Culture Essays (Examples)

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Cultural studies is an emerging field that falls under the rubric of multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary studies. Cultural studies focuses on culture. Culture is defined in various ways, but generally includes: group knowledge, beliefs, values, experiences, religion, philosophies, beliefs about the universe, belongings, notions of property, traditions, beliefs about time, social roles, gender roles, ways of conceptualizing spatial relationships, symbols, meanings, attitudes, and hierarchies. Culture refers to group beliefs, but it can refer to a broad group, such as a national culture, or a smaller sub-group that exists within the larger group.

In many ways, culture refers to daily life and how groups of people live their daily lives. Therefore, culture is not a static concept, but a changing concept, which evolves for various reasons. Technology, immigration, emigration, changing gender norms, and scientific advances are just a few of the variables that can drive cultural change. Moreover, people experience several layers of culture: national, regional, religious, gender, generational, social class, racial, educational, and workplace are all common layers of culture, all of which may impact the individual in different, sometimes conflicting, ways.

Cultural determinism is a theory that culture is transmitted through learned values, beliefs, ideas, and meanings, and that this learned culture determines human nature. While this theory would seem to limit human ability because people learn what it means to be human from their surrounding culture, it actually suggests no limitations on human ability; as long as people can learn behaviors, they can change. However, it also suggests that conditioning is extremely powerful and that while people can make changes after being exposed to different cultures, those changes are unlikely because they have already been conditioned to accept one version of humanity.

Cultural relativism takes the view that no culture is superior to any other culture. Therefore, no society can be considered normative. This position is relevant to members of all cultures, because, since ethics and morals are culturally-based, it suggests that there are not only no universal ethical or moral systems, but also that all ethical and moral systems are inherently equal. Cultural relativism is also known as pluralism and tolerance.

In contrast to cultural relativism, cultural ethnocentrism is a belief that one’s culture is superior to other cultures. This belief can be overt and conscious, where it manifests as overt bigotry, racism, and xenophobia, but it can also be subtle and unconscious, with people judging other people’s cultures by referencing their own culturally-defined values and morals. It is very difficult to be completely objective, but being aware of how your own cultural influences have shaped how you view other cultures is one way to be more tolerant. Gaining information about other cultural practices and why they occur is another way to reduce cultural ethnocentrism.

Learning about culture involves studying many different areas. Earning a cultural studies degree generally involves studying: art, language, gender relationships, families, marriage, laws, philosophy, literature, history, sociology, and communication. Cultural studies majors learn to analyze and critique culture using several methodologies and theories, including: ethnography, class theory, deconstruction, gender theory, and semiotics

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Religious Differences in the United States

Words: 1271 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 40299391

Cultural Differences
The predominant religions of Northern and Western European American and Southern and Eastern European Americans are Protestantism and Catholicism. Prior to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, Europe as a whole was Roman Catholic. That unity of religious expression was shattered when Luther, Calvin, Knox, Henry VIII and others revolted against the Church and preached their own new religious ideas. The aristocracy got behind them in many cases, particularly in the Northern and Western portions or Europe (England, northern Germany, pockets of France), while Southern and Eastern Europe remained attached to the Catholic Church (Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland, southern Germany). The Protestants aligned with Jewish groups, who saw an opportunity to get out of the ghetto by working with the new Protestant aristocracy (Jones, 2014). Jews were welcomed back into England (they had been kicked out for centuries), and they settled in parts of Germany and France.…… [Read More]

References

Diller, J. (2015). Cultural Diversity: A Primer for the Human Services, 5th Edition. Cengage Learning.

Jones, E. M. (2014). Barren metal. Fidelity Press.

Kottak, C. & Kozaitis, K.  (2012). On Being Different: Diversity and Multiculturalism in the North American Mainstream, 4th Edition . McGraw-Hill Higher Education (2012).


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African American Cultural Background

Words: 1343 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53221414

My Cultural Background
As an African American my culture of origin is connected both with the culture of America and with the culture of Africa. My ancestors came to America as part of the slave trade. During that time, they adopted Christianity as their religious culture; so ultimately, the culture of my people is a mix of European, American and African ideas and values. Predominantly, though, the culture of my people is American and Christian. In the 20th century, some people in my community took to practicing Islam as a way to further develop their sense of their African ancestry. Overall, the culture is diverse and depends on many different inputs. This paper will describe some of those inputs, how they impact my community, and show how they are social, cultural, political and economical.
The circumstances under which my people’s culture migrated to the U.S. were not positive: slavery was…… [Read More]

References

Hoel, H. (1999). Personal Names and Heritage: Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’. American Studies in Scandinavia, 31(1), 34-42.

Walker, A. (1973). Everyday Use. Retrieved from http://www.nlsd.k12.oh.us/userfiles/111/Classes/3450/Walker-Everday%20Use.pdf


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Clash of Civilizations

Words: 623 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60924880

In Huntington’s (1993) essay “The Clash of Civilizations?” the political scientist posited that whereas nation states had been aligned previously on cultural terms in the past, in the coming years of the modern world these terms would become disjointed as various cultures emerged or re-asserted themselves. Along these cultural lines, the discourse of modern politics would be situated. In other words, Huntington (1993) viewed the cultures of various civilizations serving as the source of conflict in the coming era. Conflict would not be driven by economics or geopolitical aims but rather by the cultures of the world’s civilizations. This paper will compare and contrast Huntington’s thesis with thesis by Inglehart and Norris (2003) who, in the wake of 9/11, re-assessed Huntington’s idea and found it be half-right; it will argue that Huntington’s thesis remains the correct one and that Inglehart and Norris (2003) are too focused on the minutiae and…… [Read More]

References

Huntington, S. (1993). The clash of civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72(3), 22-49.

Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). The true clash of civilizations. Foreign Policy, 135, 63-70.


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aging and ethnicity demographics america

Words: 1293 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 67707594

Demographics are changing rapidly and dramatically in the United States. People are living longer, but the ethnic composition of the senior age cohort is not the same as it is for the young. While the young generations are becoming more ethnically diverse by the minute, the older generation remains more proportionately white. This demographic shift is being referred to as the “gray and the brown,” with seniors and young brown segments of society having different values, needs, and expectations.
The implications of the grey and the brown phenomenon include changes to public policy, education, healthcare, and political culture in general. Generational differences have perennially affected the different voting patterns among seniors and young people. The differences are not just due to different ideas of how taxpayer funds should be allocated, but also to social norms and institutions. Older age cohorts were raised in a different generation with different values, attitudes,…… [Read More]

References

Amos, J. (2010). The Gray and the Brown: The generational mismatch. https://all4ed.org/the-gray-and-the-brown-the-generational-mismatch/

Brownstein, R. (2015). Brown and grey dynamics. The Atlantic. 9 July, 2015. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/brown-and-gray-dynamics/432273/

Kottak, C. & Kozaitis, K. (2012). On Being Different: Diversity and Multiculturalism in the North American Mainstream, 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill.



 


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Cross Cultural Service

Words: 1922 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 71639891

According to Illich (1968), hypocrisy is, perhaps, an instinctive trait shared by majority of Americans. They are mentally prepared to accept that the motives of potentially legitimizing the 1963 international volunteer action are not applicable when it comes to performing the very same act five years later. “Mission vacations” involving the poor people of Mexico was the trend among wealthy American students during the initial half of the decade. Emotional concerns for the just-found poverty beyond the nation’s southern border, together with utter thoughtlessness to the far severer state of the domestic poor, warranted this benevolence. Intellectual understanding of the challenges linked to successful volunteer action failed to dull the spirits of the soi-disant volunteers, papal volunteers, and Peace Corps (Illich, 1968).
Illich (1968) believed the presence of institutions such as the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects was actually insulting to the Mexican nation. He claimed he felt revolted by…… [Read More]

References

Brinkmann, J. T. (2018, May). The Spirit Catches You: Cultural Collisions and Cooperation in Medical Encounters. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://opedge.com/Articles/ViewArticle/2018-05-01/the-spirit-catches-you-cultural-collisions-and-cooperation-in-medical-encounters

Fadiman, A. (2012). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. Macmillan.

Illich, I. (1968, April). To hell with good intentions. In Conference on Inter-American Student Projects. Cuernavaca, Mexico. Retrieved from http://www.swaraj.org/illich_hell.html

Laws, T., & Chilton, J. A. (2012). Ethics, Cultural Competence, and the Changing Face of America. Pastoral psychology, 62(2), 175-188.


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Lessons about cultural differences

Words: 751 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73905396

Multi-Cultural Competence
The author of this brief reflection and response has learned a great deal when it comes to multi-cultural competence and learning about the same. This brief reflection serves as a recitation of what lessons were learned, why they are important and what the author must and will keep in mind as the learning continues to evolve and thrive. Among many other things, the author has learned that the learning never stops and there are a number of reasons for this. While it is possible to become well-versed in cultures and what makes people different, it would be a mistake to think that there is a point where the learning is no longer necessary or that the changes to culture stop happening.
Learning Explained
The author of this response has learned a few things about culture as part of the learning that has been completed thus far. First, there…… [Read More]

References

Smith, K. (2015). A massive, silent cultural revolution has changed America. New York Post.

Retrieved 9 August 2017, from https://nypost.com/2015/06/06/how-a-massive-silent-

cultural-revolution-has-changed-america/

Waters, A. (2013). Reflections on cultural humility. http://www.apa.org. Retrieved 9 August

2017, from http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2013/08/cultural-

humility.aspx




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Analyzing The Piranha River Story

Words: 625 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 38285931

1. Who do you think is the most horrible person in the story and who do you think is the least horrible? Why? You may want to rank order the characters from “1” being most horrible to “5” being least horrible.
The following are the rankings of the characters in the passage from “1” being most horrible to “5” being least horrible:
i. Beyonce – 5
She could have waited for the bridge to be formed back again or sought out another alternative. The fact that she was laughing at Pat being beaten made her all the more horrible
ii. Pat – 1
Pat was heartbroken and could not believe that his love had sex with another man. He did not deserve being beaten
iii. Gilligan – 5
He is the most horrible person for the reason that he demanded sex in order to provide passage to the other side…… [Read More]

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How to End Conflict

Words: 529 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 78093850

Discussion
Question
I think was Einstein means is that when we create problems we are thinking in a certain way, at a certain level. If we try to solve problems by thinking in the same way or at the same level, it is not going to work. It would just be the definition of insanity all over again—doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The fact is that if we want to solve the problems we create, we have to do something different than what got us in the problem in the first place. As Chapter 6 (n.d.) shows, people who want to settle religious differences by violence are trying to solve the problem in the same way it started, which was through violence. And as Huntington (1993) points out, the clash of civilizations is coming: it will be focused on culture and nothing else.…… [Read More]

References



Chapter 6. (n.d.). Digital File.



Huntington, S. P. (1993). The clash of civilizations. Foreign Affairs.