What Is Considered Western Culture

Western culture

It is sometimes referred to as “Western civilization,” “Western lifestyle,” or “European civilization.” Western culture is a term that refers to a body of social norms and ethical values, as well as customs, belief systems, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies, all of which have some connection to or origin in Europe, as well as specific artifacts and technologies that have some connection to or origin in Europe.

Countries whose histories have been substantially influenced by European immigration, such as those in the Americas and Australasia, have come to be referred to as “European countries,” and the word is no longer exclusive to the European continent.

It is influenced by the cultural heritage of Celtic, Germanic and Hellenic peoples, as well as Jewish, Slavic, Latin, and other ethnic and linguistic groups, as well as Christianity, which has played a significant role in the development of Western civilization since at least the 4th century.

The values of Western culture have, throughout history, been derived from political philosophy, broad application of rational reasoning in favor of freethought, assimilation of human rights, the necessity of equality, and democratic principles of government.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Christianization continued to develop, as did reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, and with globalization triggered by successive European empires, which spread European ways of life and European educational methods throughout the world between the 16th and 20th centuries.

The development of rational thinking took place during a lengthy period of change and formation, which included the experiments of the Enlightenment and scientific advances.

Politics pluralism, major subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), and rising cultural syncretism – as a result of globalization and human migration – are some of the characteristics that have come to define contemporary Western nations.

What Exactly is “Western Culture”?

Alyssa Long created the illustration. Sofia LyonNathan is a Staff Writer and a Contributing Writer for the Associated Press. “Western culture” is a nebulous word that is frequently heard in academic settings. Although experts agree on the definition of “western,” it is difficult to determine which cultures and peoples are included within the category of “western.” While much of it may be explained by the rigidity of academic life, the divide between “western” and “non-western” culture does point to a more comprehensive knowledge of world culture.

  1. In Greece, thousands of years ago, “the West” with all of its accomplishments in culture and science was formally established.
  2. It is believed that they traveled westward in the wake of the fall of the Roman Empire and then continued to wander even further west until they reached America.
  3. For stuff as wide as culture, architecture, fundamental thinking, storytelling methods, principles of law and government and so on and so forth it is hard to describe adequately with a single word or concept alone.
  4. There are significant differences between both schools of thinking in terms of their views on how the world and society should be managed.
  5. “The West,” on the other hand, is fiercely individualistic, encouraging each individual to carve out their own niche in society.
  6. As a result, the term “western culture” appears to be a rather arbitrary distinction used across academic disciplines to characterize ideological, cultural, and ethnic consistency among European and derived countries.
  7. They are barred from participating in the activities of Western Europe, and they have also been subjected to extensive cultural assimilation at the hands of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern powers.

What has also been previously mentioned is its application in dividing the world into “the East” and “the West,” a division that is almost entirely based on differences in historical technological development and differences in major philosophical schools that govern political and cultural mentalities.

Ultimately, these core ideologies fostered the formation of other cultural variants.

Vanity, fame, and social media cultures all arose from the same self-interested tendency of Western mentality, in a similar way.

An academic dichotomy is a contrast that shouldn’t be discussed in greater depth than it is worth. There have been larger divisions in the evolution of international culture, which is reflected in this passage.

Western Countries 2022

The Western World, commonly known as simply the West, is a word that can indicate a variety of things depending on who is speaking and the context in which they are speaking. There have been instances where it has been wrongly used as a synonym for nations in the Western Hemisphere, or even for Western Europe on its own. However, the underlying meaning of the phrase is a little more complicated. Not geographical location, but cultural (or, where applicable, political or economic) identities of the nations in issue are used to define the “Western World,” according to the most frequently recognized modern definition.

The Origin of the term “The Western World”

The acts of the Roman emperor Diocletian in 285-286 CE resulted in the division of his empire into two halves, each with its own capital, administration, and church. This was the beginning of the notion of the “Western World.” Italy and the European and African nations to the west of it comprised what is now known as the Western Roman Empire, sometimes known as the Occident (Latin for “sunset” or “western”), which was divided into two halves. On the other hand, there was the Eastern Roman Empire, often known as the Orient (Latin meaning “rising” or “east”), which included Greece, Egypt, and the areas that are today Turkey, Syria, Israel, and other nations in the Middle Eastern region.

