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Cultural Differences - Research Paper Example

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 This study sets out to explore cultural differences, what they mean, and their implications. The paper discusses two multicultural concepts, analyze them, and examine the significance they have in the understanding of cultural differences prevalent in the society. …
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Cultural Differences
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Download file to see previous pages  According to Royce (1982), there exist differences among all cultures of the world; these differences emanate from the fact that each group has its own norms, belief system, and values. The cultural differences prevalent in most parts of the world mean that people behave in accordance with their culture. Moreover, people tend to hold dear their values, morals, and ways of life. As a result, the traditions of any group of people are held sacred and should be adhered to by the members of the ethnic group. Those who violate the laid down norms may face punishment from the entire society. Therefore, a society may apply some sanctions for undesirable behavior; for example, wrongdoers may be ostracized or alienated from the other members of the society. However, the amount of punishment differs from society to society due to the varying cultural beliefs. Ethnic Identity Ethnic identity is a diverse term which has no universally accepted meaning. However, scholars have advanced the definition of ethnic identity to mean the relationship of a person as he or she relates to his or her society. Specifically, ethnic identity refers to a construct that affiliates the individual to the rest of the group. Ethnic identity refers to the view of a person by themselves and others as belonging to a certain group. A person chooses to identify with a group that tends to be available for him or her whenever he or she needs the group or a group, which acknowledges him. For example, a person can choose to affiliate with a group that has the same ethnic heritage (Banks, 1996). According to Banks (1996), in ethnic identity, the affiliation with a group can be in terms of cultural, natal, racial, and symbolic factors. Natal factors can be regarded as the ancestral attributes of a person; for example, the homeland of a person, origin of parents, and the origin of kin. Racial factors entail the use of physical characteristics as well as physiognomic attributes. On the other hand, symbolic factors refer to the characteristics that tend to be typical of a certain ethnic group. Examples of symbolic factors include clothing, foods, holidays, artifacts, among other attributes shared by a group of persons. Cultural factors involve the behavior patterns exemplified by the group; it may also include the shared values and customs of a group. For most people in the world, ethnic identity forms the basis of national identity; as such, people tend to identify themselves with their ethnic groups. People belonging to the same ethnic group tend to share some attributes which are distinct from other ethnic groups. Moreover, ethnicity signals some form of physical traits, cultural similarities, an enduring descent, and a blood relationship. Apart from these similarities, people belonging to the same ethnic group tend to have some commonalities which include a common language, similar traditions, common religion, and a history that they can share (Royce, 1982). To a large extent, ethnic identity forms the basis for understanding the diverse differences among cultures. People tend to strongly identify with their respective ethnic groups. By belonging to an ethnic group, a person declares a certain ethnic identity and continues to demonstrate acceptable behavior which is characteristic of that group.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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