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Essay on Our Cultural Lens

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We all see the events and objects surrounding us in a cultural lens in which tints, alters, and shapes our perceptions. In a broader aspect, culture shapes how people experience their world. Though a culture is generally understood and thought of as the foods, clothing, holidays, and music a group of people engage in, culture dives deeper than just a group’s visible traditions.
Culture refers to the behaviors and interactions of a people and the representative structures in which give such behavior meaning. Human nature, history, and environment have impacted and resulted in the many differences and similarities amongst the various cultures that exist today. A culture is inclusive of shared language or system of communication, beliefs, values, customs, and artifacts. Such facets of human nature direct and influence our actions, thoughts, and forms of expression; as well as divide a people and distinguish groups of different cultures due to the dynamic nature of humans.
Language lies at the heart of the human experience; it is essential to the learning of people to understand their culture. Though language is a uniquely human gift, it differs from different ethnic groups and their components of communication: oral expression, oral comprehension, written expression, and written comprehension. However, language may also be non-verbal in expression such as body language. Through use of hand gestures, body language, and eye contact can we often understand what is considered appropriate for socialization. For instance, in some cultures certain hand gestures and direct eye contact may be seen as disrespectful; while in others, it signifies a certain air of punctuation. A language or system of communication is designed by a group of pe...


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...ulture, human nature, and the history of our people do we develop our system of communication, our beliefs and values, customs, and artifacts.



Works Cited
Barnlund, Dean. "Communication in a Global Village." Accessed October 27, 2011. http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~herrington/classes/4406f2000/barnlund.html.
Cowings, John S. National Defense University, "VALUES AND ETHICS." Accessed October 27, 2011. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch15.html.
Glanvill, John. "Values and beliefs." Accessed October 27, 2011. http://johnglanvill.com/values-and-beliefs/.
MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLINE. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, s.v. "tradition." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tradition (accessed October 27, 2011).
Straker, David. "Elements of Culture." Accessed October 27, 2011. http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/elements_of_culture.htm.


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