- 1 Where do cultures come from
- 2 The Meanings of Culture
- 3 The Origins of the Term “Culture”
- 4 An Anthropological Definition of Culture
- 5 Falling Off the Map: What Travel Literature Reveals
- 6 Author Biography
- 7 When did human culture first appear?
- 8 Sources, causes, and correlates of culture
- 9 Causal events, triggers, and mechanisms.
- 10 Relevance to science-religion dialogue
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 What Do We Mean by Culture?
- 13 Understanding Race
- 14 Where Do You Come From?
- 15 Gender and Sexual Orientation
- 16 The Role of Money
- 17 What is Culture?
- 18 Culture definition
Where do cultures come from
Here’s a straightforward, yet intriguing observation: Every organization has its own unique culture. In reality, any group of individuals who gathers on a regular basis has a culture of their own. This holds true for your firm just as much as it does for a group of golfing pals, a Girl Scout troop, or a sports team, for example. There is an unwritten set of norms that govern how the group operates – what topics are off limits, what topics are OK for joking about about, how things get done, and so on.
But have you ever stopped to consider where that culture originated or how it got its start?
This individual, despite the fact that it may not be their purpose, tends to create the rules of the group just by virtue of their personality.
What is the significance of this?
It’s likely that people with the strongest personalities in your business are dictating the culture – and they aren’t always those who are designated as managers, supervisors, and leaders.
The outcome will be excellent if the people involved are optimistic, passionate, and high-performing superstars.
Here’s the crux of the matter: Consider the following scenario: you understand that your company’s culture has a significant and direct impact on how its employees perform, and that it represents one of the most significant opportunities you have to establish a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Won’t it be better if you could only hope that your culture is being impacted by the correct kinds of individuals?
- They are not hopeful that the appropriate culture will emerge.
- It’s simply too vital to your success to settle for anything less than the best possible.
- The following issue is: How do you influence a culture?
The Meanings of Culture
When it comes to dealing with culture, one of the difficulties we have is the fact that the phrase has so many various meanings and connotations associated with it. Two ways in which we think of culture are: first, in terms of aesthetic issues (as they relate to the arts), and second, as a notion used by anthropologists to explain the way people live and interact with one another.
According to what I’ve heard, anthropologists employ something like a hundred distinct definitions of culture to describe various cultures.
The Origins of the Term “Culture”
When you think of culture, you probably think of care. The term culture derives from the Latin word cultus, which means ‘care’, and the French word colere, which means ‘to till’, as in “to till the earth.” There are a plethora of words that derive from the term culture. For example, the term ‘cult’ connotes some sort of religious organization, which is incorrect. Every day, we are astonished by the power that cults wield over us, the ability they have to change our behavior, brainwash us, and transform otherwise clever and educated individuals into zealots.
- If cults can wield great power over individuals and groups of people, shouldn’t we be able to conclude that cultures may do the same thing, albeit not to the same extreme degree in most cases?
- Just as plants only exist as a result of the care and attention given to them by a cultivator over a period of time, people’s tastes and cultivation are only established as a result of education and training.
- Bacteriologists also use the term “cultures,” but they use it to refer to bacteria that are grown on Petri dishes if they are fed with the proper medium (sources of nourishment).
- We don’t do anything on our own.
- Bacteria that grow in medium and form cultures
- Humans who are affected by media and form cultures
Our bodies are, without a doubt, far more sophisticated than bacteria; in fact, each of us serves as a type of host for the numerous varieties of bacteria that live in our mouths and other areas of our bodies. Bacteriology is the growth and study of micro-organisms (bacteria) in prepared nutrients, whereas the study of media (and what is now often referred to as cultural critique) is the study of persons and groups who live in a largely, but not entirely, mass-mediated culture. Not all culture is mediated through the mainstream media.
