You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Some people believe that a person’s culture is defined by their country of origin, while others believe that has only a minor influence.
Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
If we define culture as shared beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours, it stands to reason then that a person’s country of origin impacts their culture. The question is to what degree. Is nationality the defining influence or is it just one of many factors in play? Personally speaking, I would say both arguments have validity, but I would lean towards the latter.
It is easy to understand the ‘defining influence’ argument. If someone is born and raised in a place, they will be heavily influenced by it. Psychologists refer to this as the ‘nurture argument’ – you are a product of your environment. For example, if your country’s cuisine uses certain ingredients, your palate gets accustomed to those ingredients, but may struggle with other less familiar flavours. If your country has a traditional style of music, say, reggae or rock, all citizens will be exposed to it and, as a result, are more likely to enjoy it.
On the other side of the argument we need to consider the effects of globalisation. Most people have daily access and exposure to other cultures. The evidence is all around us- restaurants, films and foreign businesses are ubiquitous. One of the benefits of globalisation is that it offers us a selection of cultural possibilities to choose from. It is unlikely that you will find any citizen of a certain country who does not have likes or preferences that come from outside of their country of origin. In addition, more and more people work, study or travel extensively away from their home country. Inevitably, these people will be subject to new influences.
My own view is that while we are influenced by our nationality, in this globalised world, one’s country of origin is only one aspect of our collective culture. We all adopt elements from other cultures on a daily basis, unconsciously or according to our preferences and experiences. To my mind, this is what makes the world such an interesting place.