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Cultural Difference Paper Essay Example
Cultural Difference Paper Essay Example Cultural Difference Paper Essay Cultural Difference Paper Essay Cultural Differences Paper Psychology 535 September 20, 2010 Cultural Differences Paper In the following paper two multicultural concepts have been selected, which are individualism versus collectivism and sexual identity/orientation. Then, I will analyze individualism versus collectivism and sexual identity/orientation. Last, I will point out the significance in understanding cultural differences. Individualism versus collectivism Culture can be defined as a program of shared rules that govern the behavior of members of a community or society, and a set of values, beliefs, and attitudes shared by most members of that community (Wade Tavris, 2006). Culture has a profound effect on peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives and they fail to appreciate the deep influence. Some people think of culture as a light veneer on human behavior, or maybe a source of useful information for tourist travel. Ã¢â¬Å"Today many psychologists recognize that culture is just as powerful and influence on personality and behvaior as any biological processÃ¢â¬ , (Wade Tavris, 2006). I do not think that it is easy to see how cultural rules affect oneÃ¢â¬â¢s one personality, for example if I was asked the question Ã¢â¬Å"who are youÃ¢â¬ , I am sure that my response will be influenced by my cultural background, in particular whether my culture emphasizes individualism or community. In individualist cultures, this is Ã¢â¬Å"a culture in which an emphasis is placed on the rights and desires of an individual rather than of the larger community. In these cultures, personal achievement and assertiveness is prized and there is a strong sense of competition. Independence is also seen as more important than conformityÃ¢â¬ , (Dictionary of Media Studies Dictionary of Media StudiesDictionary of Media Studies, 2006). In collectivist cultures, this is Ã¢â¬Å"a culture that places an emphasis on the needs and achievements of the group rather than of the individual. Personal achievement and assertiveness is considered less important than conformity to society and an Ã¢â¬Ëunselfish attitudeÃ¢â¬â¢. Such communities have a strong sense of family and communityÃ¢â¬ , (Dictionary of Media Studies, 2006). Some average differences between individualist and collectivist cultures is that members of individualist cultures define the self as autonomous, independent of groups, give priority to individual, personal goals, they value independence, leadership, achievement and self-fulfillment, they give more weight to an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s attitudes and preferences than to group norms as explanations of behavior and they attend to the benefits and costs of relationships; if costs exceed advantages, a person is likely to drop a relationship (Wade Tavris, 2006). Members of collectivist cultures define the self as an independent part of groups, they give priority to the needs and goals of the group, the value group harmony, duty, obligation, and security, they give more weight to group norms than to individual attitudes as explanations of behavior and they attend to the needs of group members; if a relationship is beneficial to the group but costly to the individual, the individual is likely to stay in the relationship (Wade Tavris, 2006). I also read that in a revealing study comparing Japanese and Americans, the Americans reported that their sense of self changes only 5 to 10 percent in different situations, whereas the Japanese said that 90 to 99 percent of their sense changes (de Rivera, 1989). Sexual identity/orientation Sexual orientation is Ã¢â¬Å"a term used to identify a persons sexual attraction toward persons of a particular gender. Those sexually attracted to the opposite sex are said to display a heterosexual orientation, those attracted to the same sex, a homosexual orientation and to both, bisexualÃ¢â¬ (The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, 2009). Sexual identity is Ã¢â¬Å"ones identity with respect to sexual orientationÃ¢â¬ (The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, 2009). Evolutionary psychologists believe that gender roles and sexual scripts (sets of implicit rules that specify proper sexual behavior for a person in a given situation, varying with the personÃ¢â¬â¢s age, culture, and gender) reflect hard-wired biological sex differences that resulted from natural selection. In contrast, social and cultural psychologists believe that gender roles and sexual scripts reflect a cultureÃ¢â¬â¢s economic, demographic, and social arrangements (Wade Tavris, 2006). In most cases it is hard to find the origin of sexual orientation because the sexual identity and behaviors take different forms. Some people are attracted to men and women, and some are heterosexual in behavior but have homosexual fantasies. Some men, such as prisoners, are homosexual in their behvaior because they lack opportunity for heterosexual sex, but they do not define themselves as gay and prefer women sex partners. In some cultures, teenage boys go through a homosexual phase that they do not define as homosexual and that does not affect their future relations with women. In todayÃ¢â¬â¢s world there are many different culture therefore there are many sexual orientation/identity differences. Culture differences differ widely in determining what parts of the body people learn are erotic, which sexual acts are considered erotic or repulsive, and whether sex itself is good or bad (Wade Tavris, 2006). Research on sexuality can be used for many purposes and political goals, depending on the values and attitudes of the culture in which such findings emerge. Conclusion In conclusion after reading this paper, two multicultural concepts have been selected, which were individualism versus collectivism and sexual identity/orientation. Then, I have analyzed individualism versus collectivism and sexual identity/orientation. Next, I have pointed out the significance in understanding cultural differences. Lastly, I have included some examples about Japanese and American cultures in regard to individualist and collectivist cultures. References: individualist. (2006). In Dictionary of Media Studies. Retrieved from credoreference. com/entry/dictmedia/individualist collectivist. Dictionary of Media Studies. London: AC Black, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 20 September 2010. De Rivera, Joseph (1989). Comparing experiences across cultures; Shame and guilt in America and Japan. Hiroshima Forum for Psychology,14, 13-20. sexual orientation. The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. London: Penguin, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 20 September 2010. sexual identity. The Pe nguin Dictionary of Psychology. London: Penguin, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 20 September 2010 Wade, C. , Tavris, C. (2006). Psychology (8th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.