Essay on Making a Living

4 pages
875 words
Middlebury College
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Human beings are products of various biological and environmental influences that complement each other. A holistic person is one who has been exposed to the different conditions of life such as foods, cultures, and languages. Anthropology studies the different aspects of the society that make humans what they really are. It establishes a broader approach to foster an understanding of how various human experiences interplay to make a person whole. Archeological studies encompass wider geological timescales to conceptualize past human living that potentially influence their life today. Some of the important aspects of human life that fundamentally affect their lifestyle today include their biological composition, dietary practices, and health awareness.

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Apart from studying trends in human living and behavior, anthropology also draws comparisons between man and other primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees. Through these comparisons, similarities and differences are drawn thus fostering clarity about what makes a man a unique creature. Despite the fact that human needs such as food, water, and companionship may be similar, the way through which they meet them varies from one society to the other. For instance, food is necessary for survival for everyone, but there are differences in what constitutes a diet among different populations. Furthermore, there are also differences in how food is prepared and served hence anthropology seeks to draw such disparities as a means of knowing societies better. The role of anthropology falls into four main subfields including archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics.

In the current age, various emerging issues such as globalization, improved technologies, and the need to pursue foreign higher education increase cultural interactions. These interactions have express influences on an individuals perceptions, value patterns, and conceptions of life. At the extreme, some people may overly embrace a new system of language and culture. However, contending with different cultures is often a difficult process that is characterized by culture shocks and a feeling of exclusion. From the superficial perspective, living in a foreign land sounds an exciting experience, but most expatriates often find it difficult to familiarize themselves with new ways of doing even the everyday things such as greetings, eating, and driving. For instance, while extended greetings and pleasantries are a common occurrence among African cultures, the Europeans and Americans prefer short conversations that are full of body languages such as smiles or nods.

Living in different countries with particular cultures imposes expats to new attributes that may not be necessarily inborn. For instance, self-awareness is important for a foreigner to understand own beliefs, values, and biases, which are important in contending with other cultures and inherent differences. In addition, immigrants have to be more accepting and less critical. Though the principles of curiosity make people more likely to asking several questions and criticizing some practices based on personal values, foreigners often have to be more accepting.

The challenge that expatriates face within their new locations fall into four major categories including feeling of euphoria and excitement, culture shock, gradual adjustment, adaptation, and biculturalism. During the entry stages into a new culture, individuals face the challenge of controlling the emotions and excitement about virtually everything. At this stage, people feel that they have control of virtually everything and are intrigued to get the similarities and differences between their home cultural practices and that in their new surroundings. Curiosity and inquisitiveness make people spend a lot of energy trying to learn everything within the shortest time thus experience burnout. Ideally, there are often details about every culture that require time to learn hence the clamor to know them all at once results in frustrations.

The failure to establish a complete knowledge of the new culture makes immigrants feel irritated and hostile. At this point, the novelty of new experiences fade off, and immigrants turn their focus on making cultural differences, which often result in their development of stereotypes and prejudices. When one finally gets the differences, small issues begin to look so complicated, and stress becomes familiar. Expats feel frustrated by the need to embrace different cultural subscriptions. The feeling of homesickness and missing family results in confusion and helplessness. When one gradually begins to accept the realities of the new culture, he or she experiences shifts between highs and lows. It is mentally straining for immigrants to get a proper understanding of some earlier assumptions that they had about their new locations. Some of the expectations may be different from reality thus a source of mental stress. This pressure is even more pronounced as people struggle to learn the standard terminologies and language being used therein extensively.

Language, which is a critical aspect of the formation of associations and relationships among all cultures, imposes psychological stress among immigrants. Even with a commonality of language such as English, the dialectical and speech speed differences inhibits effective communication For instance, Americans and Europeans speak relatively faster than Africans. Hence, the latter has to be highly attentive to enable effective communication with the former groups. Roles assigned to different genders also vary among cultures. Some cultures relegate women to the backseat in decision-making while others loath their abilities and include them in making critical decisions. A change between such cultures results in cultural clash that may take many years for immigrants to resolve.

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