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Expository Essay on Cultural Clash: Man's Search for Meaning
- Topics: Cultural Identity Man's Search For Meaning
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Cultural clashes occur when members holding different cultural beliefs and values don’t integrate into the society. The resulting conflicts can range from discrimanation in day to day life or can reach ruthless heights of violence and hate-crime.
As we know, almost every country across the world is culturally diverse. A severe cases of culture-based segregation occurred during the 1941 genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany and first hand works of literature provide un-veiled understanding of the extremity of Holocaust.
Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” would be an appropriate reference for this period. Frankl sheds light on his experience in Auschwitz and three other concentration camps while emphasizing how cultural conflicts uprooted his whole life.
Frankl lost both his parents, his brother and his pregnant wife in the camp but he endured the pain and clung on to the things he could never be robbed of: “the last of human freedom, to choose one’s attitude in any circumstance and to choose one’s own way” (Frankl, 1946).
Existential crisis occurs when individuals question whether their lives have meaning, purpose, or value. Frankl lost his entire family because of cultural domination and yet he didn’t succumb to losing himself. His book is a powerful tool to show that one can either submit to those in power or instead hold on to their inner freedom. He also kept other Auschwitz prisoners at sanity and helped them discover meaning in their lives, one day at a time.
A work of literature from a more recent period is “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. The essay portrays the vast differences between the Chinese and American cultures and how being a migrant victimized her family to culture-based discrimation. Her mother’s “limited English” commonly subjected her to disrespect, and ill-treatment at places like hospitals and restaurants where they either didn’t treat her well or pretended not to understand her.
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Tan could have easily lost herself or her pride in her culture amidst the cruelty she received, but yet she hung on to her values and used her literary platform to show that people of different cultures are no different and everyone must be treated and protected equally.
As she says, the “Power of language can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” (Tan, 1990) and to this day she persuades people to develop love and acceptance.
Needless to say, there are numerous literary works on similar lines. For example, “Ethnic Angst” by Ajay S. Deshmukh highlights the struggle of the Parsis who are an ethnic minority in South Asia. When they migrated to India for safety, they instead faced conditional refuge. An autobiographical work is the “The Diary Of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank gives first-hand accounts of Frank’s hiding during the Holocaust, who was ultimately killed in a gas chamber.
All the works portray one theme in common: both internal and external conflict could potentially lead to an existential crisis.
When the cultural clash is internal, the protagonists struggle to choose between opposing beliefs within themselves, like Amy Tan in “Mother Tongue” who had to decide whether to hold on to her Chinese traditions or build a new American identity. When the cultural clash is external, the protagonists face external forces who stand against their way of following a certain belief, like Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” where the Nazis aspired to eradicate the Jewish culture.
In both cases, the protagonists could have lost their identity under opposing domination but they held onto their beliefs and didn’t undergo an identity crisis.
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Cultural Clash/Shock Essay
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Communication , Culture , Leadership , Society , Human Resource Management , Democracy , Time Management , Women
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Cultural shock/clash can be defined as the exposure to unfamiliar way of life leading to uncertain behavior to simulate in the culture. Ethnocentrism however, can be defined as the propensity to believe that one’s cultural or ethnic community is superior to the other groups.[ CITATION Bro01 \l 1033 ]. Chauvinism is the view, idea or thought that a particular gender is superior to the other. In Iraq, ethnocentrism could be defined from the gender angle: the chauvinism way. The social relationship dictates that the male counterparts are seen as superior to the females. They are viewed as species with the right to have fun: the pleasure species. Women on the other hand are viewed as species created to serve men and ensure their pleasures are achieved. They are there to flower the men’s’ world. The difference between the two genders is viewed to so huge that they should not even have eye to eye contact with men. Insofar as this can be viewed as acceptable to the involved parties, it is not in a liberal society like mine, where men and women interact freely and have equal rights not to mention freedom in doing whatever they wish. The chains of chauvinism are deeply rooted in the Iraqi culture. So deeply it is that women are not supposed to work. Ultimate loyalty is expected from them towards their male counterparts and not equally expected from the males. Generally women are supposed to remain at home while men worked.
