Throughout this semester we have learned a lot about how and why human beings are the way we are. As this is true, there was also another core principle that I thought was always on my mind when doing the weekly readings and watching videos; That being the meaning making of how cultures and societies are. What I mean by this is that though no individual is ever the same, how a culture or society’s individuals take on the challenges of everyday life is often quite similar. The class weeks that I found this to be most prominent was during the second, third, and fifth.
In week two, we read from an individual by the name of Levi Strauss. During the reading he brought up the evolution theory, which he mentions that the inequality of cultures is not biological, but rather a historical origin. Meaning that how another culture/ society looks or views another is what leads to all the stereotyping that we have in the world today. Though it may not seem like a huge deal, it often plays more of a role than you think. If you are in another country that is not where you are from, you’re the outcast. So in turn people are going to look at you based off the stereotype set upon your culture. Another example of meaning making came in week three when we read about rituals. How cultures go about certain things are handled differently depending on where you are from. Whether it’s a birthday, marriage, schooling, or whatever else that it may be, its not the right or wrong way. A huge ritual that is common that others look high down upon is arranged marriages. When growing up in American, women have the right to choose a spouse. However in some countries over in Asia today, arranged marriage is still present. Yes this is different from out cultural beliefs, but still not wrong. The final week that I thought made a lot of sense when talking about meaning making was week five. During this we discussed a lot about how a cultures people adapt to their environments, both naturally and created. This was probably the best example of meaning making simply because the readings talk about how cultures adapt to the environment they are brought into.
Overall the mean making point that I was trying to get across when correlating these three weeks was that not all cultures are the same. So in turn, we shouldn’t judge or stereotype another cultures way of life simply because its different from ours. It’s not the fault of that individual, but rather the fact that they were brought up that way because everyone where they are from were raised the same exact way. The adaptions that cultures have to make are what shape them into the individuals that make them who they are today.