Anthropology- Correcting Culture
To understand cultures, it is necessary to examine each from the perspectives of its owners. Every individual is inclined to view their culture as favorable the another’s way of life. To overcome this alignment towards ethnocentrism requires an individual to take an etic perspective into their own culture. At the same time, viewing another’s culture from an emic perspective can enable an individual to be more accepting. This write-up entails an etic and emic perspective of my culture and others’ respectively. The etic examination will focus on the educational environment of institutions in America as far as cultural diversity among teachers goes. The emic examination will focus on the difference in performance among boys and girls in Sweden. Both examinations reveal that societal based misconceptions/stereotypes affect the decisions that are made, thus affecting participants either positively or negatively.
This section shall be an etic examination of America’s culture gap in educational institutions. The etic perspective is external for the researcher because the individual does not integrate into the cultural activities to learn, rather they observe. This point of view maps out the behaviors patterns that the outsiders identify. These patterns and maps are based on the observer’s perceptions as well as interpretations (Tamar, 2005). The etic perspective is perfectly captured and demonstrated in Body Ritual among the Nacirema. The author describes the cultural practices that the Nacirema believe in so much yet remain a mysterious secret to many. Reading through this article, one perceives the Nacirema as strange. In other cases, the Nacirema, based on the author’s account, observations, collected data, and understanding, come across as uncivilized individuals who have remained yoked in their traditions, which they have reinforced through the generations. This level of purported uncivilization may be overlooked and dismissed without paying attention to its importance and role in the community before civilization materialized (Miner, 1956). Therefore, the etic perspective relies entirely on the picture that the observer creates.
The educational institutions provide an ideal ground for diversity through the accommodation of instructors, non-teaching staff, and students from different cultures. Such diversity from different fronts, including the instructors and student population, have positive effects on performance (Nevarez, Jouganatos, & Wood, 2019). Teacher diversity creates a hopeful outlook for students because they begin to imagine themselves in different careers regardless of their differences (Banerjee, 2018).
Despite the benefits associated with teacher diversity, the American institutions experience a real gap between the teachers and students’ ethic, racial, or cultural backgrounds. This situation is exacerbated by a failure to accept that diversity is a critical aspect of the quality of education. As a result, deliberate lack of efforts and actions to ensure that the teacher population is diverse follow. The students from minority groups have experienced challenges in their performance, an aspect that is attributed to the persistent disparity gap (Banerjee, 2018).
Teacher diversity plays several roles including pioneering social justice, creation of a school culture that is inclusive, maintenance of pedagogy that is culturally relevant, role models, translators, and accrues benefits to white learners. All these factors increase the different students’ success because it mirrors their differences. The American student fraternity is largely missing out on these benefits because the instructors are predominantly from the White communities. The imbalance is depicted in the students’ performance as the white earners tend to perform better than their counterparts. Learners from other races except the white community demonstrate improved performance when they attend schools with teacher diversity (Banerjee, 2018).
Researchers agree that teacher diversity should match the students’ cultural backgrounds. American instructors are highly qualified to transfer knowledge to learners. However, the need for diverse teaching fraternity is critical in ensuring that all learners’ backgrounds are well represented. This representation improves the quality of education that learners can access. For this to happen, the country’s education agencies and school administrators should enforce policies that enhance teacher diversity instead of suppressing it.
This section will entail an emic analysis and description of the cultural elements that affect the performance of boys in Sweden. The emic analysis is a style of research that has an individual integrate into the culture under study to learn. While it is still dependent on the researcher’s understanding and perceptions, the approach is different (Fetvadjiev & van de Vijver, 2015). The meaning that individuals attribute to certain behaviors, events, and experiences is critical to the emic perspective. The perspective is appropriately captured in the Boys’ Anti-School Culture? Narratives and School Practices article. The author uses ethnography to study two schools at the secondary level in Sweden. The study’s aim is to understand the attitudes of the male child towards school. The study establishes that girls tend to perform better in school due to the fast rate of maturity, which aids in decision-making. They make students feel inadequate in institutions that have a higher population of female instructors (Rickard, 2014). This understanding raises the need to increase the number of male teachers in educational institutions to have them act as role models to the boys.
