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TRADITION, CULTURE AND IDENTITY

Our group distributed questionnaires in our year 11 global perspective class with
regard to the topic Tradition, Culture and Identity. For this study, 15 participants
answered this questionnaire. Our chief aim was to find out whether culture and
tradition affects perception and how different cultures affect an individuals beliefs
and religious practices.
Out of the 15 participants involved in the study, 73% (4 out of 15) were from a
collectivistic culture whereas only 27% (11 out of 15) were from an individualistic
culture.

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Individualistic

Collectivistic

STUDY A FAMILY TYPES


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Conservative

Liberal

Other

The above data shows the family types in an individualistic culture. The bar graph
above displays that 3 out of 4 participants (75%) belong to liberal families, where
family members are accepted and respected for their different opinions. An
individualistic society depends upon the values of freedom and independence, thus
families tend to lack in dependence and restriction.
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Conservative

Liberal

Other

The above data shows the family types in a collectivistic culture. The bar graph
indicates that 5 out of 11 participants (45%) belong to conservative families, where
religious practices are often frequent and organized and tends to follow the
traditions, values and beliefs of a particular culture. These type of family values are

usually associated with a collectivistic society where emphasizes is made on family


and group dependence rather than individual needs or desires.

STUDY B GENDER ROLES


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Yes

No

When the four participants from individualistic societies were asked whether the
roles of both genders were specifically distributed in their culture, 4 out of 4
participants (100%) answered No. This is mainly due to the emphasis made on
personal achievement and competition regardless the gender of an individual. Thus
in individualistic cultures and societies, gender bias and gender specialization and
specification is considerably less compared to collectivistic cultures and societies.
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Yes

No

Out of the 11participants from collectivistic societies, 7 participants agreed (64%)


that roles of both genders were specifically distributed in their culture whereas only
4 participants disagreed (36%). Just like how cultural norms affect individual
personalities and behaviors, similarly gender norms heighten various traits between
both genders and eventually affect personality development. For example at times
dominance and assertiveness are underlined as positive traits for the male gender
where as acquiescence and caretaking for the female gender.

STUDY C CULTURAL BELIEFS


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Yes

No

When the four participants from individualistic cultures were asked if they agreed
with the belief systems of their cultures, all 4 participants said Yes (100%). This
information is displayed on the graph above. Individualist cultures tend to consider
that universal values should be distributed evenly within people whereas some
collectivistic cultures tend to believe that different groups in a society follow
different value systems.

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Yes

No

When 11 participants from collectivistic cultures were asked if they agreed with
the belief systems of their cultures, 4 out of 11 participants answered YES (36%)
whereas 7 out of 11 participants disagreed (64%). This information is displayed on
the bar graph above. In a collectivistic society, dedication for family and altruism is
considerably high and unlike individualistic societies, collectivistic societies take
time to adopt and change to modern lifestyle approaches, thus making it may be
difficult to change a collectivism mindset as these traditions and norms have been
handed down from generation to generation. Examples include Karva Chauth
where Hindu women fast from dawn to dusk for the security and long life of their
husbands and the strict enforcement of arranged marriages in certain cultures as
well.

STUDY D RELIGIOUS PRACTICES


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Frequently

Sometimes

Seldom

Never

The participants from an Individualistic culture were questioned on the frequency


of their participation in an organized religion (religious activities etc). As displayed
on the bar graph above, there were 4 conditions Frequently, Sometimes, Seldom
and Never. 1 out of 4 (25%) participants answered Frequently, 1 out of 4 (25%)
participants answered Seldom and 2 out of 4 (50%) participants answered
Sometimes.
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Frequently

Sometimes

Seldom

Never

The participants from a collectivistic culture were similarly questioned on the


frequency of their participation in an organized religion. As per the above bar graph,
2 out of 11 participants answered Seldom, 3 out of 11 participants answered
Sometimes and 6 out of 11 participants answered Frequently. According to
research and the data collected, religion and collectivism does play a role alongside
each other in a society. An example would include regardless of Islams strong
emphasis on independence and responsibility, collectivism plays a vital role in the
Muslim culture. The Quran clearly states that Muslims as well as non-Muslims are
part of one family achieving a universal aim.

CONCLUSION
The above study has proven that culture affects and influences our
perception/perspective and showcased cultural influences on religion and
beliefs. Culture shapes our perspective of the world around us. According
to other studies conducted by researchers, individuals from various
cultures tend to perceive ideas and situations differently. Culture, as a
result influences the ways an individual think, reside and behave