Understanding People and Culture

Culture defines the approaches that can be used to execute various activities in society by influencing the social behavior of individuals. Different population groups have varied behavior traits that define their identity when interacting with other people in their immediate environment. Every person has a distinct way of doing things that represent the cultural beliefs and values of a community group but differ with those embraced by other people from different backgrounds. From this realization, governments embrace cultural values when managing the public to avoid situations that hinder individuals from discovering their potential. Integrating these values with the tools of power yields a wide range of outcomes that define the direction taken by a country in resolving issues affecting its people. Analyzing the relationship between culture and power presents an opportunity for individuals to discover their potential and identify measures that can be used to overcome challenges in their surroundings. Looking at the approaches that can be utilized to solve problems exposes one to the varied application of culture and power around the globe.

Existing studies indicate that culture can be used as a technique of increasing power to influence the thought process of individuals. When using the tools of power, it is easy for the relevant authorities to develop policies that define the approaches of individuals in their desire to accomplish specific objectives that appeal to the perspectives of individuals. Mainstream media explores cultural aspects with the hope of pushing individual narratives that convey particular messages to their target audience. From this perspective, understanding the measures that can be discovered by individuals creates an enabling environment for institutions to explore cultural beliefs and value systems that help individuals to define their perspectives towards life. Institutions such as the United Nations, Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) utilize cultural soft power, a product of culture and power, to initiate conversations with different countries regarding issues affecting their citizens and governance (Liu 2017). Therefore, organizations can embrace culture and capability to develop policies that yield positive outcomes, which have a significant impact on the perspectives of individuals towards change.

Interpretation of Culture, Society, and Human Behavior

Interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds exposes an individual to certain beliefs and values that liberate them from their views towards life. It is considered normal for one to embrace their views when engaging other people and discussing a topical issue that has a varied impact on the population. However, embracing cultural diversity improves tolerance that promotes acceptance of different ideas, which has a significant effect on the measures that can be used to accomplish their perspectives towards life (Davoodi, Fatehizade, Ahmadi, and Jazayeri 2019). Based on the ability of individuals to rely on culture to define their identity, social acceptance is realized when one embraces cultural diversity in his or her immediate environment. Understanding the significance of culture encourages people to acknowledge the differences that exist when one moves around the globe. Traveling is therapeutic but also influences the cultural views held by individuals towards life. For this reason, resolving issues that affect the nature of interactions people have with others determines their ability to gain acceptance in the community. 

Cultural Interpretation of Power

Power is interpreted differently in various cultures because of the varying beliefs and values that identify the personality of individuals. In the medieval world, patriarchy dominated society and hindered women from exploring opportunities in their immediate environment. During this period, women were considered a weaker gender than men because of their identity in the community. On the other side, men thrived using this narrative and exploited the inability of women to speak up in the ancient world (Kellner 2019). From this observation, the interpretation of power in ancient times may differ with the modern days because of the shift towards equality, which has disrupted the cultural understanding and interpretation of power. While men hold many of the managerial positions in the corporate world, women are making an entry through the adoption of equality and diversity programs that provoke the thought process of individuals (Perez 2017). It is now normal to have a female executive leading a Fortune 500 company, an aspect that was unheard of in the late 1990s. For this reason, the cultural interpretation of power has evolved to accommodate the changes that have taken place around the globe, which now define the nature of interactions between individuals. 

Social Interpretation of Power

In any community, the political class is accorded a certain level of respect because of its position on the social ladder. The wealthy and affluent families have found a way of using their financial influence to determine the nature of outcomes that can be embraced in the world today. Regardless of their views concerning topical issues affecting individuals in their immediate environment, their social status cushions them from any form of criticism from the public and other stakeholders. By analyzing this outcome that appears to control people’s thought process, one is likely to encounter the application of social power against his or her views towards life (Pines 2018). Acknowledging the different objectives held by individuals across the social classes explains the varied opinions that exist whenever one is exposed to a challenging situation. For instance, the political class is focused on developing policies that protect their wealth. In contrast, the middle class consists of a fast-rising group of professionals who work for those in the political class. The lower category of individuals is made up of people who survive situations in their immediate environment. Governments around the world use social power to influence the nature of outcomes in the community. Therefore, the world has made huge steps in defining the concepts of energy across different cultures, an aspect that has yielded positive results in the workplace and beyond.

