Cross Cultural Comparisson

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For this post, select a culture that is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT from your own that is present in the world today (i.e., another society, religion, or group that you may actually encounter a member of) and investigate their views on death and dying, customs and rituals for mourning and disposition of the body, and any other details pertinent to that culture’s approach to death and dying. For example, if you are raised in a primarily Christian religion (any religion that incorporates the teachings of Jesus Christ) try a completely different religion that does not contain the teachings of Christ at all. If you were raised in a Buddhist household, the select a non-Buddhist tradition to explore. Keep in mind – “Mexican” vs “American” Catholicism are both Christian customs so will not count. Baptist and Catholics are also Christian based cultures. Also, if you select “Native American” you need to select the actual TRIBE that you are studying because of the vast differences in the varying Tribes in America and their customs. A lot of people have difficulty understanding what a culture significantly different than your own means – please email if you are not sure. Basically the way you earn a cross-cultural credit is by examining cultures not your own so it’s important to stretch your comfort levels in this assignment.

Compare and contrast elements of this other approach to that of your own culture. Ideally, for your “research,” you will look at some sort of scholarly written work (e.g., book chapter, article, brochure or other material) and/or speak with an individual who is part of that culture, if possible. Do not use the following as primary sources of information: the course textbook, Wikipedia, or another student’s post. When using websites, they should have a .edu or .org etc and be from a scholarly source, not a popular press article. Sometimes we find some organizations that are extremist in thought but not academic. Please defer to academics for the purposed of this discussion board. It is extremely valuable to speak to an individual that practices your chosen topic, however, back up their statements with a scholarly reference.

Your post should follow a similar structure to this:

  • First paragraph: Declare your current cultural group or the group you are most familiar with and some norms practiced regarding death and dying. Provide a general overview/description of the cultural group that you will report on. It should be significantly different than your own. Tell why you selected that particular group. If you are an atheist and raised without a specific cultural norm, then describe the processes of funerary in detail and the reasons for the individual activities that occur when an atheist in your culture is buried.
  • Second paragraph: Discuss the group’s approach to death and dying, including notable customs/rituals. Other elements you may wish to describe include beliefs about an afterlife (if any), nature of the soul, how children learn about death, taboos, values, and attitudes.
  • Third paragraph: Briefly review the similarities and differences between this culture and your own.
  • References: Cite all sources in APA format.

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