Multicultural Cube Language Essay, Research Paper
Language: Reflection on self as a cultural being
I would say I am around this area, I am learning Greek currently, and in High school I took four years of Japanese. Our language influences us greatly; here in the Midwest most of us here take for granted that English is the primarily spoken language. Other parts of the US are not like that. Such as in Texas there are whole communities that speak Spanish. In those places I know that I would totally lost, not even know how to ask anything basic. I feel that because English is so vastly commonplace in this area of the country that makes many people lazy and not even attempt to learn any other languages. I myself have a hunger to learn languages, and that has made me go out of my way to learn more, it can be seen in the fact that currently even though I am taking Greek at least once a week I try to learn another Japanese character.
I know that a difference from the American culture compared to the Japanese culture is the emphasis on being bilingual. Over here in high schools, from my own experience, foreign languages has been an optional thing; where as, in Japan they make their children learn the English language, and this learning starts during Elementary school so they almost automatically have had more experience with languages than children over here.
Another thing the English language does different than other languages is the fact it doesn’t classify words into genders. Such as in the Greek language the word for church is a feminine term, compared to the English language treating it neuter.
Gender: Reflection on self as a cultural being
I would say that since I am a sensitive male in this society I can understand this better than most guys. In this culture men are suppose to be athletic, muscular, popular, and macho. I on the other hand have pretty well none of those traits. I have always been more of an unpopular bookworm. Sports never interested me either, and being sensitive was never a valuable thing when viewed culturally. The only emotion that males are suppose to show in the culture is that of anger. Since those culturally desired qualities were not present I have been made fun of all of my life. On many occasions I have been labeled as homosexual even, just because I wasn’t as manly as everyone else.
I have a friend back home that is going to school to be a nurse. He has been given a lot of hardship, just because the simple fact that he wants to help people, and to do this he is learning to be a nurse. In the US being a nurse, secretary, or jobs that are normally considered to be primarily feminine jobs is a tough road, because of the way society will look at you. Also when dealing with women, most guys out there are just sex hungry, so when a sensitive man comes along wanting to get to know them as a person, women can not believe that it is true. So many guys that want to treat a lady right will be turned down because of the hardship women have gone through with the wrong guys.
This is an area in which I am just now starting to really look more deeply into. I know that Caucasians in our society are the dominating race. Unlike minorities in this society, as a white person I had just gone with the flow never really analyzing how being white affected others, and how it gave me certain benefits.
Where I grew up my small community was primarily white. Actually there was only one minority family in my town. And where did they live? They lived in the worst part of town, the areas that most people wouldn’t have lived in at all. That family had a kid in school around my age, and I always remember everyone telling me not to hang out around him. Unfortunately, I just went along with the crowd and did not communicate with him. I think for children especially, it is important to teach them the truth about ethnicity and that just because someone is another color that doesn’t mean they are any less human.
Also our white culture is very individualistically focused. When compared to the Japanese culture, we make teamwork seem nonexistent over here. Going along with individualism, we are also very competitive. We compete in everything: jobs, homes, even family themselves.
Another benefit for being white is suspicion. I can walk into a store without have everyone in the place staring at me, to see if I am going to steal something. African Americans don’t have such a privilege.
Being white also has a bearing on my socioeconomic stasis. Because if I had been born as a minority, my family probably wouldn’t have had as many good opportunities for jobs, and so right now my parents wouldn’t be able to help me with college, therefore I probably wouldn’t be able to attend Taylor University. And even if my parents could have found halfway good paying jobs, they would have most likely have had to do more work for less pay.
Religion/Spirituality: Reflection on self as a cultural being
Throughout my life I have always been interested by religions. I have done research into many different types such as: Buddhism, new age, Wicca, and of course Christianity. Even though I felt that some parts of all of those had some validity, and were good, Christianity was the only one that rang totally true. I still value those religions, because for the most part they are making people more sensitive to others and more kind also.
I also know that my worldview is greatly affected by the religion that I believe in. If I did not have a religious belief then I don’t know if I would still be alive, for the simple fact that I know that there is hope, I know that someone out there loves me, I know that when the world seems to be crumbling down around me that God is there to protect me. He will never forsake me.
