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Literature review - Essay Example

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Beyond just material and non-material culture, scholars are interested in determining a better way to study and understand different ethnic groups and tribes in order to foster a more peaceful world moving forward. There are a great many published studies already in existence with these thoughts in mind. Arguably, modern cross-cultural and anthropological studies began in 1889 with the work of Sir Edward Tylor. His goal was essentially to conduct ethnographies to define and describe culture in the context of analyzing society. Culture began to be discussed in terms of looking for marked differences amongst people. The problem with this broad definition, however, was that many could not determine what marked differences Tylor was referring to (Munck, 2010, p. 279-280). Perhaps people could have similar social interactions with one another, yet they speak different languages. Munck (2010) explains this by writing, “To take a simple example, there are likely to be strong similarities in religious, marriage, and inheritance practices among Islamic societies despite linguistic differences” (p. 280). It is not easy, therefore, to determine where one culture ends and another one begins. Language then, surely, cannot be the sole indicator of one’s cultural identity. ...
It is this lack of understanding that forms the foundation for the necessity of cross-cultural communication. Only through the promotion of different cultures can society truly learn to adapt and accept others into its fold (Ringland, 2005, p. 36). Let us consider Canada for a moment. Due to a diminished pool of labor, the country has long depended on immigrants to be employed in many essential industries around the country. Studies have found that residents of Canada are now quite accepting of people from other cultures. As Theriault (2005) points out, “These recent transformations in the ethno cultural composition of immigrants have led to an increasing diversification of the Canadian population, particularly in the Montreal region” (p. 7). As such, the definition of culture has gradually shifted. Canadians themselves are now more likely to embrace people who speak different and interact with one another differently. They may be less prone to even consider long standing immigrants to be from a different culture as they have embraced the general culture of their host country, while maintaining the main components of their home culture as well. This is an important fact to consider. Perhaps the definition of culture is truly a work in progress (Munck, 2010, p. 284). Scholars agree that understanding culture means that one must break down the barriers that exist between groups of people and strive to enhance and foster an understanding of one another. Recent studies have shown that young people in Canada have been exposed to ethnically diverse schools for much of their life. Subsequently, they are taking the lead in educating Canadians to embrace pluralism and to better understand other cultures ...Show more
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Literature Review: Defining and Describing Cultures University Name Literature Review: Defining and Describing Cultures Human civilization has long had to grapple with learning how to get along with people who look, act, eat, and speak differently…
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