Aspects Of Cultural Change Cultural Studies Essay

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Numerous researches have been conducted by various scholars in showing many aspects of cultural change, specifically with respect to language, religion and education. Though immense progress has been made based on those countless researches, most of them have been conducted from a general viewpoint and not specifically pinpointing the exact issues on the ground.

North American universities culture studies are so divided through specialization that focused cultural critique is almost impossible. Historical development of covered disciplines housed in different departments has produced a legitimating ideology that in effect suppresses critical thought. The departmentalization of inquiry has contributed to the reproduction of the dominant culture by isolating its critics (mostly weaker cultures) from each other. Under the banner of the academic freedom of experts to direct their own research, specialists now find themselves in discursive groups that generally circumscribe to the nature of their inquiries.

The experts in subjects investigating cultural issues for example, sociology, history, language studies are unable to communicate with each other about their common concerns. Traditional literature, for example, has developed within formalistic parameters that set an impassable boundary between the study of a society and the study of a novel; in the same vein, sociologists make use of literature in ways that alienates traditional literary critics. The academics should let members of other departments do whatever they say is their work in whatever way they choose, as long as they have the right to do so. As a result of these developments, the study of culture is conducted in fragments. And, in so far as experts must define themselves over and against a public comprised of laymen, specialization removes experts from other public spheres. Negative criticism is thus done away with and the mechanisms of both social and cultural improvement enabled.

Introduction

Culture is thus defined as the sum total of all socially transmitted behaviors, arts, beliefs, norms and traditions from our ancestors to the current generation. These behaviors, norms and traditions are considered to be unique to a particular community living within a geographical setting.

According to the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, the definition of culture has been misunderstood and misused over time, it refers to the following Ways of Life, including but not limited to:

Language- the medium of expression,

Arts and language- this creates images and is a reflection of life,

Thought - this is what occupies our minds, it's the way in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the environment around them,

Spirituality -the values passed through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions and,

Interaction- the social aspects of human life, it's how we relate to people and events surrounding us. Including negotiation and protocol.

Backgrounds

Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall (culture scholars from the United Kingdom), identified culture with consumption solid materials and fun activities for example art, music, food, sports, and clothing. They also understood the shapes and trends of consumption and leisure to be determined by relations of production, which led them to focus on relations among different classes within the society. Cultural researches in the United States focuses largely on the study of popular culture, which is, the social meanings of produced consumer and leisure goods through the media and other outlets.

The eventual field developed began to combine political economy, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, and art history to study cultural phenomena or cultural texts. In this field researchers often concentrate on how particular cultural phenomena coincide to matters of ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class, and gender. Cultural studies are concerned with the practices and behaviors in everyday life. These practices comprise the ways people do particular things for example, the feeding habits in a given culture. As capitalism is spreads across the world through globalization and modernization, cultural studies has begun to analyze local and international forms of resistance to Western hegemony with developing countries holding onto the values of their people and customs for example, countries in the Arab world impose heavy fines and penalties for people found to be copying and adopting the lifestyle in the liberal countries. An example is the youth in Iran who had to seek asylum in the United Kingdom because he feared he might be sentenced to death in Iran due to his sexual orientation.

Objectives/aims of the research

To observe changes in living conditions among the minority communities living in Europe with a special focus on the Eskimo community living in the Arctic.

To relate and compare various existing cultural researchers in Europe with focus on the linguistic review in Denmark.

Research design

According to knowledge base, research design basically is the "glue that holds the research project together." Without it, the researcher might try fixing the project but everything will eventually falls apart. It is therefore fundamental that the choice of design is one that ultimately fits in the operations of the organization it is aimed at. In doing an analysis for the design of a particular research, one must chiefly look at two things; Firstly, you have to talk about the research strategy used then go on to the methods, once you are through with that, you go to the second stage that involves the collection of data.

Research strategy and method

There are numerous strategies that can be used in conducting researches. However, time and time again, the use of scientifically oriented strategies has repeatedly increased the probability of getting accurate, verifiable, quality and timely results. It is for this reason that the research strategy and method that I used in this method was scientific in nature

Both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis are used so as to establish the relationship between different cultures and the transformations that have occurred over time. The qualitative method mainly focused on establishing trends, similarities and differences which were very important on the analysis stage. As for the quantitative strategy, I used it to quantify effects of cultural change for example, analyzing the changing consumer market for example, the increase in disposable income among the rising economies has led to demand of services such as cosmetic surgery which were considered as western.

The viability of a research strategy or scientific method is based on whether the study eventually fulfills its objectives. Through the use of the scientific methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis, it was very easy to draw out the final conclusions from the resulting data.

Data collection

Primary and secondary data collection methods were used in the study. The primary method basically deals with an individual or group of people collecting information by themselves for example, through direct observations and/or use of questionnaires. Secondary method on the other hand profits from the information collected by other people, and the information can be found in documented literature for example journals and web articles. In the olden days, most of the data collection was done using the primary method since there were little or no records of past data collection.

Primary data sampling will use interviews and questionnaires, the renowned ethnographic interview proposed by (169-172) will be used. Basically, this means that the population to be sampled is known in advance and everything done during the sampling is done accordance with the plan which is pre-planned (119). Principally, by defining in advance the number of people to be sampled, what will be done during the sampling and when to stop the sampling; we will be assured of high accuracy and objectivity of the results.

