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Comparative Culture

This introduced a variety of religious movements to make the US culture a diverse mixture of faiths and traditions.
Conversely, Egypt today is predominantly one-religion country. According to a census in 1986 94 percent of Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. The largest religious minority is Coptic Orthodox Christians; some estimates suggest that Christians amount to 10 percent of the population (MS Encarta, 2003). The Egyptian religion is strongly influenced by Christianity, since Egypt was predominantly Christian before the Arab invasion in 641 (MS Encarta, 2003). Although united by language and belief, the modern day Egyptians not a homogenous society and comprise of Bedouin Arabs, nomadic tribal people, and Nubians (Arabnet, 2006).
The major difference between Egypt and USA is the perception of the spiritual and real-life worlds. The worldview in Egypt is influenced by the Islam (Chapter 10). Whereas the Arab world makes no distinction between religion and real life, in America faith is separated from everyday life, despite the high percentage of religious population (Chapter 9).
US puritan ancestors believed that men were born evil but had the potential to be good, through self-control and self-motivation. The Protestant religion teaches that self-discipline and hard work contribute to the "goodliness" of individuals (Chapter 9), which is reflected in the beliefs about human nature, and in the attitude towards work. Similarly, the Islamic belief proclaims hard work as a cherished virtue (Chapter 10). Muslims believe that people are born good and develop into positive directions (Chapter 10).
Time
The Americans view time as a key resource (Chapter 9). Their present efforts and resources are oriented to the future. Unlike the US, time has different dimensions in Egypt; it is not a linear adherence to schedules and deadlines, but rather an abstract mixture of people and transactions (Chapter 10).
Social Relations
The equality in the United States is proclaimed by Constitution, while the Islamic guiding document proclaiming equality is the Koran (MS Encarta, 2003). Still, status and financial power in both cultures are the sources of social inequality. The United States places strong emphasis on status-defining factors like money, and power (Chapter 9). Similarly, the Egyptian society comprises of the ruling minority of Afrangi, high government officials and academicians, and the ruled majority of natives, Baladi (Tehuti Research Foundation, 2003).
The individualistic American society is much different from the group-oriented Islam, where family traditions are highly cherished (Chapter 10). Spiritual and civil equality are proclaimed by Islam, and according to Muslims women are equal to men (Egypt Magic, n.d.) in that they have the same right to education, property, professional and public life. The American perception of inequality stems from the fact that equal rights do not mean identical rights.
Religion and authorities
As a Western Christian country, USA separate religion from the state (chapter 9); faith is a matter of personal choice. The lack of obligatory state religion and the diversity of faiths have ...Show more

Summary

Religion is one of the major determinants of culture. Huntington (1993, 1996, cited in Chapter 9) has divided the world into cultural zones, based on religious beliefs; these zones have distinctive cultural differences that are the justification for such a division…
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Comparative Culture Essay essay example
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