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The early history of blacks in the americas.

Should the federal government pay reparations to African Americans who are the descendants of slaves?

African Americans

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Who are african americans.

African Americans are one of the largest of the many ethnic groups in the United States. African Americans are mainly of African ancestry, but many have non-Black ancestors as well.

Whether the federal government should pay reparations to African Americans who are the descendants of slaves is hotly debated. Some say the wealth and health disparities caused by slavery should be addressed and other groups have been paid reparations. Others say reparations would be too difficult to implement, and slavery is long over so reparations would further divide the country. For more on the reparations debate, visit ProCon.org .

African Americans , one of the largest of the many ethnic groups in the United States . African Americans are mainly of African ancestry, but many have non-Black ancestors as well.

African Americans are largely the descendants of enslaved people who were brought from their African homelands by force to work in the New World. Their rights were severely limited, and they were long denied a rightful share in the economic, social, and political progress of the United States. Nevertheless, African Americans have made basic and lasting contributions to American history and culture .

Learn about the DuSable Museum of African American History

At the turn of the 21st century, more than half the country’s more than 36 million African Americans lived in the South; 10 Southern states had Black populations exceeding 1 million. African Americans were also concentrated in the largest cities, with more than 2 million living in New York City and more than 1 million in Chicago. Detroit , Philadelphia, and Houston each had a Black population between 500,000 and 1 million.

As Americans of African descent reached each new plateau in their struggle for equality, they reevaluated their identity. The slaveholder labels of black and negro (Spanish for “black”) were offensive, so they chose the euphemism coloured when they were freed. Capitalized, Negro became acceptable during the migration to the North for factory jobs. Afro-American was adopted by civil rights activists to underline pride in their ancestral homeland, but Black —the symbol of power and revolution—proved more popular. All these terms are still reflected in the names of dozens of organizations. To reestablish “cultural integrity” in the late 1980s, Jesse Jackson proposed African American , which—unlike some “baseless” colour label—proclaims kinship with a historical land base. In the 21st century the terms Black and African American both were widely used.

Transfused Human blood in storage

Africans assisted the Spanish and the Portuguese during their early exploration of the Americas. In the 16th century some Black explorers settled in the Mississippi valley and in the areas that became South Carolina and New Mexico . The most celebrated Black explorer of the Americas was Estéban, who traveled through the Southwest in the 1530s.

The uninterrupted history of Blacks in the United States began in 1619, when 20 Africans were landed in the English colony of Virginia. These individuals were not enslaved people but indentured servants—persons bound to an employer for a limited number of years—as were many of the settlers of European descent (whites). By the 1660s large numbers of Africans were being brought to the English colonies. In 1790 Blacks numbered almost 760,000 and made up nearly one-fifth of the population of the United States.

Attempts to hold Black servants beyond the normal term of indenture culminated in the legal establishment of Black chattel slavery in Virginia in 1661 and in all the English colonies by 1750. Black people were easily distinguished by their skin colour (the result of evolutionary pressures favouring the presence in the skin of a dark pigment called melanin in populations in equatorial climates) from the rest of the populace, making them highly visible targets for enslavement. Moreover, the development of the belief that they were an “inferior” race with a “heathen” culture made it easier for whites to rationalize Black slavery. Enslaved Blacks were put to work clearing and cultivating the farmlands of the New World.

Of an estimated 10 million Africans brought to the Americas by the trade of enslaved peoples, about 430,000 came to the territory of what is now the United States. The overwhelming majority were taken from the area of western Africa stretching from present-day Senegal to Angola, where political and social organization as well as art, music, and dance were highly advanced. On or near the African coast had emerged the major kingdoms of Oyo, Ashanti , Benin , Dahomey , and the Congo. In the Sudanese interior had arisen the empires of Ghana , Mali , and Songhai; the Hausa states; and the states of Kanem-Bornu. Such African cities as Djenné and Timbuktu, both now in Mali, were at one time major commercial and educational centres.

With the increasing profitability of slavery and the trade of enslaved peoples, some Africans themselves sold captives to the European traders. The captured Africans were generally marched in chains to the coast and crowded into the holds of slave ships for the dreaded Middle Passage across the Atlantic Ocean , usually to the West Indies . Shock, disease, and suicide were responsible for the deaths of at least one-sixth during the crossing. In the West Indies the survivors were “seasoned”—taught the rudiments of English and drilled in the routines and discipline of plantation life.

