Focused Knowledge Issue: To what extent does culture have an effect on an individual? In brief terms, culture is the way of life for an individual; it decides how they will communicate with the world and how they will see the world. The culture a person is born into provides them with guidelines to life; giving them characteristics, including psychological characteristics. It will define whether the person will be aggressive or passive, independent or collaborative. These examples go on and in the end it will define the person. Culture will also fixate the individual into a specific group; this would be a stranger’s first impression of the individual. The group includes society, gender, ethnicity, age or even class. Since culture puts individuals into groups, individuals will find themselves amongst people who share the same values and beliefs. These values and beliefs play a very important role in our lives because, firstly it will distinguish us from the rest of the world and most importantly it will be the main factor which shapes our way of thinking; in other terms, how we see the world. This factor can also be seen negatively, culture can be a way to fall into a stereotype category. When we are stereotyped, it would be a general assumption by people on what kind of person we are and our personality overall. Stereotyping a specific cultural group can result in various effects on individuals in that community. For example, if there is a stereotype that women have to be thin, this will affect an individual girl, lowering her self-esteem by a lot; this might not seem problematic at the beginning but in the long run it becomes life threatening. This kind of affect is called internalization; or people taking the idea imposed by others on their culture personally. As mentioned earlier, culture affects the individuals way of seeing the world, better said, how...
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