An Anthropological Definition of Culture
Allow me to provide an anthropological definition of culture that is commonly used. It was written by Henry Pratt Fairchild and first appeared in his Dictionary of Sociology and Related Sciences, which can be found here: The term “culture” refers to all socially acquired and transmitted behavior patterns through symbols; it is also used to refer to all of the distinctive achievements of human groups, including not only such items as language, tool-making and industry, art and science, law and government, morals, and religion, but also the material instruments or artifacts in which cultural achievements are embodied and by which intellectual cultural features are given practical effect, such as buildings, tools, and maquettes.
- (80) Think about some of the issues that Fairchild brings up in his speech.
- We’re talking about codes and patterns of behavior that can be found in groups of people when we talk about them.
- We learn these patterns of behavior as children growing up in a family in a particular geographical location, and our development is profoundly influenced by the family we are born into, its religion, and a variety of other factors.
- We are taught these behavior patterns as we grow up in a family in some geographical location and are profoundly affected by the family we are born into, its religion, and all kinds of other matters.
- It is in communities that we become human and become enculturated or acculturated (two words for the same thing, for all practical purposes) (two words for the same thing, for all practical purposes).
- Artifacts in which cultural achievements are embodied.
- We know that a great deal of our popular culture, while not carried by the media, is nevertheless profoundly affected by it.
- You may think you are immune from the impact of the media and popular culture, but that is a delusion that is generated, I would suggest, by the media.
Culture affects us but it doesn’t necessarily determine every act we do; though some scholars, who believe the media are very powerful, might argue with this point.
Falling Off the Map: What Travel Literature Reveals
Here are two statements from the travel writer Pico Iyer from his book Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Regions of the World, which is a compilation of travel essays about seldom-visited places throughout the world, to illustrate how cultures differ (by American travelers, at least). “Wild” is the only term that can describe Saigon. In one evening, I counted more than a hundred two-wheel vehicles racing past me in the space of sixty seconds, speeding around the jam-packed streets as if on some crazy merry-go-round, a mad carnival without a ringmaster; I walked into a dance club and found myself in the midst of a crowded floor of hip gay boys in sleeveless T-shirts doing the latest moves to David Byrne; and once outside, I found myself “Would you like some boom-boom?” “Would you like a souvenir, dah-ling?” “Why aren’t you getting a particular massage?” As the clock strikes twelve, a swarm of taxi girls emerges from their nightclubs in their party outfits and parks their scooters outside the hotels along ‘Simultaneous Uprising’ Street.
(134-5) Compare his description of Saigon with his portrayal of Reykjavik, Iceland, which is as intriguing and spectacular but is markedly different from Saigon in terms of culture and history.
Iceland has the highest concentration of poets, presses, and readers per population in the world: Reykjavik, a town the size of Rancho Cucamonga, California, has five daily newspapers, and the United States would have to print twelve hundred new books every day to equal Iceland’s literary output.
- All new notions, such as ‘radio’ and ‘telephone,’ are given poetical ancient counterparts in Iceland.
- When I arrived in ‘Surprise City’ (as the capital is known) on my first day, I was greeted by golden-haired princesses and sword-wielding knights recreating scenes from Icelandic folklore on the major bridge in the city.
- The description of Iceland’s scenery provided by Iyer may aid in understanding the national character of the Icelanders.
- This awful wilderness of volcanoes and tundra, home to Geysir, the mother of geysers, is a country so lunar that NASA astronauts trained there during their time on the International Space Station.
What we become appears to be the result of a strange combination of variables including our natures (that is, the hard-wired components of our personalities) and our cultures, with the element of chance playing a significant influence as well, according to my observations.
What we become appears to be the result of a strange combination of variables including our natures (that is, the hard-wired components of our personalities) and our cultures, with the element of chance playing a significant influence as well, according to my observations.
The emergence of culture may be the single most significant development in the history of humanity. People’s reliance on culture can be annoying at times, but in general, it serves as a facilitator rather than a hindrance in most situations. The ability of humans to think would be severely restricted if they did not have access to language, yet many individuals find themselves at a loss for words on a regular basis. The environment, other humans, spirits and deities, as well as abstract or imagined realms such as mathematics and the future, would be inaccessible to humans if culture were not there to mediate their interactions.
