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The Effect Of Western And Traditional Societies Orientation Of Time On People

2234 words - 9 pages

The Effect Of Western And Traditional Societies Orientation Of Time On People

People living Traditional and Western societies are influenced by their society’s orientation of time. The orientation of time in Western and Traditional societies is different. Traditional societies are oriented in the past and practice a monocronic time system, which emerged from primitive societies. In contrast, Western societies are oriented in the future and practice a polychronic time system, which originates from the technological developments of time keeping and time discipline. The difference in time orientation, of Traditional and Western societies, produces a contrast in the behavior of people living in those societies. The contrast of human behavior is evidence that people, living in Traditional and Western societies, are influenced by their societies orientation of time.
People are influenced by the society they belong to and socially learn how to behave to meet the conditions of social life. “An individual’s actions are oriented to meeting the conditions of social life.” (Swanson 1992) In order for people to meet the conditions of social life, they must learn from one another. Social learning, such as teaching and imitation, are ways information is passed from one generation to the next. In the context of time orientation, "Every child learns a time perspective that is appropriate to the values and needs of his society" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 227). People learn their societies time orientation; as a result, they modify their behavior to meet the conditions of the society.
People within Traditional societies learn to be oriented in the past; whereas, people in Western societies learn to be oriented in the future. The study of how people behave in response to their societies past or future time orientation is called Chronemics. Within the discipline of chromatics are monochronic and polychronic time systems. People living in Traditional societies have learned a polychronic time system. People living in Western societies have learned a monocronic time system.
A polychronic time system is the practice of doing more than one activity at a time. In this practice, time is scheduled cyclically, by merging scheduled and un-scheduled activities. People who practice this system live within Traditional societies. Examples of Traditional polycronic societies are: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China, Mexico, New Orleans, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, and many locations in Africa. (Chronemics)
The foundation of what makes up polycronic societies emerges from primitive societies awareness of time. The development of primitive societies awareness of time, from past, present, to future with the application of time awareness thru rituals, traditions and work, exemplifies how polychronics originated, and reveals the basic structure of a polyconic time system.
Primitive people became aware of a mortal concept of time. They realized...

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