Quiz 2: Culture


It is not completely possible to live in the United States within a unique culture without interacting with other cultures. However, Arabians, Chinese, or Indian immigrants form their own living communities to practice their native cultures and to keep away from the popular culture. It is difficult to prevent or shield from the influences of the mainstream popular culture. The popular attitudes, norms and values prevalent in the public life affect us in many ways and sometimes we may have to compromise our personal values and norms while interacting with the public or commoners. To some extent a culture can be protected from the influences of other cultures by maintaining limited communication with the outside world, by speaking a different language, developing resources and services independently, and by having parallel governance within the community.

Fad and fashion are aspects of social life. They appear for a particular period of history of the community and disappear giving way to new ones. They mostly affect the material aspects of the culture such as usage of gadgets, personal wears, attires, cosmetics, music styles, etc. However, they have lesser influence on the deeper norms and values of the society, because fads and fashion are superficial expressions of idiosyncrasy of an individual or a specific group of people belonging to a particular age or class.

Popular culture means what the commoners in the host country follow generally. Examples of popular culture may include, traffic rules, greeting rituals, food habits, clothing styles, conduct in the public places, etc. When immigrants enter the host country, they are required to be aware of the popular culture. A student of sociology interested in the immigrants about their perception of the popular culture may ask the following questions. • Share your experiences about the interactions with the people of this country? • What are the general / public rules / norms in this country that are surprising or interesting for you? • How do you adapt to the language spoken in this country? • What are the uncomfortable aspects of the public culture here? • How would you adjust your habits and life styles with the culture here?