Western Culture

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Western Culture

Cultural diversity is all around us. Each culture identifies with unique characters. And while much of behavior may be thought to be innate, there are also external factors that can impact an individual's behavior. What is thought to be culturally accepted behavior or norms in one area of the country may be offensive and unacceptable in others. There are many examples of this practice. For instance, the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, while in Austria; an individual who is 16 may consume ‘light’ alcohol such as beer, wine or champagne. The “OK” symbol while used in the Western culture as “I’m ok” or “are you OK?” is found to be very offensive in Turkey and Venezuela where there it references a symbol of homosexuality. Since China accounts for over one-fifth of the 1.73 billion people around the world that take to the web, American-based Google, wanted to embark on this global domination but missed important cultural sensitivities and did not dominate this market as hoped. Cultures adapt to meet specific sets of circumstances, such as climate, level of technology, population, and geography (Schaefer, 2009, p. 69). For those that visit other countries may find their food and or people vastly different from what they are used too. Someone from the United States may be stunned to learn in certain areas of China dog meat is the specialty, a woman from strict Islamic culture will find offense to the provocative dress of the United States and while we Westerners think cattle are to be used for food might look down on India’s Hindu religion and culture, which views the cow as sacred (Schaeffer, 2009). The culture in India is vastly different than that of our Western society; yet we still see a subculture created by those who job requires that they serve customers in the United States. These individuals have adapted to their circumstances and have a somewhat different lifestyle than others as it relates to their job. Not only must...
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