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A Life Experience: Living with a Foreign Exchange Student (Article Critique Sample)

A Life Experience: Living with a Foreign Exchange Student Name: Institution: A Life Experience: Living with a Foreign Exchange Student Elaborated and Restricted Codes by Bernstein Communication is an important part of any relationship and determines the ultimate success and length of the relationship. In this case, I will be having a foreign exchange student from Denmark coming to live with me in California meaning that constant communication will be required to ensure that our friendship thrives. Since we will be attending the same school, we will be together every day of the year meaning that we will have to interact often. According to Bernstein, social structure determines the regulation of behaviors meaning that people from a different social structure tend to have difficulties when interacting with others (Bernstein, 1964, p.58). Coming from different social cultures, both of us have developed elaborated codes since childhood that guide our ability to scan situations, analyse the meaning of such situations and ultimately develop a planning process that will enable us to make a decision on the verbal channel to be used. Such differences will allows us to make the necessary adjustments so that we can be able to communicate effectively despite the different social cultures. Additionally, if the planning process in conceptualizing speech is not properly coherent, then a person is most likely to express him/herself through extra-verbal means. This means that if we both developed in a restricted code where speech or extra-verbal codes are required, a problem may arise when any of us are trying to find a stable ground to express ourselves. Developing the correct strategy when communicating will go a long way in ensuring that we are both on the same track and can contribute to the relationship positively. Therefore, it is important for both of us to develop an understanding of our backgrounds to ensure that we are able to communicate to each other effectively and efficiently. Religion as a cultural symbol by Geertz Religion is a very important aspect that determines social behavior since different religions tend to have social and moral codes that are taught and experienced. Different countries have different types of religions hence having a friend from a foreign country living with me may mean that we may have different beliefs. This means that we may have different standpoints when it comes to moral issues and socially accepted ideals hence the need for better understanding of both our backgrounds. Geertz explains culture as a system of complex symbols that are sources of extrinsic information. Culture is mostly programmed from a set of both intrinsic and extrinsic sources hence showing that people tend to behave in a particular way due to how they have been brought up (Geertz, 1973, p.89). Since religion is cultivated from the different cultures, both I and the foreign exchange student will have different moods and motivations that will guide our behaviors. We will both tend to act in a way that is symbolized by our different religions as morally upright and correct hence our differences can be seen from this point of view. Our two different cultures play a huge role on what we believe in while at the same time motivating what we feel towards people or things. Moreover, religion is not a barrier and can act as a learning tool to accept different people and their beliefs. By having a foreign exchange student living with me, we will both be able to learn from each other and come to accept our differences with time. This means that we will have time to get to know what each religion we follow stands for while learning new things such as accepting new ideals that are culturally acceptable from our different backgrounds. This will foster our friendship since we will be at a stage where we understand religion as a cultural symbol in both our cases. Culture in Action by Swidler Different countries have different cultures that shape people’s behavior hence it is important to learn about a different culture to enable one be aware of what is and is not acceptable according to them. In our case, both of us will have different cultural values that we have developed living in our societies hence getting to learn a few new things will go a long way in ensuring that we do not unintentionally wrong each other. According to this article, human beings are mostly motivated by both material and ideal interests that are symbolic to their lives. This means that each culture has a specific set of actions that it affects hence leading to the different values attached to them (Swidler, 1986, p.274). Culture has a huge influence on the type of action to be taken in different situations hence plays a role in types of strategies that are put in place. In our case, the structural changes that might be experienced will force each one of us to invoke our different culture to explain ourselves. Under new circumstances, both of us may be forced to each act according to our normal cultures to preserve our habits that we learned to accept over time. This means that each action that we may take may be dependent on our cultures since we are both programmed to act in a certain type of way when encountering different situations. However, learning from each other can enable a proper understanding to ensure that as much as culture is integrated with action, it is also important to gauge situations to fit both cultural and structural circumstances that might come our way. Such understanding is important for both of us since it will enable us to create a long lasting bond that will remain even after the 1 year has expired. By putting our individual interests behind us, we can be able to come up with idealistic measures that go further than our expectations when it comes to matters that are in direct correlation with our different cultures. Interaction Ritual by Goffman Differe...
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