Cultural differences are unavoidable in any community, especially in the modern world, where cities have become the hub for cultural interactions. The differences might arise based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, as well as the classes in society. Tensions might also occur due to gender differences and issues of social justice in a community with mixed cultures. In the modern cities, these differences have been seen being played out openly, sometimes even rendering the local authorities powerless against the onslaught. Racially propagated crimes, for instance, have been witnessed in various instances in different states around the US. These tensions, however, did not develop in recent times but have existed in different forms all around the world since time immemorial. The paper discussed some of these differences in critical analysis as pertaining to their perpetration in historic times, observing the development of slavery as an institution.
Perhaps the most common of the vices mentioned bearing the highest sense of moral perversion was the ethnic differences perpetrated by race. After the American revolution that won over independence from the British in the late 1970s, slavery was tactfully recognized in the constitution, leading to a clash of ethnicities that exist to date. During the time, the nature of the slave trade pitted the African rances against the white race of America. In the resulting spectacle, members of the African race were sourced from overseas in the own continent to work as slave laborers for white slave masters in the newly acquired American homeland ("Slavery in America", 2019).
While the slave trade and slavery, in general, may have died a long time ago, the seeds sowed as a result of this inhumane practice of human enslavement exist to this date. In the typical American society of today, it is not uncommon to witness racially perpetrated attacks aimed at people of the black community for instance. Over the past decade, there have been several instances where the police and local; law enforcement have come under fire from the public over what was seen as being racially spurred extrajudicial killing of young black men in the society (Hunter, 2007). Such instances portray an image of a community still pressed with the slave mentality, where the blacks and other minority populations were deemed inferior to the predominant white races, and thus did not possess any civil rights as enjoyed by the rest of the population. This slave mentality would arguably be concluded to stem from the institutionalization of slavery during the ancient times in the minds of the perpetrators, conditioning them to believe that the unleashing of violence against another human being simply for bearing a different skin color and physical attributes were somehow alright.
To better understand the institutionalization of slavery in its entirety, it is crucial to first go through a brief history of its beginnings and how the culture developed to engulf the entire world. The origins of slavery against black people in the Americans can be traced back to the time of British settlement in the continent. The root was the abduction of African slaves from a Portuguese ship, who were then diverted and ended up in Virginia, where they were put to forced hard labor working on the British farms. Subsequently, the European settlers began sourcing the slaves from the coast of Africa, turning them into a cheap source of labor for their production needs (Goldstone, 2007). Over the following decades, the slave culture caught on in the American continent, progressing long after gaining independence from the white settlers.
During the American Revolution, colonists began to call for the end of slavery, linking their own oppression by the British settlers to the nature of treatment that black slaves received. This was mostly in areas where the slaves were considered as being of little economic value, especially in the Northern areas of the continent. With the coming of independence, however, the slave mentality which had been etched into the minds of white supremacists found its way into the new constitution, thus continuing the propagation of the vice against people of the black race (Cole, 2003). The only explanation of this character and behavior by people who themselves had experienced the pains of oppression under the same slavemasters, to turn back and become the sole perpetrators of the very vice they fought against, is that it had been institutionalized into their minds to the point of seeing nothing wrong with its continuity.
In order to get the slaves to be totally compliant with their demands, their new masters saw to it that they were completely dependent on them. As such, they were accorded limited rights and prohibited from undertaking the normal activities carried out by the white communities. Among these were the prohibition of education for the slaves as well as restriction of behavior and movement. The exploitation proceeded to the level of sourcing sexual favors from the slave women, where the obedient ones were rewarded while rebellion meant severe punishment (Whitley, 2016). To ensure that this pattern continued with no interruption from the male members of the black community, the slaves were provided with no legal means of establishing marriages, thus could seek no redress for perceived injustices.
Looking back at these experiences, it is easy to relate them to some of the immoral and repressive vices that currently exist in some societies. A prime example is the situation of women in some of the leading countries of today. More often than not, women have always found themselves on the receiving end of cultural malpractices that foster mistreatment from their male counterparts. Just a look at the number of women civil rights groups active in different spheres of the globe would give us a clue as to the nature of the vice.
In the Arab culture, for instance, women have their rights limited to the extent of being fully dependent on their men for survival. This situation is informed by the designing of constitutional laws that favor the men to women in the society, giving rise to a sense of mental domination over perceived subjects, in this case, the women. Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive for example (Rajkhan, 2014). This is an extreme form of gender propagated discrimination in the community, leading up to the development of a slavery mentality in women, especially of the new generations who may not know any better.
Another instance demonstrating the institutionalization of the slavery mentality among members of society is the case of most developing nations, where social class is a huge determinant in everyday living conditions. In such countries, members of the higher classes of the society including the ruling class and the upper-middle classes have the final say in decision making for the entire community. In such a social setting, the members of the lower classes, most of whom are low-income earners and the less fortunate find themselves being pushed over by, the higher classes in the attempts to attain their interests. As such, the rights of the lower classes would be neglected in pursuit of a favor from the upper classes. This in itself is dehumanizing and demoralizing, given that all of them are governed by the same laws overseen by the same government. The neglect of the rights of the poor is thus another form of slavery on their part, as such groups find themselves having to depend on the wealthier members of the society for their own survival (Whitley, 2016). In this setting, the wishes of the wealthy class will always win the day.
Culture, as we have seen, plays a significant role in every aspect of life in a community. As such cultural beliefs and ways of life have an enormous impact on the well being of that community, dictating how things are carried on and by whom. The differences in culture brought about by the institutionalization of the slavery mentality have been widely discussed in the text, including a brief look into the roots of slavery in the American continent. Examples of the institutionalization of slavery in modern society include the treatment of women in some communities as well as discrimination by social classes, as seen in the text. Eradicating such vices in the new century is essential in wiping out the slavery mentality that has been fostered over generations to date. As such, sound cultural practices are a necessity in developing a positive attitude in the community.
Cole, E. R., & Omari, S. R. (2003). Race, class and the dilemmas of upward mobility for African Americans. Journal of Social issues, 59(4), 785-802.
Goldstone, L. (2019). Constitutionally, Slavery Is Indeed a National Institution. Retrieved 5 December 2019, from https://newrepublic.com/article/122843/constitutionally-slavery-indeed-national-institutionHunter, M. (2007). The persistent problem of colorism: Skin tone, status, and inequality. Sociology Compass, 1(1), 237-254.
Rajkhan, S. (2014). Women in Saudi Arabia: Status, rights, and limitations.
Slavery in America. (2019). Retrieved 5 December 2019, from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slaveryWhitley Jr, B. E., & Kite, M. E. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Routledge.
Cite this page
Cultural Differences in the Modern World: Conflict and Tensions - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 13). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/cultural-differences-in-the-modern-world-conflict-and-tensions-essay-sample
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:
- Letter From Ancestor About Life
- Language and Cultural Identity Narrative
- Sermon Response the Story of Joseph
- Disproportionate Minority Contact Policy Essay Example
- Factors That Shaped the European Attitudes Towards the Locals Essay
- Essay on Race, Identity and Migration: 30 Years of Debate and Impact on Americans
- Essay Example on the Representation of Chinese American Identity in The Joy Luck Club