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Black is Beautiful: The Emergence of Black Culture and Identity in the 60s and 70s

After appearing in the 1968 London production of "Hair," Marsha Hunt and the image of her large Afro became an international icon of black beauty.

The phrase “black is beautiful” referred to a broad embrace of black culture and identity. It called for an appreciation of the black past as a worthy legacy, and it inspired cultural pride in contemporary black achievements.

african american culture essay introduction

Pride and Power Black Americans donned styles connected to African heritage. Using a grooming tool like an Afro pick customized with a black fist was a way to proudly assert political and cultural allegiance to the Black Power movement.

african american culture essay introduction

(left) A wooden Afro-pick comb from Ghana, 1950. G ift of the Family of William & Mattye Reed.  2014.182.99 (right) Afro-pick manufactured by Eden Enterprise, Inc. The pick has a black molded plastic handle shaped like a raised fist. G ift of Elaine Nichols .  2014.125.1

A Cultural Revolution “Black is beautiful” also manifested itself in the arts and scholarship. Black writers used their creativity to support a black cultural revolution. Scholars urged black Americans to regain connections to the African continent. Some studied Swahili, a language spoken in Kenya, Tanzania and the southeastern regions of Africa.

Publication cover of "Negro Digest," July 1969.

Publication cover of "Negro Digest," July 1969.  2014.154.11

Across this country, young black men and women have been infected with a fever of affirmation. They are saying, ‘We are black and beautiful.’ Hoyt Fuller 1968

Muhammad Ali’s style of boxing boasted its own brand of beauty. His graceful footwork and charismatic confidence attracted audiences to his moves and his message.

“I’m So Pretty” Muhammad Ali’s style of boxing boasted its own brand of beauty. His graceful footwork and charismatic confidence attracted audiences to his moves and his message. 

Icons of the Black Arts Movement The beginnings of the Black Arts Movement solidified around the arts-activism of Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) in the mid-1960s. A poet, playwright and publisher, Baraka was a founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School in Harlem and Spirit House in Newark, N.J., his hometown. Baraka’s initiatives on the East Coast were paralleled by black arts organizations in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco, leading to a national movement.

Poet, playwright and political activist Amiri Baraka addresses the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind. 

Poet, playwright and political activist Amiri Baraka addresses the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind. 

"Some people say we got a lot of malice Some say it's a lotta nerve But I say we won't quit movin' Until we get what we deserve ... Say it loud - I'm black and I'm proud!"

JAMES BROWN Lyrics from "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," 1968. © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Negro Es Bello II, by Elizabeth Catlett, 1969

Negro Es Bello II, by Elizabeth Catlett, 1969 Negro Es Bello translates from Spanish as “black is beautiful.” Placing those words alongside panther imagery, the artist connects black pride with Black Power.

"The Black Aesthetic" (Doubleday, 1971), by scholar Addison Gayle, are essays that call for black artists to create and evaluate their works based on criteria relevant to black life and culture. Their aesthetics, or the values of beauty associated with the works of art, should be a reflection of their African heritage and worldview, not European dogma, the contributors stated. A black aesthetic would embolden black people to honor their own beauty and power.

"The Black Aesthetic," by Addison Gayle

"The Black Aesthetic," by Addison Gayle

Race and Representation Problems of race and representation emerged in popular entertainment as well as in politics. In the 1967 film "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner," audiences were encouraged to identify positively with Sidney Poitier’s portrayal of a well-mannered black doctor with a white fiancée, only six months after interracial marriage was made legal in all states. In Alex Haley's "Roots", the ground-breaking 1977 television mini-series, viewers were unapologetically confronted with the brutality and rupture of American slavery, and the horrors African Americans experienced at the hands of white slaveholders.

Lobby card for the film "Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner"

Shifting the Lens In 1967, interracial marriage gets a feel-good treatment in the film "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner."  2013.108.9.1

(left) Lobby card for the film.

