Cultural Background Paper

Essay by tholtmotaUniversity, Bachelor's March 2006

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Culture refers to patterns of human activity and representative structures that give such activity meaning. There are many differences and similarities among the various cultures that occur out of human nature. A culture is inclusive of every facet of a human's life. This culture directs people's actions and attitudes toward several things. Through culture our attitude, actions, and thoughts are formed.

Culture consists of 3 elements: values, norms, and artifacts. Values consist of ideas of what is important in life. This will guide the rest of the culture toward what is deviant behavior and what is acceptable. Norms are expectations of how people behave in certain situations. Artifacts are the material objects of a culture or group of people. In my paper I will discuss values, artifacts, and norms of my culture and how they have changed throughout my life.

Cultural change has come about through environment, inventions and contact with other cultures.

My heritage is somewhat intermingled with many different cultures. My paternal descendents were originally of German culture, and my maternal descendents were from Ireland. My father's dad however was born in Chile, South America, and my father in Havana, Cuba. I was born in Minnesota in the early 1960's. It was a time of civil rights movements, and the Viet Nam war. There was considerable change during this time, and I was raised Catholic. We had the traditional family values of everyone sitting down to supper at the same time. I remember the family discussions were mostly about politics and business. My own parents believed that "children were to be seen and not heard" during the meals. Also we never sat down to a meal that we did not pray first. This has changed in my home. We don't always have a set time for supper...