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.