How Tannen Demonstrates What Joy Discusses. Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Culture, Nature, Joy, Happiness, Life, Perception, People, Society

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/26

Humans are inherently social beings. We don’t live in isolation or carry out our activities in a vacuum of some sort. Daily, we are confronted with issues that call for sharing or an observance of social and cultural norms. In the article, Joy seeks to define what we perceive as natural in our daily living. In most cases, the society has made us grow up believing in one thing or another. It describes specific codes of conduct either in implicit or explicit terms. For instance, one may feel offended should his or her presence go unnoticed in any circumstance. Some other person, on the other hand, will be very comfortable with the same. Joy thus seeks to expound on what most people perceive to be natural and the associated challenges of seeing life thus.
Joy argues that the society and culture shape our ideas and perception, and assumptions of the world. She opines that when everything is going pretty well in all circles of human living, people tend to perceive that their world is based on a ‘solid, unshakable foundation’. Consequently, little anxiety or expectation is present since the majority will believe that nothing can disturb their normal living. Individuals grow knowing what is expected of them in regards to speech, body language, general conduct and the expectations they have on others within society. This conventional living can be a source of disagreements, embarrassment and even disappointment occasioned by the rigid nature of our upbringing. Tannen demonstrates these claims by Joy in very elaborate terms. Tannen substantiates Joys argument by adding that there’s a high risk of misinterpretation across different cultures. The misunderstanding is even worse ‘amongst speakers who actually speak different native tongues or come from different cultural backgrounds’. This is because different cultures necessarily imply different assumptions on what is perceived as obvious or natural as suggested by Joy.
Joy in the same article ‘crossing borders’ also talks about the importance of questioning what we regard as natural. She argues that cultural likeness can be dangerous and hence the need for individuals to ask questions on what they perceive to be natural as per the status quo in which we were born. She gives the example of the age old notion that was held by most people that women were ‘naturally’ inferior to men. Various persons stood and challenged this notion. They literary refused to accept what the society had blindly described. Wollstonecraft for instance stood up and offered a challenge to the people ‘strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience’. The same sentiments were held by Martin Luther King. Tannen agrees with Joy on the point of challenging most of the things and behaviours that are seen as natural. She argues that the fate of the world lies in what can be termed as cross cultural communication calling for nations to reach agreements that are made by individuals who exhibit different cultural behaviours and with a readiness to challenge the status quo. She, for instance, re-narrates the story of the wounded white officer and his black work mate as was first described by the anthropologist Thomas Kochman. Apparently, the white officer came to work with a bandaged arm. His fellow worker, the black man, did notice that his friend was injured but did not mention it to him. The wounded worker felt irritated since he took it that by the black man not mentioning something about the injured arm, he did not care or did not notice. The truth was that the co-worker was simply not trying to call attention to what his friend could not have been willing to talk about. He chose to challenge the status quo by deciding to be considerate in not so imposing terms as is ‘natural’ and expected of him by his white colleague.
In conclusion both Joy and Tannen tries to address the problem of mixed Meta messages across cultures. Culture inevitably shapes our understanding of the world in so many ways. It is thus prudent that people and society make deliberate efforts towards understanding different cultures and the associated communication. A cross cultural communication can be the ideal way of addressing misinterpretations, arguments and conflicts that come with the perception of life as being natural.

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How Tannen Demonstrates What Joy Discusses. Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 26, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2024.

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