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The Heartbeat of Culture - Essay Example

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The article Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture 1985 by Levine Robert provides a comprehensive survey of different cultures in six countries. In great content, he documents the pace of life in different countries such as England, Italy, Taiwan, Indonesia, and America. …
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101 Response Essay 10/09/13 Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture The article Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture 1985 by Levine Robert provides acomprehensive survey of different cultures in six countries. In great content, he documents the pace of life in different countries such as England, Italy, Taiwan, Indonesia, and America. Levine based his research on three factors, which are the accuracy of the country’s clock, the speed at which pedestrians walk, and the average time that postal clerk sell stamps. Although some critics believe that these factors are minor to determine the pace of life, the fact of the matter is that these factors are accurate in defining culture. It is crucial to note that, punctuality is restricted to some societies. It is undeniable fact that different cultures have different impression about time. In essence, some countries are more considerate about time. For instance, when one has an appointment, one is expected to be on time or earlier in America. According to the author, Americans are unlike Brazilians who rarely keep time. It has also been observed that, American students keep time and finish their projects on time. According to this article, Americans are known for their punctuality. They do their best to be on time and in most cases many would attend meetings earlier that the time scheduled. Form most Americans, punctuality is a strong attribute since it defines the efficiency of a person. With the fast-paced lifestyle of Americans, most people have established the need to keep time. The author captivates readers’ attention when he outlines how most American students would leave the classroom without permission. For them, leaving the classroom is not a sign of disrespect but a sign of being busy. In such instances, the article perfectly reveal that the professor may assume that the student have other classes or have other appointments to attend. It may be funny for some people to hear that Brazilians consider lateness as a badge of honour. According to this culture, a person who is always late pictures a successful person. In other words, the person who enters a room latest is assumed to be the most successful among the people present. This is based on the fact that, a successful person has a lot of things to do aside from gong to the office and studying and this explains why he is always late. For instance, attending a conference when it nearly ends, gives the impression that the person came from other equally important appointments. In my opinion, I believe that this might be the reason why Brazilians do not feel ashamed about their tardiness and it has become quite a part of their lifestyle and culture. Brazilians timepieces are consistently inaccurate and nobody minds. The author drew his conclusion on Brazilians experiences in a day. Although the author provides facts of how Brazilians are inaccurate on time, the three timepieces of the people he asked in the school may not speak for Brazilians in general. There are more chances that the clock he observed that day stopped working that morning and remedies were still undertaken. Brazilian timepieces may vary in the time that they show perhaps in a matter of a few minutes as most individuals would prefer to adjust their time in order to give leeway to some disturbances along the way but not having a difference of half an hour or more. In my opinion, the clocks mentioned in the article may not fully conclude that Brazilians do not care about time. Adequate research should be conducted to fully support the hypothesis drawn from the article. According to this article, different cultures have their shortcomings in managing time. The two major types of managing time are unsorted and sequential way. The sequential way is the most preferred method in the Northern Europ e and other western countries. For instance, in the U.S, many people make notes of every schedule and event. People who manage their time in sequential way do one thing or event at a time. In unsorted culture, plans may be easily changed. In this aspect, many people may value interactions and relationships with others. India is a perfect example of such a culture. Based on the two concepts of managing time, it is evident that Americans believe in keeping time and schedule of events while Indians plans may be easily changed. From the ongoing discussion, it is evident that different cultures have different views and opinions about punctuality. As highlighted in the article, Americans are more punctual than Brazilians and India. Although the article is great in content, there are various things that the author fails to mention. Specifically, the article fails to recognize that punctuality depends on generation or an individual’s belief. For instance, the current generation is very strict about punctuality. Regardless of the culture, an individual may believe that punctuality is a key to succeed in life or some may not believe in punctuality or time management. Thus far, this paper has discussed about the heartbeat of culture as discussed by Levine’s article. Read More
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