Comments: Cultural Differences?

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Gregorio Billikopf, Modesto CA  gebillikopf@ucdavis.edu     03/03/03
the author responds
As I re-read the conclusion, I do not see that it implies that cultural differences do not exist. I did intend, however, to note that cultural differences are often greatly exaggerated and misunderstood. Interpersonal differences, furthermore, are often greater within any group of people (take, for instance, between my own children :-) than from one group to another. Most important of all, I have observed large international changes. Through the phenomenon of mass media, E-mail, and international travel, people are affecting each other without regard to international boundaries. And yes, I do agree that language, religion, political inclination and a host of other factors influence people.

, London, England   01/08/02
Cultural Differences
I agree with almost everything in this article, except the conclusion! It is just as disingenuous, even dangerous, to assert there are no cultural differences between peoples as it is to claim that they explain all human behaviour! While it is certainly true that individual experiences, particularly in the home and among peers, will affect our behaviour and expectations more than anything else, it is important to remember that no family, community, people or nation exist in a vacuum. Cultural, gender, faith, identity and other social context is important. The writer undermines his arguments by dismissing these things altogether. Neither side of the argument holds the truth - the truth is shared between them. My advice in dealing with (actual and assumed) differences in people is to learn all one can about what they may be - and then be prepared to have what you learn contradicted by the very people you learn from.