Communication Eskimos When We Think essay

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This value plays a key role in the manner with which the Eskimos interact with each other as well as with other people. This value is taught very early in the life of every Eskimo. In the article published by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada (2006), this value was explained as, "this belief causes Inuit to often feel a certain degree of discomfort when exercising authority over other Inuit, even if the position they hold necessitates such authority." It is said that Eskimos are not very likely to welcome someone who is trying to direct them and their actions. This value that the Eskimos uphold, plays a crucial role in the way employers act with their Eskimo employees.

The value of leadership is also important to Eskimos. However, leadership is on a different level among Eskimos. Unlike the usual leader who delegates tasks to people, for the Eskimos, the leader is expected to lead "by example and by taking the initiative rather than delegating people to certain tasks" (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006).

Direct requests are said to be considered by Eskimos as rude and aggressive. Requests are made through indirect hints. According to the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada (2006), "a direct request would be seen as placing the guest in the lesser social position and would insult the host for not having the insight or consideration to perceive the wishes of his guest." Moreover, direct requests also place the host in "an awkward position if he is not able to fulfill the desire of his guest or did not feel comfortable granting him his request" (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006).

Eskimos are also said to find it "uncomfortable to respond to direct questions concerning other people and their motives" (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006). Eskimos believe that it is a violation of a person's privacy if they speak about that person who is absent. It is the Eskimos way not to explain their behavior or to tell other people of their plans as in doing so, they feel that these actions would compromise their independence. This value of independence which also translates to not talking about their motives and their plans affects the way Eskimos interact with other people who do not share their culture. The Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada (2006) noted that this value leads to troubles in interacting with formal agreements like rental leases or re-payment of debts since Eskimos believe that they have the right to change their minds without notifying or consulting other people, even those who might be affected by the decision. This is also said to be an apparent source of frustration and misunderstanding when Eskimos do not keep their appointments or come to work late.

Among Eskimos, expressing affection in public is reserved only for children. Public displays of affection such as kissing or hugging between adults are not considered as proper behavior.

When it comes to showing emotions, Eskimos consider displaying strong emotions in public as immature (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006). However, emotions are expressed in public only within small and more intimate groups. They way they express their emotions are very subtle. "Inuit often express their emotions very subtly, in the tone of voice or the lifting of eyebrows." (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006) They are very good at picking up both verbal and non-verbal cues, "Inuit are adept at picking up the slight intonations and facial expressions from each other that reflect emotional states" (Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, 2006).


Eskimo. (2009). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online:

Alaska: History, Geography, Population, and State Facts. (2007). In Infoplease 2000-2007 Pearson Education. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from Infoplease:

Fienup-Riordan, a. (1990). Eskimo Essays: Yup'ik Lives and How We See Them. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Fitzhugh, W. (2004). Eskimo. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from

Hata, K. (n.d.). Inuit / Eskimo Society. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from

Inuit. (2008). In Every Culture. Retrieved April 13, 2009, from (2001). The Native Peoples of Alaska. Retrieved April 12, 2009, from

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. (2006). The Inuit Way: A Guide to Inuit Culture. Retrieved April 13, 2009, from

Schaefer, O. (n.d.). Eskimo Personality and Society -- Yesterday and Today. Retrieved April 13, 2009, from[continue]

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