online which is easy, secure and quick. Please click on this following link to pay your workshop fee:

For further information, please contact:

# Christine Longe if you have administrative question.
Email : [email protected]

Phone: +33 4 93 93 36 59

# Laurence Sicot (President of SIETAR France if you have questions on the workshop itself.

Phone: +33 6 08 99 77 82

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