Learn more about the social impacts of culture through this online learning platform in which we will harness the tools of technology to explore these effects intricately such as the use of educational videos. Culture holds a strong influence in the modernisation process of societies. Given this understanding, it is crucial to examine why social ills can arise from the clash of cultures to consider the solutions to minimise conflicts arising from the inability to synergise and celebrate cultural diversity.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
In this section, you can learn more about the social impacts of culture which in turn will in turn affect individuals such as how it fosters cohesion and unity, how countries should support cultural diversity and how culture has no place in the world.
To foster social cohesion and unity
Culture is important in the attainment of social stability. By understanding cultures such as cultural practices and traditions from various social groups, individuals can develop a sense of respect for cultural diversity to foster mutual understanding. For example on World Hijab Day, women of all faiths wore hijabs so that they can step into the shoes of Muslim women and understand how they may feel while walking in the streets of countries where Muslims are the minority such as in US.
Why should countries support cultural diversity?
Culture diversity refers to the existence of different cultures in a society. This can be observed in multicultural societies like New York and Singapore which are commonly describes as ‘melting pots’, implying that there are many cultures fused and formed into a society. Countries thus should support cultural diversity because societies should be harmonious in order for its people to prosper. And this can only be encouraged when the country supports cultural diversity. For example, Singapore has the Ethnic Integration policy where each ethnic group can only make up a certain percentage of houses in Housing Block Flats so that the government can ensure that ethnic groups are all mixing around, so that there is no segregation.
GP Essay on Social Perspective – “Culture holds no value in the modern world.” Do you agree?
This article is the 3rd segment of a 5-part series covering Culture. To ensure seamless reading, you may wish to start from the first segment of ‘How is culture important?’.
Culture is a big issue that is being scrutinised due to it playing such a large role in our daily lives. However with modernisation, there has been a growing debate on whether culture still holds value. One school of thought is that culture holds no value in the modern world while another school of thought is that culture holds value in the modern world. This essay is more inclined to the view that culture does not hold value in the modern world.
It is difficult to maintain cultural diversity because of it is constrained by feasibility. As people are sensitive, clashes between cultures happens often due to conflicting practices such as interaction amongst people in shared spaces. For example in Singapore, where we are often considered a ‘melting pot of cultures’, there are clashes such as the Amy Chong incident where she complained about the noise a Malay wedding being held under her flat was being too much. This is an often occurrence, where people get upset due to differences in culture especially since often time they have to share spaces. In addition because there is technology, people are able to say anything they want without thinking ahead. Hence, conflicts may occur.
However, it is with technology that culture can be kept and more valued. With technology, culture is spread and encouraged. This is due to people now being more able to access the information about their culture and other people’s cultures, thus building understanding and therefore better treasuring it. For example in Singapore, to ensure that conflict is kept low since we have such a diverse population, local television shows often show a mix of races and cultures, often times explaining what their culture and traditions are so that understanding between cultures is fostered. Hence, it is feasible to continue keeping our culture in this modern world.
On the other hand, it may be difficult to sustain our culture since our world is becoming more modernised and hence to make way for it, we may have to lose some traditions. One such example are the old playgrounds in Singapore. Singaporean youths used to always play in the playgrounds where the structures are simple and the flooring is usually a sandbox. However, as we are becoming increasingly modernised, Singapore has been phasing out these simple structures and messy sandpits and replacing them with plastic, more complex and fun playgrounds with rubber flooring. This then shows that it is difficult to sustain our culture and traditions because we need to move on from the olden days and their traditions in order to improve and advance.
However, it is possible to still sustain our culture by giving them new life. For example with buildings, which act as a representation of how life in the past was like for many, can be repurposed so that while the building still stands and people can still reminisce about the past and children now can better understand how our culture used to be like, our progress is not compromised. On example would be the now Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which used to be The Fullerton Building, which was mainly occupied by the General Post Office. This shows that it is possible and sustainable to retain our culture even in this modernising world.
In conclusion, culture still holds value in this modernised world as even though it may be out of the way to keep our culture, it still plays a big role in how we act and speak and thus should be kept. This can be done through the government emphasising on the importance of culture and making compromises to ensure that culture can still go hand in hand with technology and its advances.
How else is culture important?
Culture is a large umbrella theme which branches out to not only the social perspective. To better understand the what culture signifies and entails in areas such as the individual, economic and political aspects, continue reading on!
Culture holds an important aspect as it shapes our personal identities as it will shape the way we live our lives, such as the way we dress, taste, converse and think. For example, in Singapore due to our culture of being ‘kiasi’ (taking extreme means to avoid risk), Singaporeans tend to be afraid of taking risks. Most would choose to take a safe route instead of a more risky but possibly better route, for studies and work. Read on to learn more about the individual impacts of culture.
Culture affects the way we work and function in modern economies. For example, in Singapore where because there is such a high population density, it seems as though everyone is competing against each other for jobs. Thus the work culture in Singapore is usually people following what their high ups tell them to do, and not stepping out of their boundaries so that they stay out of trouble and do not lose their jobs. While this produces a productive workforce, it will also then cause the workforce to not progress and evolve because of a lack of workers speaking up and making improvements. Read on to find out about the economic impacts of culture.
Culture affects the political stability of countries seen in terms of how cultural interactions may give rise to clashes that threaten the sustainability of political leaderships. This can be seen in terms of cultural influences that shapes the perceptions of individuals to advocate policy changes. Alternatively, the clash of cultures can give rise to conflicts that destabilizes societies. For instance, some white Americans typically consider raised voices to be a sign that a fight has begun, while some black, Jewish and Italian Americans often feel that an increase in volume is a sign of an exciting conversation among friends. Thus, some white Americans may react with greater alarm or take offence to a loud discussion. Read on to find out more about how culture affects political aspects.
In this section, we will cover a short issue-related topic to reinforce your learning and understanding of culture, such that you can hone your thinking and writing skills. Read the question below and share with us your views!
Topic for Discussion: Is culture still relevant in the modern society?