- Enlightenment thinkers attempted to conceive an initial “state of nature” by intensifying their quest for understanding of cultural beginnings by incorporating fresh information about civilizations from all around the world into their research.
- The worldview of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an eighteenth-century philosopher, was a celebration of freedom, equality, and the unfettered, uncorrupted person, among other things.
- What is known about the prehistory of cultural beginnings may be summarized in a few sentences.
- As a result of the facts, many paleoanthropologists favor the Eldredge-Gould punctuated equilibrium model of evolution over neo-Darwinism, which is based on the idea that brief periods of rapid transition occurred.
- This is Donald’s mimetic stage of cognitive development, which represents the emergence of the ability to mime, imitate, and re-enact experiences in a variety of situations.
- Approximately six hundred thousand years ago, a dramatic rise in brain size was seen, which coincided with the development of lithic civilization and the advent of archaic Homo sapiens.
- The timing of words, on the other hand, continues to be a source of intense debate.
According to Donald’stheoreticormodern culturestage, which was characterized by the capacity to increase what is feasible with the brain alone through externalization of memory, this development correlates to histheoreticormodern culturestage.
When did human culture first appear?
Any of these stages might plausibly be considered the starting point of culture’s development. The roots of culture may even be earlier than previously thought, because stone tools may not have been the first results of culturally oriented behavior; this would position the origins of culture long before the emergence of the human species as a species. Even as late as the 1970s, it was considered a near truism that only humans possessed cultural heritage. However, by 1973, Jane Goodall had documented thirteen types of tool usage and eight social behaviors that distinguished the chimpanzees of Gombe, Tanzania, from those found at other research locations around the world.
- Chimpanzees, according to Andrew Whiten and Christophe Boesch, exhibit not just individual cultural qualities but also groups of diverse behaviors that might be categorized as “Gombe culture” or “Te culture,” for example.
- Indeed, John Bonner presents several examples of animals, including birds, that are capable of transmitting behavioral information to one another through their actions.
- Furthermore, human culture is characterized by its exceptional creativity, adaptability, and diversity, as well as its ability to undergo both fast change and extraordinary stability, even in rapidly changing circumstances.
- In recent years, human culture has emerged as a newly emergent aspect of life that no longer requires the passage of generations to bring about genetic alterations but instead may quickly bring about behavioral changes.
Sources, causes, and correlates of culture
What follows is a survey of significant modern ideas of cultural origins, starting with models of cultural development and progressing through theories of cultural transmission. Despite the fact that they are not precisely origins theories, they are critical for understanding how cultures function and how cultural variety came to be. Natural selection, according to sociobiologists, is important, regulating even the most minute features of human mind. The genetic distinctions between human communities are at the root of cultural origins and modern variety.
- As a result, genes that were chosen for the ways of life of previous people have an impact on how current humans think.
- Holmes Rolston gives numerous fundamental reasons why powerful versions of these ideas do not succeed, all of which are presented in a straightforward manner.
- Furthermore, thoughts can be communicated to persons who are not linked to one another, or who are even unknown to one another.
- This is the classic anthropological approach; Alfred Kroeber’s popular “superorganic” idea regards culture as virtually having a life of its own, influencing each human far more than individuals mold culture.
- Memetics posits a new type of replicator, a thememean aspect of culture that is transmitted down without the need of genetics.
- Strict variants of these ideas, on the other hand, would only operate if cultures were constituted of distinct units that could be distinguished from one another.
- Recognizing that genes and culturally transmitted concepts both have an impact on human lives, gene-culture co-evolutionordual inheritancemodels investigate the relationship between the two effects.
- Using the lactose tolerance case study, William Durham illustrates that culture may be a causative driver in the development of human genetic traits.
- In Geoffrey Miller’s opinion, most of human culture (including the arts, ritual, and philosophy) makes more sense as a form of courting show than as a means of survival.
