What is the definitive definition of culture?

the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.

What is culture in your own words?

Culture is the lifestyle a group of people life and the rituals or customs they perform. Culture can come in the form of physical characteristics like the way they dress or the features of their body that they all have in common. Culture can also come in the form how a group is raised and the manners their taught and the way they contribute to society as a whole.

What goes into and makes up a culture?

First, and foremost, you need a group of people that all have similar characteristics. They can all dress similar, speak the same language, practice the same religion and celebrate the same holidays. Culture can also have to do with ethnicity in certain instances.

What are examples of enduring questions and conflicts that cultures have struggled with in the past that remain relevant today?

The biggest conflict many cultures deal with is racism, which is still extremely publicized in today's time. Though the issue is not to the extent that it was in the 20th century, it's still relevant and still alive, just a little more secret than what it used to be. There are certain races, especially in recent times like the African American community, that has been made up to be this image that the media has created. The lack of information, and even false information, provided by the media has influenced different groups to contribute to the problem.

Culture Research

Culture chosen:

Mexican culture (under the Latino culture)

List 4 physical characteristics your culture exhibits

The Mexican culture exhibits lively music with the use of maracas. Salsa dancing is also prominent, and for that matter, any form of dancing that is fast paced and energetic. They also wear clothing with bright colors and there are bright colors incorporated in artwork, which helps set the culture apart from most. Additionally, most, or all, Mexicans have dark hair, whether it is dark brown or black.

Find 4 customs of beliefs your culture follows or practices

The Mexican culture is most known for El Día de Los Muertos, which means "The Day of the Dead". This day is to honor peoples' loved ones that have died and gone to heaven, celebrating their life here on earth and their afterlife.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a religious figure in the Catholic religion. Our Lady of Guadalupe is another name for Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus in Christianity. You will find that many Mexican households will have candles depicting this character and have them paced all around the house for spiritual protection and places to pray.

Cinco De Mayo is a day of celebration, often thought of being the day of independence, but actually a day celebrated to remember the victory over the French in the state of Puebla. Many households decorate with bright colored streamers and gather family to celebrate.

Mariachi bands are a huge addition to the many parties that Mexican people have. Most people in the Mexican culture have parties to celebrate anything and everything. Mariachi bands are usually composed of about 6 members who play a range of instruments, from guitars to maracas and one lead singer.

Describe one challenge that your culture faces

The Mexican culture faces a lot of scrutiny because of its unstable government run by drug lords. Many Mexicans that immigrate to other countries are perceived to be gang members or drug dealers, which is a form of racism.  

Literature and Culture

What influences a writer/ composer to create a literary text?

A writer is most influenced by personal experiences because those situations are typically the easiest to remember and recall. Writers use those topics and incorporate them into fictional works with a different setting and different characters, or put them in nonfiction works like an autobiography.

How is literature like (or unlike) life?

Many novels are based off of real life experiences and deal with real issues that most people deal with in their daily lives. The reason why books are so popular is because the reader can connect with the writing on a personal level and the author is able to capture them emotionally.

How does literature reveal the values of an individual culture?

Sometimes, an author is most influenced by their ethnicity to compose a work that is based off of the way they were brought up and taught certain ideas. Through some ideas and details, the reader can pick up on the religion of the author and more personal characteristics about how they were raised through their writing and the situations the characters go through.

How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by literature?

We learn a lot from the novels we read because different authors of a different ethnicity  because they can give the reader a mini lesson on the way they live. We learn from reading about certain ideas we should spread and we gain knowledge about other lifestyles in other countries.

To what extent are there universal themes, ideas, and issues of interest or concern to all cultures and societies?

Universal themes can come from the way a person is brought up and the way they live their life. The media and literature helps create certain ideas in people's heads and can distort the way one should be living their life and give them false information on what's best.

Cultural Acceptance

What are some methods or strategies for promoting cultural awareness and acceptance?

The media can start providing accurate information to the public so that people aren't convinced that a certain group of people are a certain way. Education is vital to spreading equal ideas and information so that more and more people respect the other cultures and lifestyles aside from their own.

What are some statements that affirm the need for cultural acceptance?

Everything that we hear in the media, especially about the African American community and the Middle Eastern community, have distorted our views to perceive those groups to not contribute anything good to society. Our way of only reporting on the shameful situations against a group have strayed our view away from the many excellent things in those groups and the influences they have had on building our own personal culture.

What is at stake is society chooses to discriminate against other cultures?

We all lose touch with each other and won't have anything in common. People would be segregated, which does not enable us to share ideas and influence each others' cultures. We won't be able to develop opinions on what is right for a lifestyle because cultures that discriminate don't learn about other good ideas for their own lifestyles.  

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