Understanding Of The German Ethnicity Cultural Studies Essay

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Throughout the United States, there are many different cultures within all of us. All of our ancestors came to the U.S. to find something better, whether they came here because it was their last option or to better themselves and their family. My ancestors came from Southern Germany, from the province of Baden-Württemberg in the 1800's. From my research I have found that they came over during the time in which there was economic hardship. This would be the greatest reason as to why they left Germany; they would come to the U.S. to find better economic structure, provide better lives for the family, and better their futures.

Germany is at the heart of Europe and is surrounded by Denmark, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Chez Republic, Austria, and France. Germany is also on the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. They have warm summers and cold winters. Prolonged frost and snow are rare. Germany is the most populous European country besides Russia; its population is 82,490,000. Germany is highly urbanized with 86% of its people living in cities and towns. It is landscaped by lowland plains, hills and high peaks of the Alps, beaches on the coast and lakeshores, and also the beautiful castles. The country of Germany had been divided since the end of WWII, until 1990 when Germany was "reborn". The country was separated by the Berlin wall where half of the country was free, and the other half was not. Germany was also part of and affected by both WWI and WWII. Germany is also the place in which the Holocaust occurred, where Hitler and Nazis killed millions of Jewish people and put them in concentration camps. Today one can visit the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, in honor of the millions of Jews killed.

Primary Institutions of culture are the way humans take care of daily life in the physical world. These are the cultural solutions to the problems of physical survival. There are three, subsistence strategies, technology, and division of labor. Throughout the many different cultures, the ways that the primary institutions of cultures are practiced are different. The first subsistence strategy is hunting and gathering. This is using what is naturally available in the environment by hunting animals and gathering foods. No resource surplus is necessary for this subsistence strategy. In Germany today hunting and gathering does not exist. Instead, there is major surplus and mass production. The second subsistence strategy is horticulture. Horticulture is using domestic crop planting techniques from mostly human power and produces surplus. Horticulture is practiced throughout Germany; one of the crops grown would be tomatoes. This crop is a part of horticulture because it must be tended to by hand. The technology used for horticulture for this crop would be vine cutters to cut the tomato from the stem, and a basket or bag of some sort to carry or hold the crop while gathering them. Technology is a set of material/non-material things referred to as "tools". This technology/ set of tools is fundamentally different for each subsistence strategy. The division of labor for horticulture is based on knowing the crop that is being farmed, so in this case knowing tomatoes, the land, and the environment in which the crop is planted. Age is also a factor in which to tend to the crop. It is manual labor with the hands. A person with energy and strength performs the job best. This subsistence strategy is very common with fruits and vegetables because they are so delicate a machine could not do the right work. The third subsistence strategy is pastoralism. Pastoralism is using herding techniques for domesticated animals. This produces surplus. In Germany today sheep, cattle, etc. are herded. When sheep are being herd in Germany, they use the technology of sheep dogs, fencing to keep the sheep in a specific area of land, and also a stick. The division of labor is having knowledge of the sheep, knowledge of the dogs and how to train the dogs to herd the sheep, education on how to herd the sheep, and also the strength and ability it takes to walk around while herding the animals, feeding them, and the necessities of the sheep. The forth subsistence strategy is agriculture. Agriculture is using domestic crop planting techniques. It relies mostly on more advanced practices like irrigation, draft animals, multi-harrow plows, etc. produces surplus. In Germany today they produce potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, etc. in agriculture. The technology used to harvest potatoes in Germany today would be a plow, a tractor, and an irrigation system to water when there is not enough rain fall. The tractor would be manufactured in a factory as would the plow. The tractor would then pull the plow to harvest the potatoes. The irrigation system would also have to be manufactured in a factory in where they would place holes in the pipes for the water to come out of. The farmer would then set up the irrigation system to water the potatoes. The division of labor is based on knowing the potato crop (how to plant it and also maintain it), education on how to use the plow, education on using the tractor, and also the irrigation system. The strength and ability of a person also depends on what job they will have in this process. The fifth subsistence strategy is industrialism. Industrialism is using mass production of consumable goods that produces surplus. In Germany today they have mass production of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, vehicles, etc. There is a mass production of Volkswagen vehicles in Germany; this is a part of industrialism. The technology used for mass production of these vehicles is assembly lines to put parts together, paint them, carry them to the next place and so forth. Robots are needed to also put all of the different parts together. Drills are used by the robots to place the pieces together. Airbrush tools are needed to paint the cars. Welding machines or robots to weld pieces of the car together that are not attached using the drills. The division of labor is sectioned off into factory works who will work in the actual factory with the machines/robots, factory bosses (the bosses that are actually at the factory as well), higher bosses such as CEO's, and the owner of the company. The division of labor will also be sectioned into salary and hourly. The salary will have one certain pay no matter what, and the hourly will depend on how many hours the employee worked. The workers need education on the machines and robots while working in the factory. This will also be specialized work with the education of the different machines. The bosses in the factory have to have education on the machines/robots and also know how to run the factory. The sixth and final subsistence strategy is information. Information is using collection, control, and exchange of information to augment survival. Germany presently uses the use the subsistence strategy of information by collecting data of the telecommunications used. The technology that is used for this subsistence strategy is what they call a "digitalized switching system". This is what hooks all of the telecommunications together. They also use computer programs to store and calculate the data of the amount of telecommunications used. The division of labor for this is education in their "digitalized switching system" and also the computer programs needed to store this data. The employee must be good with working with the numbers present and able to work the computer system correctly. The wages would be both salary and hourly depending on the position of the employee.

