Psychology

Question

For this task, prepare a paper in which you describe an interaction with someone who shared your cultural background and with someone who did not. Describe the feeling that made you feel connected. Did anything make you feel unconnected?

First, describe a situation in which you felt a connection with someone who shared your own cultural background. Describe that feeling. What made you feel connected to that person? Did anything make you feel unable to connect to that person in any way?

Next, think of someone you know or have met who is from a culture completely different from your own. Recall your first interaction with that person. Explain the setting and the interaction. Did you view it as a positive or negative interaction at the time? In what ways has that first experience with someone who is “other” dictated how you now approach people who are of a different culture? 

Relate your reflections on each experience to your readings in the text.

Length: 1-2 pages

Answer

During my day-to-day activities at home and in the neighborhood, I often run into people, most of whom I share the same culture with. However, I occasionally get to get into workplace situations involving community service whereby I meet only one individual with whom we share the same culture. In one incident that I remember well, the person that I interacted with made me feel very connected to him. He made me feel that that I was not alone. Indeed, having someone that shares one’s cultural worldview can be a huge sigh of relief especially if one am surrounded by individuals from different cultures (Tsai, Knutson & Fung, 2006). Sometimes it is only natural for one to feel alienated, as if he/she does not belong. This explains why it is important, though not mandatory, for one to maintain close proximity with those people with whom he/she shares cultural values. Such people play a vital role in giving one a sense of belonging.

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Being culturally aware means having the ability to accept the fact that different communities have different beliefs and customs (Quappe & Cantatore, 2005). This in turn helps one to build good working relationships with the individuals from diverse cultures. At one time during a community service project, I had the privilege of working with people from different cultural backgrounds. At first, I found it difficult to establish any kind of relationship since we were completely different culturally. However, after getting to learn about their cultures and them knowing a thing or two about mine, it became clear that it was just a matter of time before out interaction turned out to be positive. Because of that experience, I am now able to interact with people from different cultures with an open mind. I now realize that in truth, interacting with people from different cultures is much more rewarding than with individuals from one’s own culture as it guarantees rich and fulfilling learning experiences every day.

References

Quappe, S., & Cantatore, G. (2005). What is cultural awareness, anyway? How do I build it. Web.

Tsai, J. L., Knutson, B., & Fung, H. H. (2006). Cultural variation in affect valuation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 90(2), 288-307.

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