Oct 22, 2013

Posted by in Business | Comments Off on Understanding the Concept of Culture

Understanding the Concept of Culture

Culture is a common collection of signs, views, habits, principles, expectations, and norms for behavior. An individual’s cultural heritage impacts how he evaluates the most important facets of life, assists in determining his perspective regarding the best course of action in a given scenario, and creates principles of behavior.

In reality, everyone is a part of two or more cultures. As humans, we share a culture with others in our community in addition to a culture shared by our ethnic group, religious group, and even professional or civic group that has a special language and set of customs. Because North America has a rich history of immigration, it is home to a great variety of cultures. In fact, a recent research study from The Marketing Analysts Translation Services found that there are more than 160 languages spoken in the United States. On the other hand, Japan is considerably more homogeneous, having just several unique cultural groups.

Members of a particular culture generally share the same opinions regarding how individuals should think, conduct themselves, and correspond with others. As one Vietnamese translator found, there can huge differences between cultures in their speed in which they evolve, their level of sophistication, and their openness to strangers. These dissimilarities impact the degree of reliance and trust that you can reach when interacting with members of other cultures.

Members of a culture learn the culture directly and indirectly from other members. As you develop in a culture, you receive an education by the group’s members about your identity and how to be a contributing member of that culture. Occasionally you are clearly instructed about the conduct are mannerisms that are appropriate; and in other cases, you learn by observing which values work best in a particular group. In examples like these, culture is shared and passed on from one person to another and from one generation to another.

While culture can seem instinctive, it also happens to be somewhat rational and consistent to its members. Particular rules in a culture might seem strange and irrational to people who aren’t members of the culture. This sort of coherence generally allows a culture to operate more effectively internally, but can cause conflicts between cultures that don’t share a common vision of the world.

Lastly, cultures are usually well thought out. In short, cultures offer their members answers to the questions about life. This concept of completeness weakens or even inhibits curiosity regarding other cultures. Needlessly to say, this kind of total answer to life’s questions can challenge interaction between cultures.


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