Gbm/480 Culture Paper

1065 words - 4 pages

Culture has many different meanings to many different people. Defining culture in a quick and simple manner could be simply stating that culture is a way of life. In a broader sense, culture encompasses many areas such as behaviors, values, beliefs, traditions, religion, oral language, and body language. Additionally, within a nation, culture exists in various levels including the national level, regional level, social level, generational level, and gender level.At the national level, culture in one country can be compared to culture in another country. At the regional level, language and religious differences come into play among the various regions within a country. Socially, culture is associated with educational and occupational differences. Cultures can also vary widely from generation to generation as grandparents, parents, and children often form their own cultural beliefs. Finally, in most societies, cultural differences can be found between the male and female genders.Cultural differences can be presented in different ways and at different levels. On the surface, symbols can be on the lower levels of the cultural aspects. People sharing a culture tend to find symbols such as gestures, words, and pictures to have particular meanings. On a higher level, values can form the core of culture in a society. Values include intangible practices that one is not able to observe. These practices would include acting ethically, knowing right from wrong, and knowing the difference between good and evil, and living life following those values.Culture is also not permanent or fixed in a society. Over time, cultures will change and evolve and current attitudes most likely will change in the future (Daniels, et al, 2007, Chap 2, p.50). Change may take place by choice or could be imposed and can come about as a reaction to social or economic changes that bring new opportunities or ways of life. An example would be bringing manufacturing jobs to a country that is primarily rural where most individuals have jobs in agriculture. Lifestyle changes take place as the working hours change, family life changes, social interaction within families change (Daniels, et al, 2007, Chap 2, p.52). Change by imposition is done in the form of cultural imperialism. This occurs when the culture and language of one nation is promoted in another country and occurs more so when the former is a large powerful nation and the latter a small poor one. "This can take the form of active, formal policy or a general attitude. Empires throughout history have been established using war and physical compulsion. In the long term populations have tended to be absorbed into the dominant culture, or acquire its attributes indirectly (Websters, 2008).In recent history, cultural imperialism has been connected strongly to two countries: United States and Soviet Union. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union have strong influence on neighboring nations and many other countries feel the cultural...

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