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You Must Be American notes how culture shapes our senses, and the author has used different studies to illustrate the subjects. It is clear from the article that environment or cultures influence people’s perception, which in turn shapes…
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Analysis of Article: How Culture Shapes Our Senses The article, Can’t Place That Smell? You Must Be American s how culture shapes our senses, and the author has used different studies to illustrate the subjects. It is clear from the article that environment or cultures influence people’s perception, which in turn shapes their senses. Similarly, it is true that sensory perception is about cultural training of attention and one’s biological capacity.
The study has provided qualitative evidence on how language and culture affect sensory awareness using 20 different cultural groups around the world. People are very familiar with the identification of ordinary things or smells because of their familiarity. They are in constant touch with them, hence able to identify them. The familiarity of common substances also makes it easy for English speaking to identify them without having trouble. However, it becomes difficult when one is presented with unfamiliar content, not common to the culture where one belongs. This is so because our senses are unable to recall since there is less interaction with the objects.
The above concept was proved when the research team presented what ought to be familiar to Americans, they gave terrible naming to them, and the majority did not have an idea. Contrarily, there was a positive result in the Jahai, rain forest as the foragers were familiar with scratch-and-sniff cards. They were also as good at smelling as seeing. This proved the central subject that cultures dictate individual’s senses.
Therefore, it is clear that culture plays a significant role in determining individual’s sensory awareness. What people keep in touch most of the time sticks in their memory to shape them. Moreover, people are unable to identify smells they are unfamiliar with since they do not associate with their culture.
Luhrmann, T. M. (2014). Can’t Place That Smell? You Must Be American. Retrieved from
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