A result of these disparate circumstances, the Roman Catholic Church, which served the old Western Roman Empire, and the Eastern Orthodox Church, which served the former Eastern Roman Empire, were at odds with one another.

This antagonism contributed to the widening of the political and cultural divide between the two sides, as well as the propagation and reinforcement of the idea that the two sides were fundamentally different.

Although this original definition is no longer in use, it is still painfully inadequate because it excludes new Western World countries such as Australia and New Zealand (both “Western” countries that are geographically located in the Eastern Hemisphere), as well as the entirety of North and South America, as well as the rest of the world.

Westernization and the new Western World

Immediately following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Western civilization underwent a rapid transformation, inspired by the traditions of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Age of Enlightenment, among other factors. More importantly, once Western European countries such as France, Spain, and Great Britain were denied access to the Silk Road in 1453 CE, they dispatched explorers all over the world in quest of new trade routes and new regions. These explorers cleared the way for “Western” civilization to spread all over the world, from the newly “found” Americas to the islands of Oceania and everywhere in between.

The word “Western culture” is used to refer to a vast range of traditions, social conventions, religious beliefs, technological advancements, and political systems in the Western world.

The Cold War West

Following World War II, the phrase “Western World” was given a new political definition: it was used to refer to nations with democratic, capitalist governments that were associated with the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as countries that were not. This collection of nations, known as the “First World countries” or the “Cold War West,” stood in stark contrast to the Second World countries of the Soviet-dominated communist Soviet bloc, which were led by the Soviet Union.

The Rich West

The “Rich West” is a contemporary variant of the Western World that is less well-known and is primarily used when discussing and comparing country economies. According to this definition, the Western World is comprised of European-established nations with GDPs per capita more than US$10,000. This barrier eliminates numerous Central and South American nations that are included in the other definitions, but it includes a number of former communist countries that were not members of the Cold War Western alliance.

The modern meaning of the Western World (the Latin West)

As of today, the most frequently accepted description of the Western World, sometimes known as the “Latin West,” is completely cultural in nature rather than geographical in nature. According to this definition, the Western World includes all of the nations of Western Europe as well as those countries that have been influenced by Western European culture. For example, countries such as the United States and Australia, which were once British colonies and which adopted Western European Christianity (Catholic and Protestant churches), which use the Latin alphabet, and whose populations include a large number of people descended from European colonists, are examples of such countries.

In addition, the Western World typically includes the Middle East and North Africa.

The first is the Orthodox World, which includes nations in Eastern Europe such as Russia, Greece, and Slovakia.

The second region is Latin America, which includes nations such as Mexico, Peru, and the rest of Central and South America. As previously said, these groups may be considered to be a part of the Western World or they may be considered to be separate entities.

The non-Western world

Of course, many nations are plainly not part of the Western World, the Orthodox World, or Latin America, and they should be considered as such. Social scientists divide these countries into three overlapping regions: the Eastern World, which includes all of Asia and the Middle East; the Arab World, which includes the Middle East and North Africa; and African, which includes the entire continent of Africa and Madagascar. The Eastern World is divided into three overlapping regions: Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Western Civilization

Affectionately referred to as “Western civilization,” it refers to the art, literature, culture, and enduring ideas that emerged from the eastern Mediterranean basin in the centuries before the common age, that developed in a variety of forms throughout the Middle Ages, and that eventually took on their modern form after the Renaissance. Intellectual inquiry among the Greeks spawned the philosophic and scientific thought of Latin and Arabic civilization, which finally gave rise to the ideals of the early modern Enlightenment and the Renaissance.

  • The masterpieces of Renaissance art and literature arose from the traditions of Greek art and literature.
  • It is possible to praise the achievements of Western civilisation without disparaging the achievements of other cultures throughout the world.
  • Western civilisation has created a great deal that is undeniably wonderful, as well as a great deal that is undeniably less than great.
  • When it comes to political theory, who would have the right to assert that Plato is a superior thinker than Mencius?
  • When comparing Picasso’s art to the works of undiscovered African artists, how can we decide which is superior?
  • Not just in the United States, but also across the Americas and, indeed, on every continent, Western ideals about religion, science, politics, and art have had an unequaled impact on the world’s cultures.
  • By fostering this, we are developing human civilisation as well.
  • Over the last decade, the Benson Center has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to activities that promote a deeper understanding of the Western culture, thanks to the extraordinary assistance of individual people who have contributed to the Benson Center.

