Americans and people from Western cultures are particularly challenged in their ability to understand someone else’s point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism. Our perception of the world around us and our personal relationships with objects, people, and nature, can be highly affected by our culture
Ones culture can also be intersected with the cultures of race, gender, disability, occupational groups, and social-class. As you can see the word culture is rather complicated, making the average person less likely to recognize its influence.
There are two levels of function when it comes to culture, the explicit, and the implicit. Explicit culture refers to cultural expressions, such as Holidays, food, clothing, artifacts, objects, rituals, music and symbols. While implicit culture refers to the values, philosophies and the underlying meaning of these symbols within the cultural context.
As a child my family moved us all over the place, from state to state, house to house, I was even born in Italy! Thanks to the United States Army we moved at least every year. Although it was difficult for me to adjust I would say I suffered from cultural shock and I was a mess. The shock would set in within a few days no matter where we moved to. The shock of needing to adjust and make new friends again truly began to wear on me. Although I never recognized these differences as cultural, I do now! By the time we moved to Buffalo, N.Y when I was 9 yrs old, I was ready to settle down and stay there. I wanted to find a place where we could just be a family, differences or not. Aware of my cultural differences or not I wanted to be accepted and find diversity all in one town and I was determined to stay in Buffalo. Needless to say, I am now in Bellingham and my cultural views have been ever changing based on my experiences in my life.
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