If, for example, courting displays are simply required to signal fitness, belief systems might arise that “work” despite the fact that they do not correctly describe the environment.
Causal events, triggers, and mechanisms.
In another way, one or a few variables might be identified as being responsible for the creation of culture. Friedrich Engels, a nineteenth-century social scientist who distinguished human work from animal behavior, believed that output was the most important component, although Randall White and others suggest that group size is increasing. Societies with a larger number of members required more complex social structure than small, family-sized groupings, putting additional demands on communication and collaboration.
- According to Rick Potts, human creativity consisted in the development of adaptable cognitive faculties in order to deal with recurrent climatic changes.
- Even if there is growing evidence that genes are only indirectly linked to phenotype, there is also evidence that a single alteration may make a significant effect.
- Cooperation, charity, and love are all virtues.
- Adrienne Zihlman, on the other hand, emphasizes the critical role played by mother-infant connection in the development of primate sociality.
- Cooperation is the essence of mankind, according to Catherine Key and Leslie Aiello as well.
- The development of the human brain came at a high cost, particularly for females whose reproductive strategy would have placed a strong emphasis on assisting kids to reach adulthood.
- According to Chris Knight, culture developed when females secured male energy investment by misleading the males about the female’s reproductive status, hence fooling the males into staying.
Relevance to science-religion dialogue
Knight’s idea, whatever else one may infer, shows that human agency and purpose are important components of the puzzle that has to be solved. In conclusion, based on this brief examination of ideas of cultural origins, it appears that human mind is not likely to be genetically determined in its entirety. In addition, because cultural origins and transmission are quasi-independent of genetics, one may inquire of a concept not just whether or not it distributes genes, but also how effectively it characterizes the surrounding environment.
- In one sense, if values and virtues are founded on cultural traditions, they do not need to be explained by natural selection on genes, according to one interpretation.
- In a recent paper, John Polkinghorne and colleagues proposed that love may be a fundamental aspect of the cosmos itself, rather than merely a product of human cultural ideas.
- Knowing how humans came to be culturally formed is particularly crucial for the science-religion conversation because it raises fundamental questions about how each of these parts of culture should be understood.
- Another example is religion and ethics, which are most likely human universals that have existed from the beginning of human cultural evolution.
- Their roots, in turn, might be significant in the development of cultural origins.
There are other terms such as altruism, anthropology, art, origins of, evolutionary psychology, evolution, biocultural evolution, memes, Paleoanthropology, and punctuated equilibrium in the field of sociobiology.
Darwinizing culture: the status of memetics as a scientific discipline, edited by Robert Aunger. Bonner, John Tyler (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Bonner, John Tyler (ed.). Animal cultures: the evolution of civilization in the wild. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980. chimpanzee cultures available from the following sources: lee. frans b. m. de waal, ed. tree of origin: what monkey behavior can teach us about human social development. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.de waal, frans b m., ed.
- : Harvard University Press, 2001) is a book on the evolution of culture and cognition.
- Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1991.
- An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the evolution of culture Durham, William H., coevolution: genes, culture, and human variability (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999).
- Klein and Blake Edgar are the authors of this book, which was published by Stanford University Press in 1991.
- Knight, Chris.
- polkinghorne, john, ed.
- grand rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2001.potts, rick.
new haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991.
Genes, genesis, and god: values and their beginnings in natural and human history.
Roston and Holmes, iii.
Sober, Elliott, and Wilson, David Sloan.
Sober, Elliott, and Wilson, David Sloan.
a collection of articles on the science of what makes us human (the monkey in the mirror).
Micheal Tomasello’s website The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Taylor published in london, uk: j murray, 1871 The wild chimpanzee conservation foundation accessible from k.
What Do We Mean by Culture?