I also know that the way I worship is influenced by my culture. The churches I have attended in my life have always been, very stoic, there was a set way of doing things and that was the way it was done. Whenever someone was really touched by the spirit and they were very outspoken about it, some of us would not know how to handle it. Like in my church back home there is an older women, and at times she will feel so blessed that she will walk around the church shaking hands, and yelling “Hallelujah!” When I was a teenager I didn’t know how to handle that, so I would just chuckle under my breath, and wonder what was wrong with her. Now in a good old charismatic black church, they would have no problem with her doing that; they would probably join her. In that type of setting I would feel very out of place, and not know how to act. I would most likely feel uncomfortable enough that I would want to leave.
Affectional Orientation: Reflection on self as a cultural being
Like I stated earlier in this paper I am an extremely emotional person. Which I constantly display my emotions verbally, and non-verbally. Even when I don’t want anyone to know I am upset, I fail to hide it.
As a man I am expected to not be emotional, unless the emotion I am displaying is anger. I am not like that at all. I always show all of my emotions, and anger is the one I show least.
I am extremely comfortable with my emotions; it has taken a lot of hard work to realize that just because I am emotional that doesn’t make me bad. Now with my friends they have had problems in the past dealing with me being emotional. A lot of them could not understand why I was this way, and also they didn’t know how to deal with it. One of my older friends gave one of my newer friends the best advice he could with being my friend, it was “To have a good friendship with Jason you have to learn how Jason works, and try to be understanding”.
I am a very touchy person, which has made people uncomfortable in the past, but I am not touchy to the point that I will do it beyond people’s wishes. If anyone ever tells me that they want me to be less touchy than I respect their wishes.
My family is not a very emotional family as a whole. My mom is extremely emotional, and so am I. I can only remember seeing my father cry once. It was when he had gotten laid off of work. The rest of us tried to show him as much support as we could, and now he has a better job than ever before.
Age: Multiperspective integration
In our society youth is highly valued, and being old is synonymous with being useless. On commercials or advertisements everywhere what type of person is seen most? Youth. Youth seems to be valued in almost all aspects of life in America. When a person is looking for a job the younger person is almost always picked over the older applicant, because the older one is “past their prime” and such other excuses. In Japan youth of course if valued, but with age comes wisdom. That seems to be a greater theme over there. When here we would ship the elderly off to nursing homes, in Japan they integrate them back into the family, and show them that they still have purpose and importance in the family structure.
Also in our culture 21 is an age that has great significance. It is when a person is truly an adult. It is also the time in which a person is almost expected by society to start drinking. That is the most thought about quality of that age of passing in this culture.
Physical Issues: Reflection on self as a cultural being
In our culture beauty and attractiveness is a main theme. Of course it varies between the sexes. If you are a woman you are expected to be thin, young, and “picture perfect”. If you are a guy you are expected to be another super body builder with not outward flaws. If you do not fit into these categories than you must not be a beautiful person. Most people are very superficial in this aspect they simply do not take the time to find out what is on the inside of a person. As in people who are in wheelchairs. Many people think that since the person is physically handicapped that must mean that they are mentally handicapped also.
I know that if I was in a wheelchair I would not be able to do a lot of the things I take for granted like even to just live in my dorm. Shultz is a very not handicapped accessible place. Classrooms a lot of times are not set up adequately to accommodate people in wheelchairs. In public I would be severally limited in the places I could go into.
Socioeconomical Situation: Naming
I have grown up in a middle class environment and that has affected my thinking greatly. Over all I feel that if I strive hard enough and put forth the effort I can achieve my goals. I have a lot of hope that if I do not achieve more than my parents then I will at least have as good of economic life as them.
If I had grown up in a poorer family a lot of things would be different. For one I don’t think that I would be able to come to Taylor. Every year I always save up money and so do my parents so I can come back. If I didn’t have their financial support I would have to pay almost every dime back when I am done here. Also my friendships throughout my life would have been different. I have had some upper class friends, but I bet some of them would have been a lot less enthusiastic about my friendship if I had been lower economically.
I know that being middle class there are situations in which I would not feel comfortable at all. If I were around a lot of high-class people, I would not know how to understand or communicate with them. I have talked with some of my richer friends before, and some of the things that they say or do I simply can’t understand, and that is mostly because of the fact that I am middle class.
I personally have never truly experienced trauma myself. The closest I have ever been is seeing war, hardships, and fighting on television. I can only imagine how I would feel if I had, had something severally tragic happen to me.
I know that if I lived in a war-ridden society I would have a much different perception. It would be the opposite, I wouldn’t know what it was like to not HAVE to worry about whether or not I would be living the next day, or where my food was going to come from. Those people depend on hope more than we do; it is the only thing at times that they have to depend on.