Influences of the 21st Century

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Ones culture has a lot to do with how everyone perceives the world and others, but there are other factors that influence the way that one observes the world and the people around them. The Internet , magazines, and TV have more power than people give them credit for. But it’s also the same with ones culture. For example, take the general American culture. People don’t hug and kiss everyone; Americans like to have their personal space. But in other cultures everybody shares everything. There isn’t much personal space. The way our media effects the average American person is huge, it makes everyone look at themselves and each other and criticize who they are and what they look like. A text that demonstrates that culture is one of the influences on how one views the world is Dave Barry Does Japan. In this satire by Dave Barry, he went to Japan to write a book. Throughout the piece he writes about the cultural differences between Japan and the U.S. While trying to communicate with the Japanese he runs into many different obstacles, such as when his wife is trying to take a plane from point A to point B, but the travel agent won’t say it’s not possible. This is because the Japanese think it is rude to come out and say no. Whereas in American culture getting around the point is considered to be passive aggressive. This influences Barry’s actions because he gets frustrated when he has misunderstandings, when the two cultures are very different and it’s not his fault. Along with culture, lack of preparing oneself is another factor in how people assemble separate views on the world. A document that portrays this factor is “Going to Japan”, an essay written by Barbara Kingsolver. In the essay, Kingsolver travels to Japan to “... research a story about the memorial at Hiroshima; visit friends; trying not to get lost in a place where I couldn’t even read the street signs...

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