1. Describe a behavior that, within your culture, is/was considered abnormal at one point in history, but normal at another point in history.
PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR CULTURE.
I am Hindu and this means being exposed to a rich collection of traditions, beliefs, history and culture. Considered negatively before as a form of paganism or against monotheistic philosophies, the worship or veneration deities and their representations is now considered as part of the character and identity of the religion (Gavin, 2001).
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2. Describe a behavior that, within your culture, is considered abnormal in one setting, but is considered normal in another setting.
One practice that has been considered abnormal before and is now enjoying greater acceptance is the worship of Hindu deities or earthly representations of these deities. This is a belief that contradicts the belief of other religions of the invalidity of worshipping of the artifacts considered to be holy in other religions
3. Describe a behavior that is considered normal in your culture, but abnormal in some other culture(s).
Consider the wedding of Hindu businessman Arun Nayar and British model Elizabeth Hurley: initially the wedding was being used to promote by India’s Tourism Minister Ambika Soni as a destination for wedding tourism. However, succeeding critique on the lavish wedding, pubic displays of affection by the couple and violations against Hindu beliefs regarding alcohol and attire garnered the attention of not only the public but also religious courts (David, 2007). The core of the concerns highlighted that though it was within the couple’s prerogative to have their Hindu wedding ceremony a celebration, it failed to respect the ideals of the religion. This in contrast with other cultures like the Chinese where the degree of lavishness of a wedding is considered necessary to ensure the couple’s future prosperity.
4. Describe a behavior this is considered abnormal in your culture, but normal in some other culture(s).
One behavior that is considered abnormal by Hindus however is the consumption of beef or the use of any product derivative from the said animal. Though beef is considered as a primary commodity in the rest of the world, in Hinduism, cows are given sacred status because of its link to Krishna and its symbolism for prosperity.
5. Describe a behavior that is considered abnormal in all societies. BE SPECIFIC.
There are some beliefs or practices that have been abolished in response to external critique. This can be seen in the abolition of the practice of sati or the incineration of a widow with her deceased husband during the latter’s internment (Sundaram, 2006).
6. Refer to the principle of UNIVERSAL PERSPECTIVE from chapter 9 of our textbook, and develop a set of criteria that can be used to determine if a behavior is abnormal. Please NUMBER your criteria.
1. Does it diminish the value of human life?
2. Is it against the ethical and moral precepts of society?
3. Is it isolated from or contravenes other existing accepted perspectives?
If any of the response to these questions is positive, then behavior will likely be considered abnormal by other belief systems.
7. Justify that the criteria you developed in #6 likely apply across cultures by citing a REAL LIFE example.
The application of these criteria can be seen in the condemnation of class-based social segregation not only in Hinduism but also in the rest of the world as well as the first two of the criteria cited. Another example would be in the practice of terrorism which will violate all three criteria given.
Ultimately, what is abnormal, or what is against universal perspective, maybe subject to interpretation but common regard for the value of life, principles of reason and applicability to real life scenarios are effective benchmarks for what is abnormal and what will endure as social norms.
David, Ruth (2007). Hindu Outrage At Elizabeth Hurley. Forbes, April 11. Retrieved June 14, 2008, from http://www.forbes.com/2007/04/11/hurley-wedding-charges-face-cx_rd_0411autofacescan01.html
Gavin, Flood (2001). Hare Krishna: Hinduism, Vaisnavism, and ISKCON: Authentic Traditions or Scholarly Constructions?. Cults and Society, 1(1). Retrieved June 14, 2008, from http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_articles/flood_gavin_hinduismvaisismandiskcon.htm
Hannigan, John (2002). Culture, Globalization, and Social Cohesion: Towards a De-territorialized, Global Fluids Model. Canadian Journal of Communication, 27(2). Retrieved June 14, 2008, from http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/viewArticle/1301/1333
Sundaram, V. (2006). Impact of Globalization on Indian Culture. Boloji, December 3. Retrieved June 14, 2008, from http://www.boloji.com/perspective/223.htm