Culture Essays (Examples)

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Cultural studies is an emerging field that falls under the rubric of multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary studies. Cultural studies focuses on culture. Culture is defined in various ways, but generally includes: group knowledge, beliefs, values, experiences, religion, philosophies, beliefs about the universe, belongings, notions of property, traditions, beliefs about time, social roles, gender roles, ways of conceptualizing spatial relationships, symbols, meanings, attitudes, and hierarchies. Culture refers to group beliefs, but it can refer to a broad group, such as a national culture, or a smaller sub-group that exists within the larger group.

In many ways, culture refers to daily life and how groups of people live their daily lives. Therefore, culture is not a static concept, but a changing concept, which evolves for various reasons. Technology, immigration, emigration, changing gender norms, and scientific advances are just a few of the variables that can drive cultural change. Moreover, people experience several layers of culture: national, regional, religious, gender, generational, social class, racial, educational, and workplace are all common layers of culture, all of which may impact the individual in different, sometimes conflicting, ways.

Cultural determinism is a theory that culture is transmitted through learned values, beliefs, ideas, and meanings, and that this learned culture determines human nature. While this theory would seem to limit human ability because people learn what it means to be human from their surrounding culture, it actually suggests no limitations on human ability; as long as people can learn behaviors, they can change. However, it also suggests that conditioning is extremely powerful and that while people can make changes after being exposed to different cultures, those changes are unlikely because they have already been conditioned to accept one version of humanity.

Cultural relativism takes the view that no culture is superior to any other culture. Therefore, no society can be considered normative. This position is relevant to members of all cultures, because, since ethics and morals are culturally-based, it suggests that there are not only no universal ethical or moral systems, but also that all ethical and moral systems are inherently equal. Cultural relativism is also known as pluralism and tolerance.

In contrast to cultural relativism, cultural ethnocentrism is a belief that one’s culture is superior to other cultures. This belief can be overt and conscious, where it manifests as overt bigotry, racism, and xenophobia, but it can also be subtle and unconscious, with people judging other people’s cultures by referencing their own culturally-defined values and morals. It is very difficult to be completely objective, but being aware of how your own cultural influences have shaped how you view other cultures is one way to be more tolerant. Gaining information about other cultural practices and why they occur is another way to reduce cultural ethnocentrism.

Learning about culture involves studying many different areas. Earning a cultural studies degree generally involves studying: art, language, gender relationships, families, marriage, laws, philosophy, literature, history, sociology, and communication. Cultural studies majors learn to analyze and critique culture using several methodologies and theories, including: ethnography, class theory, deconstruction, gender theory, and semiotics

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Clash of Civilizations

Words: 623 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60924880

In Huntington’s (1993) essay “The Clash of Civilizations?” the political scientist posited that whereas nation states had been aligned previously on cultural terms in the past, in the coming years of the modern world these terms would become disjointed as various cultures emerged or re-asserted themselves. Along these cultural lines, the discourse of modern politics would be situated. In other words, Huntington (1993) viewed the cultures of various civilizations serving as the source of conflict in the coming era. Conflict would not be driven by economics or geopolitical aims but rather by the cultures of the world’s civilizations. This paper will compare and contrast Huntington’s thesis with thesis by Inglehart and Norris (2003) who, in the wake of 9/11, re-assessed Huntington’s idea and found it be half-right; it will argue that Huntington’s thesis remains the correct one and that Inglehart and Norris (2003) are too focused on the minutiae and…… [Read More]


Huntington, S. (1993). The clash of civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72(3), 22-49.

Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). The true clash of civilizations. Foreign Policy, 135, 63-70.

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Lessons about cultural differences

Words: 751 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73905396

Multi-Cultural Competence
The author of this brief reflection and response has learned a great deal when it comes to multi-cultural competence and learning about the same. This brief reflection serves as a recitation of what lessons were learned, why they are important and what the author must and will keep in mind as the learning continues to evolve and thrive. Among many other things, the author has learned that the learning never stops and there are a number of reasons for this. While it is possible to become well-versed in cultures and what makes people different, it would be a mistake to think that there is a point where the learning is no longer necessary or that the changes to culture stop happening.
Learning Explained
The author of this response has learned a few things about culture as part of the learning that has been completed thus far. First, there…… [Read More]


Smith, K. (2015). A massive, silent cultural revolution has changed America. New York Post.

Retrieved 9 August 2017, from


Waters, A. (2013). Reflections on cultural humility. Retrieved 9 August

2017, from


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Analyzing The Piranha River Story

Words: 625 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 38285931

1. Who do you think is the most horrible person in the story and who do you think is the least horrible? Why? You may want to rank order the characters from “1” being most horrible to “5” being least horrible.
The following are the rankings of the characters in the passage from “1” being most horrible to “5” being least horrible:
i. Beyonce – 5
She could have waited for the bridge to be formed back again or sought out another alternative. The fact that she was laughing at Pat being beaten made her all the more horrible
ii. Pat – 1
Pat was heartbroken and could not believe that his love had sex with another man. He did not deserve being beaten
iii. Gilligan – 5
He is the most horrible person for the reason that he demanded sex in order to provide passage to the other side…… [Read More]