Good Essay About Cultural Value Orientations

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: America, Culture, United States, People, Women, African American, Time, Communication

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/27


Native Americans and African Americans have had a commonality aspect in their culture; however, each view of culture is different from the other especially on norms, beliefs, and practices. Categorically, the paper will shed light on power distance, gender equalitarianism, clothing, time, organizing and expressing ideas, greeting rituals, dealing with conflicts, eating customs and dining etiquette. Notably, their cultural orientations, non-verbal and verbal communication differs and it is from this view that the paper seeks to contact a comparative analysis on the two cultures.

Compared to American culture, the power distance of in the African American culture is high. The rationale behind it is that, the level of social stratification among the American culture is lower than it is in the African American culture. Once in a position of power, Americans would want to share is with junior people in the society as opposed to African Americans. According to the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis, America scales 40, while Ghana (one of the countries where African Americans originated) scales 80 (May 81).
Gender roles norms are stipulated in the doctrines of African Americans and that male and female people in the society are not supposed to conflict these roles. Essentially, gender inequalities are high in Africans American as compared to Native American culture. Male hegemonic practices are supported by the African culture American as opposed to the American culture. For this reason, female persons are not recognized in the African culture unlike in the American culture where male and female people are considered equal. However, male practice some elements of female discrimination in both cultures to show their superiority.

Non-verbal communication norms

In terms of clothing, male and female people of African descent dress according to their cultural traditions (sometimes in full dress), while male and female in Native American culture dress according to occasions. When at schools, Native American male and female students dress in a modern way unlike African Americans, which dress in almost the same way, but with some elements of their native culture (Bamdas 49). For instance, a Native American student will put on a miniskirt and a tight top, while an African American student might put on a full dress or a longer skirt and a top. However, African American students are being alienated and they are adopting the modern wear of Native Americans. In the African American culture, people are not used to keeping time on attending to issues on a timely manner. This is different from the Native American culture because people from this community are time-conscious because they believe time wasted can never be recovered.
Native American people know how to organize and express their ideas compared to African Americans. Inherently, such a cultural aspect reflects on the level of education of people from the respective culture. Most African Americans are illiterate and for this reason, they do not know how to organize their ideas in an organized manner. However, in terms of using proverbs and common saying, people of African descent are known to be the best compared to Native Americans. The rationale behind it is that most of their use of language is reflected on their cultural traditional, norms and practices.

Relational communication norms

In the African American culture, greetings are supposed to be handshakes and not waving as it is usually done among the Native Americans. Notably, people from African descent believe that handshake greetings are supposed to be accompanied by some recognition words to show respect unlike in the Native American culture where two people can wave at each other without saying any word (May 48). When dealing with conflicts, African Americans are poor in it because they usually take the law in their own hands unlike Native Americans who believe in negotiations. It is with the same reason that explains why most of the African countries are known for ethnic clashes and conflicts as opposed to American states or their communities.


African Americans culture believes that while eating, one is not supposed to talk or focus on other things, while in the Native Americans culture, one can eat and at the same time attend to other things such as talk on a phone or work on a computer. In America, eating is done at specific times and especially when one is free and not every time, while in the African American culture, one can eat, any time as long as food is available and one feels like taking it. Ideally, there is no specified time for food (Cotton 74). In the American culture, the entire family including guests can share the same dining room and that one serves what he or she feels like eating. On the other hand, in the African American culture, the elderly and the young are separated, male and female are also separated; they do not share the same dining room.

Works cited

Cotten, Angela. & Acompora, David. Cultural Sites of Critical Insight: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and African American and Native American Women's Writings. Boston: SUNY Press, 2012. Print
May, Katja. African Americans and Native Americans in the Creek and Cherokee Nations, 1830s to 1920s: Collision and Collusion. New York: Taylor & Francis, 1996. Print
Bamdas, Marie. Emerging Narratives of Native American, Asian American, and African American Women in Middle Adulthood with an Education Doctorate Degree. Miami: ProQuest, 2009. Print

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