Family in a Global Context
1. Select families from three cultures and place them on a continuum ranging between ‘traditional’ on one end and ‘post-modern’ on the other. Describe each family and show how these families may be changing, but are at different points along a continuum of change. Be sure to define key terms and support your response. Sheikhs, Jones and Guptas are three neighbors but all three have different cultures as their names also suggest. Their culture, background, traditions and way of life, norms and values, everything is different from each other or at least there is some or the other difference for sure. Every family has their own set of values.
Sara Sheikh stated that some families are more traditional than the others but some have moved on a little bit from heir very traditional values and have become modern. There are many factors that have led to this changing trend and this change can be both good and bad (S Sheikh, personal communication, October 10, 2007) In this era, globalization is one of the most emerging factors leading to bring change in the lives of the people around the world. People not only live in their own native country but for better future prospects they decide to leave their native land to settle in some other country around the globe.
This might be due to any reason. Parents send their children to foreign countries for better education. People go to work abroad, etc. The traditional ways of doing things were very much different and nowadays people have brought up some change to their very traditional norms and customs passed onto them by their fore fathers. This change is caused by many new emerging factors that have more or less forced the people to being up some or the other kind of change (Rodrik, 1997).
Things have changed now as technology has progressed a lot more than it was a hundred year ago and still there are huge horizons for much more progress in the world. Each day new things are being tested and finally some one or the other comes up with a brand new idea in the form of a product or anything. From the way of lifestyle of the people to the type of food they eat, their way of talking, sleeping, eating, walking, behavior, responses to certain situations, almost everything has slight or a major change. And this basically is due to globalization.
Though some not all the things have changed but this varies from a family to family. Some have readily accepted this change while some are still resistant to these changes who are not readily accepting it. It’s obvious that values laid down by our ancestors are passed onto us and they would definitely want us to carry on these customs but due to globalization, there is a huge possibility for at least an insignificant change. All this depends on how the family takes them to be. In some families, there basic customs are very dear to them and they carry on these at any cost but there are families who have come out of it.
Such kind of families can be classified into two groups – one that has totally changed or is not following their very own customs while some have made variations according to their own convenience. Now looking in particular at the three families, as all three are from different backgrounds, they all have different cultures. Sheikhs as the name suggests are Muslims. The very basic thing is religion. They follow their religion but it’s not so easy to do things as conveniently as possible living in any foreign country as the country might not have a Muslim majority population and a have different culture.
So doing things living in ones native country and living in a foreign country would be different. For instance, Muslim women are advised to take head scarfs but maybe the people where the Muslims have immigrated do not like people who wear scarfs. This would be a different situation then. Aamrah Hussain who lives in Toronto said that the Muslims have different festivals and living in a Christian majority country they won’t get any holidays on their Holy days nor would they be able to celebrate the way they would have done it in their native country. They can do anything freely there.
Even the clothing, the food, and the language everything changes and this would be vice versa for a Christian or a Hindu family living in any Muslim country (A Hussian, personal communication, April 30, 2008). 2. Discuss the ways in which cultures resist the process of social change, particularly in the face of globalization. Illustrate your answer by describing how families are maintaining traditions in two different cultures. Cultures resist the process of social change. Globalization is all about increasing the connectivity and interdependence of the world’s markets and businesses.
It made travelling, communication, and international business easier. Advancement in telecommunications infrastructure and the internet are two most important contributors of globalization. It has connected all the economies around the world to the other economies leading to an increased opportunity and competition(Wells ,Shuey &Kiely, 2001). In 1999, Robertson published his findings that people resist change. Be it any kind of change, no person on earth would accept any kind of change readily. People have their own culture and rituals that they have been following since years and they might not want to bring any change.
The most sensitive of all changes is the cultural change that is also related to the religion that the people follow. It next to impossible to make people think the other way or to divert their minds to something new. Even if we highlight all the positive points of what we are trying to convince the other party to make them believe and accept is a tough job to do (Robertson, 2003). Even today there are many families that strictly follow their customs without even slight variations; some have changed little bit while some have changed almost totally.
