Assignment: Primary cultural influences in life.

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Assignment: Primary cultural influences in life.

Assignment: Primary cultural influences in life.

To prepare for this discussion, please read Chapters 2 and 3 of your (Feenstra, 2013).  In addition, read Preview the documentView in a new window (Adams and Markus, 2001) and  (Markus and Kitayama, 1991).  Finally, review Instructor Guidance and Announcements.  In this discussion, you will consider patterns that have shaped your sense of self.  Be sure to use your own academic voice and apply in-text citations appropriately throughout your post.

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Assignment: Primary cultural influences in life.
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  • Identify some of the primary cultural influences in your life.  (Note that culture can be defined broadly to include a number of dimensions.)
  • Examine your sense of self.
    • Would you characterize yourself as more independent or interdependent?  Why?  Identify specific examples that illustrate.  You might find it helpful to start by considering Figure 1 and Table 1 in Markus and Kitayama (1991).
  • Appraise the consequences of your self-construction.
    • What are some of the implications of independence/interdependence (for cognition, emotion, motivation, etc.)?
  • Analyze your responses to the Twenty Statements Test in the introduction (Post Your Introduction).
    • Does your description fit with predictions of theory and research findings, as described by Markus and Kitayama (1991)?

Post your initial response of 250 words or more by Day 3 (Thursday).  Respond to at least two of your peers by Day 7 (Monday).  You are encouraged to post one or more of your required replies early each week (e.g., by Saturday) to stimulate more meaningful and interactive discourse in the discussion forum.  In addition, strive to provide a response to classmates who replied to your initial post and/or the Instructor (if applicable).  Peer responses may vary in length but should be carefully crafted and insightful.  Below are some suggestions to assist your thinking.].

  • Culture is a pattern of ideas, customs and behaviours shared by a particular people or society. It is constantly evolving.
  • The speed of cultural evolution varies. It increases when a group migrates to and incorporates components of a new culture into their culture of origin.
  • Children often struggle with being ‘between cultures’– balancing the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. They essentially belong to both, whereas their parents often belong predominantly to the ‘old’ culture.
  • One way of thinking about cultures is whether they are primarily ‘collectivist’ or ‘individualist’. Knowing the difference can help health professionals with diagnosis and with tailoring a treatment plan that includes a larger or smaller group.
  • The influence of culture on health is vast.  It affects perceptions of health, illness and death, beliefs about causes of disease, approaches to health promotion, how illness and pain are experienced and expressed, where patients seek help, and the types of treatment patients prefer.
  • Both health professionals and patients are influenced by their respective cultures. Canada’s health system has been shaped by the mainstream beliefs of historically dominant cultures.
  • Cultural bias may result in very different health-related preferences and perceptions. Being aware of and negotiating such differences are skills known as ‘cultural competence’. This perspective allows care providers to ask about various beliefs or sources of care specifically, and to incorporate new awareness into diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Demonstrating awareness of a patient’s culture can promote trust, better health care, lead to higher rates of acceptance of diagnoses and improve treatment adherence.
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