Cultures: Theoretical Models
Cultures: Theoretical Models Walden University Cross-Cultural psychology examines human activities in various cultural settings, by engaging several approaches. Some of these approaches were self evident from the course video dealing with the Thailand women cultural wear of brass neck shackles. Evolutionary Perspective The culture of wearing brass neck shackles by the Thailand women is described by the relative evolutionary factors affecting human behavior.
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection postulates that organism evolve with the pursuit of the biological traits that will promote longevity and survival.
Such traits—aggressiveness, initiative, curiosity, obedience, intelligence, etc. , are so selected to reproduce offspring that will permeate and advance same competitive, advantageous genes to unending generations. These desired or preferred genetic—biological inheritance, elicited or interpreted in the form of beauty, reproductive behavior, proportional body size, bodily hormones, etc. form the bases for the cultural persuasion, (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). The sexes utilize these endowments as a measure of selection or discrimination for or against opposite sexes.
Applicably, in the case of the Thailand women, the evolutionary perspective will continue to maintain and uphold this culture of elongating the neck by wearing the brass-neck shackles, because the culture promotes the selection of mates with long neck as a desired gene and shows altruism in a woman; the women, on the other hand, display the feature of a long neck as an attraction for the right mate. By right mate, the woman, who, by nature, longs for stability and security, targets material support in a partner. Sociological Approach
Sociological Approach is a “general view of human behavior that focuses on broad social structures that influence society as a whole, and subsequently its individuals;” (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Society as an entity creates social structures that are purposefully designed to assure its stability and conformity among its citizens. By creating these social norms, the society then imposes acceptance and subordination on the people. By default, the citizens of the society are nurtured and naturalized by the prescribed ethics and values.
Consequently, these cultural norms and values are upheld in high esteem as a regulator of its citizen ideals, moral behaviors, ethics and expectations. Resultantly, the citizens pass on these cultural values or traditions from generation to generation, (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Upon the above premises, the traditional Thailand custom—women wear of neck shackles to elongate the neck, reinforces the societal expectations by subjectively promoting the act as a required and desirable form of beauty; the transference of the norm to posterity. Ecocultural Approach
Using the ecocultural approach, explain how the woman’s interaction with the environment supports the actions she takes. The above approach coincides with the principle that entities are the product of their environment. In essence, individuals interact with the domain environmental factors; have the ability to transform it and to be transformed by it. These environmental factors relate to ecological context—the economic activity of the population in reference to austerity of food, quality of nutrition, homeostasis, as well as, the density of the population.
All these exert a considerable impact on individual. Another factor is the sociopolitical context—relates to the degree of the people’s involvement in both global and local decisions. Inclusive in this context are the presence or absence of political freedoms, ideological values and organization of government, (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Thus, economically hostile environment creates cross-cultural differences, hence, the less privileged will be concerned or consumed with fending for daily scour; as a result, retain a culture of their own environment.
As well, in politically unstable environments, long term customs are affected adversely. In the case of the action of the woman in the video, fleeing her country of origin to Thailand, to preserve her custom of wearing brass neck shackles intended to stretch the neck, was prompted by political instability and hostile environment, when in 1962, the Military Government decided to modernize the society and get rid of all primitive and tribal customs.
All three approaches of examining human activities in human cultural settings—evolutionary, sociological and ecocultural approaches share similarities, among which are: They human organisms in a given setting maintain a defining culture or custom that governs their ways of life. These customs uphold their value system and detect their moral and ethical behaviors. Secondly, all three approaches show that these traditions, customs or culture are die-hard; and they are passed on from generation to generation. Nonetheless, certain differences exist among them.
Firstly, while evolutionary approach observes culture or custom development from a natural selective—biological, principle and its outcome or foundation remains solid, the sociological approach deals with the development of culture through the impart of large social groups or institutions. The customs from the preceding setup are prone to undergo changes or reformations that produce societal disorder, economic disenfranchisement and dual-social order. Evidently, every society is regulated by one form of culture or the other. Such culture can be denoted with modernization, traditional or both.
The clearer understanding of the custom of wearing brass neck shackles—for neck elongation, as shown on the video, was provided evolutionary approach. This is because of theory of natural selection; in which a desired trait is preserved and showcased. Such that, in the case of the Thailand women, the custom is the means of being selected by and attracted to the well-off men for economic security. Reference: Shiraev, E. , & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed. ). Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Pearson Education, Inc.