Secondary institutions of culture are the way humans survive daily life in the social world. These are cultural solutions to the problems of social survival. There are four: social organization, political organization, economic organization, and religion. The first secondary institution of culture is political organization; this is how humans control power to maintain social order. Germany today organizes itself politically as a democracy. A democracy is when the people elect the ones in political power. Germany has a centralized political system; this means that the individuals do yield their sovereignty. The Federal President holds the power of the political model in Germany. The people decide who the Federal president is. The federal president appoints the government member and judges. Germany has a "Basic Law" to say that it is a constitutional state. The second secondary institution of culture is economic systems. This is how humans exchange goods and services. Today in Germany they have negative reciprocity; this means that the giver tries to get the better of the exchange to make profit. They have redistribution which is giving away, and some surplus. The redistribution is the medical care. Germany has a universal health care system in which the health care is mandatory. They have the economic exchange of market exchange, which is supply and demand. A form of this in Germany today is the produce of beer. As the demand for the beer goes up the manufactures make surplus. In Germany today both of the economic systems are used. These are socialism and capitalism. Socialism is collective ownership of resources, government controlled, and freedom from want. In Germany this would be their health care system. They have mandatory health care that serves the society, and it is government controlled. The second one is capitalism, which is private ownership to generate profit and freedom to want. The market is controlled by supply and demand. This in Germany would be the beer. It is part of the market exchange that produces surplus for supply and demand and makes profit for the beer manufacturers. The economic sectors are primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary economic sector in Germany today is agriculture at 2.4%, the secondary is industry at 29.7%, and the tertiary sector is services at 67.8%. The exports in Germany today include machinery, vehicles (BMW, Volkswagen, etc.), chemicals, metals, etc. The third secondary institution of culture is religion. Religion is any set of beliefs in a supernatural. In Germany today the beliefs followed are Christianity and Islam. Christianity is the religion of 30% of the world's population. It is practiced by 2 billion people and it is monotheistic. Monotheistic is the belief in one god. Christians worship Jesus Christ. In Germany today the Christianity denominations are Protestant and Roman Catholic. The Protestant denomination uses the text the Bible. They believe in justification through faith alone. The Roman Catholic denomination is led by the Pope. It also uses the text the Bible and participates in the 7 sacraments. The Christians worship in churches or cathedrals. Islam is 20% of the world's population. The Koran is the text. Islamic cultures worship Muhammad, and it is absolute monotheistic. The denominations of Islam in Germany today are Sunni, Shi'a, Alevite, and Ismaili. The Islamic denominations worship in mosques. The forth secondary institution of culture is social organization; this is how humans organize into groups like spouses, family, descent groups etc. In Germany today the type of marriage practiced is monogamy. Monogamy is marriage to a single spouse. They also practice exogamy which is marriage outside your particular culturally dictated group. This means that they can marry a person with different religious views, of a different race, a different anything. In Germany they also choose their partners by love match. Love match is when individuals choose their own marriage partners. The post-marital residence in Germany is neolocal. This is when the couple is in a new home away from the bride or grooms families. The types of family used are nuclear. Nuclear families are comprised of husband, wife, and dependent children. The importance of family in Germany is to reproduce because they have such a low birthrate. A descent group is any publicly recognized entity requiring lineal descent from a particular real or mythological ancestor for membership. Germans can trace their descent through their parallel cousins. In Germany with the neolocal families there is bilateral kinship. This means that the family has relationships with both sides of family.

Throughout my research I have found many things that interest me from the German culture. One of the things that I have discovered is, just like us Americans, the Germans like to play sports, with friends and neighbors as their leisure time. Like Americans they play sports such as volleyball, basketball, field hockey, skiing, track and field, etc. I found it interesting that the German culture did not call the sports different names and also that they would call this their leisure time. Another thing that I found throughout my research was that of Oktoberfest and how it has spread throughout the world. It did not just stay in Germany. From the video that I watched (noted in the bibliography) I learned that a German company had an American company brew them an Oktoberfest beer. They then had it shipped over and they went through it so quickly they had them keep brewing it for years. They still do it to this day. Another interesting fact that I have learned about German pets is that a cat or dog must have an identification number either visibly tattooed on them or placed on their microchip. This was rather shocking to me because of the fact that or cats and dogs in the United States don't have to have any of that unless the owner choses to microchip the animal in case it gets lost. Also, Berlin is one of the best destination places in Germany. This is not only because it's the capital but also all of the history in Berlin. They have many museums and historical places one can visit. I have also found in my research that meeting manners are very much the same in Germany as they are in America. A firm handshake, calling the person by the title, etc. the greetings are formal. Many cultures have different ways of greeting someone they meet; I found it interesting that their culture is the same as ours in this aspect.

Current event article

"Deutsche Borse aims to fend off Nasdaq interest in NYSE"

This current event article applies to my ancestor's culture because the stock market crashing in the 1800's contributed to serious economic troubles; the serious economic troubles are why my ancestors left. Although this article is not about the stock market failing it is still about the stock market and that is part of the reason the culture left. This article interested me not only because it is the German stock market exchange but also for the fact that it deals with the New York stock exchange.