The following are just a few of the numerous events that we have assisted in sponsoring in recent years.

The Western World

Europe was the birthplace of the notion of “the West.”

  • It was the Greco-Roman Civilizations of antiquity that first coined the term “Western World” or “Western Europe.” As contrast to “oriens,” which indicates rise or east, the term “occidens” (west) originates from the Latin phrase “occidens” (sunset) which denotes west or sunset. Depending on the context, the West or the Western World can be described in a variety of ways. Western Civilization is associated with certain historical periods, such as the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution
  • Nevertheless, Western Civilization is not limited to these times.

The terms “The West” and “The Western World” are frequently used in the context of politics, history, and culture. The word “The West” is also used in the context of religion. But what, precisely, is the Western worldview? What nations are considered to be part of the Western World? Historically, the notion of the West can be traced back to the Greco-Roman Civilizations of antiquity and has evolved over a period of several centuries. Defining the West today, on the other hand, might be problematic due to the fact that the meaning of the West can vary depending on the circumstance.

For example, what many people consider to be the Western world after World War II is vastly different from what many people consider to be the Western world now, as seen in the chart below.

The Concept Of The West History

Ancient Greece as depicted on a map. Photograph courtesy of Megistias/Wikimedia Commons It was in ancient Greece, notably in the years 480-479 BCE, when the ancient Greek city states struggled against the powerfulPersian Empire to the east, when the notion of the Western world, as opposed to other regions of the globe, was first introduced to the world. Unlike the Persians, who the Greeks considered to be dictatorial, they considered themselves to be a people who valued liberty and liberty-loving individuals.

Herodotus’ statue at the ancient city of Halicarnassus, now known as Bodrum in Turkey.

It was the beginning of the notion that the only life worth living was one that was lived in freedom.

It also appears in ancient Greek and Roman theater and poetry, among other places.

The Romans regarded themselves to be of the “occidens,” or occident, which is Latin for “sunset” or “west,” as opposed to the “oriens,” or orient, which is Latin for “rise” or “east.” The “occidens,” or occident, is Latin for “sunset” or “west.” The split of the Roman Empire into two halves, the Eastern and Western portions, is depicted on this map.

  • It was in the fourth century CE that the notion of the West was given a greater geographical context, when the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine, split the Roman Empire into two parts: east and west, respectively.
  • As a result, many individuals in Western Europe were envious of their counterparts in the East, and the Christians of the Byzantine Empire were deemed heretics.
  • Beginning with this moment on, the European Christian church was divided into two major branches: the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East.
  • The expansion of the Ottoman Empire exacerbated tensions in the Christian world while simultaneously strengthening the notion of the Western world as a result of its expansion.
  • It was during this period that the classical books of ancient Greece and Rome were rediscovered, bringing with them the belief that freedom might triumph over dictatorship.
  • A challenge to their freedom-loving, Christian way of life was perceived by the people of Western Europe, who considered the Muslim Ottoman Empire to the east as a menace to their own.
  • The key voyages of the Age of Discovery are depicted on this map.
  • It was at this point that the Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, started, marking the beginning of the period during which so-called Western Civilization would spread beyond Europe to various regions of the world.
  • Established in 1666, the French Academy of Sciences is a learned society dedicated to scientific research.

While many Germans contributed to the development of Western Civilization between 1870 and 1945, Germany was regarded antagonistic to the great Western powers, Britain and France, and as a result was not recognized to be a member of the West from a political position throughout that time period.

During the Cold War, from 1945 to 1989, the Iron Curtain served as a de facto barrier between the capitalist, democratic West and the communist East, creating a situation similar to the one described above.

However, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, the political concept of East versus West became considerably less significant.

As additional nations that were previously part of the communist Eastern Bloc join the European Union and NATO, what is often referred to as the Western World in a political sense has expanded to embrace the majority of Europe, all the way up to the Russian border on the western flank.

