This diagram is a clear illustration of how values, beliefs and worldview drives behavior. Kwast explains his diagram:
"One helpful method to view a culture [is to visualize] several successive layers or levels of understanding, as one [moves from observable behavior] into the real heart of the culture. . .
"Values in a culture are not selected arbitrarily, but invariably reflect an underlying system of beliefs. . .
"At the very heart of any culture is its world view. . . Sometimes people who share the gospel cross-culturally fail to take the problem of world view into account and are therefore disappointed by the lack of genuine change their efforts produce."
Diagram and quotes taken from "Understanding Culture" by Lloyd Kwast, published in the revised or second edition of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, © 1992 by William Carey Library
Lloyd Kwast's model of culture is, as Kwast himself admits, "far too simple to explain the multitude of complex components and relationships that exist in every culture." It can, however, be a beginning point.
Coping with culture shock
How do we cope with the stresses we encounter in living cross-culturally? Can we survive culture shock? [ read more ]
Howard Culbertson, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-491-6693 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2000, 2001 - Last Updated: January 19, 2010 | URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/kwast.htm