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Analyze the culture(s) and values represented in the assigned supplemental text and comment on any parallels with Hirschberg text readings. Please support your analysis with relevant outside sources.

In some ways, our age the age of the displaced person, and those whom society considers
deviant, abnormal, or simply different is defined by the condition of exile and otherness.
Being brought up in one world and then emigrating to a different culture inevitably produces
feelings of alienation. Moving to another country involves living among people who dress
differently, eat unfamiliar foods, have puzzling customs, and speak another language.
Without insight into the norms that govern behavior in a new environment, it is often
difficult for immigrants to interpret the actions of others- to know what particular facial
expressions and gestures might mean, what assumptions govern physical contact, how
people express and resolve conflicts, or what topics of conversation are deemed
The family has been the most enduring basis of culture throughout the world and has
provided a stabilizing force in all societies. The complex network of dependencies,
relationships, and obligations may extend outward from parents and children to include
grandparent’s cousins, aunts and uncles, and more distantly related relatives. In other
cultures, the entire community or tribe is seen as an extended family. The unique
relationships developed among members of a family provide a universal basis for common
experiences, emotions perceptions, and expectations. At the same time, each family is
different, with its own uniquely characteristic relationships and bonds Family relationships
and friendships continue to exert a profound influence on one’s life long after childhood. In
the context of the family, we first learn what it means to experience the emotions of love,
hope, fear, anger, and contentment. The works in this chapter focus on parent-child
relationships, explore the connections between friends, and depict the impact of cultural
values on these relationships.
The structure of the family is subject to a wide range of economic and social influences in
different cultures. For example, child rearing in China is a different enterprise from what it is
in America because of the differences in economic circumstances and political systems. The
variety of family structures depicted by writers of many different nationalities offers insight
into how the concept of the family and friendship is modified according to the constraints,
beliefs, and needs of particular societies.
In almost every society, certain rites or ceremonies are used to signal adulthood. Although
many of these occasions are informal, some are quite elaborate and dramatic. This chapter
offers a range of perspectives that illustrate how such turning points are marked by informal
and formal rituals across a broad spectrum of cultures these moments of insight may be
private psychological turning points or ceremonies that initiate the individual into adulthood
within a community. These crucial moments in which individuals move from childhood
innocence to adult awareness often involve learning a particular society’s rules governing
what actions can or cannot be taken under different circumstances. One gains values,
knowledge and expectations as to how to present oneself in a wide variety of and
expectations as to how to present oneself in a wide variety of situations.
The way we identify ourselves in terms of the work we do is far reaching. Frequently, the
first question we ask when we meet someone is What do you do?” Through work we define
ourselves and others, yet cultural values also play a part in influencing how we feel about
the work we do In addition to providing a means to live, work has an important
psychological meaning in our culture. Some societies value work more than leisure; in other
cultures, the reverse is true and work is viewed as something you do just to provide the
necessities of life. In the United States, the work you perform is intertwined with a sense of
identity and self-esteem. Work in most societies involves the exchange of goods and services
In tribal cultures, as distinct from highly industrialized cultures, there is little job
specialization, although age and gender determine what tasks one performs. Economies may
range from the barter system, in which goods are traded, to more complex market
economies based on the reciprocal exchange of goods and services for money. The
transformation of resources is a key element in creating jobs and a stable economy.
Every society can be characterized in terms of social class. Although the principles by which
class is identified vary widely from culture to culture, from the amount of money you earn in
the United States to what kind of accent you speak in England to what religious caste you
are born into in India, class serves to set boundaries around individuals in terms of
opportunities and possibilities. The concept of class in its present form has been in force for
only a few hundred years in Western cultures. In prior times, for example, in medieval
Europe, your position and chances in life were determined at birth by Europe, your position
and chances in life were determined at birth by the estate into which you were born,
whether that of peasant, clergy or noble.
Conflicts based on inequalities of social class are often intertwined with those of race
because minorities usually receive the least education, have the least political clout, earn the
least income, and find work and occupations considered menial without the possibility of
advancement. In some societies, such as India’s, for example, an oppressive caste based on
tradition has, until recently, been responsible for burdening the “untouchables” with the
most onerous tasks. Class conditions our entire lives by limiting, more than we might like
to admit, whom we can befriend, what our goals are, and even whom we can marry. Class
reflects the access one has to important resources, social privileges, choices, and a sense of
control over one’s own life. Although caste in India is something one cannot change, social
stratification in America is less rigid, and upward mobility is possible through a variety of
means such as work financial success, marriage, and education. More frequently however, a
de facto class system can be said to exist in terms of health care, salaries, housing, and
opportunities for education that vary greatly for the rich and the poor.
People around the world have adapted unique food preferences in ways that reflect the
values of their particular culture. Sharing food creates a social bond and, in many cultures,
offering food to guests is a central value. At various times of the year, during festivals
holidays, and special occasions, sharing certain foods as a part of ritual celebrations plays a
key role. The food practices of many societies can reflect religious and cultural taboos. For
example Islamic dietary laws prohibit pork and alcohol; Hindus and Buddhists are mainly
vegetarians; and Mormons prohibit stimulents such as alcohol, coffee, and tea.
Body Ritual Among the Nacirema
by Horace Miner
from American Anthropologist, 1956, 58(3), 503-507

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