The Concept Of The West Today

  1. Greece on a map from antiquity Megistias/Wikimedia Commons is credited with this photograph. It was in ancient Greece, notably in the years 480-479 BCE, when the ancient Greek city states struggled against the powerfulPersian Empire to the east, when the notion of the Western world, as opposed to other regions of the world, was first introduced to humanity. Unlike the Persians, who the Greeks considered to be dictatorial, they considered themselves to be a nation who valued liberty and liberty-loving people. However, despite the fact that they were vastly outnumbered, the Greeks prevailed. Herodotus’ statue at the ancient city of Halicarnassus, which is now known as Bodrum, Turkey. Because free people fight better than slaves, according to Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, the Greeks were able to vanquish the Persians in the face of overwhelming odds. For most of ancient history, this interpretation of the Greek triumph over the Persians was recounted over and over again across the Mediterranean region. In this moment, the notion that the only life worth living was one of liberty came into being. A great deal of classical literature was created with the theme of freedom triumphing over dictatorship. Also in ancient Greece and Rome, it was referenced in the theater and poetry. The Romans are responsible for introducing the geographical framework of the Western world. It was believed that the Romans belonged to the “occidens,” or occident, which is Latin for “sunset” or “west,” as opposed to the “oriens,” or orient, which is Latin for “rising” or “east,” as opposed to the “oriens,” or orient, which is Latin for “sunrise” or “east.” On this map, you can see how the Roman Empire was divided into two parts: the east and the west. Patrick Gray/Flickr is credited with the photo. When the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine, split the Roman Empire between east and west in the fourth century CE, the notion of the West took on a broader geographical meaning. The West Roman Empire was destroyed about a century and a half later, but the East Roman Empire, which would later be known as the Byzantine Empire, would survive for another millennium afterward. Therefore, many individuals in Western Europe admired the eastern world and regarded Christians in the Byzantine Empire to be heretics as a result of this development. When the church in Rome condemned the Patriarch of Byzantium in what became known as the Great Schism in 1054, the split between the Christianity of the east and that of the west came to a head. From this point on, the European Christian church was divided into two major branches: the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East. The Eastern Orthodox Church was established in the East. Because with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, there were conflicts in the Christian world, but it also helped to develop the notion of the Western world. The age of theRenaissancebegan in Western Europe three centuries after that. A revival of classical classics from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the notion of freedom triumphing over dictatorship, took place throughout this period of time. In Western Europe, this theory was widely accepted as fact. A danger to the freedom-loving, Christian way of life in Western Europe was also perceived by the people of the Ottoman Empire, which lay to the east. Indeed, it was the rise of the Ottoman Empire that spurred the rulers of Western Europe to seek for new trade routes and natural resources to supplement their existing infrastructure. The key voyages of the Age of Discovery are depicted on this map. The image was created by Universalis/Wikimedia Commons and used with permission. It was at this point that the Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, started, marking the beginning of the period during which so-called Western Civilization would spread beyond Europe to various regions of the globe. Other historical periods, such as the Age of Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution, were all focused in Western Europe, and as a result, the ideals associated with these times came to be known as Western Civilization. Established in 1666, the French Academy of Sciences is a learned society dedicated to scientific advancement. A number of political definitions of what constitutes the West have evolved during the course of the twentieth century. While many Germans contributed to the development of Western Civilization between 1870 and 1945, Germany was regarded antagonistic to the main Western powers, Britain and France, and as a result was not recognized to be a member of the West from a political viewpoint throughout this time period. As a result, Central Europe served as the hidden frontier of the West. During the Cold War, from 1945 to 1989, the Iron Curtain served as a de facto barrier between the capitalist, democratic West and the communist East, creating a scenario comparable to the present. Europe was clearly split into two halves by the Iron Curtain: the West and the Eastern European countries. Nevertheless, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, the political concept of East versus West became considerably less significant. It is true that many saw the fall of the Iron Curtain as the beginning of Europe’s reunification. As additional nations that were previously part of the communist Eastern Bloc join the European Union and NATO, what is often referred to as the Western World in a political sense has expanded to embrace the majority of Europe, all the way up to the Russian border on the western side.
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HomeLifestyles Concerning Social Issues Movements for Social Justice Influence of trends, culture, and society Westernization is the adoption of the habits and culture of western Europe by cultures and governments in other regions of the world, whether as a result of coercion or as a result of external pressure. Westernization spread over most of the world as a consequence of colonization, and it has continued to be an important cultural phenomena as a result of modernization and globalization.

