Through novels and films, we learn about different portrayals of cultural norms and culture conflicts in different parts of the world. A basic tenet of training in cultural competence is that people become aware of the differences and similarities across cultures, allowing them to be more conscious of their own cultural world view, and also better able to deal with any differences and to learn from them. Reading novels and seeing films can help to develop trainees' humanism and capacity for understanding and so facilitate their learning about cultural competence (Fritz & Poe, 1979). One drawback of using films in this way is that the dramatic points in the stories may hinge on social stereotypes. For example, in several recent Hollywood blockbusters the British characters were portrayed as butlers, buffoons or villains using their accent and caricatured appearance to emphasise differences.
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