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Discussion Paer #1 Sociology

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Chapter 1 Discussion Paper Jenna Bagala 31979 Social Psychology

According to Social Psychology: Sociological Perspective, culture is defined as “A society’s set of unique patterns of behaviors and beliefs” (Rohall, Milkie, and Lucas 24). There are many different cultures in the world today. People form social norms from their cultures, which is why to someone else what they find normal could be bizarre. My culture is a mix of Italian, American, Christian and even some Jewish traditions, which in itself is its own culture. My family speaks English and is very American. My father is Italian so he carries on some Italian traditions. For example we eat a lot of Italian cuisine and my father cooks a lot of Italian food. Another traits Italian always have is that family is the most important thing. That is very true in my Italian family. Every morning we drink coffee together. My family is also Christian, and we attend church every Sunday. After church on Sundays we have a nice, huge sit down dinner. We pray before every meal together. My parents are originally from New York, and they have brought their traditions from New York to California. They grew up with a lot of Jewish friends and so they carry on some Jewish traditions even though we are Christians. We play the Dreidel game and eat Jewish food. My family eats fish every Christmas Eve to carry on my father’s tradition in his Italian family back in New York. Also on Christmas Eve my family reads the story in the New Testament of Jesus Christ’s birth, and then we each open one present. We celebrate all American holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter (the fun egg search and the Christian story), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Santa Claus and the birth of Jesus). My culture is my way of life and the reason I am the way I am. Now if I imagined I had an identical twin and we were separated at birth and she grew up in China, she would be entirely different than me. First of all she would most likely speak Chinese, and look different than me in the way she dressed and did her makeup. According to Alina Bradford on Livescience.com, her religion would be either “Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, or Protestantism”. Also her cuisine would be different in that Chinese people usually eat a lot of “fried dishes, and Szechuan, which relies heavily on the use of peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger and is known for its spiciness” (Bradford 8). Another huge difference would be the holidays and celebrations, for the Chinese celebrate many different things then my personal culture. For example the Chinese celebrate the New Year around Mid-January and mid-February. This celebration is called “The Spring Festival- [it] marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year…During the 15 day celebration, the Chinese do something every day to welcome the New Year, such as each rice congee and mustard greens” ( Bradford 15). The Chinese culture is very interesting and in the similar way that I have traditions, they have many traditions. Now what if my identical twin grew up in South Africa? She would still be very different than me in many ways but also have some similarity of culture. My twin would probably dress a lot different from me for American clothes are very different than South Africa clothes. African clothes are very loose and tribal looking and usually actually made out of animal skin not cotton. American clothes vary by many different styles and textures. So American clothes I wear try to mimic tribal clothes sometimes. She might be Christian too though for according to Kwintessential.co.uk there are about 68% Africans that consider themselves Christians. We would probably have very similar morals. She would also be alike in the way that she might speak English, but also she would be different for she would speak another language too. For South Africans have “11 different language’s… Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Twansa, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu” ( Kwitnessential.co.uk). Another different is the dining etiquette is a lot more formal then my family dinners. Culture is the reason people are the way they are. They grew up with certain beliefs, traditions, and behaviors. This all makes us unique and in some ways alike. If I had an identical twin that was separated at birth and grew up in either China or South Africa there would be many differences between us and even some similarities surprising. I would be able to accept her by using my sociologist imagination which is defined as the ability to see personal lives in the context of the larger society. I would very open-minded to way she lived her life. I would love to learn about the culture differences and also be happy there are culture similarities between me and my long lost twin. She would also influence the way that I see society by demonstrating that everyone is different due to the culture they were raised in.

Work Cited Rohall, F. E. , Milkie M. A. & Lucas, J. W. (2014). Social Psychology: Sociological Perspective. Pearson. 3rd edition. Book. Page 24. South Africa- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. (2014). Kwintessential. Web. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/south-africa-country-profile.html Zimmermann, K. A. (2015). Chinese Culture: Customs & Traditions of China. Live Science. Web. http://m.livescience.com/28823-chinese-culture.html

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