“CROSS-CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING ”
Angela Asri Purnamasari, M.Ed., in TESOL
Praise the presence of God Almighty for all the abundance of Grace, so that I can complete the preparation of this paper entitled “Family Values – Understanding Cross Culture” in its very simple form and content. Hopefully this paper can be used as one of the references, guidelines and guidelines for readers in educational administration in the teaching profession.
Apart from all that, I am fully aware that there are still shortcomings both in terms of sentence structure and grammar. Therefore with open arms we accept all suggestions and criticisms from readers so that I can improve this scientific paper.
I hope this paper can be well received, and can help increase knowledge and experience for readers, and can provide benefits and inspiration to readers.
Jakarta, 11 March 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PERFACE …………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS …………………………………………………………………………. 3
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………….. 4
- Background………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
- Problem Question ……………………………………………………………………………………… 4
CHAPTER II DISCUSSION…………………………………………………………………….. 5
2.1 Child Raising………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5-7
2.2 Young Adulthood ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7-8
2.3 The Elderly ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8-9
2.4 The Nuclear And The Extended Family …………………………………………………. 9-10
2.5 Family Roles…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10-11
2.6 Stability And Change In The Family………………………………………………………. 11-15
2.7 Religion And Beliefs Of The Family ………………………………………………………. 15-18
CHAPTER III CONCLUDING ………………………………………………………………… 19
3.1 Conclussion …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
REFERENCE ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
cross-cultural understanding is a study to bridge two cultures or customs between countries, which aim to gain an understanding of the cultural and customary differences of the two countries.
There are many differences between our culture and western culture,even though they have different cultures and values compared to other cultures, each individual and culture has the right to use their own values. Therefore, understanding of other cultures is very necessary because of lack of knowledge culture plays a role in the use of communication languages that are not good. A person’s cultural differences can also cause the person to look intolerant of people with different cultures.
There are several cultural contexts in this world. We must know each type so that we do not avoid conflict just because we catch the meaning of another culture.
1.2 Problems Questions
- How culturally”child raising” in the western?
- How culturrally “young Adult” in the western?
- How culturally ”the elderly“ in the western?
- How culturally “the nuclear and extended family” in the western?
- How culturaly “family roles” in the western?
- How culturally “stability and change in the family” in the western?
- How culturally “religion and beliefs of a family” in the western?
2.1 CHILD RAISING – PARENTING STYLE
Having lived in both traditional Chinese and liberal western cultures, I learn to understand and appreciate different parenting styles. I do not find one better than the other but I think each approach yields its merits and produces distinctive consequences.
Some parents in the east follow what they have learnt from their parents while others rely on the new-age media. These parents generally find it harder to let go (regardless of their children’s age) and this can be reflected by the way they bring up their children. Whereas, in the west, interaction with communities, educators, and pediatricians more commonly affect parenting styles. Primarily, independence starts very young in the American households, and many parents ensure that their children’s upbringing reflect this unique quality.
Asian and western parenting methods
Most American babies do not sleep with their parents from the early days. A new baby room is usually created from day one. Sometimes, a monitoring system is put in place to provide consistent checking. Instead of the usual hovering around as can be seen in the eastern culture, the western babies have been trained to soothe themselves to sleep.
In my American upbringing, my mother transitioned me into my own room at 3-4 months of age. In regard to child sleep, his culture values the warmth, security, and interdependence of family; my culture values independence and self-soothing ability.
eating out with your baby
Beyond bottle feeding, meals are usually placed in front of the child. A bib is a must to begin this meal adventure in most American households. Every meal resembles an exploration and it usually starts with the child’s attempt to hold the plastic spoon or fork. If this fails, the child will attempt to reach for the soft broccoli, carrots, or other food items with his/her hands and subsequently, aim for the mouth. Mostly, the child will miss its mouth, and create a mess.
This process will continue for a while or until the child becomes frustrated and starts to throw the food items on the floor. This is when the plastic floor mat, which is placed beneath the feeding chair, comes in handy. While this is a common scenario in most US households, such practices are less common in the eastern cultures.
