Etiquette and Taboos around the World
A Geographic Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Customs
by Ken Taylor and Victoria Williams, Editors
October 2017, 373pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3820-0
$121, £94, 106€, A166
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3821-7
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In what countries could a handshake or hug be a social faux pas? Why might ordering a dish made with pork be offensive? In what cultures is the Western “thumbs-up” gesture considered rude?

An interesting resource for learning about the cultural differences and characteristics of people across the globe, this encyclopedia covers the 'do's' and 'don'ts' of a breadth of countries and major ethnic groups.

Readers of this one-volume reference will gain useful knowledge of what travelers should and shouldn’t do when in countries outside of the United States. After a general introduction, approximately 100 alphabetically arranged entries cover topics such as greeting and meeting, appearance and dress, table manners, body language, social situations and hospitality, verbal communications, business etiquette, religious etiquette, gift-giving, and even “netiquette” regarding social media.

Sidebars and images throughout make the text more accessible and engaging, and additional readings at the end of each entry as well as the bibliography offer opportunities for further research on the subject. The content also directly supports the National Geography Standards and the AP Human Geography curriculum for high school students as they learn about the cultural differences and characteristics of people in major ethnic groups across the globe.


  • Provides comprehensive coverage of many of the world's countries and cultures that enables readers to make insightful cross-cultural comparisons
  • Directly supports the National Geography Standards by examining cultural mosaics
  • Provides relevant and useful information for readers preparing for study-abroad excursions or other international travel
Ken Taylor, PhD, is professor of urban missions at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He also holds an MLIS degree and served as an academic librarian. He has written extensively for numerous publications and has experience with various cultures and people groups.

Victoria Williams, PhD, is an independent writer living in London. Her published work includes ABC-CLIO’s Weird Sports and Wacky Games around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbing and Celebrating Life Customs around the World: From Baby Showers to Funerals. Williams has written on a range of other subjects for ABC-CLIO, including Hollywood film (Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia); Mesoamerican mythology (contributions to Conflict in the Early Americas: An Encyclopedia of the Spanish Empire's Aztec, Incan, and Mayan Conquests); and American folklore (American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore). Her doctoral thesis (King's College, London) examined European fairy tales in 19th-century British art and literature and on film.


"For readers wanting detailed, current information on cross-cultural etiquette and breadth of coverage, Etiquette and Taboos is an indispensable purchase. Summing Up: Essential. All public and academic levels/libraries."—Choice, May 2, 2018
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