It is risky to assume the ongoing academic success among female students and the dwindling performance among boys. The main assumption around this scenario has been that boys are not acclimatized to enjoy learning. This is fondly referred to as anti-school culture. The observation is not only present in Switzerland, but also in Germany. A different study advocated the difference in performance to self-regulation among the girls. Self-regulation is defined as the ability to maintain objective-oriented actions consistently to achieve the desired outcomes. Ideal self-regulation occurs when an individual can regulate their emotions and behaviors. Regulation of behaviors entails the ability to pay attention, adhere to the rules, resist impulses, and avoid inappropriate actions (Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone, 2004). Emotional regulation ensures that one can initiate, inhibit, maintain, and modulate emotional experiences and achieve individual objectives. As students go through different levels of education, their responsibilities increase (Weis, Heikamp, & Trommsdorff, 2013). The increasing responsibilities demand an adoption of self-regulation behaviors. Girls are better able to achieve self-regulation than boys.
The article also highlights those boys are perceived as ‘rowdy’ than the girls. Girls are expected to control their behaviors and emotion by society. Boys, on the other hand, are accommodated with their rowdy tendencies. The societal perceptions explain the high self-regulation among girls. Boys’ rowdy nature is demonstrated through defying the regulations, an aspect that seems to give boys an excuse for poor performance. The extent to which the society normalizes such behaviors among boys has dire effects on their academic performance due to lack of self-regulation. As a result, most boys would rather have a break from studies than carrying on with educational activities (Silverman, 2003). This apparent lack of organization and ability to prioritize their educational responsibilities can be corrected by changing the population of men’s’ population among instructors (Weis, Heikamp, & Trommsdorff, 2013). Based on this analysis, boys need more encouragement and guidance on self-regulation from the male teachers in their schools is important.
Both examinations reveal that societal based misconceptions/stereotypes affect the decisions that are made, thus affecting participants either positively or negatively. The examination from both perspectives highlights the role that stereotypes play in culture formation. These effects go further and affect organizational policies, and the stakeholders begin to either suffer or benefit. Upon examining both cultures, one understands that the norm in one place is odd in another. For instance, excusing boys’ poor performance due to their rowdy nature ignores more pertinent issues related to self-regulation, which ultimately hinders finding a solution to the problem. In addition, consistently assuming that the teachers’ cultural diversity is not important to the quality of education has negative effects on performance. Both examinations call for a change of assumptions to initiate positive changes. The educational institutions in America would need to ensure that the teaching fraternity is culturally diverse. In the school setting, hiring more male teachers is important for the motivation of Swedish make students. These elements may seem insignificant and small but hold enormous potential to tilt the current culture towards benefitting the students. However, the adoption requires an open mind that does not automatically drift towards ethnocentrism. The policy makers and school administrators should consider the effects on the population and the magnitude of change that is required to lead to positive results.
Banerjee, N. (2018). Effects of Teacher-Student Ethnoracial Matching and Overall Teacher Diversity in Elementary Schools on Educational Outcomes. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 32(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2017.1393032
Fetvadjiev, V. H., & van de Vijver, F. J. (2015). Measures of Personality across Cultures. Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Constructs.
Miner, H. (1956). Body Ritual Among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist, 58(3), 503-507.
Nevarez, C., Jouganatos, S. M., & Wood, J. L. (2019). Benefits of Teacher Diversity: Leading for Transformative Change. Journal of School Administration Research and Development, 4(1), 24-34.
Rickard, J. (2014). Boys’ Anti-School Culture? Narratives and School Practices. Journal of Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 45(3), 276-29.
Silverman, I. W. (2003). Gender differences in delay of gratification: a meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 49, 451-463. doi:10.1023/A:1025872421115
Tamar, D. W. (2005). Participant Observation. Encyclopedia of Social Measurement.
Tangney, J. P., Baumeister, R. F., & Boone, A. L. (2004). High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. J. Pers., 72, 271-322. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00263.x
Weis, M., Heikamp, T., & Trommsdorff, G. (2013). Gender differences in school achievement: The role of self-regulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(442). doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/
We’ll write everything from scratch
For Part 1, choose an article from your own cultural background in the U.S. to take an etic or outside perspective analyzing culture. In Part 2, you’ll use Jonsson’s article, which is based on Swedish secondary schools, taking an emic perspective.
Use the worksheet I attached along with the sources to help. Please use the source from the work sheet in the paper thank you.