Theories of Culture – Culture influences peoples’ perceptions

Theories of Culture

Provide the summary of the letter.

Culture influences peoples’ perceptions as it sets an environment for shared values, beliefs, ways of thinking, and interaction among people. These letters are trying to tell us the way immigrants are being discriminated by the natives in the United states both at the border and in the schools.

There are three basic theories of communication identified in these letters includes,

 Conflict theory

Different groups in society involve conflicts due to resource scarcity, showing that the powerful group will continue suppressing the poor and powerless (Hecht et al. 2005). This clearly seen at the border as the Border Patrol agents mistreat immigrants and act horribly. Moreover, there is a political bias seen as one politician condemns the immigrants by verbally saying the Central American refugees at the border should not be allowed into the US. Therefore, this theory sees society as divided along the lines of socioeconomic classes.

 Functionalism theory.

This theory shows that every social group is collective and contributes to the functioning of society as a whole unit (Littlejohn et al. 2009). Therefore, if every member of society understood this theory, prosperity, stability, productivity, and order could have prevailed well. Good examples of this theory are education systems and the family. In addition, this shows that we are all a society unit in the connected world where technology has chopped down the obstacles of distance and borders.  

Symbolic interactionism theory;

This theory brings together how our perception of ourselves affects our perception of others. Furthermore, the Americans’ perception on themselves affects their perception of others. For instance, when immigrant speak with a different accent from theirs, they asked the person where they come from therefore originality affect communication.

Breakdown of communication process

In the letter the interpersonal communication is observed which involve exchange of information, feelings and ideas verbally or non-verbally between one or more participants. For instance, in the letter when the narrator tries to speak English people tend to make fun of him and asking ridiculous question like where he comes from and what a weird accent. This shows that the narrator is the sender and the receiver as well as the respondents.  

Define the concept/theories and explain how you know this is occurring in the reading.

Context play a significant role in communication. For instance, there are various types of communication context which are applied in these letters such as psychological context, and cultural context. For example, psychological context refers to the mood of the players in communication, for instance, the writer tells much about his mood while learning in class as some of his colleagues tries to laugh him because of his accent. On the other hand, cultural context is well depicted in the communication since it refers to somebody’s origin, their beliefs, values and attitudes and the duty they play as participant. 

In the letter there is distorted perceptions through; 

Discrimination; mistreating members of one group differently from members of another in a way that is harmful or unfair. For instance, discrimination is highly practiced in the context. This is shown by the Border Patrol agents who seemed angry and mistreats people who are queueing to cross the border from Mexico to United States, but upon discovering that one of them is a US citizen they become polite. However, discrimination distorts perception. The way Border Patrol agents see non-citizens is totally different from the way they perceive their citizens.

Prejudice; preconceived judgement, belief or opinion that a person holds without enough proof or that is not based on actual experience. Therefore, in the context there is much prejudice against the immigrants.

Racism; belief that the characteristics or behaviors of certain group of people are fundamentally superior to those of another. Racism in the society divides people widely and prevent them from connecting to one another by building wallsHowever, this walls would make people value themselves and cast away those perceived different from them, thus leading to biasness, hatred, and stereotypes


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