Cross Cultural Psychology

Globalization and Cross-cultural Psychology


The readings for Week 5 discuss how globalization and the spread of new concepts and ideas and change from other cultures can cause anxiety.  The studies done in places like Samoa are now world famous and presented in nearly every sociology and cross-cultural psychology course around the world.  As we have seen earlier in this course, change, especially changes in technology culture, can often bring great improvements in human life.  For example, think of improvements in medicine that extend life, or in information technology (robotics, computers, the cell phone, social media, etc.).  Why is it then that the effects of globalization can cause so much cultural anxiety?  For this conference discussion, please answer the following two questions.  Be sure to support your comments with evidence of research (citations) and respond to at least two other students main postings.

1.  Imagine you are a 55 year old American factory worker looking forward to retirement but afraid of being “laid off” by new technology in your workplace.  You have a high school education but never attended college.  Over the years you have seen your section of the city and neighborhood change as the older generation of white residents like you has aged and moved away or passed away.  Most of the new arrivals in your neighborhood are ethnic minorities and most do not speak English at home.  The languages you now mostly hear on the streets include Spanish and some other languages you cannot even identify.  The school board is asking the mayor to increase the school  budget (and taxes) to provide for more teaching aides to assist teachers in the crowded schools.  Explain how this combination of factors might contribute to your outlook and concerns.

2.  Imagine that you are the ethnic minority parents of two school age children (6 and 12 years old) that just moved in to the same neighborhood after waiting years to move into the United States.  You want to earn enough money to buy your own home as soon as possible and you are also very determined to have your children learn English and possibly have at least some lessons in the schools taught in your native language so they do not fall behind in learning.  You also hope to convert or build a place of worship for your religious beliefs.  Finally, you hope to bring your aging parents and siblings to join you in your new neighborhood.  Explain how this combination of factors might contribute to your outlook and concerns.