TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Is enculturation is a good thing or a bad thing in terms of individuality and freedom of expression?

I am a student in a grad school in New York City and recently came across the concept of Enculturation. Coming from India, a country that is rich in culture and has strictly defined 'rules' in society in terms of acceptable behavior and habits I was forced to question if enculturation has more positive or negative impact on a individual when it comes down to developing a sense of individuality and freedom to express opinions.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 15 2013: Enculturation in the U.S. is a matter of which group you want to be associated with. Such as the main stream moderates or the minority of liberal, conservative and religious extremists? The minority rural population occupies the dominant portion of the land, vs. the urban population that occupies a small portion of the land. Because of this our U.S. Senate representation favors the rural minority over the urban majority. Thus, a minority of Senators can stalemate the entire Congress. While these populations share some commonality, they are also vastly different. So which, if any, is the American culture? In some mostly rural areas of the country immigration greatly affected the local culture by isolating one specific culture to a given area. While mostly urban areas represent a mixture of cultures. Current U.S. politics seems to represent a growing need by a minority for a purer community, a utopia, based on principles of their own choosing that they now want to force on the majority of the population by using government to control the masses while they demand less government intrusion in their own lives. Isn't this also a form of enculturation?
    • Nov 15 2013: George,

      Two comments :
      1- polarization gives the illusion of differences and options when actually its basically the same stand
      2- The issue of minority vs majority shifts the focus to who's principles determine the principles to uphold

      Even a single voice, when right, ought suffice to determine the principles to uphold.

      BTW I perceive that your statement basically addressing a principle while apparently to me unknowingly engaging in a bit of Doublespeak. To clarify this I consider you put forth a bit of grievance towards "...a growing need by a minority for a purer community..." rather than put forth a championing statement that advocates supports for such minority. I also hold that you would rather stand in defense of the right to choose by individuals than obediently following dictatorial orders. If indeed it was a bit of a grievance then I see that you have a grievance towards freedom enforcing itself upon society while demanding lees intrusion upon its way.

      I too perceive a growing need by a minority for a purer community, a utopia, based on freedom and other principles that individuals choose to embrace (or are forced to embrace), in other words each will do what ought to be done .... be done by choice, be done by force, be done by 'something else'. What happens happens, one chooses to recognize, acknowledge and deal with it effectively or some other way.

      In a humorous sort of way... always choose the highway
      your way or the highway ... choose the highway
      my way or the highway... choose the highway
      God's way or the highway... choose the highway
      (of course God's way or the highway happens to be the same thing so if one chooses the highway one in fact chooses God's way)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.