Cultural self awareness is not about individual characteristics or ways of life, but about behaviors or attitudes that can differ from culture to culture, but are the same in one’s own context. Thus one does not necessarily perceive the cultural self consciously, since it arises in an environment with similar ways of life that are taken for granted.
Experience Through Thinking Alone Or Through Interaction
Cultural self awareness and self reflection can be experienced together with other people or by just thinking. However, it is important that nowadays people can live in diverse systems and thus develop multiple cultures. But once there is only interaction with people from the same culture, it can be difficult to become aware of what your own self looks like. Only through confrontation with people from other cultures with other personalities does an awareness of the self arise. However, cultural self images can arise even before the interaction with other contexts. You are also given a self image based on belonging to your nationality. This can then also be confirmed abroad.
Experience Through Contrasts
Mostly cultural self awareness and self-reflection are experienced through contrast experiences. For example, driving on the left in the UK makes it clear that driving on the right is not necessarily something regular. That does not mean that from now on one no longer obeys the rules of traffic, but that one becomes aware of how to behave in given situations in different contexts.
Since you often take your own schemes for granted, you don’t think about them any further and apply them – mostly unconsciously. The foreign, on the other hand, is always seen as a contrasting experience based on one’s own evaluations. People who do not experience these experiences or do not think about them further believe that their own cultures are correct and that everyone should adhere to them and behave according to these rules. It can then happen that, for example, children or people feel emotionally burdened by new foreign experiences and react with laughter or even aggressions.
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