Cultural Difference Paper

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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 people’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. “Today many psychologists recognize that culture is just as powerful and influence on personality and behvaior as any biological process”, (Wade & Tavris, 2006). I do not think that it is easy to see how cultural rules affect one’s one personality, for example if I was asked the question “who are you”, 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 “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 conformity”, (Dictionary of Media Studies Dictionary of Media StudiesDictionary of Media Studies, 2006). In collectivist cultures, this is “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...
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