Parents in the east are usually concerned with tidiness, efficiency, and they generally see the need to feed their children. As such, these children do not get opportunities to develop the necessary motor skills early or capability to eat by themselves.
These are common in the US and they are constantly arranged to allow the child to interact with others. Often, such playdates are arranged among mothers who may not be related to each other. These unstructured play opportunities encourage children to venture and explore their environment, and they are not the same as organized activities where children would have to follow instructions. Some parents do not mind their children playing in the dirt or mud on such playdates.
Such playdates also exist in the eastern cultures where several mothers meet and chat while their children play in a home or outdoor environment. However, these mothers may show some hesitation about having their children venture beyond the ‘comfort zone.’ Generally, these mothers do not allow their young children to play in the dirt, and they are quick to clean up any mess.
The Many Faces Of Discipline
This exists everywhere and this applies to both cultures although most would like to believe that western parents are more liberal. This may be true to an extent but we can still see some applying their grounding and timeout rules on a consistent basis. Though the western parents differ in their extent of monitoring, their desire to ensure obedience and discipline in their households is still apparent in many instances.
More commonly, however, parents in the east may adhere to stricter routines, and discipline due to their higher expectations set for their children. While success is important, western parents also look at other ways to develop their children. As such, they do not generally push their children but allow them to pursue their interests (be it academic, sports, music, or others).
Leaving home at age 18
The biggest difference comes when the child becomes college bound at around 17 or 18 years old – this represents the first step for many American teenagers to leave their family homes. In the US, most parents expect their teenagers to leave home at this point. This transition, from staying at home to leaving for college or university, is significant as most will seek jobs and not return to stay in the family home thereafter.
With close to 4,600 universities or colleges in the US, some parents may find their children opting to enter colleges/universities that are on the other side of the coast. These teenagers may return to visit during the holidays or summer, but most will stay for four years to complete their studies at their colleges/universities. Many parents in the US regard their teenagers as independent at this point though this may not be the case in the eyes of the eastern parents. Unlike the western culture, young adults in the east usually stay with their parents till they get married.
2.2 YOUNG ADULTHOOD
Alcohol consumption by adolescents and young adults varies greatly in different countries and cultures, in different population groups within a country, and over time. Analyses of per capita consumption in different countries provide some information on drinking patterns of young people in various countries. School-based surveys conducted in a variety of European countries and in the United States offer more specific insight into the drinking behavior of this age group. Such surveys have analyzed variables such as age of onset of drinking; lifetime frequency of drinking; drinking to intoxication; frequency, amount, and timing of current drinking; and drinking consequences. These studies have demonstrated that drinking patterns of young people in, for example, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Mediterranean countries vary greatly. Further analyses have explored the influence of social norms and related factors as well as alcohol availability and pricing on alcohol consumption among adolescents and young adults. The generalizability of the findings is limited, however, by the fact that most studies have been conducted in the United States and Europe.The relationships between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, as well as the factors that influence these relationships, apply to both adult and adolescent drinking. When trying to compare adolescent or young adult alcohol consumption across countries or cultures, however, researchers must keep in mind that the definitions of these two developmental stages can vary according to the cultural and historical background of the society under investigation. Broadly defined, adolescence and young adulthood include the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is the time when a person acquires the skills needed to cope with the emotional, physical, social, and economic separation from parents. Ideally, it also is the time when a person paves the way for establishing his or her own family, raising children, and participating in social and work life as well as leisure time activities as an independent individual. Because these developments may occur at different ages in different cultures, it is difficult to define adolescence and young adulthood in terms of exact ages. For practical purposes, in most Western industrialized societies, adolescence is defined as ages 14 through 18 and young adulthood as ages 19 through 25 (Ahlström 2000). In some studies, even 29-year-olds have been considered young adults (Rehm et al. 2001).