Flick states that a scientific qualitative analysis will be used to extract information from the collected data. The qualitative mode of research offers a wide range of results which are structurally organized in a representative way (60)

Data presentation and analysis

Data presentation, data analysis and research findings all tend to run concomitantly. This is mainly because the finishing of one process paves way for the beginning of another. However, I am going to view all of them individually so as to concisely illustrate each important facet.

Data presentation

Once the data was collected, I divided them into relevant categories so as to facilitate the next process of analysis.

Data analysis

This is probably the most fundamental part of any research. This is because the final derivations, recommendations and conclusion found at the end of research are based on how good the data analysis was. As of today, there are countless ways of data analysis. However, the method that is primarily used greatly depends on the type of data that a researcher has as well as the type of information he/she would like to have at the end of the studies. As I earlier mentioned, the analysis was based on quantitative and qualitative analysis so as to get circumspectly tangible information that can be used to answer the topical question.

Consequently, I analyzed around 40 sources of information (Articles, books, journals, surveys, website and blog material) which all proved worth reading. There were variations in-terms of their line of thinking but all of them tended to agree that there has been an exponential change in cultural practices due to globalization. For example, the Eskimos community, whose lives have been changed considerably with the rise in capitalism and modernization.

The Eskimo communities are found in the Arctic, in the northwest territories of Canada. In the tundra, where Eskimos communities are found, there are not many building materials. No trees grow in the tundra so houses cannot be made from wood unless it is transported from elsewhere. However, during the cold parts of the year, there is a lot of snow in the tundra. Snow can be a very good construction material in the winter; Eskimos lived in round houses made from blocks of snow called "igloos" in the winter. In the summer, they moved in tent-like huts made of animal skins stretched over a frame. Most Eskimos today live in the same community year-round, and live in homes built of other construction materials that have to be imported, in the past, they would migrate between a summer and winter camp which was shared by within the community.

The Eskimos used sledges pulled over the snow by dogs. On the waters of the Arctic Ocean small boats called "kayaks" were used for hunting while larger boats called "umiaq" transported people, dogs, and supplies. Their traditional diet consisted of almost entirely meat and so they hunted and fished to get their food and their clothing was made from animal skins and fur because of the cold conditions within their habitat.

Eskimo culture in the 20th Century.

Before the mid nineties, the Eskimos had little contact with Europeans, but that changed. As World War II ended and the Cold War began, the Arctic became a place where countries that didn't get along were close to each other. The Arctic had always been seen as inaccessible, but the invention of airplanes made it easier for non-Arctic dwellers to get there. Permanent residences were built in the Arctic around airbases and radar stations built to watch out for rival countries. Schools, health centers and other public amenities were built in these permanent settlements. In many places, Eskimo children were required to attend schools that emphasized non-native traditions. With better health care in the community, the Eskimos population grew larger, too large to feed itself solely by hunting. Many Eskimos from smaller camps moved into permanent settlements because there was access to jobs, food and good life.s

Research findings

Studies on modernization, globalization and cultural advancements were done in Denmark by the Research Center for Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University (CALPIU) in collaboration with the Danish Governments.

The research center provides organizational framework for Danish, Nordic and international cooperation for the purpose of creating a new theoretical understanding of the internationalization process within the European universities. Internationalization of higher education means that professors, non-teaching staffs and students to an increasing degree come from a large number of countries and have a background in many different languages and social practices, which is assumed to affect university programs and study environments in different ways. Internationalization in this context means the same as use of English as the international mode of communications, witness the Danish releases about language in education, where many fear that English might change its role from the universal contact language to the dominant language in Danish and Nordics universities. Within the research center, it is assumed that internationalization is about the relationship between many cultures and languages within the same educational institution, and about the possibility of practicing diversity of cultures as a resource in education.

The research focused on the language influence on the social and cultural practices of the university and the hypotheses to be tested was the influence of adoption of the English language in Danish universities on student-teacher relations, student-student relations, student-administration staff relations and the universities were to be a symbol of internalization with the increase in the number of foreign students within the Danish Universities and the ever increasing need for open learning.

The role of Lutheranism in the construction of a modern democratic identity.

Lutheranism is one of the largest denominations today. According to the Lutheran World Federation, there are nearly 66 million Lutherans worldwide. Of these, 36 million live in Europe, 13 million in Africa, 8.4 million in North America, 7.3 million in Asia, and 1.1 million in Latin America.

Lutheranism was founded by Martin Luther, a German monk and professor who has been called the "Father of the Reformation." In 1517, he famously protested against the Catholic Church's sale of indulgences. In his sermons and writings, Luther stressed the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the authority of scripture alone.

Lutheran churches vary in their perspective on homosexuality and other social issues, and their response to homosexuals in the church. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS), which is the European version, believes that the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is contrary to God's Word and will, and seeks to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has not defined its position officially, but has been conducting a study of the issue in recent years. Its current policy is to welcome same sex persons to fully participate in its congregations and to encourage open deliberations about the issue. The ELCA ordains homosexuals to church positions, with the understanding that they will remain celibate outside of marriage like all ministers. The ELCA does not currently bless same-sex marriages.

Conclusion

According to Henry Giroux, The syllabus of cultural studies must avoid the opinions, views and derived interests contained in other academic subjects and departments.

Cultural Studies must incorporate the interests in the questions not asked within other academic subjects. That is, it must develop methods of inquiry into how the present absences and structured silences that govern teaching, scholarship, and administration within academic departments deny the link between knowledge and power, reduce culture to an unquestioned object of mastery, and refuse to acknowledge the particular way of life that dominant academic discourse helps to produce and legitimize.

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