Enculturation in critical thinking is the process of studying the world while being mindful of the influences of culture. Enculturation in critical thinking involves a continual process of self-analysis and cultural analysis, which can be done by examining one’s own thoughts and behavior as well as those in his or her immediate surroundings.
What is enculturation?
Enculturation is the process of learning the values, perspectives and beliefs of a culture. The word “enculturation” comes from Latin – encultus = brought up or cared for; the word “cultus” means cultivated. It is a process that involves bringing one’s own cultural values/worldview to the forefront.
Understanding enculturation will more easily result in effective interactions between cultures or ethnic groups within a culture. Enculturation can be seen as a lens for understanding one’s own perspective and values, and the values of those around us.
Enculturation is a process by which individuals incorporate the norms, beliefs, values, roles, practices and behavioral patterns of the society or culture into their personal identity through learning. The term is used by sociologists to describe the transfer of cultural patterns from one generation to another.
Enculturation is the process of acquiring the characteristics of culture due to socialization. It involves both receptivity and sensitivity to cultural influences.
How does enculturation affect critical thinking?
Enculturation in critical thinking can help an individual to more effectively engage in cultural-specific communication. A person who is not enculturated will find it hard to interact effectively with people from a different culture. Enculturation can also be seen as the ability to understand the value systems of others and communicate them in a manner that allows for effective, respectful interaction.
Enculturation is also useful for making evaluations of other people’s actions or behaviors by having first-hand knowledge of their culture and their previous education and experience. An ethnically enculturated person in critical thinking is more likely to have a better understanding of the way cultural differences manifest themselves in behavior and thus will be able to act appropriately in uncertain situations.
Finally, enculturation is useful for changing one’s own culture or values, or for working to make one’s own culture better. Enculturation can be a double-edged sword though – it may also result in ethnocentric attitudes and inflexibility toward others who are uncultured.
How can you understand enculturation in critical thinking without actually living in another culture?
We cannot experience another culture firsthand, but that does not mean we are unable to gain an understanding of it. Some methods for gaining an understanding of non-common cultural perspectives and modes of conduct include:
Observation: Observing people from other cultures is one way to gain knowledge about their ways of doing things. Interviews: Having a conversation with people from other cultures is a good inroad for observing their norms, values, and behavioral patterns. This method is especially good when the interviewees are from a culture other than one’s own. Cultural comparison:
By comparing one’s culture with that of others, we are able to see how they differ from our own. We can gain a sense of how people in other cultures think and act. Presentations: A form of ethnographic writing, presentations focus on the presentation of cultural data through the use of original research written in an original way. Published ethnography: Further ways of understanding other cultures include reading ethnographic studies conducted by others, or by experiencing other cultures through literature and film.
The above methods are most effective when combined with an immersion in the new culture, as well as a process of enculturation that involves self-analysis and cultural analysis.
How can you practice enculturation in critical thinking?
Engaging in cultural activities that are outside of one’s comfort zone. For example, a program that offers culture-specific classes on the dance, music, and art of other cultures. Reading books on non-Western cultures or minority groups. Observing people from other cultures and taking detailed notes about their customs and behaviors. Learning how to make authentic food or recipes using spices and preparation styles unique to other cultures. Learning to speak and write in a different language. Travelling outside of one’s own culture.
Are there any wrong ways to practice enculturation in critical thinking?
Enculturation in critical thinking should not be practised at the expense of one’s own culture or group identity. To truly engage in enculturation, it is important to maintain one’s own cultural identity while simultaneously gaining an understanding of the cultures of others.
There is also the danger of stereotypical enculturated thinking. Enculturation is not about thinking that every person from another culture or ethnic group thinks alike, but rather that all people from every culture are similar in certain ways and have certain values and ways of doing things.
The same can be said of some people who practice enculturation: if they value aspects of their own culture that are not shared by others, they may not be able or willing to engage in an exchange of information with those from other cultures.
What are the benefits of enculturation in critical thinking?
Enculturation in critical thinking helps us to better understand the values and norms of other cultures. This understanding demonstrates a greater respect for other cultures, helping all people within culture to be more tolerant and open-minded. This is especially good for those who are not enculturated. Enculturation also helps to engender a greater sense of empathy in everyone, as we are able to think about how other people do things differently than we do.
Is there a point at which enculturation stops?
For critical thinking, enculturation will help you to understand other people and cultures in your life, but it does not necessarily mean that you will no longer think of yourself as an individual. It is possible to take on the best aspects of another country or culture without giving up your own cultural identity. Enculturation does not necessarily make one ethnocentric or inflexible.
Why is enculturation important in critical thinking?
Enculturation in critical thinking helps us to better understand other cultures, which can help reduce tensions between people of various cultures. Knowledge of other cultures also helps in problem-solving, giving us a greater insight into the variety of viewpoints and perspectives from which we can make informed decisions.
In the end, critical thinking and enculturation are not entirely separate aspects of culture. Enculturation is a key part of critical thinking because it allows us to understand other cultures so that we may learn from them, and also so that we may work to change our own cultures for the betterment of all people.
How does this differ from multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism in critical thinking refers to the acceptance or recognition of multiple cultural values, beliefs, and practices within society. It is usually intentional, as opposed to the unintentional enculturation that we experience through socialization. An example of multiculturalism would be a society that is unified by its values and beliefs, yet at the same time, tolerant of the differences between the people within it.
In contrast, multiculturalism in critical thinking typically refers to a society in which there are many different cultures that exist side-by-side. However, these cultures are still part of a single society for purposes of ease or necessity. An example of multiculturalism would be a city that has multiple ethnic groups that coexist in a neighborhood or workplace.
What is the difference between cultural diffusion and enculturation?
Cultural diffusion in critical thinking occurs when elements of one culture are adopted by another. Enculturation happens when the members of one culture adopt aspects of another culture and make them a part of their own group identity. To use an example, an individual may decide to wear clothing from another country as a fashion statement. In this case, the individual has adopted an element of another culture in a way that makes it a part of his or her own identity.
An example of cultural diffusion is when something goes from one country to another and is adopted in the new country without affecting the organization or purpose of other elements of culture. An example of cultural diffusion would be clothing styles from Western cultures that appear in non-Western cultures as a local dress. This does not affect any other aspects of culture but merely adds to its diversity.
There is some overlap between cultural diffusion and enculturation in critical thinking, but generally, the two are thought of as different processes. Enculturation involves a change in group identity through the adoption of aspects from another culture. Cultural diffusion involves addition or assimilation of elements from other cultures without changing the core beliefs, values, or practices of the society.
Cultural enculturation is a process in which people from different cultures adopt different aspects of the culture of other people. It flows both ways, transforming one group into another, sometimes leading to friction within groups and sometimes leading to learning.
Here, you learned about the influences of culture on critical thinking and how enculturation in critical thinking can help individuals learn to be more tolerant and open-minded. You also learned about the benefits of enculturation and how it can help us to better understand the values and norms of other cultures.
Finally, you learned about the differences between enculturation in critical thinking, multiculturalism, cultural diffusion, and ethnocentrism. You also examined exactly what is entailed in cultural diffusion and enculturation in critical thinking. It is important to understand that while these are related concepts, they are not exactly the same thing.