Popular Culture Prior to the mid-1960s, African Americans appeared in popular culture as musical entertainers, sports figures, and in stereotypical servant roles on screen. Empowered by the black cultural movement, African Americans increasingly demanded more roles and more realistic images of their lives, both in mainstream and black media. Black journalists used the talk-show format to air community concerns. Television programs featuring black actors attracted advertisers who tapped into a growing black consumer base.

african american culture essay introduction

"The Flip Wilson Show" This popular, one-hour variety shown ran on NBC from 1970-74.

(left) Time magazine (Vol. 99, No. 5) cover from 1972 featuring a drawing of Flip Wilson.  2014.183.4

"Julia" Diahann Carroll won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Actress, Musical/Comedy in 1969 for "Julia" where she starred as a nurse, widow, and single mother in this situation comedy. Her role was one of the first portrayals of a black professional woman on television. 

Lunchbox printed with illustrations of actors from the sitcom "Julia," 1969

Lunchbox printed with illustrations of actors from the sitcom "Julia," 1969.  2013.108.13ab

Having a Say Black journalists and filmmakers produced public affairs television programs in major cities. Community concerns and international affairs guided the shows, including "Say Brother" in Boston and "Right On!" in Cincinnati. "Soul!" and "Black Journal" were broadcast nationally. Their topics ranged from the Black Power Movement to women’s roles, religion, homosexuality and family values. Radio programs similarly focused on agenda items important for sustaining and empowering black communities.

The TV show "Like It Is" focused on issues relevant to the African American community, produced and aired on WABC-TV in New York City between 1968 and 2011. Gil Noble hosts this special episode (below) from 1983 which explores the life and legacy of Malcolm X and the CIA's covert war to destroy him, featuring interviews with confidants Earl Grant and Robert Haggins. 

"Like It Is" was a public affairs television program, WABC-TV in New York.

Television is on the brink of a revolutionary change ... The stations are changing - not because they like black people but because black people, too, own the airwaves and are forcing them to change. Tony Brown 1970

Soul Train: This televised musical program featured in-studio dancers showcasing the latest moves. The show brought African American cultural expression into millions of non-black households.

Soul Train This televised musical program featured in-studio dancers showcasing the latest moves. The show brought African American cultural expression into millions of non-black households. Photo circa 1970.  

african american culture essay introduction

Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams Star in "Mahogany"  Released in 1975, Mahogany was a romantic drama that also explored the serious issue of gentrification through William’s character, a political activist in Chicago.

Subtitle here for the credits modal.

Aspects of African American Culture

Introduction, slang language, works cited.

Culture can be described as the knowledge and characteristics of a specific group of people, incorporating their language, social habits, clothing, literature, arts, and music. One of the culturally rich heritage cultures in the United States today is African American, also known as black culture. The distinctive identity of the African American culture is deeply rooted in the historical familiarity of the black people, comprising the middle passage. Many scholars strive to understand this culture as some quote, “There appear to be historical ramifications and etiological determinants that explicate the challenges that confront African American communities,” (Davis 128). Ostensibly, most of their practices are connected to their culture.

African Americans historically have expressed themselves through art, shaping the American cultural landscape. Black artists over the years have contributed to the Harlem renaissance as well as the theories of philosopher Alian Locke. Furthermore, Barbara Jones Hogu’s work during the civil rights period is unmatchable. There are ranges of art pieces the African American people have used to express their cultures such as basket weaving, plastic art forms, quilting, pottery, painting, and woodcarving usually categorized as “folk art” or “handicrafts.”

The power of African American music artists is massive in the American musical landscape. The original music had African influences that the black people used to express themselves, and it is full of diversity. After the slaves had crossed the Atlantic, they did not leave behind their music and culture. Moreover, even after having been forced to abandon their spirituality and embrace Christianity, they blended Christian music lyrics with African traditional folk songs. For black people, music is not just for entertainment and luxury, but a necessity for physical and spiritual survival. Music has been used in African American culture to denounce oppression witnessed for many years.

The body of literature produced by African American writers is engaged in creativity and serves as a way of expressing atrocities committed to their ancestors. The output of literature is empowering as it is filled with social insight as well as expressive subtlety providing an illuminating evaluation of African American identities in history. One of the greatest writers of black culture history is the late Toni Morrison who received both criticism and acclamation for her work. Clayton claims that “social movements both have evolved out of the need to continue the Black liberation struggle for freedom,” (130).