  1. Business methods, languages, alphabets, and dress of the occupied peoples were mandated or encouraged to be more similar to those of western Europe.
  2. Many nations were subjected to Western-style administration and military tactics that were forced on them.
  3. Japan: Western-influenced studies The study of contemporary European science, known as ygaku (“Western learning”) or rangaku (“Dutch learning”), drew the attention of the Japanese government as well.
  4. In addition toAsia, Africa, Central and South America, and Central and South America, western Europe has embraced its films, popular music, and popular fashion as well.
  5. However, certain leaders, such as Kemal Atatürk of Turkey and Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran, have welcomed Westernization.
  6. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Patricia Bauer has made the most current revisions and updates to this document.

End of days: Is Western civilisation on the brink of collapse?

Children of parents who grew up in a violent culture are more likely to be raised in a violent society themselves. Magnum photographer Marc Riboud When warnings that “the end is near” were only visible on sandwich boards, and the doom-mongers who carried them were simple to dismiss, those were the good old days. If only things had stayed as uncomplicated as they were. Sandwich boards are mainly gone, and the world continues to exist, yet doomsday prophecies continue to be made, and not all of them are based on imaginative interpretations of religious scripture.

  • A tipping point is approaching in cycles of inequality and resource exploitation, which has already triggered political instability, conflict, and eventually the demise of numerous civilisations in the past.
  • In fact, many individuals appear to be blissfully oblivious that a collapse may be on the horizon.
  • Most significantly, does science have any insights about what is actually going on, what could happen next, or how people might be able to turn things around?
  • However, recent political developments, like the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, have given it a new sense of urgency.
  • Meanwhile, back in the old world, Europe is entangled in its own set of issues and difficulties.
  • For example, we talk about the fall of the Roman Empire in the middle of the first millennium, but there is plenty of evidence that the empire continued to exist in some form for hundreds of years later and that its impact may still be felt today.
  • As a result, when we speak about collapse, do we imply that people will lose everything and would be forced to return to the dark ages?

In a similar vein, the notion of Western civilisation is difficult to grasp.

Beyond that, though, the borders get increasingly blurred.

Despite these limitations, some scientists and historians are studying the emergence and collapse of past civilizations in an attempt to identify patterns that may provide us with a foreboding of what is to come in the future.

The University of Connecticut’s Peter Turchin, an evolutionary anthropologist who studies human evolution, believes that there are some concerning signals.

He began applying these equations to historical data in the late 1990s, searching for patterns that relate social issues like as income and health disparity to political instability.

“You have to have a lot of faith in yourself to believe that this is just a blip on the screen.” A “secular cycle” is a period of two or three centuries in length.

Wealthy elites are forming, while the living standards of the working class are deteriorating.

Then there is a second, shorter cycle that lasts 50 years and is made up of two generations — one calm and one tumultuous – that alternates between the two generations.

For added aggravation, he predicts that the end of the next 50-year cycle, which will occur around 2020, will coincide with the turbulent part of the longer cycle, resulting in a period of political unrest at least on the same level as that experienced around 1970, during the height of the civil rights movement and anti-Vietnam War protests.

They predicted that the United States would enter a time of crisis that would climax in the 2020s, a prediction that is reported to have had a profound impact on former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who served as chief strategist to US President Donald Trump.

Brexit and the Catalan conflict are two major issues.

He emphasizes that his model operates at the level of large-scale dynamics and that it cannot anticipate precisely what would cause unrest to erupt and how terrible things will go.

He observed that, whereas in nature, some prey always survives to keep the cycle going, some societies that have collapsed, such as the Maya, the Minoans, and the Hittites, have never recovered from their losses.

Borrowed time

His research began by simulating human populations as predators and natural resources as prey, in order to determine why this was the case. In the following step, he divided the “predators” into two unequal groups: the rich elites and the less fortunate commoners. According to this finding, either excessive inequality or resource depletion can cause a civilization to collapse; but, only when the two factors combine can a society become irreversibly engulfed. “They literally feed off of one another,” Motesharrei explains.

