Individualism In Home Culture

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Before I begin contrasting my home culture to the host culture at Friends of Refugees, I must explain some social norms of my culture. As I previously stated, I come from a mostly typical American family and display at least five of the norms presented in Craig Storti’s book, Figuring Foreigners Out, A Practical Guide. One norm discussed is Individualism, where identity is found in oneself (Storti, 1999). I experience individualism through the choices I am presented in daily life and through the expectations of others, particularly my family and school. For example, my parents did expect me to go to college, but they imposed little influence on the major I selected, that decision was mine alone. Apart from college, my parents, like most other…show more content…
I observe Universalism through expectations presented by school, church, and the US Government. Attending public school gave me many examples of Universalism styled thinking, for example, standardized testing is founded on the concept that every student can take a multiple-choice test. Also, public school claims that most every student can learn through the same teaching style. Church has a similar mindset toward how the Bible is taught, where most churches practice a lecture style Sunday surmon with little variation. The most obvious example of Universalism I observe in America is our government system that holds all citizens to the same federal laws and regulations, though an argument could be made against that in the case of race…show more content…
In contrast to my culture’s social norm of Individualism, our host culture displays the social norm of Collectivism, where identity is found solely in one’s family group. I first observed Collectivist culture from the families in the grocery shop on Monday. They made most of the decisions together as a group, even allowing the small children to have a say in what was bought. On Tuesday, while on our first house visit, the mother spoke often of her children and husband, stating how much she detested being apart from her husband while she healed from an injury. A similar sentiment was expressed by the family at our second house visit on Wednesday, when they spoke of the struggle to reunite as a family once they were all in America, and how they continue to send help to family members who are not in the States yet. During the Pakistani church service on Sunday afternoon, I noticed many families sitting together as a large group, allowing the children to interact with each other. The group speaker on Tuesday spoke of his attachment to his family, mainly to his younger
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