When I first saw this assignment was an essay, I was not looking forward to writing it at all. As a rule, I hate papers. But as I read throw the details of the paper I found it to be an interesting subject. I can talk about myself all day long. I have never written a paper like this before, it will be interesting to see how my thought come out on paper. I believe this paper will help me gain a better understand of my perceptions of other cultures. At this point I only have a few ideas of were my beliefs come from. I hope I will be able and dig a bit deeper and find the source of my cultural upbringing and views.
To start of I am a white Caucasian male. That what I answer every time I am ask to fill out some important paper work, at least. I grew up in the small college town of Ephraim Utah Ephraim is in central Utah and it main income sources are from Snow College and local farmers. With a bit here and there from other less prominent sources.
I grew up in a lower-class (income) family. My dad works for Ephraim city and a farm on the side. There are eight family members in my house hold, mom and dad, five brothers and one sister. My parents could never really afford much for use kids when growing up. But my dad always had plenty of work for use on the farm.
Growing up in central Utah I was razed Mormon with the rest of my brothers and sister. My mom and dad were and are very devoted Mormons and we attend church every Sunday along with other church duty’s and activity’s. I served a mission for the church and most of my good friends are Mormons. Ephraim is mostly all Mormon so the non- Mormons stick out like a sour thumb. But being in a small town means you get to know everyone and we readily (seemed too) accepted others not of our faith. So, the town tended to reflect Mormon values and its culture was based in Mormon traditions.
Central Utah is mostly agriculture based economy and most that live there are involved in agriculture in one way or another. So, values such as hard work, honesty, the golden rule and thriftiness are important. The general population of white Caucasian males and females spoke English (I guess). Although there was a large portion of the population that were migrant works from central and south America. These population came to work on the farms and nearby turkey plant, they tended to speak mostly Spanish. Throw the culture of these two demographics rarely mix. Thus, my cultural believes and views reflect this back ground of central Utah.
Being that I identify with a white lower-class male. I think I will focus on what I have seen of upper class males and the darker skinned migrant works I shared Ephraim with. I can remember waiting for Christmas with my two brothers and wanting a power wheels jeep (small electric powered sized car). But when Christmas came around we found a used petal cart under the tree. At the same time down the street my friend got just what we wanted under his tree and all to himself. Although in the end our car was faster than his power wheels.
My friend’s dad was a psychiatrist and made good money to support his family. Wail on the other hand my dad only made around 35 thousand a year and we lived in a small underground house below town (out by the fields and livestock) of a dirt road. My friend lived in a large new house in a subdivision above town (by the mountains).
I grew up alongside my friend throw high school and noticed the social economic difference between use many times. Many times, I would go with their family down to the ponderosa (a resort next to Zion park) to spend time in the family cabin. They always seemed to be going on family trips that we could never dream of (our family trips consisted of camping up the local mountains). He always had the newest gaming systems and toys. Also, when I came time for a driver license and car. My friend was given a five-year-old Ford ranger from his parents. Unlike him I had to by my first automobile, a 1976 ford f150 that was a real pile.
His first job was working for the college football film crew that his dad had set him up with. My first job (as in not working for my dad) was working for a local farmer. He was paid almost four dollars more than me.
Me and my friend both went to the same school and he had some of the same learning disabilities as I did. Are knowledge seemed to be at the same level as most others in my school. I did however notice that my friend and some of his friends tended to wine more when it came to not getting what they wanted. They liked a more lied back sort of job where they could relax more. Sometimes my friend would exclude me from his other friend, like when playing video games and sleepovers when we were younger. Lots of times I would want to do things out side like build a fort, but my friend would want to just stay inside.
When my friend would hang out with others of his same social economical class, they had some diffence them me. Sometimes they would skip out on church or still money from my friend’s dad so they could spend it on things they wanted. His values would seem to change depending on the group he was with. They care a lot about how people saw them and their actions were always for attention. The upper class kids around me seemed to take for granted some of the martial things they had. Although for the most part they seemed like me and wanted most of the same things they wanted. They just got more of those things then I did.
Wail working on the farm with my dad we always had a farm hand and they general were from the groups of migrant workers. So, I did spend some time learning how they were and a little about their culture. In elementary schooled throw middle school there wee lots of Spanish speaking kids in my grade. But as time came on and we moved into high school, many of these kids dropped out of school or were expelled. I am not Shure why. Although I would say they seemed have a higher rate of misconduct in the school. One, maybe they could make money working. Either way they seemed just as intelligent as me or any other causation English speaker.
For the most part they tended to keep to them self’s as a group and some of their values were different then my own. They seemed to drink and get into smoking more often than the causation kids. They came from a different religion then most of the other kids in school. Most of them were catholic. They tended to be more reserved in interpersonal communication then the causation students. Their car if they had one, were usually small economy cars compared the big jacked up truck that dominate the parking lot.
I had spent a lot of time with the older generation of migrant workers wail growing up on the farm. Some of them were almost a second dad to me. From what I could tell the older generation had very similar values as my family had. For example, we hired a man from Peru to help on the farm for a few years. I was in my early teens worked alongside him for those years. He became part of our family at home and my dad always trusted him with use. Although my mom always refers to Peruvians as little people. As in “that little Peruvian man came over today”. So, I would say he was more integrated into our culture then we were into to his. So, my family never really got to come into contact and mingle with an entirely different culture. although we were told that all people are created equal. I cannot think of any sold example of this being illustrated in my family.
Most of my knowledge about the two groups I have chosen comes from first hand experience. My parents never really told use what to expect from other cultures around use. I just learned from what I saw and how I interacted with others. Although as I think about it my grandpa may have had influence on me in this area. He was old school in his views of other cultures. I can remember him referring to black Americans as the N word and he seemed to see most of the immigrants just as great workers. I learned to have views far more open then him. On the other hand, I think school, and more specifically history is where I learned about cultural diffence. I learned about tolerance and what happens when people look down on others. I think this may have shaped my view more the anything. Tend to still see history as the major teacher that shapes my views today.
The media has also played a role in my cultural views via TV programs most of all. I spent a lot of time in the evening watching PBS programs such as Nature and Nova. These programs always explored area of the world and cultures I had never seen before. I always found them very interesting and I always wanted to be in those places. So, I feel like that media introduced me somewhat to the world and different culture. I learned some about south America and it cultures throw documentaries on wild life and history of the regain. They helped instill a want to know more about different culture and to be more tolerant of them. I am very open to learning about different cultures other than my own. Just don’t know about changing my own to suite there some times.
When watching Hollywood moves, I always noticed differences in how Hollywood expressed what the middle-class American family was like. From this I would compare my family financial assets with what I thought was the ideal family values and economic standing.
The Peruvian that work on the farm with used was also a major teacher for me in understand some part of a different cultures. My friend helped me see diffence in his economical class compared to my family’s economical class. From both, I could reference my place in society and local culture.
Some areas of interest in intercultural communication. I would like to learn more about the role nonverbal commination plays between cultures. Is it a universal language? If not, are there any way of communicating in some way with any culture on earth? I would like to gain a better understand of how religion shaped the communication between different cultures with different religions? If it can be made to be positive interaction all the time?
I would like to learn more about how cultures can melt together to form a new cultures sperate from the two parent cultures? Also, if there was ever a parent culture to witch all present cultures can trace their heritage too? Are there any remnants of a parent culture shown in all world cultures? Could the world form into one single culture?