2.3 THE ELDERLY
“When people grow old in many parts of the world, family and friends care for them at home until the end. In America, the elderly are more typically sent to an assisted living or a skilled nursing facility, a contrast that may appear selfish, uncaring and even callous.” (East vs. West, n.d.) In the Filipino culture it is almost expected that once family members get older, especially parents, you are supposed to take care of them. My older sister has already accepted the fact that she has to care for our mother when she gets older. She also expects her own daughter to care for her. The perspective on elder varies from culture to culture, and how the elderly are treated also varies.
Western culture, which is very individualistic focuses on “youth, self reliance and individualism”. Eastern cultures,which is collectivistic, places value on family, elderly,traditional age hierarchies. (East vs. West, n.d.) My sister asked my young niece what she would do once my sister got older. My niece’s response was “put her in a home”, needless to say my sister was appalled. Filial piety is an idea that originated in Confucianism. Filial piety consists of several factors; the main ideas include loving one’s parents, being respectful, polite, considerate, loyal, helpful, dutiful, and obedient. “Filial piety essentially directs the young to recognize the care and aid received from elderly relatives and to, in return, respect and care for them. The tradition is deeply rooted in their family system and social structure.” (Sung, 2004 p.228)
The Latino culture is another that reveres there elders as people of importance.
Western society is known to be an individualistic society in which one thinks about the individual rather then society as a whole. “In stark contrast, Western culture encourages families to strike a balance between allegiance to the elderly and individual freedom.” (East vs. West, n.d.) “In America … a “cult of youth” and emphasis on the virtues of independence, individualism and self-reliance also make life hard on older people as they inevitably lose some of these traits.” (East vs. West, n.d.) This could mean that even if they wanted to it could be difficult to care for their elderly if it interferes with their own success. The idea if they are no longer useful, you are no good. “Then, there’s America’s Protestant work ethic, “which holds that if you’re no longer working, you’ve lost the main value that society places on you.” (East vs. West, n.d.) There is also the idea that perhaps signs of respect for elders are different in each culture.
Though these perspectives and values are known by many people, times are changing. Newer generations are being raised in a different environment then their predecessors. “The majority of the subjects cited the influence of parents, grand- parents, and other relatives as a key factor that led them to respect elders. Clearly, socialization and role modeling by family members were suggested to be the most important factor.” (Sung, 2010 p.145)
Putting my sister in a “home” is an idea that may have been unheard of generations ago in an eastern collectivistic society, but it may just be something more realistic in this day and age. Especially if you come from a western individualistic society. My sister and I were raised in a different time. Perspectives of elderly treatment and respect definitely vary from culture to culture, time, and place.
2.4 THE NUCLEAR AND THE EXTENDED FAMILY
The nuclear family is a family consisting of father, mother and child because they are formed from a marriage bond.
A large family is a family that surpasses the nuclear family, which consists of parents such as father, mother, and their children, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all living in one house.
As human social beings tend to gather with other humans. This collection of humans forms groups ranging from the smallest, namely the nuclear family, to a large extent, namely the extended family.
In general there are several important functions of the nuclear family, including as caregivers and educators for children. Ranging from babies to children growing up. The first education that children get is in the family as a provision to face the outside world. Another function of the nuclear family is to help each other between family members, as we know the duty of a father is to work in making a living, and the mother works homework, and takes care of the children, but in that case, the father must interfere in controlling the condition and accompanying their children so that there is an indirect closeness between the father and the child, and if all family members play their roles properly the family balance will be achieved
Other reasons for large families to develop include:
Economy: in economic terms it will be lighter with more people contributing to the cost of living.
Health: When an older family member needs regular health care, and someone’s assistance in health care, because of increasing age the body’s system of obscurity decreases, and the body becomes more susceptible to disease.
Career: couples who are married and already have children will need the help of their family to care for their children because they don’t want to leave their careers.
2.5 FAMILY ROLES
The role of the family towards children
The family is the first vehicle in shaping the character of the child and preparing for the maturity and future of the child.
One of the main roles of parents towards their children is to teach children to interact and adapt to their environment through attitudes, behaviors and social values, and can be responsible for their choices.
Family as protection and support material.
