I have always found the concept of culture fascinating but never indulged into the subject as much as I would’ve liked to. This chapter went in depth about how culture affects us, culture as a means of survival and fitting in, subcultures, language, etc. I never thought to think of the fans of Star Trek as a subculture in themselves. There is so much more than just a countries flag, a language, or the type of foods they eat. The modern world has made it possible to interact with so many different countries and their way of life that we are able to become more aware and tolerant of them. We are also creating new cultures in this way, the famous melting pot idea, for example.
I never thought to break down culture into material and nonmaterial subjects. The book also explained how these can be interconnected, bringing a broader understanding to the concept. There may be certain stigmas towards the way someone dresses and a style of fashion would be the physical aspect of that idea. I do believe that values can be universal but whats tricky is that they are rated as different importance. Sometimes concepts cannot be applied the same in different countries.
I believe that we should be tolerant and respectful of other cultures as long as they are not harming anyone in a universally morally wrong fashion. It is hard to say what is a violation of their beliefs or a violation of basic human rights. But this does not have to be across different counties. Culture Wars can happen within your own country. Religious organizations, for example, can complain that something if offensive, such as a piece of art, and ask that it be removed. But who is in the right in this situation? Isn’t the church also violating the culture of the artist by saying it is not fit for society?
Another concept discussed in this chapter was having a certain knowledge and understanding to survive and succeed in certain cultures. Without this, one would experience culture shock. Something as simple as attending a fancy dinner party requires a certain sub-culture knowledge. This goes hand in hand with norms in society. All of these concepts are ever-changing. Slavery was acceptable at one point in time, but now it is seen as shocking and wrong. The same goes for housewives or gay couples. Every year norms are reevaluated to accommodate for changing ideas in society. There are many advocates for this type of change. For example, hippies were a subculture in the 70’s that vied for a change. This can be achieved through protests or even magazine ads. But with the internet all of this is so much more plausible than ever before.
We as a society are constantly evolving quicker than ever in the modern age and are absorbing old and new traditions from all around the world. I for one am excited to see what the future has to offer.