Man: When most couples married, they may discuss some things in advance like how many children they want or where they want to live. But most of the day-to-day details or problems of married life work out after marriage. Not so with Steven Karen Parsons who have a 15-page prenuptial agreement that states the rules they must follow in almost every aspect of their married life. Today, Karen is here with us.
Man: Karen, first I’d like to ask you why you decided to write this agreement. You’ve both been married before. Am I right?
Woman: Yes, I’ve been married twice and Steve was married once before. So we have some experience about what goes wrong in a marriage.
Man: And that’s why you wrote this agreement.
Woman: Yes, we found that many problems happen when a person has different expectations from his or her spouse. We want to talk about everything openly and honestly before we start living together. Also, we both know how important it is to respect each other’s quotes. We’re all bothered by things that seems small to someone else, like it used to really bother me when my ex-husband let his dirty clothes on the floor. So we put that in the agreement: dirty clothing must be put in a laundry bag. Now Steve knows what my expectations are.

Man: I’m sure that some people hearing this report will think this contract isn’t very romantic.
Woman: Well, we disagree. We think it’s very romantic. Disagreement shows that we set down and talked and really try to understand the other person. A lot of problems occur in a marriage because people don’t talk about what they want. That’s right. When we disagree about something, we work out solution. That’s good for both of us. I’d much rather do that than get some romantic gifts like flowers or candy.

Man: Some of these rules sound like, well, a business agreement. Many of your rules concern money in some way, even the rules about having children.

Woman: In our experience, disagreements about money can cause a lot of problems, so we talked about how we want to spend our money and put that in the agreement as well.

Man: So do you spend a lot of time checking on each other to see if the rules are being followed?

Woman: No, not at all. And we don’t argue about them, either. As a matter of fact I think we spend less time arguing than most couples. Because we both know what the other person expects. We can spend our time doing things we enjoy and just being with each other.
Man: What happens if one of you breaks the rule.?

Woman: We don’t think that will be a problem. No, because we do agree on these rules.

Man: But what if, say, you don’t want to cook dinner one night, what happens?

Woman: Well, we talk about it and reach a compromise. Maybe there’s a good reason.

Man: But if you break a lot of rules all the time?
Woman: Then we have to ask ‘Is this marriage really working?’ Because if we can’t follow all our own agreement. There’s no point making it.
Man: So it sounds like you two are happy with this agreement. Do you think other couples should follow your example and write the prenuptial agreement of their own?

Woman: “So a lot of work to write an agreement, but I think it could be useful to a lot of people. Maybe there would be fewer divorces if everyone did this.

Q11. About which of the following topics is the woman been interviewed?
Q12. What can we learn about the man and the woman from the interview?
Q13. According to the woman, why did so many problems happen in a marriage?
Q14. What does the woman think of this contract?
Q15. What happens if one of the couple sometimes breaks a rule of the contract?



关键词:prenuptial agreement,agree, disagree,


Today we are going to talk about cross-cultural perceptions of time. Different cultures often have entirely different perceptions of time. The cultural anthropologist Edward T Hall popularized the idea that cultures use time and view time in very different ways. The idea of the past, present and future and the whole concept of scheduling or managing time can be so different that it leads to cross-cultural miscommunications. In his 1990 book,The Dance of Life, Hall writes time is one of the fundamental bases, on which all cultures rest, and around which all activities revolve. Understanding the difference between monochronic time and polychronic time is essential to success. Hall's notion of monochronism and polychronism can be understood as follows: monochronic time is linear, events scheduled one at a time, one event following another. To a monochronic culture, this type of schedule is valued over interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, polychronic time is characterized by many things happening simultaneously. In addition, interpersonal relationships are highly valued in polychronic cultures. Hall's theory is that monochronic time can be found primarily in North American and northern European cultures. These cultures emphasize schedules, punctuality and preciseness. They also emphasize doing things. They are cultures that value productivity, that value getting things done on time. They view time as something that can be lost, killed or wasted. Or conversely, they view as something that can or should be managed, planed and used efficiently. Polychronic time, on the other hand, can be found primarily in Latin American, African, and Native American cultures. Their conception of time is more connected to natural rhythms. It is connected to the earth, to the seasons. This makes sense when we consider that natural events can occur spontaneously, sporadically or concurrently. Polychronic cultures view time as being somewhat flexible. Since life isn't so predictable, scheduling and being processed simply isn't that important. In addition, relationships with people are valued more than making schedules. There is more value placed on being than on doing. Different cultural perceptions of time can lead to conflict, especially in the business world. The idea of being late versus on time for a meeting, for example, might differ widely between an American business person and a Brazilian. The American business person might be far less tolerant of a Brazilian's late arrival. However, the Brazilian business person might be offended by an American's insistence on punctuality, or on getting right down to business. The Brazilian would generally prefer to finish talking with colleagues first and would not want to cut conversation short in order to make an appointment. Some traditional time management programs used in the business world might not translate well in another culture. Traditional time management programs in the business world emphasize to-do-list and careful scheduling. They are monochronic. However, a business in a polychronic culture might not adjust well to that system. Companies, who impose those monochronic systems on places of business in polychronic cultures, might be guilty of ethno-centrism, which means making their own ethnical cultural values central and not valuing other values. Edward Hall's theory of monochronic and polychronic cultures has been challenged by some critics. Some people think it is overly general. They argue that within any culture group we might find people who think of time differently. In other words, a primarily polychronic culture might have both monochronic and polychronic types of people. The same diversity among individuals might be found in a primarily monochronic culture. Critics of anthropologist like Edward Hall feel that it is more useful to think of time differences among individuals, not just between culture groups.

Q 16 Which of the following topics is the person talking about?
Q 17 What can we learn about Monochronism from the cultural anthropologist Edward T Hall?
Q 18 Which of the following statements apply to Polychronism according to Edward Hall?
Q 19 In the business world, who would prefer to finish talking with colleagues before keeping an appointment?
Q 20 Edward Hall's theory has been challenged by some critics. What do these critics think of his theory?

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