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The Many Faces of Culture Essay

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Defining culture has been a debate among sociologists and anthropologists since the 19th century. Culture is vital for the perseverance of a society and has its own identity that distinguishes it from others. Culture is not rooted into a person from birth, but it is learned from wherever he or she is from. It acts in a subconscious manner in that when a culture differs, one society may find another society to be odd. Every society has a different culture where the people share a specific language, gesture, belief, behavior, norms, sanctions and more. Language greatly influences how we see the world.
Languages shape the way we understand some aspects in life such as time, direction, space and even causality. For example, while English speakers tend to say “Lisa broke the vase,” Spanish and Japanese speakers would tend to say “the vase broke itself.” These opposing interpretations may cause different understandings of how events are perceived. Language is a part of culture and a part of behavior. According to the hypothesis of linguistic determinism (Sapir, 1956), “No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.” Language and culture are so strongly connected that the precise understanding of the relationship between the two is fundamental in cross-cultural communication.
Every country has a different way of greeting with one another and various kinds of gestures they share with each other. Gestures are the motions of the body to communicate with others and to express messages without using words. Gestures all vary around the globe and the meaning of ...


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...e Coca-Cola Company is an example of cultural leveling because not only is Coca-Cola sold in America, but it is all across the globe such as South Korea, India and 200 other countries. The positive factor about cultural leveling is that it unifies cultures but the negative is that the cultural originality is lost.



Works Cited

Billikopf, Gregorio. "Cultural Differences." College of Natural Resources - UC Berkeley. 1 June
2009. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. .
Jervis, Nancy. "What Is a Culture?" P-12 : NYSED. The University of the State of New York,
2006. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. .
Wescott, Roger Williams. "Diffusion." NEARA Home Page. New England Antiquities Research
Association, 2002. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. .


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