Before we proceed any further, let us take a moment to define what we mean by culture. When you first started reading this chapter, what did you believe we were talking about when we spoke the word culture? If you answered in the affirmative, it was most likely because you were referring to people from various nations or with distinct racial and cultural origins. I think you’re right, to a certain extent. Culture includes identification indicators such as race, country, and ethnicity, but it also extends beyond these categories.
Besides discussing the identities mentioned above, we will also discuss ethnocentrism, privileges, advantages and disadvantages as well as power, whiteness, co-culture, and political correctness, all of which are important concepts to understand the interplay between communication and culture, as well as the interplay between communication and culture in general.
Language usage, suitable forms of dress, and worldviews are all influenced by cultural norms. The notion is vast and involves many aspects of our life, such as the role of the family, the individual, educational systems, employment, and gender, amongst other things.
If you want to understand the biology of human variety, you have to ask yourself whether the term “race” is an appropriate way to represent what you are learning. –Janis Hutchinson, a biologist who specializes in evolutionary biology Not because of the inherent complexities of the term itself, but rather because of the function that race plays in society, it is frequently difficult to discuss about race in a constructive manner. A loaded term, as we say in the industry, is one that may elicit powerful emotions and implications in people.
A biological construction of race asserts that “pure” races existed and could be identified by physical characteristics such as eye color and shape, skin color and hair texture, and other physical characteristics Furthermore, it is possible to link these disparities back to genetic differences.
- Aside from that, there is no empirical relationship between racial identification and cultural characteristics or behaviors.
- The simple explanation is that it is not a person’s DNA but rather all of the other elements that influence social interactions, such as politics, geography, and migration, that determine where they belong in a given racial grouping.
- In the past, as depicted in the 2002 film “Gangs of New York,” the Irish were considered a minority with no social or political standing.
- Note the shift in thinking of race away from its biological roots and toward its sociopolitical manifestations: “a mostly social—yet powerful—construction of human difference that has been exploited to divide human beings into various value-based categories,” we write (Orbe and Harris 9).
- Racism is the most extreme of these concepts.
- It is the outer manifestation of racial prejudice when people act on their unfavorable opinions about other races when speaking or making policy decisions.
- Racism, as the ultimate notion, is a combination of racial prejudice and social power.
Racism is frequently associated with uneven access to resources and political power.
Where Do You Come From?
Ethnicity and nationality are two more categories that are sometimes used interchangeably with race. It is a person’s or a group’s background and history, as well as shared cultural customs and beliefs, that is referred to as their ethnicity. A person who identifies as Asian-American ethnically may be of Chinese descent, despite the fact that they are not Asian. Nationality refers to a person’s nation-state of residency or the country in which they are a citizen. However, on occasion people put up their citizenship by birth and relocate to a new country where they assert their national identity, a phenomenon known as renunciation of citizenship by birth.
Gender and Sexual Orientation
Do you identify as masculine or female? Do you consider yourself to be straight, homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered in any way? Gender and sexual orientation are two more perspectives on culture that might be considered. In Chapter 13, we will go into further depth about gender, but for the time being consider of it as the identification of one’s sexual identity as either male, female, or androgynous. Gender is a component of culture in the sense that every civilization has certain gender roles and expectations for both men and women.
- However, among some Native American tribes, it was common for the males to decorate themselves with paint before going hunting or participating in ceremonial rites to show their status.
- It is possible that one’s sexual orientation has an impact on one’s worldview or politics since, while all cultures have persons who identify as homosexual or lesbian, these individuals do not always enjoy the same social and health benefits as heterosexual couples.
- Gay marriage has been legal in all 50 states since the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the decision in 2015.
- Discrimination at work or straining family ties are possible outcomes of this situation.
The Role of Money
You are undoubtedly acquainted with the notion of class—what do the words working class, middle-class, and upper-class conjure up in your mind when you hear them? Money? Economic position is simply one variable that determines one’s social class or socioeconomic standing. There are several more. As the name implies, one’s socioeconomic position is determined by a variety of monetary and social considerations. To put it simply, socioeconomic status is “your perception of the world and where you fit in; it is composed of ideas and actions as well as attitudes, values, and language; class is defined by how you think and feel as well as how you behave, dress, talk, and walk” (Langston 101).