  1. This does not bode well for Western countries, which are dangerously uneven in their distribution of wealth.
  2. It’s possible that the Western world is already living on borrowed time.
  3. “However, when the collapse occurs,” they concluded, “it is significantly more profound.” The gap between the affluent and the poor is widening, which is causing dissatisfaction.
  4. The worst-case scenario, according to him, is a collapse in fossil fuel supply, resulting in the failure of food and water supplies, and the deaths of millions of people within a few weeks.
  5. However, not everyone believes that the boom-and-bust paradigm is applicable to contemporary society.
  6. We can’t foresee the United States of America collapsing in an internal civil war that would leave no one standing.
  7. Plus, globalization, as we all know, makes us more resilient.
  8. According to this criterion, even the most evolved cultures have experienced irreversible collapse, and the West is in risk of doing so as well.
  9. In order to avoid using the word collapse, many academics prefer to refer to a fast loss of complexity rather than collapse.
  10. Turchin believes that such a widespread loss of complexity is improbable today, but he does not exclude out milder variants of it, such as the disintegration of the European Union or the United States losing its empire in the shape of NATO and close allies such as South Korea.
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In the words of Bar-Yam, “the world is becoming an interconnected whole.” A future in which the nation state is replaced by fuzzy boundaries and global networks of interconnected organizations, with our cultural identity divided between our immediate locale and global regulatory agencies, is predicted by certain scientists, including Bar-Yam.

For historian Ian Morris of Stanford University in California, author of Why the West Rules – For Now, “you have to be quite optimistic to believe that the West’s current challenges are just a blip on the screen.” Morris believes that the West’s current difficulties are “just a blip on the screen.” So, is there anything we can do to alleviate the pain?

  1. And Motesharrei believes that we should limit population increase to levels that are consistent with his model’s predictions.
  2. But the difficulty with these types of solutions is that humans haven’t demonstrated that they are very good at playing the long game in the past.
  3. Cognitive scientists distinguish between two main modes of thought: a quick, automatic, and relatively rigid mode, and a slower, more analytical, and more flexible mode, according to their findings.
  4. Although David Rand, a psychologist at Yale University, believes that populations may genuinely cycle between the two over time, he is not convinced.
  5. The vehicle is invented by a small number of people who think logically and creatively.
  6. This occurs every time a new technology is developed that makes the environment more suitable for humans to live in.
  7. Climate change, which is caused by the over use of fossil fuels, is only one example of this.

Jonathan Cohen, a psychologist at Princeton University who worked with Rand to develop the theory, believes it has the potential to help solve a long-standing puzzle about societies on the verge of collapse: why did they continue their self-destructive behavior despite the fact that more analytical people must have recognized the danger ahead of them?

“Technological innovation may not be able to save us from our current predicament as it has done in the past.” In fact, this is the first time anybody has attempted to relate the development of civilizations with human psychology, and the researchers acknowledge that their model is simplistic for the time being.

  1. “Education needs to be a part of the solution,” Cohen argues, adding that more focus on critical thinking in the classroom may be placed on the subject of terrorism.
  2. In his opinion, if there is one thing that behavioural economics has taught us, it is that when it comes to decision-making, humans are far more emotional than they are rational.
  3. As he puts it, “I envision a trend in the future in which technical advancement will not be able to bail us out as it has in the past.” So, is the Western world truly in trouble?
  4. However, its long-term viability will be determined by the speed with which individuals can adjust.
  5. Tainter believes that if the West manages to make it through, it will be more by chance than by sound judgment.

Earlier versions of this story appeared in print under the heading “The Fall.” “The apocalypse is not upon us, but the destiny of civilization is in our hands,” says the author. More information on the following topics:

Culture and Identity: East and West

Cultural psychologists Hazel Rose Markus and Alana Conner investigated alternative modes of being, or what they refer to as theindependent and interdependent selves, in order to better understand human behavior. Markus and Conner compared kids from Eastern and Western cultures in a variety of contexts, ranging from classroom involvement to parental styles. They found significant differences. Markus and Conner agreed that, while there are significant variances and different characteristics among these locations and civilizations, they had some general findings to share: Listening, following the “correct” path, fitting in, and being calm are not unusual classroom habits for many East Asians and their children growing up in the West; rather, they are the precise path to becoming a good person—a good interdependent self, Eastern style—and becoming a good person.

While speaking out, choosing your own path, standing out, and becoming thrilled are all wonderful ways to be a good person, for their Western classmates and instructors, they are good autonomous selves in the Western manner.

