Be attentive to how people behave around you to learn about cultural expectations Try not to wear clothing that identifies you as a US college student. Keep a journal, blog, or vlog while you are abroad. Journals provide a wonderful opportunity to record all of your adventures overseas and reflect upon them as you learn to interpret local actions and reactions.
Why is understanding culture important if we are community builders? What kind of cultural community can you envision for yourself? As community builders, understanding culture is our business.
No matter where you live, you are working with and establishing relationships with people--people who all have cultures. Here is one viewpoint.
It includes groups that we are born into, such as race, national origin, gender, class, or religion. It can also include a group we join or become part of.
For example, it is possible to acquire a new culture by moving to a new country or region, by a change in our economic status, or by becoming disabled.
When we think of culture this broadly we realize we all belong to many cultures at once. How might this apply to you? Why is culture important? Culture is a strong part of people's lives.
It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears. So when you are working with people and building relationships with them, it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures.
But as we explore culture, it's also important to remember how much we have in common. We are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced pain and fear. At the same time, we can't pretend our cultures and differences don't matter. This chapter will give you practical information about how to understand culture, establish relationships with people from cultures different from your own, act as an ally against racism and other forms of discrimination, create organizations in which diverse groups can work together, overcome internalized oppression, and build strong and diverse communities.
This section is an introduction to understanding culture, and will focus on: What culture is The importance of understanding culture in community building Envisioning your cultural community How to get started in building communities that encourage diversity.
But first, it is important to remember that everyone has an important viewpoint and role to play when is comes to culture. You don't have to be an expert to build relationships with people different from yourself; you don't have to have a degree to learn to become sensitive to cultural issues; and you don't have to be a social worker to know how culture has affected your life.
The world is becoming increasingly diverse and includes people of many religions, languages, economic groups, and other cultural groups. It is becoming clear that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other than our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups.
Additionally, we need to bring non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity. In order to build communities that are powerful enough to attain significant change, we need large numbers of people working together. If cultural groups join forces, they will be more effective in reaching common goals, than if each group operates in isolation.
Each cultural groups has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from. We need a wide range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life.
Bringing non-mainstream groups into the center of civic activity can provide fresh perspectives and shed new light on tough problems.
Understanding cultures will help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic divisions. Racial and ethnic divisions result in misunderstandings, loss of opportunities, and sometimes violence. Racial and ethnic conflicts drain communities of financial and human resources; they distract cultural groups from resolving the key issues they have in common.
People from different cultures have to be included in decision-making processes in order for programs or policies to be effective.
The people affected by a decision have to be involved in formulating solutions--it's a basic democratic principle. Without the input and support of all the groups involved, decision-making, implementation, and follow through are much less likely to occur. An appreciation of cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society.
For example, research has shown that when students' cultures are understood and appreciated by teachers, the students do better in school.
Students feel more accepted, they feel part of the school community, they work harder to achieve, and they are more successful in school. If we do not learn about the influences that cultural groups have had on our mainstream history and culture, we are all missing out on an accurate view of our society and our communities.
As you think about diversity, it may be helpful to envision the kind of cultural community you want to build. In order to set some goals related to building relationships between cultures, resolving differences, or building a diverse coalition, it helps to have a vision of the kind of cultural community you hope for.
What kind of cultural community do you envision?Jan 27, · Because of the speed of change today within culture, it’s more important than ever before to think a little more like a social scientist. Why Study Culture. Hartman Group social. Jan 27, · Cultural literacy is more important today than ever before, since consumers are highly food literate themselves and therefore have higher expectations of food companies.
The Importance of Culture. This adaptation is by far one of the most wonderful things about studying abroad–words are not enough to describe it, but it is definitely worth the hardships and effort that come with the working-through of culture shock.
It’s important, then, to identify resources available to you while abroad which can. Aug 28, · It's important to study culture, in short, so that you get a broader perspective of what people's backgrounds are. You will be able to understand a little bit of their reasoning, beliefs, ideas, important people these cultures looked up to not only in the present but in the r-bridal.com: Resolved.
If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture than you are a victim of it. Sep 11, · Culture is extremely important.
One of the most important aspects to life. The water in which we swim. Culture is just about everything. The languages we speak, the way we dress, how we behave, the tools we use, the stories we listen to, how we are taught and raised.
It determines our past, present and future.