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Self Esteem In Our Culture Essay

1554 words - 6 pages

Self Esteem and Culture
Self esteem is all about how much people value them self, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. A person who has high self esteem will make friends easily, is more in control of his or her behavior and will enjoy life more (Heine). To begin you must understand that there is a difference between high self esteem, arrogance, and pride.
Arrogance is a negative trait in which one thinks high of them self, compares themselves with others and believes they are better than everyone else (Matsumoto). Arrogance is a false sense of self worth. An arrogant person lacks an intrinsic sense of their own goodness. Pride is a sense of responsibility toward everything such that you aim at doing. Someone with pride tires their best at everything they do and when they succeed they feel good. Self esteem is a sense of feeling at peace with yourself when you have done the right thing in the best possible manner. There is no discrepancy between who they are and what they believe in (Mortenson).
It is generally accepted that people seek to maintain, enhance, and protect their self-esteem. Although there may be cultural variability in its expression, the tendency to seek self-esteem is well established in Western cultures (Tse). The manner in which individuals foster their self-esteem has a great deal to do with their behavior and the consequences to others. Cultural factors can have a strong influence on how individuals evaluate and present themselves to others. Research shows that people from Japan, China and the Philippines tend to devalue themselves when presented with self appraisal (Heine). Self esteem is a well established concept in America. It is important in a person?s development and the strengthening of ones personality. African American women have a rich legacy of being spiritually strong, energetic, enterprising and self-reliant women who have successfully overcome many obstacles to make invaluable contributions to the betterment of humanity. African-American students who attend predominantly African-American high schools report higher self-esteem than African-American teenagers who attend predominantly white high schools (Matsumoto). Chinese teens, who think of themselves as fat, even if they were normal or underweight, are at a greater risk for depression and school-related stress, a new USC study has found. Research has shown that American and Australian adolescents, in general, have higher self-esteem or ego strength than do Indian and Irish adolescents.
Independent self-conceptions emphasize the uniqueness of the individual and the separation of self from others. Interdependent self-conceptions stress the connectedness of the person to the group and to fitting in with one's group (Matsumoto). The same processes of self-concept formation may apply in both types of cultures, but with different emphases. For...

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