The notion of culture is a difficult one to approach. There are so many angles you can take on explaining cultural phenomenons, so it sometimes seems impossible to create something tangible because before you know it, things have changed, and your explanations seem implausible. When we focus on what attitudes and behaviors are shaped by the culture we live in, we enter an equally complicated field, but one we will try to tackle.
Culture Is A Place Of Tension
If you try to imagine we can stop the concept of culture for a brief moment in time, then we can start investigating things that would be, for lack of a better term, visible. The values and beliefs of a specific culture, or a particular society, nation, group, are the ones that shape how people behave, and in the end, how the world looks.
These are in constant interaction with each other, everything from the way you dress, to what side you pick on the next elections, to whether or not you try to recycle plastic waste of your household. Everything you choose to do or not do, everything you are allowed to do, and everything that is forbidden, is shaped by the forces and tension that happen inside a specific culture. That tension is caused by different beliefs and values that interact within a particular period.
All of this means that something we address as our own attitudes and behaviors, comes both at the beginning and the end of the thing we call culture: it is not a one-way street, and all you can do is hop along for a drive. The same way culture shapes you, your ultimate output, your existence shapes the world, and the culture you live in.
How Does Culture Affect Attitudes?
Now, the key to determine here is this: what does it mean to have an attitude, and how does it shape our behavior? Attitude, as a term, brings us into the realm of predisposition. Now, this can be a shadow realm, a dark place to enter, and one where stereotypes will devastate any possibility of change, but it can be a good place too.
What is the problem with the predisposition here, and how does it affect our behavior? Well, if we can discuss a specific attitude, that means that we have a distinguishable way we can recognize and expect someone’s reactions. To have an attitude means to have an opinion, a feeling, and a specific moral stance towards something or someone.
However, the problem evident here is that we can not attach your preference that will shape your behavior, and let us give an example here, in the next elections, to just one thing. Your family, your school, the people you hang out in your free time, the media you avoid, and the media you prefer, everything comes into play to form something that will result not only in opinion but in action as well.
So, to put it shortly, all attitudes and behaviors that end up becoming real-life action, are shaped by the culture you live in. The way you handle it is a whole different story. Still, you can think about the entire process as something that is in constant change but acts accordingly when you have a specific goal you want to achieve. Your orientations are the ones who define the behavior you prefer, and you are trying to use the compass from the middle of the culture field.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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