All posts by j_nagi

Reflection Blog Post Althen and Peeradina

Peeradina offers us the examination of two unique and different cultures, and how they intertwine with each other at times. After reading Peeradina I came to the conclusion that I witness two cultures that mesh together in many everyday situations. When I finished the  Peeradina reading, my mother popped in my head, as she is a perfect example when two cultures are embodied together at the same given time. There is always relatives showing up at my house uninvited or at times unexpected by my mother. So every time a relative comes over, my mother will have a short panic attack, as she is worried about what the guest will drink, eat, or stay during their time of visit. According to the Peeradina reading that “panic attack” is a sign of American culture, and I could not agree more. Yet, my mother is also from a Middle Eastern heritage, thus when people come over to visit, she will treat them as if they were royal guests. My mother would start to make feast of food, as she comforts the guest in the living room that is prohibited for everyday use. This example can be seen at numerous times in my household, but it will never change, because both American culture and Middle Eastern culture have intertwined in the everyday actions of my mother.

Althen discussion about American “core values” was outrageously funny, because as an American I can either see these core values done by other Americans or see my self at times fall into these core values. There are three core values that I want to dress from the Althen reading, the first would be equality, then work ethic, and finally directness.

When Althen addressed the issue of equality as an American core value, I felt like Althen had done a superb job in giving a description of equality. When the issue of equality is brought up by Althen, is explained that it is a core value that is held high by Americans and their constitution. Furthermore Althen adds that equality is not what it seems to be and is violated in ways such as sex, income, race and many other factors. Althen description on equality is true, by the means of law all men and women are created equal, but in the current American society that we live in, it is hard to find to be true. Work ethic is something that is also talked about by Althen and is talked about with such ease. Althen describes Americans as time oriented, and in many ways as regulated machines when they work. Ultimately meaning that Americans value hard work ethic and at times work much more harder than they are supposed to. Althen evaluation on work ethic has a lot to do with not only completion in American work force, but also the free market principle in American economy. I feel like Americans need to work hard, because any position can be refilled easily, and thus Americans feel that they are always in a competition for their field of profession. Directness is a big American core value and in the current time it is applied in normal day conversations, over the phone, through social media, and even family households. Althen describes Americans as being direct when communicating with each other, but the value of directness is halted when talking about certain issues. Issues that can make one person feel uncomfortable or awkward when talking about, these issues include sex functioning, personal problems or simple things like “mouth odor.” Althen describes that Americans are scared about hurting other people’s feelings when talking about such issues and are better off not addressed. I find this to be true, as at times it is always best to not say anything even when its better that you are upfront with someone.

Culture Conflict

Culture at times can be used to diverse people in many ways, yet is that always the best method to divide people? Cultural conflict is a conflict that occurs when two or more different cultures come into clash. The basis of cultural conflict can be explained, when two or more cultures clash in values and beliefs. Usually anthropologists try to explain cultural conflict, as two or more people having different beliefs and values. But what about the explanation of a single person having a cultural conflict from within? Amparo B. Oejeda, scholar in the department of Anthropology and Linguistics has open a new idea of thinking in term of cultural conflict. An idea that caught my eye, yet along with opening a new way thinking about my inner cultural conflict.

Being born in the United States always opens a door for one to allow American values to become a big part of a person’s life. Not only being born, but also raised in the United States has opened a door for my cultural conflict to exist. The reason being that my parents were not “Americans”, nor they did value American culture, or attempt to incorporate Middle Eastern culture with American culture. This method of keeping cultures divided and diverse is a good way of valuing the different cultures that the world brings. Despite that, it opens a door for people to have an inner conflict when born into two different sets of values and beliefs. As a being an example of having an inner cultural conflict, I can give an ideal example to justify my way of thinking.

The example is when I was growing up and being taught to be independent based on different definitions from two completely different cultures. Independence is different when described in the American culture and in the Middle Eastern culture. I was faced with this dilemma everyday day, especially in my late teenage years. Where I was given independence to get my own job, my own car, and to make other important decisions. A foundation that can be seen in the American culture, regardless of who it may be. My independence was always halted in some way, and thanks to the reading by Oejeda I finally understand why. I always got into arguments with my parents and simultaneously I misunderstood why. I always felt my parents never trusted me or trusted my independence when growing up.

Yet after reading this piece by Oejeda, I came to the conclusion that is was because of my Middle Eastern culture coming into conflict with my American culture. As a man who had bought a new car, had a nice job and able to make to financial decisions. It was hard to understand why I wasn’t able to move out and acquire my own place. In the Middle Eastern culture, it is wise, smart, and traditional for the man not to leave his family home until he reaches an ideal age of 28.(Approximated Age) Whereas, the American culture a person can leave their home, usually at the age of 18.

This inner culture conflict is something that can explain what most bi-cultural people go through. The term cultural conflict is something that should be addressed and taught in America. Especially where many bi-cultural people live and face problems that stem from an inner cultural conflict. Oejeda was faced with a cultural conflict, when deciding what culture to emphasis or teach to her daughter in America. This explanation gives me an insight of the tough decision that my parents were going through. But also the reasoning why I never fully understood the institutions that my parents had set upon me while growing up in America.