Choice is possibly the most significant act in the Western world since it allows people to actualize all five aspects of their independence.

Interdependent parents, on the other hand, have a distinct agenda: I demonstrate to my kid the proper way to do something, and then I assist her in doing it correctly.

1 The author Gish Jen is profiled in this picture, whose book Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self investigates the distinctions between Eastern and Western modes of self-narration.

Gish Jen, the author, is acutely aware of the tensions that exist across cultures on a personal level.

In reading her father’s autobiography, Jen realized she was not a “narrative native” and that she needed to comprehend this continuity in herself: This was not something we did in my family.

I was not encouraged to conceive of myself as a distinct individual whose individuality was, in fact, a very significant aspect of who I was.

As a result, it wasn’t until I started reading that I learned that in the Western world.this was a fundamental concept to be understood.

I don’t have any photographs of me taken even a minute after my birth.

My father’s autobiography, which he had written when he was 85 years old, came to me as I began to get more interested in the whole subject of narrative difference, which is related to a difference of self and a difference in perception.

The author of this book, who was meant to be writing an autobiography about his childhood in China, did not appear until page 8 of the book.

No, no, and no more.

After mentioning his birth in parenthesis in connection with another occasion, my father finally gets around to mentioning his own birth in parentheses.

This was something I understood.

One thing was something I was familiar with using my left hand, while another was something I was familiar with using my right hand.

The “interdependent,” collaborative self stresses interdependence, and the “independent,” collaborative self stresses interdependence.

It goes without saying that there is a continuum between these two very distinct self-conceptions, along which most individuals are positioned and along which they may also shift throughout the course of a single moment.

Culture is not destiny; it just provides patterns that individuals may choose to accept, reject, or change, and then put into action.3


  1. What distinctions, according to Markus and Conner, do East Asians and European Americans have in their conceptions of the connection between society and the individual? Specifically, how do the diverse cultural views about independence and dependency influence how those who participated in the study nurture their children? In their research for Clash, Markus and Conner spoke with a large number of their graduate students from both Eastern and Western cultural backgrounds. It was common among students and professors from Western backgrounds to express dissatisfaction with what they regarded to be a lack of involvement in class among students who had been educated in or originated from East-Asian cultural backgrounds. East-Asian pupils expressed their dissatisfaction with the American attitude that “talking equals thinking.” One of the graduate students from Japan who contributed to the publication presented a selection of proverbs from his country that he believed reflected these distinctions. 1Misfortune is brought on by the words that are said. Keep your mouth closed as if it were a vase of some sort. You have two ears and one mouth, and they should be used in that proportional relationship. The duck with the loudest quack is the one that gets shot. Do you have any thoughts on how to interpret these proverbs? What broader concepts are being expressed by these proverbs
  2. Heejung Kim, a graduate student from South Korea, was also a student of Hazel Markus’s. As a result of being confronted with the fact that she was not speaking in class, Heejung wrote an email to Hazel in which she included the following as a new signature: “The empty train shakes the loudest.” A quote from the renowned Confucian philosopher Lao Tzu was given by Heejung later in life: “He who knows does not talk, and he who speaks does not know.” All of these proverbs communicate the wider cultural notions they are meant to communicate. Beginning with the words “I was not a narrative native,” the passage from author Gish Jen continues with the phrase “I was not a narrative native.” What exactly is she referring to? What does the statement convey about the message she wishes to convey about how culture shapes the way individuals perceive themselves and their surroundings? Gish Jen, an author, discusses the delicate balance that individuals must maintain while discussing cultural differences: For the record, I am well aware of the dangers of stereotyping in this topic as well as in any conversation concerning cultural differences in any form. In the words of sociologist Martin M. Marger, “simplistic and over inflated perceptions about a group, which are often learned second-hand and difficult to change,” are categorically denounced and strictly avoided. Nonetheless, I am aware that a fear of stereotyping has occasionally resulted in dissatisfaction with a declaration of cultural difference, no matter how widely acknowledged by psychologists or how solidly based on scientific evidence it may be. 3 Is it possible to discuss and learn about the effect of culture without falling prey to stereotypes? In order to avoid discussions about culture from perpetuating preconceptions, what ideas, cautions, or advice might be beneficial to provide?


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