In our everyday talk, our cultural learning automatically provides us two things: a perspective on life and a storehouse of knowledge about the physical and social worlds we inhabit.
Culture is the way of life of one generation teaches to the next so the new generation can see the world the “right” way and behave as “normal” members of the group. We call this form of teaching socialization. Every society communicates such standards of achievement and appropriate behavior. For life in general they are called values, and for situations they are called norms.
It is interesting that at the societal level, one of the ways we have come to understand our key values and our ways of talking has been to compare our society to others. Let’s look at two of the dimensions along which cultures can be compared. The first dimension has to with values. The United States is an individualist culture, like Britain and many European countries: We tend to focus on how events affect individuals or how individual actions change other individuals. We place a greater emphasis on personal accomplishments and on standing out from the crowd. Many Asian societies are collectivist cultures: Talk there focuses more on family and community—and individual responsibility to them…..
Check out my full article on The Great Courses Daily