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Culture and Me - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Culture and me Culture refers to a set of learnt and shared characteristics that rule and identify a given group of people in a society. These characteristics include values, beliefs, norms, rules, customs, and codes that bind different individuals in the social group together…
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Culture and me Culture refers to a set of learnt and shared characteristics that rule and identify a given group of people in a society. These characteristics include values, beliefs, norms, rules, customs, and codes that bind different individuals in the social group together. Culture gives people a sense of commonality and belonging. Values refer to beliefs or ideas that an individual holds as crucial in his or her life, and the person’s judgment of what is wrong and right. Cultural values refer to shared concepts of what contradicts a given social setting. Cultural values identify a set of decisions in regard to what is acceptable and unacceptable in a given community or country. Cultural values learnt affect the behavior of individuals in a given social group. Different cultural groups have different values (Kohls and Knight 5). Culture is a set of values, and different cultures displays values diversity. The most common value in different cultures is the family, which gives individuals a sense of belonging, identity, and security. Religion is a value that identifies culture. Morality and dignity are values that guide people to do what is acceptable in a society, and they form part of the culture. Responsibility and accountability form cultural values which encourage individuals to work hard and account for acceptable behaviors in the society. Other values like patriotism, equality, and justice make up culture. Without values, culture cannot exist, as values shape up culture and give it meaning. A culture not founded on values will fail and suffer from immorality and social friction (Kohls and Knight 16). Cultural goals refer to the main objectives people strive to achieve in a given society and the accepted means of attaining those objectives. Culture is a set of goals, and members of the society should conform to social norms. The members should strive to achieve the set goals. The cultural goals include individual growth and emotional and economical perception. The culture needs to set goals that promote a common belief and enforces actions and decisions for the welfare of the community. The cultures’ goal is to develop adaption means – for example, providing resources – that enable the society to interact with the environment. The society’s capability to make decisions and set future goals fulfills the cultural goals attainment. Social objectives and political oriented resolutions form a part of cultural goals. Cultural goals promote unity among members of the society by ensuring values and norms are fair and consistent. The cultural goal advocates for an educational system to pass on belief system and values to coming generations (Kohls and Knight 29). Structural functionalism refers to a sociological theory that explains society as a complex system with parts working together to improve stability and solidarity. The theory focuses on the relationships between social institutions making up a society and their impact on the society’s functions. Structural functionalism is comprised of cohesive groups or institutions sharing the same norms and a definitive culture. The theory advocates that the positive and negative aspects balance in a society (Kohls and Knight 23). Canada has two main cultures, European and American, and two languages, English and French. Time orientation varies in Canada and Saudi Arabia. In Canada, people are monochromic in that they tend to complete one task at a time and observe punctuality. They have time schedules such as time for playing and for working. There are timetables and times for picking buses and doing other things. In Saudi Arabia, people are polychromic and flexible about schedules. Socializing and attending to relationships are a priority to them. They work and socialize at the same time, and do many things at once. There are no timetables, and people just walk and wait for buses in designated areas in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, official meetings start with socializing while it is not so in Canada where meeting agendas have time limits (Kohls and Knight 10). The context of communication in Canada is in high end text and indirect whereas Saudi Arabia uses low end text which mostly involves verbal communication. In Canada, the goals of a person are more valued and individuals are rewarded for individualism. In Saudi Arabia, the needs and goals of a group are more valued than an individual’s goals. In Canada, everyone is capable and can do any job regardless of gender. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive or be driven by men they do not know. In Canada, women can dress how they please according to their personal needs. Saudi Arabian women have a certain established way of dressing and cannot expose any part of their body. Most of the time, women stay at home in Saudi Arabia, whereas Canadian women have equal opportunities with men both at home and at the workplace (Kohls and Knight 12). In conclusion, different groups of people have different cultures as illustrated by the discussion above. Works Cited Kohls, L. R., and Knight, J. M. Developing Intercultural Awareness: A Cross-Cultural Training Handbook. Yarmouth ME: Intercultural Press, 1994. Print. Read More
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