Asian Social Science
Vol. 6, No. 9; September 2010
On a Personal Experience of Cultural Adaptation
---From the Perspective of Microculture
Qindao College, Qingdao Techonological University
79 Tie Qi Shan Street, Chengyang, Qingdao 266106, China
This paper, from the perspective of microculture, mainly explores how the cultural anthropological theory “cultural adaptation” works on a personal experience of a student who pursues her further study inter-regionally in the different provinces of China. Much more focus will be given on the main models the personal cultural adaptation has followed in the study. Different levels of personal cultural adaptation outcomes will also be discussed in the later part of this paper.
Keywords: Cultural adaptation, Model, Experience
Adaptation, originally as a biological concept, is an alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment. Every creature on the earth, including human beings, has the essential and innate capacity of adapting to the outer environment. That is on the level of biological adaptation. The evolution of human beings makes them outmatch all the other creatures to develop their own language and culture, which is unique only among themselves. At this time, the adaptation of human beings could not only be confined in the scope of biological one. Cultural adaptation, at this point, is necessary and indispensable for the further development of human beings. The significance and importance can be represented especially when the cultural contexts or environments have changed no matter it is a change of international, intercultural, interethnic, inter-religion, or inter-region, etc. The term “microculture”, the counterpart of “macroculture”, can refer to a social group that shares distinctive traits, values, and behaviors that set it apart from the parent macroculture of which it is a part (Gollnick & Chinn, 1998). The identity of microculture can be based on traits and values of different ethnic origin, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic status, geographic region, place of residence conditions, and so on, among which, geographic region and place of residence will be what I give my focus on in this paper. The change of geographic region and place of residence will evoke the change in psychology and behavior to adjust and adapt oneself to the new environments.
2. Cultural Adaptation
2.1 Cultural Adaptation versus Biological Adaptation
Human beings, like other living creatures in the world, also have biological and psychological needs. Other animals fill their needs primarily through biological adaptation, for example, a lion uses speed and sharp teeth and claws to capture and eat its prey. However, our human beings develop forms of knowledge and technologies that enable them to get the necessary energy from the environment and make life more secure. This knowledge and technology forms a core of culture that can be passed from generation to generation and group and group, so human beings adapt to their world culturally (Nanda & Warms, 2002). Cultural adaptation has some distinct advantages over biological adaptation. Because human adapt through learned behavior, they can change their approach to solving problems more quickly and easily. However, creatures whose adaptations are primarily biological change slowly (Nanda & Warms, 2002). Adaptation, coming being into one of the basic characteristics of culture, makes people develop to accommodate environmental conditions and available natural and technological resources (Gollnick & Chinn, 1998). Culture, in fact, is the way human beings adapt to the world (Nanda & Warms, 2002).
Asian Social Science
Vol. 6, No. 9; September 2010
2.2 The Definition of Cultural...
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