Discussion: What Should I Wear Today?: Cultural Patterns

The first image depicts a leopard with a spotted coat pattern.The second image depicts a tiger with a striped coat pattern.Can a leopard change his spots? Can a tiger change his stripes? In some ways the coat patterns of the big cats are like the observable human behavior patterns that identify different cultural groups. Like the coat patterns of big cats, we can identify human groups based on the appearance of the clothing being worn. The choice of dress varies from culture to culture and is an observable human behavior pattern. Group behaviors reveal preferred ways of responding to the world and have been transmitted to individual members of a group.

In order to understand cultural patterns and gain insights into the underlying beliefs, values, norms, and social practices that inform these patterns, researchers developed cultural taxonomies. Cultural taxonomies provide a way to compare characteristics and understand differences in cultural patterns.

To prepare for your Discussion :

  • Review Hall’s, Hofstede’s, and the GLOBE cultural taxonomies in Chapter 5 of the course text.
  • Reflect on how the cultural taxonomies measure your culture. Of all the characteristics listed for each of the taxonomies, which quality do you believe is the most applicable and useful for understanding cultural differences? Why do you believe this to be so? How effective are these taxonomies for helping you to understand cultural differences?

Note: One of the goals of this course is to promote a wide variety of views. You are encouraged to present your honest personal viewpoint while at all times reflecting a respectful tone for the views of others.

Do a 2- paragraph explanation of how a cultural taxonomy you select from this week’s Learning Resources can be used to facilitate understanding of cultural differences. Identify specific examples to support your position.

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to at least one of this week’s Learning Resources. Additionally, you may opt to include an outside academic resource that you have identified.


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