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UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN MARACAS ROYAL ROAD, MARACAS, ST JOSEPH
Etnicity and Culture
An Assignment Prepared in Partial Fulfillment
For the Requirements of the Course Anth200-02:
Instructor: Terrance Browne
Shenelle La Fleur
Chapter 2 (Two) explored the Broad topic of culture, and the way in which Culture affects an individual and their actions. Culture can be defined as customary behavior and beliefs that are passed on through acculturation. Culture rests on the human capacity for cultural learning.Culture encompasses rules for conduct internalized in human beings which then leads them to act in characteristic ways.
In many modern society's of today there is great belief in individualism, where persons hold Strong to the belief that their actions and the process of decision making is solely based on self reliance, however, in this chapter the author makes it clear that individualism itself is a shared value, and even though we are all distinctive individuals with distinctive features, we have other distinct attributes because we belong to a cultural group,as human beings, we all go through the process of acculturation either knowingly or unknowingly, the way in which we absorb any cultural tradition is based solely on our capacity to learn.
This cultural learning is possible through the human capacity to use symbols, symbols can be defined as something verbal or nonverbal that stands for something else, there is no obvious, natural or necessary connection between the symbol and what it symbolizes. Within every culture there are cultural generalities, these are regularities that occur in different times and places, cultural generalities can be passed on through diffusion, which is known as cultural borrowing and also enculturation. In addition to cultural generalities there is also cultural, particularly this is a trait or feature of culture that is not generalized or widespread, rather it is confined to a single place, culture or society.
These traits that are specific to cultures are what distinguishes them apart from others and makes their practices appear taboo. Later in the chapter the author speaks on ethnocentrism which he describes as the one's tendency to view their culture as superior, using one's own standards and values to judge others, persons that are ethnocentric often consider their beliefs to be true, hold Strong to the belief that their traditions cultural beliefs and norms are right.
However with the diverse nature of human beings, culture has become both cultural and individualistic, because of this anthropologists have become interested in the way individuals think and perceive the elements of their culture, since individuals are the ones that make up the system, the author states "Cultural rules provide guidance about what to do and how to do it, but people don’t always but people don’t always do what the rules say should be done, people use their culture actively and creatively rather than blindly following its dictates, he goes on to say that humans aren't passive beings who are doomed to follow their cultural traditions like programmed robots, instead we learn, interpret and manipulate the same rules in different ways or they emphasize different rules that better suits their interests”.
This characteristic of the human beings is what makes us unique among primates even though we both share the ability to learn from experience and exhibit changed behavior as a result, in addition to this human beings are among the most cooperative of the primates in the quest food and social activities.
As time progresses and technology advances so will the elements and Generalites simultaneously, since cultural diffusion is never ending, however even though persons hold strong to their national culture where there is human socialization learning and adaptation is eminent.