Culture and Cultural Norms Essay
Culture and Cultural Norms
Culture can be referred to as a people’s way of life. It can be used to refer to the way we live and all that goes along with our life. That means that for us to have a life we have to be affiliated to a certain culture or to belong to a certain culture. To be in a certain culture, one has to comply will the cultural values, norms and expectations. Cultural values can be used or rather the term can be used to refer to the way we have our things done. Wee can not be able to have statistical averages on cultural norms. There are expected and also accepted practices in our society. Sometimes they may not be in line with the law or our policies.
An example is a case where it is understandable and very normal to drive 5 miles above the speed limits. (http://www. changeculture. com/Webpages/Norms/Norms. htm) Norms have varying strength and thus they have very different consequences incase one violates these norms. If one lacks norms, this is referred to as economies and it is mostly associated with social breakdown and mental illness. This means that depending on the offense that one has committed they may be punished by their culture differently. They may be excommunicated by their community or anything that this community may think.
(Westing, 1988) However, culture keeps changing and people in that culture move in pace with the change. This is why some people are more civilized than others. Due to this we find that some people have or seem to be more advanced then others. This can be used or is used in reference to some elite activities such as classic music, museum caliber art. There are times that one will move place to or one continent to the next and find that he can not fit in the next. This is because he finds that he really having a different way of life from the other people or the people that he meets.
(http://www. changeculture. com/Webpages/Norms/Norms. htm) I once visited South America for one month in Peru. I was expecting a very normal life but I got some things that I least expected. Life was very different and that is when I realized I was in another world with quite a different culture. I was used to a life where we had a simple nuclear family where we have dad, mom and my brother and my two sisters. Down there I found that life is quite different. A simple family I realized consisted of the father, mother, children, uncles, aunties and the grandparents.
All these were living in the same house under the same roof. There was a very different way of life here. Then when Sunday comes, I am a Christian and we go to church every Sunday. Here there were no churches and people used to pray under different groups at different places. I have never seen this before. There were sacrifices at the places where they prayed and they would slaughter animals and roast meat. This was very different from what we are used to in Florida. I also understood that there congregations were headed by old men and they spoke in their own native language.
I later understood that some they did not understand English no wonder they communicated in their language. (Wolfgang M 2001) These people were little light in skin color more reddish than most of us. Most of them had not gone to school and thus they would not communicate or rather they did not know any other language. This made it very difficult for them to communicate. Most of their children used to go to look after their animals in some forest. I had led this only on papers but I never thought it happens on real life. However, there were those who were civilized for example in the towns.
There were more advanced. Majority of them knew how to read and write and they would communicate in even in English. I realized that I was in a different world with quite different civilization. However, the culture of the people was quite different from what I was used to. Also, in this area there were very poor communication systems. Very few people had mobile phones and they were very expensive. I found this very different from what I am used to in our country. This gave an advantage as since people knew that we were foreigners they never concentrated so much on us.
I would see that even if we go to a public place we were given a first priority in service. Life was very different here and people had to notice us everywhere we were going. I remember one time we were walking late at night and the police were rounding up all those who were walking around. When they came to us and realized that we were foreigners, they just passed but told us to go to our house while they arrested those who were behind us. In conclusion, it happens that people will have very different cultures in different places and they will have different way of life.
If people from a different culture come, they will experience the change and they have an advantage of being foreigners. This makes them to have an advantage of being served or rather being attended to first. This shows that culture is complex and mostly resistant to change. (http://www. changeculture. com/Webpages/changeprocess. htm) Reference Westing H. A(1988)Cultural Norms, War and the Environment. Oxford University Press Wolfgang M (2001)The Subculture of Violence: Towards an Integrated Theory in Violence Routledge Publishers http://www. changeculture. com