With the ongoing trends of diversity and recognition in fashion and retail, there are some defining styles influenced by black culture. Over the years, the African American culture has entrenched fashion and clothing as a way of expressing needed equality and solidarity. The rebirth of black cultural arts through the Harlem Renaissance has enabled the black community to express their culture using fashion. As a substantial black population migrated north, seeking better opportunities, they also adopted the need of voicing themselves in fashion and artistically. They created Zoot Suits, such as the ones worn by jazz artist Cab Calloway. Womenswear is a sensational articulation, as flapper dresses popularized during the early days, continue to be witnessed today in the fashion world.

African Americans have a unique culture of using slang language that currently has a great influence on the mainstream American culture and language. Among the earliest works of black slang is Dan Burley’s original handbook Harlem Jive. The language has been in use in several African American life practices such as entertainment, work, street life, child games, sex, and play. The usage of slang by artists and celebrities is seen as a modern way of communication.

Clayton, Dewey M. “Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Two Social Movements in the United States”. Journal of Black Studies, vol 49, no. 5, 2018, pp. 448-480. SAGE Publications.

Davis, Patrick Edward. “Painful Legacy of Historical African American Culture”. Journal of Black Studies, vol 51, no. 2, 2020, pp. 128-146. SAGE Publications.

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African American Culture Essay example

African american history essay.

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African American culture is one of the most vibrant and influential cultures in the United States. African Americans have a long and rich history that has shaped their current lifestyle, values, beliefs, and traditions. This culture is something special, unique, and beautiful that can be seen all over the country.The beginnings of African American culture began when enslaved Africans were brought to America from West Africa during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Through this period, African Americans maintained many of their ancestral customs as well as adopting some cultural influences from Europeans who had previously colonized North America. These influences included spiritual practices such as voodoo (or hoodoo), music styles like jazz and blues, dance forms like tap dancing or the jig which originated with Irish immigrants in New Orleans ,and culinary delights such as gumbo or red beans & rice. African Americans also developed their own language called Gullah which was derived from English words combined with various West African languages like Fon or Yoruba dialects. Language is an important part of any culture because it allows people to communicate effectively across generations while maintaining a sense of identity within a community ” even if they are geographically separated by thousands of miles. Gullah continues to be spoken today among certain communities in South Carolina and Georgia islands near Charleston Harbor where early slaves first settled after being brought over from Africa centuries ago . In addition to language, art plays another important role for African Americans by providing an outlet for creative expression through visual works depicting historical events like slavery or everyday life experiences such as joyous family gatherings at church celebrations on Sunday mornings . Art forms include everything from painting murals on buildings to creating intricate quilts made out old fabric scraps sewn together with colorful thread patterns”allowing artists both past present tell stories about life’s struggles triumphs without having speak single word. Music has always been deeply integrated into Black culture too since its power transcends language barriers enabling everyone around world connect emotionally no matter what background they come from . Overall there much admire appreciate about vibrant rich tradition African American Culture here go far beyond just few examples mentioned above It truly unique way living that so inspiring should take time recognize celebrate each day.

Introduction In the recent past, there have been numerous protests by minority communities complaining about the theft of their cultures by the more dominant cultures. These accusations of cultural appropriation range from African-American rappers accusing white rappers as copying their cultures to sports teams using icons from cultures and religions that they are not believers. […]

For many years and as the American history points out, African American immigration has become one of the greatest debates. African American immigration has faced critics in the social economical and most importantly, the political era (Swain, 2007). The large African American population has always influenced and contributed towards the overarching debate over the role […]

As a mother and future African American physician, The African American Literature course has given me a deeper understanding of the values of African American culture and the importance that I continue to embrace in African American pride. To understand and value the uniqueness of the African American culture, we must acknowledge the journey that […]

Introduction Depicting of culture, ethnicity and race in television and movies is a complex issue and they might have profound negative implications on certain groups. Each culture has unique characteristics that partly make it special and these unique traits may be depicted in the TV programs or movies in a manner that is stereotyping or […]