This depends on the depth of importance they give to their values but change might also occur due to their environment. Maintaining tradition in two different countries is hard for the people. Though some try as much as possible to keep their traditions alive and to follow them but people might face situations where things might not be possible to be done. For instance, a Muslim family living in a Muslim majority country like Pakistan would find it very easy for them to follow all their traditions but once they move on to some other country with the dominance of the people from some other religion or culture, they cannot practice it freely.
Valerie Steele in his book mentioned about the local dress of Pakistan-Shalwar Qameez, for women. But this is not the local dress in foreign countries. If this family is in the U. S they would definitely dress up according to the requirement there, looking at the type of climate and the way the other people dress up. The other thing is food. Life in the U. S is much more busy for people as there is a trend that both men and women work there so they prefer to eat food that has all the calories required plus it should not take much time to be cooked.
But in Pakistan, the women mostly stay at home while the men go for work. The food cooked in Pakistan is different and a lot of spices and herbs are used in Pakistani foods. And although globalization has bought up change, people do go to fast-food chains but normally the type of food prepared here is the same as in the culture. Other than this, there is lifestyle, sports, recreation and one more important thing is the language. The native language of Pakistan is Urdu but in the U. S, it’s English. So, the Pakistani families living in the U.
S can only talk in Urdu with their own family or if they have any community members living there but English would be the language that would be spoken mostly by them for the process of communication with other people( Steele, 2008). In a research it was discovered that families try to maintain their culture even in the foreign countries. And they do this by making more friends from their community living in the same country or area. They can talk to them; share their ideas with their community friends, spend time with them.
They can meet them weekly, once a month or at least on special occasions. Things are easier now, it takes seconds to communicate with people around the globe, talk to their loved ones, family or friends living in their native country (Reinert, 2004). They can see things going on in their native country through web cameras, they can exchange pictures of different occasions, they can talk on the internet and there is a wide variety of options available to them to keep up their spirits high not to be depressed that are not actually present at any ceremony. 3.
Discuss at least two problems impacting upon children around the world. Relate the problems you select to globalizations. What are 2 possible solutions to these problems? Be sure to provide support for your position. Everything in this world has two sides of it. These are its advantages and disadvantages. Even though globalization is advantageous in many cases but it even has a darker side that cannot be fully ignored. It was researched by Natalie Hevener Kaufman & Irene Rizzini that one of the problems of globalization is its impact upon children around the world.
Internet has played a very vital role in bringing up the world together but has its drawbacks as well. Children are forgetting their norms and culture. They do not want to follow what their forefathers have been doing since years. As the children especially those living in foreign countries have a diversified list of friends. Friends from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, they can come under their influence and bad influence would not only be bad for them and their families but would also drag them far away from the culture originally followed by their family.
Under the influence of friends, people do different kinds of things but bad things could harm their tradition as they would go out of the track and might do things they feel are cool in other cultures ( Kaufman & Rizzini, 2002). For this, it’s the responsibility of the parents to keep an eye on the friends of their children and advise their children to make selective but good friends. Bhagwati, suggested that parents should not only take care of this but they should also keep a constant check on the gatherings their children go to (Bhagwati, 2004).
Children living in a foreign country would be more into the culture of the country they live in. They would be accustomed to the things done by their friends in that country or even the general things that are done there. Aamrah Hussain suggested that for this, the children should be sent back on vacations or holidays to their native country where they can spend time with their closed ones and stay in touch with their own culture and tradition. (Personal communication, April 20, 2008). 4.
Describe examples from 2 cultures where governments have had a major impact on shaping family life. How would you assess this government influence? Does it seem beneficial, harmful, or something in-between? Be sure to provide evidence that supports your position. Governments have a major impact on shaping family life. The governments of the developed countries provide assistance to its people. This can be in the form of free education till a particular level, free medical or by fulfilling any other basic need.