- As a result, it may be assumed that the children will attend fairly priced state schools and universities rather than Ivy League universities, which may be the norm in many upper-class households in the United States.
- What about spirituality or religion, job, interests, political views, age, and abilities?
- These are also characteristics of one’s cultural identity.
- We may feel suffocated by the continual obligation to put in our time at work.
Read Bruce E. Levine’s essay on this phenomenon for further information. How America’s preoccupation with money causes us to become comatose Do you feel that, as a result of reading the essay, we have grown more focused on money? Why?
What is Culture?
‘Culture is the learned information that individuals draw on to understand their experiences and create behavior,’ says the author. an anthropologist named James Spradley Understanding culture necessitates not just a grasp of linguistic distinctions, but also of differences in knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and actions among people from different cultures. Culture (derived from the Latincultura, which is from colere, which means “to cultivate”) is a generic term that refers to patterns of human behavior as well as the symbolic structures that provide meaning and significance to these patterns of activity.
When it comes to culture, it may be described as the entire set of ways of life of a people that are passed down from one generation to the next, including arts, beliefs, and institutions.
Let’s have a listen to what our panelists have to say.
- Individual and group striving over generations has resulted in a group of people accumulating a vast store of knowledge and experience, as well as beliefs and values, attitudes, and meanings. Culture includes hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relationships, concepts of the universe, as well as material objects and possessions. In general, culture refers to the systems of knowledge that are shared by a reasonably significant number of individuals. Cultural expressions are communicated, and cultural expressions are communicated
- Culture, in its broadest meaning, is cultivated behavior
- That is, it is the sum of a person’s learned, collected experience that is passed down through social transmission, or, to put it another way, it is conduct acquired through social learning. A culture is a way of life for a group of people-the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, typically without questioning them, and that are passed down from one generation to the next through communication and imitation. Culture is a means of communicating symbolically. Skills, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and motivations of a group are just a few of the symbols that may be used. The meanings of symbols are taught and purposefully preserved in a culture through the institutions of that society
- And Culture consists of patterns of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, which constitute the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts
- The essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values
- Culture systems may be considered on the one hand as products of action, and on the other hand as conditioning influences upon further action
- As defined by the United Nations, culture is “the sum total of the learned behaviors by a group of people that are widely recognized to be the tradition of that group of people and are transferred from generation to generation.” In other words, culture is a collective programming of the mind that separates the members of one group or category of people from the members of another group or category of people.
- Human nature, according to this viewpoint, is determined by the ideas, meanings, beliefs, and values that people learn as members of society. People are defined by the lessons they have learned. Optimistic versions of cultural determinism believe that human beings have the ability to accomplish and be whatever they desire regardless of their environment. According to some anthropologists, there is no universally acceptable “correct way” to be a human being. While the “right method” is usually always “our way,” it is virtually never the case that “our way” in one civilization will be the same as “our way” in any other society. It is only through tolerance that a well-informed human being can maintain a proper attitude. The optimistic version of this theory holds that human nature is infinitely malleable and that human beings can choose the ways of life that they prefer
- The pessimistic version holds that people are what they have been conditioned to be and that they have no control over this. Human beings are passive animals that do whatever their culture instructs them to do, regardless of their actions. In response to this theory, behaviorism is developed, which places the reasons of human behavior in a world that is completely beyond human control.
