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What is culture? Essay

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What is culture? Culture in its very essence is the excellence in taste of fine arts and humanities; second, it is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends upon the social learning and perception of thought of an individual.  Lastly, it is the set of standards or norms, values, goals and practices that characterize an institution, a group or that of an individual.

I personally believe that major multicultural groups in the United states such as White Americans, African Americans, American Indians, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Hispanic and others can be identified as various “cultural groups” that comprise a bigger entity that is, the United States of America.

The United States has a rich culture in such a way that when immigrants arrive to the country, in a several years time they become “Americanized” in words, in actions and in the way they think. Even if these settlers refuse to be “Americanized” they don’t have any choice because the American way of life becomes their own manner of living.

Thus, they adapt to the culture of others around them.

It would be best for the White Americans to be referred to as a “race” rather than a culture, because whites are simply Caucasians that have settled and lived in the United States. In contrast, White Americans can be regarded to as a cultural group in the United States because they share the same perceptions, follow the same set of norms, goals and ideals which define their culture.

Previous schooling of immigrants may influence the students in a big way, because these children are accustomed to their home of origin. This home of origin is where they have lived and have grown for sometime. Transferring to another school more so, in another country such as the United States would put children in a sense of “culture shock”. The cultural differences makes the individual feel  out of place and he has to get accustomed to this, to be able to blend in, and this is where the process of “Americanization”  begins to happen.

As a teacher it is very helpful for the children if extra care and attention would be given to them, because of the differences of the educational system in their country and in the American educational system. In this way the teacher is making sure that any concerns of the child are well sought for and addressed immediately.

Reference:

McClenon, J. 1998.  “Tylor, Edward Burnett”. Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Ed. William Swatos and Peter Kivisto. Walnut Creek: AltaMira, p528-29.

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