Family Interview Compare and Contrast Cultures Paper
The conversation about the influence of culture on health is unabating. The term culture, according to Kaakinen et al. (2018), refers to the shared customs, norms, values, language and jargon used by a specific group of population. The values and customs are diverse from one social group to the other, which brings the aspect of cultural diversity. Accordingly, cultural diversity means the differences in ethnicity, race, socioeconomic group, language, religion, education and sexual orientation (Kaakinen et al., 2018). The difference is evident from the most basic unit of a society, which is the family. The study of culture is crucial in understanding a family role, adaptations, responses and organization. Therefore, to achieve a safe and an effective nursing practice, cultural competency among healthcare providers is vital.
The interviews reflect cultural differences among two different families. Various parameters of culture are illustrated, for example, religion, education, marriage, gender roles, communication, and perception about death. The reason for selection of the two different families is to explicitly show the rich diversity that exists between them. The aspect of cultural diversity is depicted clearly from the two interviews.
The interviewees represent two different families and societies. This selection is further based on the fact that the smallest unit in a society to learn culture is the family. A family agrees on specific norms, values, religion and traditions, which in turn influence the surrounding community and the general human culture (Kaakinen et al., 2018). Therefore, listening to the voices from both families enables the interviewer to discern the differences and the similarities between the two diverse cultures. Other than highlighting the summary of the responses from the two interviews, the purpose of this paper is also to identify the similarities and differences between the cultures, and to explain how family roles affect cultural domains and relationships.
Summary of the Responses
The interviews conducted aimed at identifying various aspects of cultures from two different families, and the diversity that exist between the two families. The interviewees include my family member, from the extended family, and a coworker who comes from a different culture and community. The interview consisted of various domains of culture. The identified domains include gender, education, occupational status, marriage, religion differences, and spiritual beliefs surrounding death and dying, and communication. The subject from the extended family is a mother who assumes the role of the head of the family in a community that recognizes a man as the pillar of the home. The other interviewee, a coworker is a first born in a family of five children raised by a mother whose husband is deceased.
The answers provided by the two interviewees clearly show a difference in cultural background. A major discovery during the two interviews is that the majority of communities recognize a man as the head of the family. The only exception as evident in the coworker’s interview is a deceased father. Further, in the extended family member interview, the mother reports to be the head of the house. She, however, recognizes that she comes from a culture where a man is the head of the household. Additional major common findings include marriage and religion being crucial structures in societies. Both the interviewees exhibited appropriate decorum during the conversation. They answered the questions openly and with a lot of ease notwithstanding the difference in educational levels and understanding. There was no unusual mannerism observed during the entire interview.
Comparison of Findings
Both families report the woman to be the head of the house. This is different from majority of the traditional communities where a man is the head of the family. An exception under which a woman is allowed to be the head of a home is evident in the interview. In one interview, the father is deceased, and the mother has to assume the role. The ancient books, for example the Bible, affirm that a man is awarded the noble task of ruling, leading and being an overseer of a family (Hazel & Kleyman, 2019). Further, both families attest that education is crucial, observing however, that it should not be accompanied with pressure or compulsion to pursue it. Giorgetti, Campbell and Arslan (2017) denote a causal relationship between culture and education.
Examining the human history, a more educated community has a higher level of civilization as compared to communities mediocre in academics (Giorgetti et al., 2017). Additionally, both cultures acknowledge living together either through marriage or through cohabitation. Contemporary communities are defying marriages as the only way of union and are beginning to accept the concepts of cohabitation (Kaakinen et al., 2018). Moreover, both cultures use verbal communication as the preferred methods for conversing.
Contrast of Findings
Despite the similarities, the two families differ in various ways. The major areas of differences include religion and perception towards death and dying. One family has a staunch foundation in Christianity while the other one believes in Lord Swaminarayan. Religion, from Zimmer’s (2019) perspective, is an indicator of health and health-seeking behaviors. This seemed to be a shared belief in all religions, and which fosters the religious identities of the interviewees. Additionally, other communities recommend seeking traditional medicine rather than the contemporary medicine. Religion has also been associated with positive health benefits such as creating a sense of well-being and encouraging gratitude, compassion and forgiveness (Zimmer et al., 2019).
Perception about death also varies across the two families. The family with a Christian foundation believes in life after death, that dead people go to Christ. Contrarily, the other family conducts a Besnu (burial ceremony) to perform a ritual and cremate the body of the deceased. Irrespective of the differences among communities, the ultimate goal is to have a culture of caring (Kaakinen et al., 2018). Understanding the different cultures of various communities is a strategy to mitigate healthcare inequalities and diversity challenges (Dell’Aversana & Bruno, 2017). It is therefore an integral role of a health practitioner to be culturally competent to ensure a safe and quality delivery of care.
Despite being the smallest unit within a society, a family plays a big role in influencing the culture of an entire community. A family unit agrees on specific ways of leading their lives, including customs, education, perceptions towards health and alternative lifestyles. The unit culture therefore expands to influence the neighbors and the surrounding environment.
The family unit also determines the nature of relationships that cultures adopt. For example, majority of communities recognize a man as the head of a family, a belief that has lasted through time in most cultures. Additionally, newborns are molded into a culture they are born. Therefore, as they grow, their perception towards bad, good, wrong or right depends on the family’s beliefs, traditions and values. The family cultures are not static but experience changes as the family grows. The constant transitions families undergo include cycles of life such as births, marriages, divorce and deaths which have an effect on the family roles and relationships.
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- Giorgetti, F., Campbell, C., & Arslan, A. (2017). Culture and education: looking back to culture through education. Paedagogica Historica, 53(1-2), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1080/00309230.2017.1288752
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