- Different cultural groupings have distinct ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. There are no scientific standards that can be used to determine whether one group is essentially superior or inferior in comparison to another. The study of cultural variations across people and cultures implies the acceptance of a cultural relativism viewpoint. Neither for oneself nor for one’s society does it represent a return to normalcy. If one is interacting with groups or communities that are not similar to one’s own, it is necessary to exercise caution. Information regarding the nature of cultural differences across cultures, their origins, and effects should be obtained before making any decisions or taking any action. Parties that grasp the causes for their differences in opinions have a better chance of achieving a successful outcome in negotiations
- In ethnocentrism, the conviction that one’s own culture is superior than that of other civilizations is asserted over time. It is a type of reductionism in which one lowers the “other way” of living to a distorted version of one’s own way of existence. This is especially significant in the case of international business transactions, when a corporation or a person may be under the impression that techniques, materials, or ideas that worked in the home country will likewise work in the foreign country. Consequently, environmental variations are not taken into consideration. Ethnocentrism may be classified into the following categories when it comes to international business transactions:
- A preoccupation with specific cause-and-effect correlations in one’s own nation causes important elements in business to be disregarded. In order to ensure that all major factors have been at least considered while working abroad, it is always a good idea to consult checklists of human variables. Even though one may be aware of the environmental differences and problems associated with change, one’s primary focus may be on achieving objectives that are specific to one’s home country. A corporation or an individual’s efficacy in terms of worldwide competitiveness may be diminished as a result of this. The objectives defined for global operations should likewise be global in scope
- While it is acknowledged that there are differences, it is expected that the accompanying modifications are so fundamental that they can be accomplished without difficulty. An examination of the costs and benefits of the planned modifications is always a good idea before proceeding. A change may cause significant disruption to essential values, and as a result, it may encounter opposition when it is attempted to be implemented. Depending on the change, the costs of implementing the change may outweigh the advantages received from implementing the change.
EXAMPLES OF CULTURAL MANIFESTATIONS Cultural differences present themselves in a variety of ways and to varying degrees of depth in different contexts. Symbols are the most surface representations of culture, while ideals represent the most profound manifestations of culture, with heroes and rituals filling in the gaps.
- Symbols are words, actions, pictures, or things that convey a specific meaning that can only be understood by people who are familiar with a certain culture or tradition. New symbols are readily created, but old symbols are quickly demolished. Symbols from one particular group are frequently imitated by other groups as well. This is why symbols are considered to be the most superficial layer of a society
- Heroes are individuals, whether historical or contemporary, real or imaginary, who exemplify attributes that are highly regarded in a community. They also serve as examples for appropriate behavior
- Rituals are group activities that, while often redundant in terms of achieving intended results, are thought to be socially necessary in order to maintain social order. Therefore, they are carried out most of the time just for their own sake (as in ways of greeting others, showing respect to others, religious and social rites, etc.)
- Values serve as the foundation of a society’s culture. They are broad inclinations for preferring one state of affairs above another in comparison to other states of affairs (good-evil, right-wrong, natural-unnatural). Many values are held by people who are completely unaware of them. As a result, they are frequently unable to be addressed, nor can they be immediately viewed by others. It is only through seeing how people behave in different situations that we may deduce their values. Symbols, heroes, and rituals are the physical or visual parts of a culture’s activities that are visible to the general public. When practices are understood by insiders, the real cultural meaning of the practices is disclosed
- Otherwise, the practices remain intangible and remain hidden.
The manifestation of culture at various levels of depth is seen in Figure 1: LAYERS OF CULTURE Within oneself, even people from the same culture, there are multiple levels of mental conditioning to contend with. At the following levels of development, several layers of culture may be found:
- The national level is one that is associated with the entire nation
- On the regional level: This refers to the disparities that exist between ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups within a country. When it comes to gender disparities (male vs. female), the gender level is associated with these differences. It is associated with the disparities between grandparents and parents, as well as between parents and children at the generational level. It is associated with educational chances as well as inequalities in occupational prospects. The corporate level: This level is associated with the specific culture of a given organization. Those who are employed are covered by this provision.