Introduction The work basically talks about racism and it affects people, also reveals who black people perceived the white according to Langston Hughes. Definition of the “whiteness” by Langston Hughes and Du Bois. The black thinks that white people are generally bad characters and if there are those who are genuinely good, then they are […]

Race is referred to as a group of people united based on common history, nationality and geographic distribution for instance the Africans and the Whites. The whites and Negros differed because they had different colors. The whites viewed themselves as more superior than Negros. This led to emergence of historians with different arguments on how […]

Introduction In literature there are many of the articles in American history that talk about the given issue of racism, the racial identities of the people and given race as a common concept. One of the literally concepts and works that speak about the above concepts is the poem by Amiri Baraka “Black Art”. This […]

Introduction With the trending technology impacting on every aspect of life, the tangible forms of the creative art can seem devalued. Nevertheless, that has not hindered some of the African-American visual artists from honing their craft, generating profit and creating cutting edge artwork. Among some of the famous African-American visual artist are Patrick Earl Hammie, […]

Introduction The Africans who were captured and sold as slaves in America contributed greatly to American culture and its people’s way of live through introduction of different things such as crops, new words, music and artistic works. The transportation of these people across the Atlantic contributed greatly in the introduction of additional cultures, languages as […]

Cultural exchange and cultural appropriation have been subjects of wide academic discourse especially in multi ethnic nations such as the United States (Lewis, 2007). People from hundreds of different ethnic backgrounds make up the nation’s population, as such they would often interact with each other’s culture resulting in cultural exchange or appropriation. Growing up in […]

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Black Demographics. (2015). BlackDemographics.com | Health status & Life Expectancy. Retrieved from http://blackdemographics.com/health-2/health/ Dimensions of Culture. (2017). Health Care for African-American Patients/Families -- Dimensions of Culture. Retrieved from http://www.dimensionsofculture.com/2011/05/health-care-for-african-american-patientsfamilies/ Eiser, A. R., & Ellis, G. (2007). Viewpoint: Cultural Competence and the African-American Experience with Health Care: The Case for Specific Content in Cross-Cultural Education. Academic Medicine, 82(2), 176-183. doi:10.1097/acm.0b013e31802d92ea Samson, Z. B., Parker, M., Dye, C., & Hepburn, K. (2016). Experiences and Learning Needs of African-American Family Dementia Caregivers. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 31(6), 492-501. doi:10.1177/1533317516628518 Tameika. (2015). African-American Culture 2013. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/tamieka24/african-americans-26153038

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History Political Social Economic Culture African American

Economic, Political, and Social History African American culture arose out of the turmoil and despair of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. From West African port towns to plantations, African American culture is unique in that it was forged under the pressure of bondage. People with different cultures and languages formed new identities relative to their subordinate social, economic, and political status—their culture therefore being in part defined by the experience of oppression and the determination to overcome it. Bereft of social, political, or economic independence for centuries, African American culture nevertheless emerged as organically as any… Continue Reading...

African American culture and identity in the early 20th century and laid the groundwork for the subsequent civil rights movements in the 1960s. Yet each of these African American sociologists and thinkers had completely different ideas about how to overcome racism, and what specific actions the African American community should take in order to realize social justice. Booker T. Washington has emerged as a controversial figure because of his belief in vocational training as a means of self-empowerment (Harlan, 1983). The founder of Tuskegee Institute, Washington did leave an indelible… Continue Reading...

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What Is Culture: Essay


Our reality today is overly multicultural and diverse. Every day we interact with people from various cultural backgrounds. People we interact with have distinct mindsets and carry unique values, norms, and beliefs in their backpacks. Effective communication among representatives of different cultures is way too complicated if people are not culture-aware and do not display cultural understanding. Speaking the language is never enough as we should be aware of subtle aspects of the culture in order to to avoid social blunders. However, it is almost impossible to dive into a number of foreign cultures and adopt every single norm and value. That is why people should develop cultural understanding and be more tolerant of foreigners to have effective intercultural communication.

What is culture? Kluckhohn (1951) defines culture as “patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, acquired and transmitted mainly by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values”. Hofstede (1998) considers culture to be “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another”.

I define culture as a mindset that has been nourished by values, norms, and beliefs since we were born and though subconsciously but determines our every single step.

