The Importance of Understanding Cultures in America and Other Countries

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When I first decided to take the Introduction to Sociology class I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or even what to think. I had never taken any classes on sociology so I was quite sure that this would be an adventure. Well, as things turned out it was an adventure, this class was fun and very insightful. This class taught me a lot about what the rest of the world is like and how the American culture is different from the cultures around the world. What america accepts as the norm is different than say what Germany accepts as the norm.

I want to start by defining what culture is, “Culture is the way of life of a people, specifically the shared and human-created strategies for adapting and responding to the social and physical environment. pg 518” I learned that culture isn’t only about what one thing is acceptable or about one way or life. Culture is about a lot of things. I learned that it includes material things that different cultures have in common for example material culture is something like a lawn mower, a car, or an ipod. These are things that other cultures other than the american culture have or consider part of their norm. The book states that this is a way for people to understand others and relate to them. Non-Material culture includes things like peoples values, values are what people think is important to them. For some cultures praying everyday at a set time is a value to them. It is something that they find important to them. Beliefs are a non-material culture. These are what people believe in, it can range anywhere from believing in a god to believing in things like santa. These beliefs help define a culture and why it is the way it is. Symbols are type of a non-material culture, they are words that are dif...

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... so many things about interacting with others and about understanding different cultures, Things are different everywhere you do because someone was raised that way or because they believe in something different than you. Culture isn’t all about the way someone lives or the society that they live in. Culture is about things you own, the way you act, where you live and your lifestyle. I now look at people with a different culture than me with so much more respect. I don’t know what they have gone through or what kind of culture they grew up with, life is harder in other places then it is America. I understand the differences in the way people live and see things. The culture and diversity in the world is amazing. Overall I loved this class, I learned things that I never could have imagined learning, I am impressed with the book and the class discussions that we have.
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