An in class essay
Copyright Mark D. Keith 02/09/2004

Culture differences are both interesting and sometimes scary. When writing about a type of behavior that seems strange, it's sometimes well to give the reader a mind frame set of the writer. If you want to write about something that might scare or shock the readers, usually on purpose, it works of you give them a small 'buffer' of info or concept.

An example of an interesting cultural view point might be marriage. We here in America have been to told in movies, stories, and often our own parents that marriage should be for love. While another culture might put other reasons for marriage, like political status, social status, or adding wealth to a family name. Both view fidelity, and commitment as paramount. Interesting though is the view points when spouses have affairs. While here in America an affair is often reason enough to for a divorce, since we'd see that as lack of love from the spouse. On the other hand another culture, where the marriage was arranged, affairs would be frowned at but not reason to lose the status from divorcing the spouse.

For something that the reader would find scary, it might be easy to show an analogy in their culture that's not been taken to the extreme. A good example is stealing, or other crimes and how we would punish the offender compared to other country. Here we often just put the offender in jail, or fine them a fee. Unlike another culture that follows say an 'eye for an eye' maxim and have their hand cut off. Or show the other cultures jail styles in that the parents or friends of the offender are responsible for the feeding of the offender instead of the government. Hence forth we are showing the reader their own cultures respect for their physical well being before showing a shock actions of a different culture.

I think that with these two mentioned methods, of which I'm sure there are many more, give a good starting point to talking about cultural differences. So now the reader has a mind set of the other culture compared to their own and a paradigm in which to view the others actions.


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