Hofstede examined the cultural values of different nationalities by surveying over one hundred thousand managers in multinational organizations. Those managers were representatives of 50 countries. In view of all the data, he distinguished between four dimensions: power distance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity uncertainty avoidance Hofstede (1998). Based on his further research on Chinese employees, he added the fifth dimension and the sixth one was added in 2010: long-term orientation versus short-term normative orientation, and indulgence versus restraint.

The aim of this paper is to prove that cultures are dynamic, and constantly change, and so does the Armenian culture. Most of the traditional views are no longer relevant.

In this paper, I discussed Armenian culture in relation to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. I identified what groups the countries that we discussed during the lecture belong to based on the theoretical material from Hofstede’s work, called “Attitudes, Values and Organizational Culture”.

Armenia Through Cultural Lenses: a comparative study

Power distance is the dimension of national cultures which shows the strength of hierarchy within a culture. The power distance index is calculated. The index value is 0 for small-power-distance countries and 100 for large-power-distance countries. In those countries, generally, bosses do not treat their subordinates as equals. They are autocratic or paternalistic. In the case of the family unit, children should be obedient to the elders of the family. Parental authority continues to be important as long as parents are alive. The main value is respect. In these cultures, employees themselves do not prefer to take part in the decision-making process. Subordinates do not usually object to their managers. Decision-making in large-power distance cultures is the responsibility of the head. There are two possible reactions that subordinates can have in this type of culture: preferring dependence, or rejecting, which is known as interdependence. The latter refers to dependence with a negative attitude (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010).

On the other hand, in small-power distance cultures, heads treat their subordinates as equals. Employers usually adopt the consultative style of decision-making. There is an interdependence between the two sides (Hofstede 1998).

Years ago, Armenia could be considered a large power-distance country with quite a high score, whereas today Armenia is somewhere between large-and small-power distance countries. In Armenian culture, respect towards the elders and authorities is quite high. Within families, children should obey their elders. Parents and grandparents usually make decisions for them until they turn 18, as this is the age of officially becoming an adult. Those decisions are usually not negotiated. Unfortunately, there are cases when even after 18, adults follow the decisions made for them by their parents. Of course, this is not something absolute and depends on what family you come from: whether it is a deeply rooted traditional family or an open-minded family that carries Armenian values but is reasonable enough to treat a child like an equal and support him/her so that he/she is brought up to be responsible for his/her own actions and get prepared for today’s reality.

The head and subordinate relationships used to be more formal and complex. The general image of such relationships we could form by simply looking at the authorities that governed the country. Armenia was considered a “democratic” country, however, our reality was way too far from a democratic system and was more like a dictatorship for twenty years. Whoever spoke against them was imprisoned. The image was just like this in the case of the head-employee relationships within an organization: if the employee questioned the decisions made by the head, he/she got fired. I do believe that this was the influence of the Soviet Union. Fortunately, our generation has been struggling against that kind of reality, and “The Velvet Revolution” in 2018 put an end to this kind of relationship. Today the head of our republic shares his concerns, and plans and answers questions from the citizens every day via live streaming on Facebook. An exciting point is that after his initiative almost all governmental figures started doing the same and the head-employee relationships are getting more and more informal. It was a great leap not only in the governmental system but also in our culture. Today we move towards the small power distance countries and I do believe that it does not necessarily mean losing respect towards elders but doing that in a reasonable way. Brazil, Japan, Russia, Iran, China, Syria, and Cuba are large-power distance countries. Mauritius is a small-power distance country.

The next dimension refers to the individualism or collectivism of national culture. Representatives of individualistic cultures highly value privacy. They stand for their personal rights. People from this culture greatly value freedom and innovation. They carry out their responsibilities appropriately. From their early years, children brought up in individualistic culture are encouraged to voice their own opinions, thus developing self-expression. Individual goals dominate over the needs of in-groups (Hofstede 1998).

. Conversely, collectivistic culture refers to group orientation. Representatives of this culture value collaboration and cooperation. They are working for the public good. Collectivistic culture bearers usually share interests and maintain traditions. As group-oriented people value relationships, face-saving is of utmost significance for them. Within this type of culture people distinguish between in-groups, namely “we”, and out-groups, namely “they. Collectivistic people are born in extended families or clans, they strongly rely on their relatives who support and encourage them. For them, individualism yields to the needs of in-groups (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010).