It is the duty and responsibility of parents to protect and fulfill children’s needs such as completing children’s nutrition and providing education in children’s potential performance. Parents are also responsible not only physically but also providing spiritual needs for their children. Parents are expected to raise their children both in love and truth.
The following are a number of roles that can exist within a family:
Hero: This person is a high achiever, brings pride to the family with his own efforts and hard work.
Rescuer: is someone who takes care of and solves problems for other people in the family. Even though this person realizes that sometimes in his role to help people make their time and work disturbed.
Mediator: is a person as a mediator in every person’s problem
Information Center: someone as a center of information in his family, he knows about all his family’s problems.
Flexible: someone who is neutral to a problem because he knows about things that must be disclosed and which need not be disclosed.
Cheerleader: provide support and encouragement to others in facing problems.
Thinker: someone who thinks broadly, because he is able to see the situation in a logical, objective way.
2.6 STABILITY AND CHANGE IN THE FAMILY
The Link Between Family Stability and a Child’s Success
The bonding process begins in the womb. Once born, infants thrive on the voice and touch of a consistent caregiver. So, from the start, stability and security provide an anchor for human growth and development.
As a child, I istinctively knew if something bad happened — anything from catching chicken pox to navigating a personality clash with a classroom teacher — my parents would always be there to support me. I always had family to lean on and a home to escape to when the going got rough. At the time, I had no clue that this stable and loving environment would help shape me into a confident and grounded adult. However, I realize now that I subconsciously paid it forward when it came to raising my own children, providing a cushion when they stumbled and a safe haven filled with unconditional acceptance.
A stable environment provides nurturing caregivers, unconditional love, consistent discipline, and a dependable and safe living space. This secure and protective environment shapes a child’s perspective of himself and the world around him. It is the springboard that sets in motion a path to happiness and overall well-being. It is the bedrock to a child’s future success.
Stability and change in the family
Family Stability in the New Millennium
Family life throughout the decades has changed dramatically. Entertainment mimics culture, so we can see how the family has changed over the years just by examining family structures on TV. Snapshot of the lives of the Cleavers, Bradys, Cosbys and Bravermans (Parenthood, NBC) provide a good comparison.
Susan Kuczmarski, Ed.D., a family expert and author of several books including the award-winning Becoming A Happy Family: Pathways to the Family Soul (Book Ends Publishing, 2015), points to a 2014 Pew Research report that analyzed the state of the American family. The research showed that American families today are more complex and less traditional — fewer than 50% of American children live in a traditional family structure. “It was this new model of the American family that I had in mind as I wrote my new book,” she reports.
Family stability is not inherent in the number of family members or its various structures (i.e. traditional, single parent, blended family, foster family, etc.). Instead, it’s about providing a consistent, safe and loving environment for children, one in which they can lean on family members under all circumstances. Strong family bonds, unconditional support, and predictable safety nets are the keys to a stable upbringing.
According to an article written by Shannon Rudisill, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The quality and stability of a child’s relationships are the most critical factors in whether a child thrives developmentally and goes on to have success in school. Nurturing, long-lasting relationships are important for all children — but especially for the youngest children — who are learning to form secure attachments that will be the foundation for future relationships.”
Strong family bonds are crucial. “Bonding is the central component to a healthy child. A well-bonded child is secure and does better at everything,” explains Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D, a nationally recognized family and child development expert, author, and educator. If a child forms strong bonds she “will have less anxiety and a higher threshold of security,” Gross adds.
The child who has been raised in a secure and reliable environment has been given the tools for success. “Your child will approach everything with a stronger sense of self and a strong central core,” Gross says. “As a result, he will learn to depend on his own resources and capacities, which allows him to be independent and self–actualized.”
Children should know that their accomplishments will be celebrated, but they should not be afraid to make mistakes because they understand that they will learn from them and be accepted anyway. Encouragement and acceptance breed a positive self-esteem, a healthy outlook on future relationships and confidence in oneself.
Kuczmarski stresses, “Family protects from the noise of the outer world. It is here where we first discover and experience who we are and what we might become. It is where we learn to work with weakness, inadequacy, deficiency, inability, and even failure.” Kuczmarski explains that flaws and insecurity are the heart of the individual, but can also point the way to learning and growth if a child is raised in a stable and safe environment. “Family can serve as a refuge for self-acceptance,” Kuczmarski asserts.
