Social Interactions and Cultural Influences

Introduction

Culture plays a significant role in how people behave and collaborate with each other. Historical experiences shape the perceptions among the various cultures and how they treat each other. The increasing rate of police brutality and racism could be described by understanding how the past shapes socialization among different cultural groups. Limited access to resources and harsh treatment during the slave trade shaped the African American culture and how they interact with their White counterparts. Negative personal perception is significant in determining how people would socialize in a community. While positive cultural influences on social interactions create societal harmony, negative cultural influence can be mitigated by developing positive personal perception and recognizing other people’s presence in a society.

Key Terms and Concepts

Social interaction is a building block of a society involving exchange among community members. The social interactions might involve the individuals changing their behaviors to conform to their social environment: social influence (Cahill et al., 2018). Discrimination and prejudice involve unfair treatment of individuals in a society based on their gender or race (Jones, 2008). Self-identity is key in mitigating negative social influence within a society (Vaccaro et al., 2011). Self-identification involves understanding one’s personality, attitude, emotions, and nature (Sharp, 2009). Social interactions, social influence, discrimination, prejudice, self-identity, and personality are key concepts in understanding the impact of culture on social interactions.

Culture and Social Interactions

Culture shapes people’s behavior which is a totality of their learned and socially transmitted accumulated experiences. Culture encompasses social behaviors and norms found in various societies, individual habits, and social beliefs (Schwartz, 2020). People’s relationships with others help them developed various world views (Gergen, 2015). Some would describe the world as cruel against them, and others would see the world as friendly towards them. Social interaction involves social exchanges such as communication among community members. Culture is significant for social interactions since individuals must conform to various cultural demands to be recognized as members of that particular society. Consequently, the individuals alter their behaviors to meet the social environment’s demands, which involves social influence (House, 2017). Therefore, culture impacts social influence by shaping how people view their world, integrating morals, and influencing socialization with others.

Impacts of Culture on Social Interactions

Cultural differences influences create barriers and negative adaptation behaviors among the community members. People might recognize their culture as stronger than others but radically understand the importance of other people’s culture (Spencer et al., 2013). The African Americans have been subjected to racism and various forms of harassment by the majority of the White community. Consequently, the African Americans would view their own culture as weaker than the Whites’ culture. A negative world view among the Black community has caused fear among the African Americans. Consequently, there is increased hatred between the Black and the White communities. Cultural differences cause hatred among the community members interfering with effective social collaborations. Cultural assimilation is also a factor causing hatred among members of similar culture.

Globalization has significantly led to the assimilation of culture among many communities. The Western culture is greatly spreading among the Africans especially those who travel overseas in such of education and job opportunities (Meyer, 2018). Assimilation of various cultures changes how people view the world around them and how they socially interact with their peers. Consequently, society negatively views the assimilated community members and grows hatred against them. Therefore, cultural differences impact social influence which might lead to negative social interactions among the members of a similar community and culture. Various cultures shape moral behaviors that are significant for social interactions.

Various cultures influence and advocate for behaviors that are morally accepted within society. Moral behaviors are the driving forces of professional ethics and how people effectively interact with others. The social interactions might be at familial levels or with the general community members. For instance, fidelity among couples is highly encouraged by the various cultures. The cultures would avoid negative actions that would lead to divorce among married couples (Cahill et al., 2018). Therefore, cultures such as Christianity encourages a relationship between Christians and God which involves avoiding immoral behaviors and loving their neighbors (Cahill et al., 2018). Although morality various from one culture to another, the various communities have advanced morals that allow people to effectively socialize with others.

Effective socialization involves activities that do not cause any harm whether physical or emotional to others. Many societies have developed effective communication skills and problem-solving mechanisms that are mutually beneficial to the conflicting parties. Gender-based violence causes harm to specific individuals based on their genders (Jones, 2008). Young men’s experiences with inner-city violence are given much attention, but inner-city girls are not isolated due to their gender (Jones, 2008). Some cultures are male-dominated and result in prejudice against females. The females in male-dominated cultures are compelled to respect males leading to fear of males among females. Social interactions engulfed with fear involve violence which includes female harassment (Jones, 2008). The male-dominated societies present unequal opportunities among the genders causing disagreements in social spaces (Gabrium & Holstein, 2000). Feminists’ movements have mitigated gender-based violence against women and there is a growing notion of gender equity in social spaces. Culture is crucial in determining social interactions, but personal attitude could be developed to mitigate negative cultural beliefs that affect people’s social interactions.

Mitigating Negative Cultural Influences at Personal Levels

Personal perception is significant in avoiding negative influences on people’s daily social interactions. Fear, one’s culture-negative perception, racisms, among other immoral behaviors can be mitigated at persona levels. Positive perception of cultural identities and recognition of other people’s presence help avoid fear and hatred during cultural interactions. Furthermore, avoiding and advocating for moral behaviors are significant in enhancing effective social interactions. Culture could be a driving force of negative social interactions that could be avoided by managing our perceptions and recognizing the presence of others in society.

Emotions are part of social influence, and determine how people perceive and respond to each other. Emotional manhood involves emotions that are considered masculine and could foster fear in other genders (Vaccaro et al, 2011). Fear is an okay thing but should be managed for effective social interactions (Vaccaro et al, 2011). Managing emotional manhood creates a conducive and interactive environment between genders. Furthermore, self-presentation is significant in influencing people’s perception of others (Goffman, 1959). Managing manhood emotions, positive self-presentation, and perception help people develop identities making them have a sense of competence and organize interactions with others (Sharp, 2009). Overcoming negative cultural influence on social interactions involves changing personal perceptions, managing emotions, and developing personal identities that help organize social collaborations.

Conclusion

Culture involves human behaviors shaped by their social environment and history. Racism and slave trade significantly shaped the African American culture. Various cultures impact social interactions either positively or negatively. Negative cultural influences cause fear and hatred among community members. Conversely, positive cultural influences help people avoid immoral behaviors such as racism, male chauvinism, and behaviors such as adultery. The negative cultural influences can be mitigated at personal levels by developing positive personal perceptions, managing emotions, and developing identities that help people organize their social interactions. Positive cultural influences are significant for effective social interactions bringing harmony within a society. Negative cultural influences interfere with effective social interactions, but can be avoided at personal level through positive personal perception and recognizing other people’s presence.

References

Cahill, S., Sandstrom, K., & Froyum, C. (2018). Inside Social Life: Readings in Sociological Phychology and Microsociology, 8th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life (Vol. 21). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (2000). The self in a world of going concerns. Inside Social Life: Readings in Sociological Phychology and Microsociology, 8th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gergen, K. (2015). An invitation to social construction (Third Edition ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd. Doi: 10.4135/9781473921276

House, J. S. (2017). Social structure and personality. In Social psychology (pp. 525-561). Routledge.

Jones, N. (2008). Working ‘the Code’: On Girls, Gender, and Inner-City Violence. Inside Social Life: Readings in Sociological Phychology and Microsociology, 8th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Meyer, J. W. (2018). The Changing Cultural Content of the Nation-State: A World Society Perspective. In State/Culture (pp. 123-144). Cornell University Press.

Schwartz, T. (2020). 12. Where Is the Culture? Personality as the Distributive Locus of Culture. In The making of psychological anthropology (pp. 419-441). University of California Press.

Sharp, S. (2009). Escaping symbolic entrapment, maintaining social identities. Social Problems, 56(2), 267-284.

Vaccaro, C. A., Schrock, D. P., & McCabe, J. M. (2011). Managing emotional manhood: Fighting and fostering fear in mixed martial arts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 74(4), 414-437.

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