The article “Global Analysis of Culture” shows the different global cultures in various aspects: cultural clash, cultural universals, cultural relativism and Ethnocentrism. The article which is written by Professor Alex Thio gives the idea of the different cultures and their effects on human beings. The above aspects of culture have contributed to conflicts between various cultures. Despite these differences, the author acknowledges that there exist commonalities within the different cultures (Thio, n.a.). These commonalities are in the form of basic needs which are regarded as universal. They are common since they are seen as means of survival. However, the way in which these needs are satisfied is quite different depending on the culture.
According to Alex Thio, there are different cultures within the world. This makes us question if by any chance these cultures are related in any way. The existence of different cultures is attributed to the existence of different international conflicts that are currently being experienced in the world. Throughout the world, human beings have undergone the same evolutionary process but this does not solve the conflicts being witnessed (Thio, n.a.). This has resulted in them having the same basic kinds of needs. Human needs can be divided into two: basic needs and necessities of social life. Basic needs are universal and are met through cultures. This makes basic needs be regarded as cultural universals (Thio, n.a.). It has been observed that all cultures have the same method of meeting their basic needs. It is only the technology of acquiring these basic needs that differ.
Despite these cultural universals being the same across cultures, the basic composition of these needs also differs depending on the culture. A good example is a religion which despite it acknowledging the existence of a higher being, is different from each culture. Religion, language and other norms are responsible for classifying cultures into different domains also known as civilizations. Currently, the world is made up of eight cultural domains: Japanese, Western, Confucian, Hindu, Latin America, African and Slavic-Orthodox (Thio, n.a.). Differences within cultures have contributed to clashes between different cultures. One of the major differences among cultures is the linguistic difference. This has been attributed to some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts.
As the world becomes more connected, more cultures are interacting which creates awareness of the eminent differences between cultures. Modernization is also leading to the loss of traditions which has been a source of identity to the majority of the world’s cultures. Westernization of different aspects of culture has led to the continued increase in clashes between cultures.
Another factor that leads to cultural differences is the aspect of Ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the view that one’s way of life is better or right as compared to others. It is enshrined in us since childhood and has a huge impact on how we view others (Thio, n.a.). While ethnocentrism can serve as a way to hold a community together, it can lead to conflicts with other communities. It leads to the notion that one’s culture is superior to others which can lead to one looking down on others.
Cultural relativism is another cause of cultural conflict. Cultural relativism is understanding other cultures from your own perspective. This makes the other culture feel discriminated against (Thio, n.a.). It is seen as an act of purifying the values of one culture while disregarding the values of the other culture. This can lead to cultures having different opinions which can result in conflicts.
Thio, A. (n.a.). A global analysis of culture. Chapter Five.