The Effects of Growing Up with Instability
Instability can affect a child’s self-worth and ability to achieve his greatest potential. It manifests in various situations. Frequent changes to the family structure and relationships, frequent changes to the physical environment (excessive relocations, etc.), a caregiver’s unpredictable, emotional dysfunction or maltreatment of a child in the form of physical or emotional care can all be catalysts to the decline of a child’s socio-emotional and physical health. Family instability is often the result of emotionally absent, distant, or abusive caregivers or when a child is insecure about her physical care (where she’ll spend the night, for instance).
Gross explains, “A child who experiences instability at an early age of development is under stress. Neuroscience tells us that when a child is stressed from consistent poverty, abuse, divorce, or insecurity that he overproduces cortisol. Cortisol changes brain architecture and impulse control. These stressors in a child’s life can lead to unintended consequences, including behavior problems, loss of impulse control, academic problems, social problems, and problems with substance abuse.” Gross warns that a child under severe stress will present with changes in eating, sleeping, school performance, relationships and motivation.
Instability can also cause health problems. Gross points out, “Stress can be directly correlated to the onset of illness, not only the anxiety type of illnesses, such as stomach aches, headaches, nail biting, and bed wetting, but also frequent colds and viruses. Stress impacts immunities in the body, including lowering antigen levels and lymphocytes.” She says that children are more vulnerable to compromised immunity when they lack coping skills to deal with erratic pressures and behaviors at home.
How Parents and Caregivers Can Ensure Stability
Parents can ensure stability by providing strong bonds, consistent discipline, unconditional love, and a safe environment.
“Bonding is the central component to a healthy child,” Gross states. She also advocates consistent discipline. “You must work together with your mate as a team, rather than allowing yourself to be split by your partner or your child.”
Kuczmarski believes that family rituals and events provide a strong family foundation. “Rituals act like glue that holds the family together. Any event the family enjoys and does regularly can be a ritual, such as a fancy Friday dinner or a Saturday morning walk. Events that feel special serve to provide stability and bring the group closer together.” She suggests that children be allowed to have input on establishing family rituals because this helps them feel like their role in the family dynamic is important.
Kuczmarski also counsels parents to be good communicators. “Selfless, compassionate listening is a prerequisite for sharing ideas, feelings, and values and is critical to developing meaningful relationships. Close and healthy families are built through frequent, honest, two-way talk with one another.”
Gross agrees. “Making your child feel part of a family team, valued, and validated goes a long way to building self-esteem.” She suggests that parents create a “safe space in which your child can express himself without defense.”
Finding Stability in Tumultuous Situations
There are times when instability is unavoidable. Divorce, death, separation due to military service or frequent career relocations can be disruptive to everyone, but especially to children, who sometimes feel the turmoil more deeply because they have no control.
Kuczmarski recommends that families seek help from friends during difficult times. “Friends extend the family boundary outward. When we are stuck in old patterns and habits, friends can help us climb out.”
Divorced parents should not allow anger toward each other to overshadow the love that each of them has for their children. Instead, parents should try to create an amicable tone and remind their children that their unconditional love will not waiver during difficult times. Kuczmarski advises parents to find it within themselves to forgive. “Forgiving opens the door to positive energy and intention.”
When family life is disrupted due to relocation, separation, or death, Kuczmarski suggests finding activities that allow for renewal. “Celebrations, get-aways, and community service create occasions for renewal.” She also encourages finding silver linings during times of struggle. “Struggle can strengthen or weaken a family soul. It can be episodic or enduring. Almost always, though, struggle can provide insight.”
While language, material culture, aesthetics and social organisation are outward manifestations of a culture, it is a society’s religious beliefs, attitudes and values that dictate the behaviour of its members.
