When two cultures collide essay

In his book, Changes in the Land, William Cronon presents a compelling picture of the reasons for the tensions between Anglo colonists and indigenous peoples in the Northeast. Cronon argues that the conflicts resulted from fundamentally different conceptions of land and its uses. Other historians have described the antagonism in other ways and some have even suggested that there were moments of accommodation, as well as conflict. In an essay of pages, focus on the question of whether or not Cronon sees the conflict as inevitable.

When two cultures collide essay

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Because values and morals tend to be quite stable, people are often unwilling to negotiate or compromise with respect to these topics.

Indeed, if the basic substantive issues of the conflict are deeply embedded in the participants' moral orders, these issues are likely to be quite intractable.

As they are socialized, group members learn to center their judgments on values and procedures fundamental to their own common culture. Social reality also dictates what counts as appropriate action and sets boundaries on what people are able to do.

When two cultures collide essay

Thus, an individual's beliefs, sayings, and actions must be understood within the context of a particular social world. People from the same culture have more or less equivalent realities and mindsets. Their values, assumptions, and procedures become part of "common sense" for them.

However, when two parties that do not share norms of communication [customary patterns and rules of communication] and expectations about behavior must interact, they often clash.

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When two groups have radically different ways of making sense of human life, it is likely that actions regarded by one side as good and prudent will be perceived by the other as evil or foolish.

For example, sometimes people distinguish between moral orders built on rights and those built on virtues. While a rights -based approach is associated with the Enlightenment and modernity, a virtues-based approach emerges from traditional society.

When modernists carry out acts regarded as obligatory or good within their own moral order, "these very acts offend traditionalists. The freedom to marry anyone is a "right. The freedom to wear what one wants, and do what one wants, with no limitations, is seen as a woman's right.

Yet the freedom that women exhibit in Western societies is abhorrent to some very traditional Muslim cultures, in which women's modesty is seen as a virtue.

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In short, the two groups have clashing conceptions of moral value. In many cases, culture has a powerful influence on the moral order. Because systems of meaning and ways of thinking differ from one culture to another, people from different cultures typically develop different ideas about morality and the best way to live.

They often have different conceptions of moral authority, truth, and the nature of community. These cultural differences become even more problematic when groups have radically different expectations about what is virtuous, what is right, and how to deal with moral conflicts.

In some cases, one group may come to view the beliefs and actions of another group as fundamentally evil and morally intolerable. This often results in hostility and violence and severely damages the relationship between the two groups.

For this reason, moral conflicts tend to be quite harmful and intractable. Features of Moral Conflict To further understand moral conflict and deal with it effectively, it is helpful to be aware of its common features.

Misunderstandings The first general feature is the tendency for each side to misunderstand the words and actions of the other.

People from incommensurate traditions may have trouble communicating because they rely on different systems of meaning, norms of communication, and behavioral expectations.

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One possibility is that the participants use the same vocabulary but define and use these key terms differently. For example, the word "honor" might mean martial excellence to one party and economic success to the other.

If one party regards the key terms used by the other as unimportant, communication between them will be quite strained. All of this contributes to misunderstanding and makes it very difficult for participants to "articulate the logic of the other sides' social world in ways that the other side will accept.

For example, the terms "conflict," "aggression," "peace," "time," and "negotiation" are not value-free. They carry judgments with them and may be used differently in different cultures.

Thus, indicators of aggression may vary. But in other cultures, raising an objection is customary and well accepted. Ideas about fairness and images of justice can also vary among different groups.

The moral positions of anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are sometimes regarded as incommensurable. That is, the parties not only disagree about substantive moral issues, but also approach moral questions in a fundamentally different way.

For this reason, the abortion debate is a prime example of a moral conflict. Because parties are unlikely to be willing to compromise their most cherished values, such conflicts are likely to be interminable and intractable. Mistrust The second general feature of moral conflict is that group members tend to develop feelings of mistrust and suspicion toward the other group -- even a sense that the other group poses a danger to their very survival.

Given the groups' different values and systems of meaning, actions taken by one side to defuse or resolve the conflict may often be perceived as threatening by the other party. Thus, the groups' different conceptions of morality lead to misunderstanding, which in turn contributes to conflict escalation.

Strained and Hostile Communication Another general feature of moral conflicts is the hostility characteristic of the relationship and the communication between the parties. While sophisticated rhetoric consists of exchanging reasons in a quest to form shared beliefs, the patterns of communication in moral conflicts consist primarily in personal attacks, denunciations, and curses.When Cultures Collide This paper is based on the book Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon and also the textbook Created Equal Volume 1 A History of the United States 3rd Edition.

When two cultures collide. Sat, Mar 1, , One has to agree on many levels, but it's still a crusty, narrow "scientistic" view which reinforces the old Two Cultures chasm, and the. This edition also includes Snow’s essay “A Second Look,” his “afterthoughts” on the two-cultures controversy.

Go back to the text. Among other things, Snow’s lecture illustrates the fact that a mountain of confusion can be built from a grain of truth.

a. those where an abnormality of one culture is the foundation of another. b. found when two cultures collide, as in war.

Cultural Approaches to Negotiation

c. found by looking at a single culture across time. When Two Cultures Collide Essay by poolai, College, Undergraduate, B-, October download word file, 6 pages download word file, 6 pages 0 votes.

Produced in , POSTVILLE: WHEN CULTURES COLLIDE explores the struggles and rewards, complexity and comedy of instant multiculturalism. Through the prism of Postville, Iowa (population 1, ), this documentary examines what happens when a once homogeneous town becomes a new model for the American melting pot.

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