MOUNTING CULTURAL DIFFERENCESA variable can be operationalized using either single-measure or multivariate methodologies, depending on the situation. After the domain of a concept has been empirically sampled, a single-measure technique is used to measure its domain; a composite-measure technique is used to construct an index for the concept after several indicators have been used to measure its domain after the concept has been empirically sampled. According to Hofstede (1997), a composite-measure approach has been developed to quantify cultural differences across various societies:
- It assesses the degree of inequality that occurs in a society using a power distance index. UCAI (Uncertainty Avoidance Index): This index evaluates the extent to which a society perceives itself to be threatened by uncertain or ambiguous situations. Individualism index: The index measures how individualistic a society is in comparison to other societies. Individuals are expected to look for themselves and their immediate families exclusively, which is what individualism is all about in a society where people are expected to look after themselves and their immediate families only. In contrast, collectivism is a social structure in which individuals discriminate between in-groups and out-groups, and they expect their in-groups (relatives, clans, organizations, etc.) to care after them in exchange for their complete commitment. Specifically, the index assesses the amount to which the major values are assertiveness, money, and things (success), and that the dominating values are not caring for others or for the quality of life. Womanhood (in a romantic relationship) would be on the other end of the scale.
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING RECONCILIATED Consciousness of one’s cultural heritage:
- Before embarking on a worldwide assignment, it is likely that it will be important to ascertain any cultural differences that may exist between one’s own nation and the country in which the business will be conducted or conducted. Where there are differences, it is necessary to determine whether and to what extent the practices of one’s native nation can be adapted to the foreign setting. The majority of the time, the alterations are not immediately noticeable or palpable. Certain features of a culture may be learnt consciously (for example, different ways of greeting people), while other differences may be learned unconsciously (for example, different ways of dressing) (e.g. methods of problem solving). The development of cultural awareness may not be a simple process, but once completed, it will unquestionably aid in the completion of a work efficiently in a foreign setting. Discussions and reading about different cultures absolutely aid in the development of cultural awareness, but the perspectives expressed must be carefully weighed before they are shared. Sometimes they represent incorrect prejudices, a judgment of merely a subset of a certain group of individuals, or a circumstance that has since experienced significant changes. It’s usually a good idea to obtain a variety of perspectives on a single culture.
- Clustering cultures:
Determine the amount of global participation by asking the following questions:
- It is not necessary for all businesses operating on a global scale to have the same level of cultural knowledge. Figure 2 depicts the extent to which a company’s understanding of global cultures is required at various levels of participation. The further a firm progresses away from its primary duty of conducting domestic business, the greater the need it has for cultural awareness and understanding. The necessity of increasing cultural awareness as a result of expanding outward on more than one axis at the same time becomes even more apparent.
Figure 2: Cultural Awareness and the Degree to Which the World Is Involved G. Hofstede is cited as a source (1997). Cultures and organizations are like software for the human brain. McGraw-Hill Education, New York. Here are a few recent publications. Firms Considering Expanding Into New Markets Face Culture Shock. However, the temptation of reconstruction contracts in locations such as Afghanistan and Iraq may tempt some corporations to take on more risk than they are prepared to take on in the United States.
However, the tremendous rehabilitation of countries damaged by conflict has the potential to trip up even the most experienced among them.
Language and cultural differences must also be taken into consideration.
The United States government’s conference on reconstructing Afghanistan, held in Chicago last week, went a long way toward identifying prospects in the country.
The first lesson is to abandon ethnocentric beliefs that the world should adjust to our style of doing business rather than the other way around, as is commonly done.
Chinese representatives provided a wealth of information to U.S.
The qualities of patience, attention, and sensitivity are not commonly associated with building, but they may be beneficial in cultures that are different from our own.
[New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.] Do We See Things the Same Way?
These studies show that taking cultural variations into account when utilizing observation techniques in cross-cultural research, as well as in practical contexts such as performance assessment and international management, is crucial.
Culture has an important role in research and management, according to the findings of this study.
[Karakowsky, LiKarakowsky] (2001). Do We See Things the Same Way? The Implications of Cultural Differences for Research and Practice in Cross-Cultural Management The Journal of Psychology, volume 135 number 5, pages 501-517.]