Manner of Dress and Adornment
That being said, it does not mean that culture should be ignored. According to a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Technical Assistance Bulletin, culturally sensitive communications:
1. Acknowledge culture as a predominant force in shaping behaviors, values, and institutions.
2. Understand and reflect the diversity within cultures. In designing messages that are culturally appropriate, the following dimensions are important:
Primary cultural factors linked to race, ethnicity, language, nationality, and religion Secondary cultural factors linked to age, gender, sexual orientation, educational level, occupation, income level, and acculturation to mainstream society
3. Reflect and respect the attitudes and values of the intended audience; some examples of attitudes and values that are interrelated to culture include:
Whether the individual or the community is of primary importance Accepted roles of men, women, and children Preferred family structure (nuclear or extended) Relative importance of folk wisdom, life experience, and value of common sense compared to
formal-education-specific situations and advanced degrees Ways that wealth is measured (material goods, personal relationships) Relative value put on different age groups (youth versus elders) Whether people are more comfortable with traditions or open to new ways Favorite and forbidden foods Body language, particularly whether touching or proximity is permitted in specific situations Manner of dress and adornment
4. Refer to cultural groups using terms that members of the group prefer (e.g., many people resent the term “ minority” or “ nonwhite.” Preferred terms are often based on nationality, such as Japanese or Lakota).
5. Substituting culturally specific images, spokespeople, language, or other executional detail is not sufficient unless the messages have been tested and found to resonate with the intended audience.
6. Use the language of the intended audience, carefully developed and tested with the involvement of the audience.
You may have a message that you want to target to a particular cultural group in which you need to take specific cultural factors into consideration. For example, if you have developed a suicide prevention hotline for Asian Americans that provides services in a variety of Asian languages, you would not want the hotline number to contain a number that means death in any of the Asian cultures. Colors also have a wide variety of meanings in different cultures, so do your research. Also, some cultures do not respond well to health messages that try to induce change through fear, so be cautious of the images that you use. Of course, be sure to deliver your message at the appropriate language(s) and literacy levels.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.