Armenian culture is typically collectivistic, and this is one of the most wonderful aspects of the Armenian people. Armenians love traditions and never lose a chance for a family gathering. They share interests, opinions, love, and affection toward each other. Armenians are willing to share their bread with strangers and help them in case they need it. The word in Armenian that stands for the word ‘nation’ is the same as the word that stands for the ‘extended family’: nation= extended family= ago (this is how it sounds in Armenian). If you have an Armenian acquaintance or even your friend’s acquaintance, then there is no need to book a room in a hotel if you visit Armenia. No matter how small the house is, you will sleep in the best room in the house if you are a guest. If there is not enough space for everyone, one of the family members will sleep at a relative’s house to make everything comfortable for the guest. If you are in Armenia, do not get confused if a stranger addresses you as ‘my brother’ or ‘my sister’, no matter if he/she is a taxi driver or someone who asks for directions. In these aspects I consider Armenians to be very much like Brazilians, Iranians, Chines, Syrians, Cubans, and Mauritians. As far as Russian and Japanese people are concerned, they are individualistic if we look from the collectivistic point of view, whereas they are collectivistic from the individualistic point of view.

Masculinity and femininity form the third dimension. In masculine cultures assertiveness is highly valued. Work is more significant than family in such cultures. Strong people are usually admired. Women are not preferred to hold political positions. People of this culture believe in God or gods.

african american culture essay introduction

In feminine societies, both men and women are expected to be modest and caring. Work is never perceived as of utmost importance. Family is also an essential part of their societies. Thus, there is a balance between them. Weak people are always taken care of. Facts and feelings are for both parents. Boys and girls are expected to cry but not struggle. Mothers are the ones to decide on the family size. Women hold political positions. They do not believe in certain gods, but rather in fellow human beings (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010).

Armenian culture is more feminine but not absolutely. It carries masculine aspects as well. For Armenian people, family and work balance is quite significant. People support those who are not strong enough. Boys are not expected to cry and both genders carry struggling and rebelling souls. Women were not preferred to be active in politics, but now they are encouraged to be. Armenian people believe in God. In official records Russian is considered a feminine culture, however, having lived in Russia for a short period of time I realized that Russia is too large and heterogeneous to ascribe to one of the groups. However, I would say that today Russia is more masculine than feminine. Japanese culture is masculine which is obvious if we consider even a single fact: they do not like to show affection even towards their kids. According to the descriptions of the countries we heard during the lectures and some individual research, Brazil is somewhere between feminine and masculine cultures, China and Syria bear masculine cultures, whereas societies in Cuba, Mauritius, and Iran are more feminine.

Weak and strong uncertainty avoidance refers to the culture’s attitude toward ambiguity. It reveals whether the culture is comfortable with unstructured, unplanned, and surprising situations or not. Weak uncertainty-avoidance cultures are also referred to as uncertainty-accepting cultures. Such societies accept each day as it comes without having it planned beforehand. They are comfortable with the fact that each day can bring new surprises to them. Such cultures do believe that life is itself uncertain. As a result, their stress and anxiety levels are relatively lower, scoring high in health and well-being. These all result in a high level of self-control. For such societies difference is interesting, chaos is comfortable, job shift is not a problem, and rules are disliked. Teachers do not avoid saying ”I do not know”.

On the other hand, in strong uncertainty avoidance cultures ambiguity is seen as something to fight against. Stress and anxiety levels are relatively higher resulting in emotional behavior. As a result, people’s health and well-being suffer. They stay in the same job even if they are not comfortable with it. Such societies require rules and norms to be organized, even if those rules are not followed appropriately. They are led by absolute truth and grand theories (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010).

Armenians like plans and ponder over every step they or their close people take. That is why they do not like when things occur spontaneously and quickly as they do not have time “to measure seven times to cut once” (Russian idiom, used by Armenians as their own). Stress levels are relatively high in Armenia and with considerably low-income rates uncertainty about the future is quite high. We can put Armenia among strong uncertainty avoidance cultures. Cuba, Mauritius, Brazil, Japan, Syria, Russia, and Iran are also among high uncertainty avoidance countries, whereas China has a low uncertainty avoidance culture.