Governments can also carry out programs in which they make the people aware about different kind of issues such as health issues, etc. They should create awareness amongst the people to do proper family planning or avoid certain things that could lead to unexpected illnesses. They should advise people on different things as to how to take safety measures while using electric appliances and what to do in case any kind of emergency occurs. In India, there was a trend of Sati. Major. Andrea researched on Sati and gave a Historical anthology.
This is the burning of the wife of a deceased husband alive. When a husband used to die, the wife was to be burned to death on the context that both husband and wife are to be together and the wife would serve the husband even after death and this harsh trend was applicable by the Hindus but gradually the Indian government stopped the people from doing this cruel act and now its now very common in the Indian culture to burn the wives of the deceased husbands. This trend has not completely ended but it’s very rare that any incident like this takes place.
This is definitely beneficial as even the women have rights to live their lives properly even if their husband is no more in the world (Major, 2007). Narasimhan mentioned in their book about another trend is cutting off any body part of a criminal for doing a wrong act as it was done before but now it no longer exists (Narasimhan, 1990). This is basically for the Muslims. In the times of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) of the Muslims, body parts used to be chopped of for example, a hand for stealing anything but now this punishment no longer lasts.
So, things have been changing now and government does interfere (Ahmed, Ahmad, & Husain, 2005). Government definitely has a major influence on the lives of the people. Educating the population about different kinds of things is beneficial both for the government and the people themselves. 5. One of the emergent patterns from globalization is the widening gap between ‘have and have-nots,’ the division in the competitive process between ‘winners and losers,’ whether between or within countries. Discuss examples of this pattern among families by drawing on 2 of your readings. Should we be concerned with this widening gap? Why or why not?
One of the emergent patterns from globalization is the widening gap between ‘have and have-nots’ and the division in the competitive process between ‘winners and losers,’ whether between or within countries. The economical gap between the people is getting more day by day. It is said that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Thus, widening the gap even more (Falk, 1999). People who have money can buy almost anything on earth from new improved technology, to good food and clothing, better education and an up graded living style while the poor people still don’t have many resources to fulfill even their basic needs.
Wants are unlimited. Once people are able to fulfill their needs, they move over to wants. They demand each and everything they are able to grab but resources are limited and there is a certain price that is to be paid in order to enjoy the benefits of a want. Only those who can afford can enjoy the benefits. Those who cannot do much about it other than thinking and then literally doing bad things to get hold to money to satisfy their needs and then the wants (Nissanke & Thorbecke, 2007). Bauman said that this gap is widening as there is a lot of competition in the world today and every one is trying hard to get the most of it.
This is not just restricted locally but can be clearly noticed in the international phenomenon. Not only the people in different people are competing against each other but this is also taking place between people within the countries (Bauman, 1998). Let’s consider an example of two families. One is rich and the other is poor. The rich family has endless resources available. They can purchase whatever thing their finger points to but the poor family has to think ten times even to decide for their basic needs. Now this is unfair.
We should definitely be concerned with this widening gap. Why? Because this gap can drastically lead to social, political and the most economical unrest in the world. People would be fighting even to fulfill they need of food, shelter and clothing. According to research carried out by a friend, Aamrah Hussain this could compel them to start thinking about illegal ways to attain money for their family. All types of crime rates would rise that would create unrest in the country also affecting the others worldwide.
And although these things are already going on but they can be stopped if all the governments in the world cooperate with the people and provide them with some kind of assistance(A Hussian, personal communication, April 30, 2008). Reference Ahmed, M. M. , Ahmad, M. & Husain, M. S. (2005). Encyclopedia of Islam. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. Bauman, Z. (1998). Globalization: The Human Consequences. Columbia University Press Bhagwati, N. J. (2004). In Defense of Globalization. Oxford University Press. Cohen, D. (2007). Globalization and its enemies. The MIT Press Falk, R. (1999).
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