What is culture and how is it defined?

What is culture?

Culture is everywhere. It is the characteristics of a particular group of people. Culture forms beliefs, perceptions, values, norms and knowledge, as well as attitude, behavior and language. It also determines what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable in each society.  People from different cultures have different ways to follow the rules and the patterns of behavior that their ancestors have passed down to their society. To put it another way, culture determines who the person is.

Culture is like an iceberg!

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When we see an iceberg, the visible portion that we can see above the waterline, is very small compared to the whole. Like an iceberg, the majority of culture lies beneath the surface. People often think that they can examine other cultures from observable characteristics such as languages, arts, foods, music and appearances. However, in reality, there are many cultural components that are invisible and lie below surface.

What is cultural conflict?

Cultural conflict occurs when values, norms, expectations and belief of one culture clash with one another. It also refers to disagreements between people in different cultures caused by misinterpretation of other’s behavior.

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Welcome to Cultural Conflict blog!

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So…what is this blog going to talk about?

This blog will focus on conflict that arises from cultural difference and how conflict occurs from the misinterpretation of people in different cultures. The aim of this blog is to give people a sense of awareness of how culture affects our view of the world. Also, I hope that this blog will help the readers have a better understanding of why culture is an essential part of conflict and conflict resolution. Understanding cultural differences is a first step in resolving conflict rationally and effectively. If people understand and are more aware about cultural differences, they will be able to manage or change their perceptions toward others. I think culture plays an important role in conflict. It is another layer that intensifies many conflicts, and at the same time, understanding cultural differences can mitigate conflict and help people with different cultures to live happily together in a multicultural society. The content in the blog will be drawn from books, academic papers, articles, pictures, videos and more that describe how conflict arises from cultural differences and why culture is an essential part of conflict and conflict resolution.

As I am Thai, so I will also discuss about Thai culture, including how words, gestures or social context from different cultures could cause a conflict.

Any suggestions about how to make this blog more effective are very welcomed and appreciated.