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Cultural Assumptions and Values

Example of using prezi's zooming functionality to talk about various inclusive concepts. (Matter - Molecule - Element etc)
by

Robert Montoya

on 11 March 2011

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Transcript of Cultural Assumptions and Values

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don't remember.. Bond Bond Element Cultutal Forms Atom subatomic particle isn't this where
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don't remember.. Equality subatomic particle isn't this where
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don't remember.. Perception of the world This perspective is distinct from assumptions held in some other parts of the world (and variant assumptions in American culture) that humanity is inseparable from the environment and should strive for harmony with it. Nature is perceived as alive and animistic; animals and even inanimate objects have their
own essence. A dominant perception in American culture assumes that the world is material rather than spirit (or idea, essence, will, or process), and should be exploited for the material benefit of humanity.
A This perception implies a clear separation between humans
and all other forms of life and nature. Motivation Achievement is generally agreed to be a chief motivating force
in American culture. It is the force which gives the culture its
quality of "driveness."' An American's identity and, to a large degree, worth are established by accomplishments; an American is what an American achieves. Furthermore, accomplishments
should be objective, visible, and measurable. Relative to members of many other societies, Americans do not attribute particular meaning to place of birth, family, heritage, traditional status, or other prescriptive considerations which can be used to define the self.

American culture, then, emphasizes personal achievement through externally documented accomplishments while many other societies emphasize ascription
with its attendant concern for the traditionally fixed status of the individual. Perceptions of Individual Stress on the individual begins at a very early age when the American child is encouraged to be autonomous. An important consequence of this emphasis on the individual
is that the American tends to resist formal authoritative control.

Another consequence of the American's individuality is that
his or her self-concept is not easily merged with a group; any group, ranging from a small one to the nation, is conceived as a collection of individuals. American's emphasize on objectives rather than personal relationships. Americans tend to fragment personalities. They do not have to accept other people in totality to be able to work with them; an American may disapprove of the politics, hobbies, or personal life of an associate and still work effectively with him or her.

An individual with ascriptive motivation, however, tends to react to others as total or whole persons and, consequently, often cannot work or cooperate with a person of different religion, belief system, or ethical code. Self However, since this cultural assumptionis implicit and generally outside the awareness of the American, the nature of self-identity is somewhat elusive.

Anindividual's relatively diffuse identity is, in part, a consequence of the absence of clear ascriptive classifications such as caste and class found in other cultures. The concept of an individualistic self is an integral assumption of American culture so deeply ingrained that Americans ordinarily do not question it.

They naturally assume that each person has his or her own separate identity. Optimism vs Limited Doing vs. Being Activity Atom subatomic particle isn't this where
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don't remember.. Bond Bond Element Space Nomadic Culutres isn't this where
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don't remember.. Spatial Relations isn't this where
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don't remember.. Territorialism isn't this where
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don't remember.. Linear isn't this where
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don't remember.. Energy subatomic particle isn't this where
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don't remember.. In contrast, some people from sub-Saharan
Africa view the universe as consisting of a network of living forces. In their perspective, force is synonymous with being. isn't this where
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don't remember.. Bond When assumptions lack substance Categories Categories Atom subatomic particle isn't this where
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don't remember.. Bond Bond Element Cultural Assumptions and Values... Social Relationships external
visiable
rationalize failure Thesis:

Cultural patterns, including their variations, may be seen as guides to "a limited number of common human problems for which all peoples at all times must find some solution."

These problem areas can be used as a framework for identifying inclusive cultural dimensions on which all cultures can be plotted. The common human problems covered by such a system of assumptions and values can be classified under five categories: activity, social relations, motivation, perception of the world, and perception of the self and of the individual.

American or Western ideologies vs. Non-Western ideologies Assumptions CulturalForms Assumptions are more abstract and more
outside of conscious awareness. They represent the predispositions the individual employs to pattern the world and are usually felt by the individual to be an aspect of the world itself and not simply his or her perception of it. Values are relatively concrete, discrete, and specific; for instance,
typical American values are the sanctity of private property,
the desirability of physical comfort, and the need for tangible
measures of success.

Values also have a quality of "oughtness" and are relatively available to individual awareness. A person will often discuss values when explaining his or her own or others' feelings or behavior. Cultural forms tend to overlap
with assumptions and, to a lesser degree, values.

In some cases the cognitive processes underlying cultural
thinking are so abstract and lacking in substantive reference that
they are probably best distinguished from assumptions and called
cultural forms.

Examples include assumptions about time, space,
essence, energy, and logical process. Doing refers to the assumption that activity should result in externalized, visible accomplishment as exemplified by the stock American phrase, "getting things done." The being orientation refers to the spontaneous expression of what is regarded as the given nature of human personality. It values the phenomenological experience of humanity rather than tangible accomplishments and is associated with the notion of having a natural and given position in society. A chief characteristic of social relationships among Americans
of the middle class is equality. Its ramifications are so profound
that it should be considered an assumption of American culture,
even though as an expressed value there is no uniform application
to all segments of the society. In nearly every other culture there is a much greater emphasis on inequality of persons. To assume that everyone is equal and should be treated alike is considered, in some cultures, to be demeaning to the individuality of the person. Inequality underlies social conventions and etiquette and clearly defined reciprocity among persons engaged in social interactions. Americans tend to be relatively impartial and objective in the conduct of social relations, compared to the personalized interactions
found in many parts of the world.

Examples of the former are large charitable fund-raising efforts, objective standards of promotion, and the uneasiness about gift giving in business.

Examples of personalized interaction are found in the paternal benevolence of the Japanese and Latin Americans, personal leadership of the Latin caudil1os, and the nepotism endemic to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Relational Structure A basic issue underlying human behavior is the relationship between the empirical world and the cognitive world. If the relationship is isometric, the empirical world can be apprehended directly. Americans tend to comprehend what they observe through intermediate explanatory concepts, whereas many non-Western people are more likely to apprehend experience directly through intuition and spontaneous reaction, without a need for "explanation" in the Western sense of the word. isn't this where
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don't remember.. Limited Good A chief distinction
between peasant and Western societies in terms of the concept
of "limited good."

The concept, in the most general sense of a cultural form, refers to the tendency to conceive of the world in limited rather than expansive terms. Discussion Questions Question 1:

Question 2: Edward C. Stewart, Jack Danielian,
and Robert J. Foster For this analysis, culture may be examined at four levels:

concrete behavior
values
assumptions
generalized cultural forms.

We will focus on the last three, as they are necessarily derived from observations of behavior but can be usefully treated as a motivational explanation underlying most human behavior.

Viewed at the individual level they are internalized components of personality that are generally shared with other members of the cultural group.
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