Human Behavior

Michel Foucault is associated with the structuralist and post-structuralist movements that played a significant role in influencing the humanistic approaches used to solve problems affecting individuals in their surroundings. In his definition of power, Foucault indicated the aspect as the ability of specific individuals to control human behavior by using their influence to make policies that affect the lifestyles of individuals. Across all Foucault theories, power is not defined as the application of brutal force but a collection of strategies that limit the options of individuals to accomplish their desired objectives (Moghtader 2017). Regardless of the measures adopted by various entities in the society, power is manifested through the decisions and directives made by institutions and governments on the approaches that can control individuals to behave in a certain way. By realizing the options available at their disposal, people tend to align their interests with these choices because of their role towards the accomplishment of their expected results. 

Qualitative Research in Cultural Studies

Cultural scholars prefer qualitative research methods because of the ability of the techniques to allow them to observe the nature of interactions between individuals and their peers from other cultural backgrounds. Importantly, examining the communication practices and the creation of texts that facilitate interactions presents cultural scholars with an opportunity to discover the hidden gems in cultural studies (Abalkhail 2018). Importantly, the ability of researchers to see the benefits that can be realized by aligning their interests with people’s expectations compel them also to examine the contrary outcomes.

Researchers focusing on cultural studies embrace the qualitative research approach because of its ability to define the nature of interactions between individuals from different cultural groups. Literary and textual analysis is a concept that features prominently in cultural studies and can enable scholars to understand the impact of culture on the application of power. By examining how people perceive power, it becomes easier for scholars to overcome existing stereotypes that surround the views held by individuals when exposed to different scenarios. Aspects such as critical race and feminist bias can be resolved using the qualitative research approach.

Anthropologists have always believed that the political class utilizes the framework of culture to initiate conversations that suit their interests. Cultural pedagogy dictates the nature of interactions between the government and its people because of the outcomes that can be realized from the engagement (Annink 2017). Besides, the media is also partisan to this concept because it relies on the power of opinions expressed as Op-Ed, which can only be challenged through a right of reply that is not accessible to many individuals. Looking at the application of culture and power, one is likely to experience different situations that affect the views of individuals towards life.

Conclusion

Organizations can embrace culture and power to develop policies that yield positive outcomes, which have a significant impact on the perspectives of individuals towards change. From the measures adopted by individuals to connect with people from other cultural backgrounds, it becomes a challenge to mitigate the differences that may emerge during their interactions. The government and political class rely on culture to initiate conversations that serve their interests. While Foucault believes power is not defined by the brutal force applied by law enforcement agencies, the modern world experiences aspects that demonstrate the different interpretations of power and culture.

References

Abalkhail, J.M. 2018, “Challenges of translating qualitative management data,” Gender in Management, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 66-79.

Annink, A. 2017, “Using the Research Journal during Qualitative Data Collection in a Cross-Cultural Context,” Entrepreneurship Research Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 223-17.

Davoodi, Z., Fatehizade, M., Ahmadi, A., and Jazayeri, R., 2019. Culture and Power: How Do Culture and Power Influence Iranian Couples. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy18(4), pp.353-365.

Kellner, D., 2019. Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle. Fast Capitalism1(1).

Liu, K. 2017, “SOFT POWER, CULTURE AND THE RISE OF CHINA,” Modern China Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 111-121.

Moghtader, B. 2017, “HUMAN CAPITAL AND EDUCATION OF DESIRES AFTER MICHEL FOUCAULT,” Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 35-52.

Perez, J.R. 2017, “Leadership, Power, Culture, and Ethics in the Transcultural Context,” The Journal of Applied Business and Economics, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 63-68.

Pines, Y. 2018, “Book Reviews—China: Material Culture, Power, and Identity in Ancient China,” The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 791-792.

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