The significance of culture is highlighted not only in research but more importantly, everyday in every person’s life. From what I see in television alone, it is clear that there is greater cultural diversity. However, this also raises the question of whether what is being depicted in these shows are authentic cultural representatations even the question if accurate depictions of culture are possible. According to Oishi (2004), even when there is “consistency and homogeneity in cultural messages”, there are individual interpretations of cultural identities (p.
69). One has to wonder whether what one attribute to culture is actually outside of it and is simply a construct of one’s own perception and experience of it. This then leads one to question whether cultural products such as media and even social institutions directed to specific cultural groups are able to recognize culture and thus respond appropriately to it (Nicholson, 1998). On a more personal level, there is a need to understand oneself both in the context and independently from one’s culture as it is understood.
Therefore, any study of culture should recognize this, otherwise, culture will not be understood in all of its significance. It makes one realize that culture is continually changing and that as much as it is a factor of society as a whole, individuals are integral parts of it. When a person then seems to not subscribe to a cultural characterization, it should not be assumed that it is going against culture but should be considered as part of the development of culture.
Individual experience, interpretations and perceptions all influence what will be attribute as part of culture. References Nicholson, I. (1998). Gordon Allport, character, and the ‘culture of personality’, 1897-1937. History of Psychology, 1. pp 52-68 Oishi, Shigehiro (2004). Personality in culture: A neo-Allportian view. Journal of Research in Personality, 38(1), February. pp 68-74