A Description of Cultural Patterns

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Cultural patterns are described as the preferred set of responses to different life situations. According to Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s description of cultural patterns there are 5 dimensions or elements that address the manner in which a culture orients itself to activities, social relations, the self, the world and the passage of time. In the following reflection I will identify each one of these dimensions with the cultural patterns shown in my country.

Starting with the activity orientation, which defines how the people of a culture view human actions and the expression of self through activities, we can identify the Puerto Rican culture as a “becoming” one. A “becoming” orientation refers to people who are predisposed to think of ways to change themselves as a means of changing the world. Although I do not fully agree on this identifying the Puerto Rican culture, I do agree on other views that the “becoming” cultures have toward work and play. For example Puerto Ricans do not have a “clear-cut” separation between work and their social lives. Often you can go into an office and find employees chatting with each other, talking with relatives over the phone or talking about their private lives in a business meeting. The Puerto Rican culture is more relaxed in terms of work compared to the Mexican, Colombian or European American culture, we specifically work for a means to an end and appreciate every second of our leisure time.

The social relations dimension describes how the people in a culture organize themselves and refer to one another. In Puerto Rico the degree of importance we place on formality has changed through the years as different generations modify the way we address people. For example teenagers often refer to their elders as “you” instead of “sir” or they will say to someone who is serving them “give me” instead of “may I have”. The Puerto Rican culture generally does not give much importance to tittles, as they believe that...
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