Every nation in the world has their traditional and cultural values. These values are the ones that shaped their identity as well as their characteristics as member of their society. Traditional values are considered important norms that members of the society follow so as to attend on their daily lives in a normal basis. This goes the same with cultural values that shaped a nation’s history as old cultural practices guided our new generations about how life was lived by our ancestors. Thus, cultural and traditional values have significant lessons that taught many of us when we were younger. They helped us mould and develop our characters and attitudes when it comes to being productive and useful. They also helped us how to have a progressive and purposely life. Cultural values are also the ones that binds group of people together to form an identical society. People who believe that culture must be preserved and passed to future generations commonly practice these values. It consists of language, various beliefs, and even aspirations. These are the cultural values that society uplifts as an essential such as high esteem is linked to honesty. Therefore, traditional values serve as essential practices that are present in the societies’ every day living. Hence, both traditional and cultural values should still be important in today’s society as they act as the guidance on how to develop new values that that fit in our modern society.
Cultural and Traditional Values are Still Important
Cultural values are the features that define the person’s identity. They contribute to how they could see themselves as well as the groups they belong with (racismnoway.com.au). Cultural values are the characteristics that bind the groups of people in which they share their common practices and attitudes that make them as a group. There are a lot of examples in our societies today that still give importance to their cultural values as well as traditional values. These two values may no longer be important to other people because of the technological advancement and new developments that affect both of their traditional and cultural values. However, many members of the society still depends on their traditional and cultural values to live their every day lives. As an example, different cultural groups that commonly reside outside their home country form a group that shares traditional values such as food choices, religion, festive celebration and many more that are common among them. Traditional values that are common in their home country have been brought and adapted to their place in which they develop new traditional values. Traditional values are very important in any civilization or culture (ourcivilisation.com). In that sense, traditional values are still evidently being practiced even in our modern times. Traditional values are beliefs that are being passed to new generations as a sign of their identity and culture. One of the best examples would be the Royal family in Great Britain to which still follows the traditional values even in the modern period. The Royal wedding is one of the specifics. Not only that the Royal family themselves follow the tradition, but the whole country as they give honor to Her Majesty. This event shows that traditional values are still important aspect of today’s society. Thus, cultural values are deposited strongly in people’s minds (ourcivilisation.com), which indefinable and real. These are the values that are being lived and experienced.
In our today’s society, people decide whether or not a specific matter is good. They make the necessary decision based on the ideas, which make it a desirable aspect in a society. Shalom Schwartz asserts that the cultural values are representing the explicitly as well as the implicitly shared abstract thoughts about what is right, good, and what could be the desirable thing in a society (25). A good example of this would be prosperity, freedom, and security. In fact, some people may have not realized that what they are exercising is a form of cultural values in which they decide on things’ desirability. That is because cultural values are the based for a norm, which tells the people what is needed in a given situation. These actions are being followed by traditional values that some people my not be aware about. These are the traditions that trigger their actions about a given situation. For example, many people become involve in different tasks because of one common tradition such as the Thanksgiving Day. People take long breaks from their work, travel inter-state and even plan their activities long before the Thanksgiving Day. This is a clear manifestation that traditional values are still important in today’s society. Sometimes, both traditional and cultural values are evidently important in a sense that people would decide on specific things that influence their actions. These aspects also apply to ethnic groups. It is obvious that ethnic groups nowadays are still giving much importance to their cultural values as they serve as the preservation of elements needed for expressing their identity just like the other groups in the society. These elements not only consist of buildings and ancient stones or other tangible evidence of their culture, but it also consists of intangible heritage such as their cultural values and traditional values. One example that can be related to this would be the Chinese people, who still give importance to their cultural and traditional values.
Cultural and traditional values still exist in our society today. It has been claimed that they are still important in today’s period because loss of traditional and culture values can cause a moral alarm (princeton.edu). That is why they are still important. Imagine a society that does not follow any cultural or traditional values. Would there be any new ideas that will be developed? Conversely, would teaching the culture to our children be an effective one? Based on the claims written, cross-cultural comparison would be unfavorable if it shows that the United States values perspective would be different from traditional valued societies. Evidently this event may not be happening currently, as many people in the United States and in other nations still give importance on both traditional and cultural values. In addition, many groups in the United States continue to practice their own traditional and cultural values that benefit other members of the society. For example, traditional values of these groups may include the importance of God and their religion or the absolute standards of evil versus good. Moreover, the existence and importance of traditional values are evident in many places in the world and even in the political issues such as deference to authority, the essence of family life as well as the dominance of male in terms of political, social and economic aspects. These are all clear manifestations of the importance of traditional values in the society even in our current period. Thus, people’s choices in their lives are based upon their values – traditional values. Our society, in a form of government, punishments, and laws point out certain values. People are free to make their choices as long as it is within these limitations. However, people are indirectly deciding decisions pertaining to what would be the limitations in the form of election. They vote the person who will represent their voices, which obviously is a form of traditional values. The elected person will make laws in which beliefs as well as core values will be enforced.
There are some claims that are somewhat against the importance of traditional and cultural values in society. The belief may have started in postwar United States in which traditional and cultural values is causing the underdevelopment of a country. From this view, traditional values must be replaced by modern values so as to enable members of the societies to follow the capitalist development path (Inglehart and Baker 20). This claim wanted to emphasize that traditional and cultural values should be used in order to push the nation forward to development. Thus, cultural and traditional values are not an ideal characteristic to achieve an emerged nation. In addition, both traditional and cultural values are not always positive. I fact, there are values of tradition and culture that support violence. One example would be the masculinity belief that based on cultures and traditions, men more dominant than women in which masculinity and aggression are both men’s characteristics. Such belief acknowledges the influence that male power is equivalent to its status with violence. There are still many other traditional and cultural values that may no longer be applicable in the modern society, but the reality remains that both of them are foundations that cannot be taken for granted.
Traditional and Cultural values are evidently still important in our modern society. Based on the claims that were written, these two values are not just a mere identification of a certain group or an ethnic group, but these values are the guiding the principles of the people. People are able to decide on things based on their traditional values as well as on their cultural values as these two values influence our decision-making capabilities. Looking around our society, we can still see that these values are still very important even on some of our personal beliefs.
Baker, Wayne E. "Sample Chapter for Baker, W.E.: America's Crisis of Values: Reality and Perception." Princeton University. Princeton University Press Home Page, 2004. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s7845.html>.
Cooray, Mark. "An explanation of the importance of Tradition." Civilization defined and explained in plain English (August 2012). N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ourcivilisation.com/cooray/btof/chap11.htm>.
Inglehart, Ronald, and Wayne E. Baker. "Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values." American Sociological Review 65 (2000): 19-51. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://www.asanet.org/images/members/docs/pdf/special/asr/ASR_65_1_Article_1_Inglehart_Baker.pdf>.
New South Wales Government. "Racism. No Way.: Australian legislation and international law - References." Racism. No Way. NSW Government Education & Communities, 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://www.racismnoway.com.au/about-racism/understanding/culture-language-identity.html>.
Schwartz, Shalom H. "A Theory of Cultural Values and Some Implications for Work."Applied Psychology: An Internal Review 48.1 (1999): 23-47. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://www.winfo-base.de/lehre%5Clv_materialien.nsf/intern01/86A6F70E229D92A6C1257871005977E8/$FILE/Schwartz%20-%20Cultural%20Values,%20Work%20Values.pdf>.