The communication style is very different. They only shake with the right hand and using the left is viewed as disrespect and dirty since it is the hand they use for cleaning in the bathroom. Receiving money using the left hand is viewed as bad omen. It is believed to be able to cause a business to fall or if it were school fees, influence the performance of the child negatively. The communication from the elderly is taken without question. Religious leaders are viewed with much admiration to be taken lightly. Whatever they say is viewed to be from God (Allah) and should not be questioned. Men are not supposed to speak to women unless they speak to you first. This, to a liberal individual seems way overboard. From a society where no one even pays attention to whom initiate any conversation but the conversation itself, where women can propose for marriages or even approach the males for intimate relationships. Their political system is saturated with cultural beliefs with religious leaders having great influence on who becomes the leader and doesn’t. This is not so in a liberal society where leaders are elected using a very democratic process. Culture in the work place is also much religiously influenced. People stop to pray in the middle of work. God is to be given the first priority at all times and should be served seven times a day at some specific times. When it reaches these times they kneel to pray leaving their work until they finished. This is unlike my society where most people pray for few hours on a day in a week. Most employees would find it hard to stand this type of working model. Most women are also not supposed to work, if they do, they are supposed to work with fellow women, children or the elderly. Little boys are however allowed to work. This indicates a high level of demeaning to the women; allowing a little boy to work but middle aged lady not to.
Cristofa, I. (2001). Cultural Shock. London: Priority Projects. Malinowski, B. (2001). Man and culture: an evalution of the work of Bronislaw Malinowski. Chicago: Routledge.
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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — The Odyssey — Culture Clash
A Clash of Cultures in The Odyssey
- Subject: Literature
- Category: Poems
- Essay Topic: The Odyssey
- Words: 1621
- Published: 06 May 2018
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Cultural Clash In The 1920s
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Culture Clash in Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
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My parents named me Carlo Rossi, naming me after my great, great grandfather Carlos Rossi who was an intelligent, rich and successful man. I grew up in the Northwest part of San Fierro with my parents and my twin sister in an average cozy San Fierro apartment house. Life felt like heaven at San Fierro, crime rates were low in my area, and I had many friends around the block with which I would play basketball on the street every afternoon after returning from school. My family was, and still is, in good shape and getting the best they can out of life.
Doing Business in Italy Essay
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Italy has been shaped by its history of constant warring and many rulers, which in turn has made Italians doubtful toward authority as well as giving them a strong ability to survive difficult situations (Welcome to Italy).
- Italian American
- Italian language
- Culture of Italy
- Italian cuisine
When the cultural clash is external, the protagonists face external forces who stand against their way of following a certain belief, like Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” where the Nazis aspired to eradicate the Jewish culture. In both cases, the protagonists could have lost their identity under opposing domination but they held ...
Cultural shock/clash can be defined as the exposure to unfamiliar way of life leading to uncertain behavior to simulate in the culture. Ethnocentrism however, can be defined as the propensity to believe that one’s cultural or ethnic community is superior to the other groups. [ CITATION Bro01 \l 1033 ].
“Culture Clash” I am a born Vietnamese, and Chinese American. For more than a decade I have made many friends coming from diverse cultures. I recall one friend back in high school that demonstrated the importance of one’s own private culture, and language.
A Clash of Cultures in The Odyssey Subject: Literature Category: Poems Essay Topic: The Odyssey Pages: 3.5 Words: 1621 Published: 06 May 2018 Downloads: 297 Download Print Remember! This is just a sample. You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers. Get custom essay 121 writers online
Cultural Clash In The 1920s 823 Words4 Pages During the 1920s, Word War I had just ended and people were ready to celebrate. Although 1920 had its good times and perks, some bad things were going on, like cultural clashes. The first major cultural clash was the Great Migration.
Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is the story of the rise and fall of Okonkwo, and the story of what happens to a society and culture when colonization by a more powerful culture takes place. One of Achebe’s main purposes is to write a tragedy in the classical form. Aristotle’s ...
Culture Clash Essay Good Essays 1064 Words 5 Pages Open Document Italian culture has a rich history that includes art, classic architecture, music, popular traditions and customs. Many people who visit Italy are somewhat surprised by the diversity of the dialects, cuisines, architecture, and craftsmanship.