2.7 RELIGION AND BELIEFS OF A FAMILY
A religious system refers to the spiritual side of a culture or its approach to the supernatural. Western culture is accepted as having been largely influenced by the Judeo-Christian traditions, while Eastern or Oriental cultures have been strongly influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Hinduism. Although very few religions influence business activities directly, the impact of religion on human value systems and decision-making is significant. Thus, religion exerts a considerable influence on people’s actions and outlook on life, as well as on the products they buy. In certain part of the world, such as Latin America, the influence of religion extends even beyond the individual or family and is manifested in a whole community’s deep involvement in, and devotion to, the church.
A society’s religious belief system is often dependent on its stage of human or economic development. Primitive tribesmen tend to be superstitious about life in general while people in technologically advanced cultures seem to have dismissed the notion of traditional religious worship and practice in favour of a more scientific approach to life and death.
To disregard the significance of religious beliefs or superstitions evident in a potential export market could result in expensive mistakes.
Attitudes are psychological states that predispose people to behave in certain ways. Attitudes may relate, for example, to work, wealth, achievement, change, the role of women in the economy, etc.
Western cultures, for example, value individualism and promote the importance of autonomy and personal achievement needs. In contrast, in many eastern and developing countries, there is a strong sense of collectivism and the importance of social and security needs. For instance, the Hindu religion imparts a type of work ethic that considers work central to one’s life but maintains that it must be performed as a service to others, not for one’s own personal achievement.
Stereotypes are sets of attitudes in which one attributes qualities or characteristics to a person on the basis of the group to which that person belongs. An international businessperson’s tendency to judge others by his or her personal and cultural standards instead of attempting to understand others in the context of their unique historical, political, economic and social backgrounds could, for example, be termed an undesirable attitude.
Values are judgements regarding what is valuable or important in life, and they vary greatly from one culture to another. People who are operating at a survival level will value food, shelter and clothing. Those with high security needs, on the other hand, may value job security, status, money, etc. From its value system, a culture sets norms, i.e. acceptable standards of behaviour.
The concept of space is different wherever one goes. In western corporate culture, the size and location of an executive’s office is usually determined by his level of seniority in the company. The locality and size of an Arab business executive’s office, on the other hand, are a poor indication of the person’s importance.
Conversation distance between two people is learned early in life – almost completely unconsciously. A western business executive, conditioned to operating within a certain amount of personal space, may feel uncomfortable or alarmed at the closeness and physical contact displayed in the Middle East or Latin America, for example.
Time also has a different meaning in each country. Western cultures tend to perceive time in terms of past, present and future. They are orientated towards the future and in the process of preparing for it, they save, waste, make up or spend time.
In South Africa, giving a person a deadline is a way of indicating the degree of urgency or relative importance of the work. In the Middle East, however, time does not usually include schedules and timetables. The time required to get something accomplished depends on the relationship. With South Africans, the more important an event is, the earlier it is planned, which is why last minute invitations are often regarded as an insult. In planning future events with Arab businesspersons, it is often advisable to keep the lead time to a week or less, because other factors may intervene and take precedence.
Some time ago, an American lost a major contract in Greece because he did not appreciate the Greek concept of time. The Greek executive could not understand the American’s insistence on setting time limits on the length of their business meetings – he and his colleagues were prepared to spend as much time in discussion as they felt was necessary. The American also insisted that the senior managers involved in the transaction be responsible only for working out the general principles of the deal, with the actual details being left to subordinates. Suspicious that this represented a lack of commitment on the part of the American, the Greek called off the deal.
Many factors continuously produce cultural changes in a society – new technology, population shifts, availability of scarce resources and changing values regarding the role of education or women. Culture is thus dynamic, and exporters, particularly those involved in international travel and marketing, need to regularly assess what new products and service needs have been created, who the potential buyers and users are, and how best to reach them.
Family Values There are so many different types of people with different ethnic, cultural and way of life backgrounds that are the causes of different values in a family. habits in this family have the intent and purpose and values that are instilled.
Family Values and Truths Families in society are social structures. Family plays a key role in human life because it can give people a feeling at home, or a loving and supportive group. my parents are the foundation of their children, because they influence their children from birth
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