Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures Essay

Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures Essay

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Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures

Most of the research on interpersonal attraction has been carried out
in Western societies, especially the United Kingdom and United States.
This limitation is very important as it argues that the behaviour and
communication need to be understood within the context in which they
occur, and this context considerably differs from one culture to
another. Therefore we can readily accept that there are large
differences in interpersonal relationships between cultures.

Its quite easy to assume that what is true in our own culture about
interpersonal attraction is likely to be true in other cultures as
well. However, the factors influencing whether someone is seen as
physically attractive can sometimes be by the current standards of the
social group, which are considered sub-cultures.

Anderson et al. studied the preference of female body size in 54
cultures. They divided these cultures the extent of the food supply ad
the preferences for different body sizes were divided into heavy body,
moderate body and slender body. Findings showed that in areas where
there was a very unreliable food supply the male population preferred
the heavy body size by 71% and in areas where food was very reliable
the male population preferred the slender body by 40%. With the
Western culture's obsession with slimness in women it may come as a
surprise that heavy women are more attractive especially in areas
where there is little or very little food, however, they would be seen
as better equipped to survive in food shortages and to provide
nourishment for their children.

This research ...


... middle of paper ...


... carries shame on both parties and their
families. This is a clear example of collectivist values. Simmel
(1971) argues that individualism is associated with higher divorce
rates as it encourages the individual to constantly seek their ideal
partner. In Poland, where divorce rates are very low it is usually
women who file for divorce usually due to maltreatment caused by
husbands' alcohol abuse. However, in Saudi Arabia, a man does not have
to give a reason for divorcing his wife, but the wife can only
initiate a divorce if this is specifically stated in the marriage
contract as being allowed (Minai 1981).

Problems with non-Western results are that they can be inaccurate due
to communication difficulties. For example, some exact translations
can be impossible and certain emphasises may be missed or
misunderstood.

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