Culture Essay

Published: 2021-07-06 06:42:21
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Category: Education

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Culture can be a difficult term to define. But Spencer Oatey defines culture as a set of common beliefs, rules, routines, assumptions, behavioral bonds and values that a certain group of individuals’ shares. The culture primarily determines an individual’s behavior in the society (Spencer, 3). One can also say that culture is a set of mind programming that makes one group of people different from the other (Hofstede, 5). Culture comprises of both the language, cuisine, music and the social habits of people. The values and vices of any society are determined by its culture. Some features of culture might be physically visible, but most of their meaning cannot be seen by just observing them (Hofstede, 8). The meaning of culture can only be understood by the individuals who use it. For instance, the hand gesture (ring gesture) in the USA and Canada is a form of approval or accepting something but in many of the Mediterranean nations is seen as an insult. The type of clothes that we wear also can be interpreted in many ways. Some believe it is a form of appropriateness while others think it is a form of wealth.Culture ObservationIt was 11:30 PM on a Friday at my college food court. I had just finished my morning tutors and decided to go and take some coffee as I watched students and college staff move around. There were a lot of activities that were happening. Kevin who usually serves us at the food court came to take my order. I asked him to get me flat white coffee which I take most of the time. As I sat there waiting for my order, some of my fellow students who were seated behind me were talking loudly as they describe a certain lady who was alone at a table. The language they were using was so profane. I was tempted to go and confront them, but I remembered what had happened the previous week. A professor had decided to do the same thing I was about to do, but he was badly insulted.As Kevin brought my coffee, I noticed some students who were passing by wearing nice Jordan shoes while others wore monk shoes. Each of the students was comfortable in what they had worn. One of my classmates joined me and ordered an espresso type of coffee as her preference. Some soft music was playing in the background that was so relaxing. Suddenly a certain lady walked in dressed in a very short skirt. Most of the male students at her and nodded their heads as the staff members in the food court shook their heads with displeasure. I asked my friend about her thoughts on the dress code, but she just laughed and said that everyone is entitled to where he/she wants ” My dress my choice.”As we both finished our coffee, we decided to stroll around the school as we waited for the evening lectures. There were different kinds of people in the school. Different gender, race, and religion. Each of them dressed and talked differently. Some students seemed to be in a rush while the others were relaxed and sauntered in groups as they talked about different issues. I overheard some talking about basketball while others were talking about music. This observation was a great insight as I understood a different kind of people’s life.Themes from the ObservationThe students who were talking in a profane language seemed rude to me. No cultural norms allow any individual to talk about another person in such a language. The different types of shoes that the students wore represented the diversity in our cultures. Each student was from a different culture. The different expressions shown by the students and staff members on the lady with a short skirt shows how different types of people interpret how people dress.ConclusionDifferent people belong to a certain culture and way of life. By understanding that we cannot be from the same culture will help in avoiding judging people in so many aspects. The experience gave me a clear understanding of the several factors of sociology. All the elements and factors exhibited by different people make up the composition of culture.Works CitedHofstede Geert. Cultures And Organizations: Software Of The Mind. HarperCollins business. 1994.Spencer, Oatey. Culturally Speaking. Culture, Communication And Politeness Theory. 2nd ed., Continuum, 2008.

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