Culture refers to a set behavior that people in a society have embraced as their way of life. It is an important tool in a society since it binds its people together. Explicitly, the term culture constitutes the art, food, entertainment, and the literature of a society. Social class, on the other hand, refers to the socioeconomic status of an individual, while social status would refer to prestige accorded to certain people in a society. These three social factors have a major bearing on how people think, behave, and perceive things in the society. The following paper discusses how and why culture, social class, and social status influence one’s behavior and perception.
One learns culture from his/her surroundings and family. Culture is not inborn. A person born in one culture and raised in a different one will tend to imbibe the culture in which he/she lived. Culture affects one’s ideas, perceptions, and behaviors. Cultures of a society have to be abided to by all and sundry for smooth interaction between its people. A good example would be a marriage. In some societies, gay marriages are an abomination. Holding views that would be deemed supportive of such marriages in such a society would automatically lead to your excommunication from the society. Therefore, to be acceptable in such a society, people have to think and behave in a manner that is not contrary to the culture and beliefs of their society.
Thus, for example, culture at college has affected my ideas, perceptions, and behaviors in a big way. In a city, unlike in rural areas, sexual relationships are not a big deal. Homo sexuality and lesbianism is a norm, and I have had to adjust my mind accordingly so that I can live and interact with people who indulge in activities that would be deemed unnatural back in my home village. So, this changes my perception and idea of such behaviors as I learn more about minority groups and the rights and freedoms they are accorded.
Social class refers to the socioeconomic status of an individual compared to others in the same society. Social class also greatly influences ideas and behaviors of people. Some cultures encourage individualism. People brought up in such cultures find it difficult to understand somebody else’s perception of things. Obviously, people of low social class tend to depend more on other people, unlike those of higher social class. They also tend to adapt to more threatening environments as a means of survival. Such people tend to be altruistic and have other people in mind. In college, social class has been rather ignored; however, one could easily differentiate between the different social classes. People aware of their different classes somehow, though not obviously, behave differently. Evidently, people of higher social class tend to behave more unethically as compared to people of lower social class. People of higher social class tend to misbehave and even break rules unlike those of lower class.
Clearly, people with a social status behave more confidently compared to those without a social status. This can be attributed to the prestige and responsibility accorded to such individuals in the society. Social status also influences one’s ideas, perception, and thinking.
Over the past 20 years, social psychologists have found a renewed interest in culture. Cross-cultural comparisons have revealed that cultures differ in a host of domains, including, emotional experiences, emotional inference, well-being, rumination, conformity, perspective taking, and social support seeking. In fact, culture has been found to influence most of the well studied phenomena of social psychological nature. Social class has been present in nearly every society and has been a central topic in the social sciences for centuries. It has been associated with a broad range of consequences, including differences in aesthetic preferences, child-rearing practices, health, and subjective well-being. And yet only recently, psychologists have begun to explore whether and how social class influences the ways in which people perceive and construe their world.
In conclusion, culture, social class, and social status affect the behavior and perceptions people have towards various people and things. While culture brings people together, social class and status attempts to differentiate and place together usually only people of the same niche, leading to diversity in perspective people have and their behavior.