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Psy 450 Cultures - Extra Matarial




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Non-traditional US Cultures
The United States is commonly referred to as the land of opportunity. Families
continue to migrate to the United States in search of a prominent life, which in turn has
led to the development of multiculturalism. Nontraditional cultures in the United States
emerged from diverse beliefs and values settling in a particular place. Nontraditional
cultures are open to innovation, evolution, and primarily focused on individual judgment.
“Nontraditional cultures, in general, embrace the ideology of individualism, which
emphasizes the supremacy of individual liberties and freedom to choose” (Shiraev &
Levy, 2010, p. 10). In the United States individuals have autonomy and the leisure of
choosing a career, a type of education, a place to live, or a spouse in order to help realize
his or her full potential. Another characteristic that makes the United States a
nontraditional culture is its tolerance to change. For example, slavery was legal in the
United States centuries ago. People were treated differently because of the color of their
skin. Women were once viewed as second class citizens because of prior views and
beliefs of the role of women in society. Fast-forwarding to a recent time, trailblazers of
the civil rights movement and supporters of individual equality employed the use of
cultural openness to precipitate an important change in the culture of the United States.
The United States culture in general is enthusiastic about new ideas of medicine and
technology, which are both influential to the development of culture. In the United States
a person can enhance his or her appearance unnaturally, or undergo a sexual re-
assignment surgery without being seen as acting against his culture. The United States

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culture has an optimistic and cavalier view towards the medical field. Physicians in the
United States want to see immediate results from prescribed treatments. This type of
attitude is a reflection of the dynamics of their non-traditional cultural roots. This
medical approach by physicians in the United States typifies not only the prevailing
medical attitude in the United States, but also corresponds with the nation’s overall
dynamic personality (BNet Business, 2010). The modern cultural view in the United
States continues to promote understanding, acceptance and change.
BNet Business. (2010). Medicine and Culture: Varieties of Treatment in the United
States, England, West Germany, and France.. Retrieved from
Levy, D. A. (2010). Understanding Cross-Cultural Psychology. Allyn & Bacon.
Traditional VS Nontraditional
Traditional cultures are those that adhere to strict cultural boundaries and
expectations throughout time and history, they do not change or evolve. There is a high
level of conformity in such cultures and very little tolerance for there being anything
different in many aspects. Nontraditional cultures are those that do not adhere to
historical views and perceptions of generations past; they evolve and change with time
and each generation. Within nontraditional cultures change is welcomed, diversity is
welcomed and the culture in and of its self breeds change in the aspects of its people,
religions, environments and societies (Carteret, 2008). Two good examples of traditional
and nontraditional cultures are that of the United States and India; the United States of
America being the nontraditional culture and India being the traditional culture. While the
United States fosters change and strives to evolve in a forward motion, India works to
maintain the traditions and ways of their ancestry. This in no way constitutes that one
culture is better than the other; they both have their pros and cons. This can include many

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aspect of one’s behavior both spoken and unspoken, the very nature of what one believes
to be socially acceptable can be very different between traditional and nontraditional
cultures (Carteret, 2008). The meaning of eye contact, body language, head nodding, use
of silence and gesturing can mean very different things in each culture but no bigger
difference has been seen that in the traditional versus nontraditional cultures
(Carteret, 2008).
Nontraditional Culture of the United States of America
The United States of America is a non-traditional culture. From America’s birth the
country has developed in numerous ways. Bruce (2010) explains the country as, “…the
world's richest country and is known for its impact on culture and entertainment around
the globe” (p. 1). This is the land of opportunity. Immigrants moved to the United States
with hopes and dreams of making a better life. This has made the country a melting pot of
all nations. With the Declaration of Independence, the individuals in the country have a
large amount of freedom compared to most other countries around the world. Although
amendments have been made to this document, the core remains the same. Parents send
their children to either public or private schooling until they have almost reached the end
of their teen years. Afterwards the children have the option to continue schooling or to
stop there. America contains numerous religious beliefs. The people are free to worship
and praise whoever they choose, and in their own way. This particular freedom is a high
placed value. The government tries to separate from religion whenever possible.
Technology has become part of everyday life. Individual and businesses use cell phones,
laptops, and other equipment daily. Medicine and hospitals have developed and use
specific technology to diagnose and treat patients. The culture encourages competition in
businesses. This keeps the stress to work hard, and listen to what the people are wanting.
Businesses work against each other to create the superior product. Celebrities are
individuals who have done well for themselves. These people may be movie stars, or a
musician. The government is a Democratic system. The people vote to place individuals
in their particular places.
References Page
Bruce, E (2010). United States of America. Our World: United States of America, 1.
Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database
Carteret, M. (2008). Non-Verbal Behavior in Cross-Cultural Interaction. Cross-Cultural

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