Further, long- and short-term-orientated societies come. For short-term oriented societies, past and present events are the most important ones. Satisfaction should be immediate for such cultures. Good and evil are defined precisely. Spending and consumption are encouraged instead of saving. Problem-solving is usually unplanned and random.

Long-term-oriented societies do believe that events of utmost importance will happen in the future. They do not need immediate satisfaction. Good and evil depend on context. Shared tasks lead family members. Children are taught not to waste money, and instead save and invest. Problem-solving seems to be based on mathematical formulas. Businesses are focused on what position they will take in tomorrow’s market (Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010).

Armenian society is definitely long-term oriented. Children are not usually given much money so they get used to saving. Armenians always think about tomorrow. Thinking about tomorrow is good, but sometimes we are concerned about tomorrow’s day so much that we forget to live today. We seem to be on an endless quest for something with a hope for a better future. I consider this to be a consequence of the disasters and constantly being under the threat of war. I adore the Armenian habit of making preserves of jam, jelly, compote, and literally anything that is possible on Earth to be ready for long and cold winters and connect it with being long-term oriented. Brazilian culture is on the borderline of two groups. Mauritians, Chinese, Japanese, and Russians are long-term oriented, whereas Cubans, Syrians, and Iranians are short-term oriented.

The sixth dimension draws a distinct line between cultures that value either indulgence or restraint. Indulgence refers to the tendency of freedom to enjoy life and have fun. In such societies, people more often experience positive emotions. These people describe their personal health as ”very good”. Indulgence is strongly connected with optimism. In its turn, happiness, health, and optimism influence the number of children in society. In such societies, friends are of great importance. People representing this type of culture are usually extroverts. They truly admire entertainment, especially foreign music or movies. Those societies are more satisfied with family lives. Household tasks are usually shared between partners. They are quite sporty people. E-mail and the internet are used for private needs. They interact with foreigners on the internet more than people from restrained cultures. In wealthy indulgent societies, obesity is relatively lower. Gender roles are obscure. In such societies, people drink more soft beverages and beer. Smiling comes as a norm. Great importance is attached to freedom of speech. Order in the nation is not a priority for them. Finally, they have fewer police officers per 100.000 people.

Conversely, restrained cultures possess a very low percentage of happy people. In such cultures, people attach very little importance to having friends. They are less likely to experience positive emotions. Instead of a positive attitude, they display cynicism. The percentage of people who feel healthy is very low. These societies disapprove of foreign music and culture. They are usually not satisfied with family life. Such societies do not pay attention to the equal share of household tasks. People from this kind of culture are not engaged in sports. They do not use e-mail or the internet for personal needs. Interaction with foreigners via e-mail is not common. Soft drinks and beer are not of great consumption. The obesity rate is very high in wealthy restrained cultures. Smiling people are always suspected. Freedom of speech is not favored. Order in the nation is of utmost importance.

Armenia is among restrained countries but there is a tendency of moving towards indulgent countries. The percentage of happy people is not that high as the percentage of people who do not feel healthy is high as well. This is mainly a consequence of expensive healthcare services and expensive medicine. Most of the household tasks are done by women and men obesity rates are quite high. Smiling people are not suspected but a passer-by will not smile at you if you are a stranger: something that Belgian people usually do. The percentage of people who are engaged in sports is not high but luckily, I can clearly see the tendency of rising. Cuban and Brazilian cultures are considered indulgent, whereas Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Iranian cultures are restrained.

Culture nourishes our mindsets until we are reasonable enough to shape the culture ourselves. In this paper, we revealed that cultures are in constant movement. Every single human being adds his/her share to the incomplete set of values, norms, beliefs, and attitudes.

In conclusion, Armenian culture is collectivistic, moving towards the pole of low-power distance countries. Armenian society bears feminine aspects whereas surprises are not welcomed, and uncertainty avoidance is considerably high. People here always think about the future and unconsciously ignore today. Armenian culture is restrained but not absolutely and with a high possibility of changing into an indulgent society.

If we look at the bigger picture, Armenia has quite many common features with all the countries discussed: Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Japan, China, Syria, Iran, and Mauritius.


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