Culture encompasses significant societal elements as noted by communal dialects, ideals, viewpoints, conventions, conduct, among others. Cultural practices actively shape an individual’s personality as determined by the concept of the self. Self-esteem acts as the basis of one’s identity in a given society, which is enhanced by the ability to conform to the preset acceptable standard within the respective societies in the world (Newman 58). In a culture that advocates for monogamist marriages tends to impart such values in individual terms for one to be considered as an acceptable individual in the given society. A breach of the set culture by practicing a polygamy setting would result to the individual being termed as a misfit. This marks the initial breakdown in social identity. On the contrary, if the affected individual practices polygamy in a culture that permits the same, he would be widely accepted in the given culture and praised for his conduct consequently leading to enhanced self-esteem and sense of belonging. Newman reviews this concept by the assertion that “personal issues such as love, sexuality, poverty, aging, and prejudice are better understood within the appropriate societal context,” (6).
It is therefore evident that the society incorporates various cultural structures that are responsible for the shaping and monitoring of cohesive social relationships on the society level. Some examples of these institutions include learning, religion, and the media. Norms and the issue of morality are some collective measures used to control aspects of individualism within the society (Newman 64). For instance, every individual is born with the right to personal freedom and choice yet this aspect is controlled significantly by the societal viewpoint. If an individual chooses to attend school under the influence of drugs, it would be his individual choice yet the school rules (educational norms) would inhibit his actions by according a suspension for the behavior. This in turn would lead to behavioral shaping from the societal view.
Unemployment and divorce may majorly be reflective of personal issues but the societal factor in the situations should also be accounted for. Cultures have contributed to unemployment in terms of social stratification marked by classes. The conflict theory believes that “even in a relatively open society…parents’ social class determines children’s access to certain educational, occupational, and residential opportunities,” (Newman 64). With this type of upbringing, a child is constrained to act according to the social class cultured by the parents during their development. Therefore, once the child is offered a certain type of job that falls short of their class expectations they would automatically turn down the offer. The result would be unemployment as precedented by societal influence. Division in term of gender also occurs in the society with some jobs being identified with females whereas others are termed as male jobs. A male would therefore refuse a ‘female job’ despite their capabilities and remuneration in a bid to protect their societal identity (Newman 94).
Ethnicity also reflects in cases of unemployment especially in the earlier periods when jobs were accorded in terms of racial color, which are the whites and the blacks. Divorce has also undergone considerable cultural influence as discussed by the normalization process (Newman 95). In past periods, the aspect of divorce had been treated with much contempt and always kept hidden due to its unacceptability in the society. However, with societal transformation, the issue of divorce has become tolerable and this has led to the escalation of the practice. Additionally, the level of one’s economic welfare determines the probability that such an individual would have towards divorce. In the developing nations, divorce is minimal owed to the view that the cost of separating mutual belonging tends to be high and acts as a natural inhibitor towards the same. On the contrary, in the developed nations marked by individual affluence, this is highly affordable and divorce thereby tends to be quite affordable.
Newman, David. Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life. Teller Road: Pine Forge Press, 2010. Print.