From its world-class gastronomy and eclectic art scene to its distinctive architecture and neighborhoods, New Orleans is like no other city. Add in its jazzy soundtrack and tropical climate, this is a destination everyone can enjoy. Essentially an island between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans is a city defined and shaped by waterways. Nicknamed the Crescent City because of its quarter-moon shape, New Orleans was isolated from the mainland for close to years.
This section of the Essential Tool explores the role of culture in the transition process. Culture refers to the patterns of values and learned behaviors that are shared and transmitted from generation to generation by the members of a social group.
Values in this broad sense are assumed to guide how people live their lives, including their moral judgments, goals, and behaviors. Exploring and understanding the values of youth and their families is therefore an important key for planning and providing transition services and supports, and in achieving better outcomes.
It is possible, however, to identify an area of contrast between the values of American mainstream culture and the values characteristic of many other cultures Niles, An example using self-determination will illustrate the importance of understanding and addressing the contrast between individualistic and collectivistic values.
It is important to realize that values, like any human characteristic, fall along a continuum. For example, a culture oriented to individualism might highly value being able to work independently, while a culture oriented to collectivism might highly value being able to work as part of a group.
However, the first culture almost certainly also values being able to work as part of a group, and the second culture also values being able to work independently. The difference is in the relative importance that each culture places on these contrasting values.
The concept of a continuum also applies to individuals within a culture. Most members of a collectivistic culture will hold values at the collectivistic end of the continuum, although each will be at a different spot on the continuum, and some will even be at the individualistic end.
Where they are on the continuum of values depends on such factors as how closely they identify with traditional culture, their level of education, and the ethnic mix of their community. This variability among people again illustrates the need for individualization in transition services and supports Atkins, As Trumbull et al.
Alternative Views of People as Independent or Interdependent Individualism and collectivism are subsets of broad worldviews, which have been called, respectively, atomism and holism Shore, Atomism is prominent in the western hemisphere and refers to the tendency to view things in terms of their component parts.
This orientation has supported advances such as scientific discoveries about how the physical world works and the development of assembly line manufacturing. Holism is characteristic of most CLD cultures and refers to the tendency to view all aspects of life as interconnected.
The primary individualistic view is that there are sharp boundaries between people, with each person being a complete unit. In other words, people are considered to be independent.
They are generally also thought to have rights and responsibilities that are more or less the same. By contrast, the primary collectivistic view is that people are not separate units, but rather are part and parcel of a larger group i.
In other words, people are interdependent. The person is instead a locus of shared biographies: This traditional Pacific Island view of the person falls at the extreme collectivistic end of the continuum, while the American mainstream view of the person is widely considered to fall closer to the extreme individualistic end than any other culture Lasch, ; Shore, Yet even these cultures each reflect elements from the other end of the continuum to varying degrees.
When they identify a part of themselves with the team, they tend to feel a bond with each other and experience similar emotions of joy, pride, sadness, etc. Interdependent values appear to be stronger among people living in conditions of scarcity and threat, because they depend more on each other for survival.
For example, settlers of the American West during the s probably had a more interdependent orientation than most Americans today, as reflected in how they helped each other build barns and harvest crops.
The relatively extreme individualism of American mainstream culture today is made possible by a high and dependable standard of living that allows self-sufficiency i. Youth of American mainstream culture almost always have ready access to a substantial store of economic and social capital accumulated by their families.
This capital allows them to begin practicing independence and self-sufficiency at an early age and to be supported to achieve independence and self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood.
By contrast, Americans living in poverty generally have much lower levels of economic and social capital that can support independent lifestyles.
Unfortunately, the social fabric of many low-income communities has become so frayed that effective interdependence may not be possible for many residents. Government and private programs have been developed to fill the gaps, but an unintended consequence has apparently been to foster dependence in many program participants, who may rely heavily on agency personnel rather than interdependent natural support networks Zuckerman, Contrasts Between Individualistic and Collectivistic Values The basic individualistic and collectivistic views of people as either independent or interdependent lead to contrasting sets of values.
Orientation to Self or Group The individualistic view of people as independent units leads to emphasis on a range of self-oriented values and skills that support independent living. These values include self-sufficiency, self-determination, self-advocacy, self-competence, self-direction, self-efficacy, self-regulation, self-reliance, and self-responsibility.
On the other hand, the collectivistic view of people as interdependent leads to emphasis on group-oriented values and skills that contribute to effectively filling roles within the family or other group. Instead of living independently or going away to college, the young adult may be expected to remain at home and fulfill roles within the family.
Decision-Making Culture influences how decisions are made within a family.Non-material culture refers to the non-physical ideas that individuals have about their culture, including values, belief systems, rules, norms, morals, language, organizations, and institutions, while material culture is the physical evidence of a culture in the objects and architecture they make or have made.
Culture refers to the patterns of values and learned behaviors that are shared and transmitted from generation to generation by the members of a social group.
“Values” as used here includes beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes. Be very clear about your behavior expectations so that the classroom culture you create can serve to guide student actions and interactions in the classroom.
Stress to students the importance of an open-minded attitude about people whose beliefs or lifestyles are different from theirs.
Chinese culture is historically considered the dominant culture in East Asia, as it was the civilization that held the most dominant influence in the region that laid . American Culture For many international students, adjusting to American culture can be difficult and at times frustrating.
American customs and values might be very different from those of your home country, and you might find them confusing. Furthermore, the emotions themselves would differ from one another only in terms of content rather than attitude, because there would be no attitude specific to, say, anger, shame, guilt and so on, but rather a common attitude—the judging attitude or the perceiving attitude—towards different contents.