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It is very much interesting to note how people live in different societies. Each society and community tend to behave in a particular way that is peculiar to them. Perhaps, this is the reasons why one tends to take time before picking up well in any new environment. The article “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari’ makes it crystal clear that people who live at a particular place tend to share very many values. Thus, it is these common values that shape the way they live, think, and interact with one another in various occasions. Below there are some of the concepts to explain the same.

In most societies, there are elements of stratification. This is to say that a particular group would then tend to be in their own sphere or circle. Often, this would be between the rich and the poor. However, there are also cases when there is a division between people of different races or even tribes. In such cases, the group values must be different. Lee (1969), in his article, underscores the existence of stratification between the Whiteman (/ontah) and the Bushmen. The two resided in different camps. It is for this reason that ontah takes even longer to know their values and ways of instilling humility in the community that is belittling one’s efforts by their negative talks of one’s success.

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Communism and capitalism are yet other values that mark cultural diversity. A society or a group that values communism tends to do their things together. To some extent, a group think takes the lead. Often, in such a classless society, the resources and properties are communally possessed. This is contrasted with capitalism in which it is “every man for himself and God for us all”. The capitalist society tends to have egocentric dogmas with me-ism taking the lead. According to Lee (1969), the Whiteman maintained a two-month inventory of canned goods while the Bushmen rarely had a day’s supply. Further, the Bushmen woke up early in the morning to slaughter and distribute the meats in their camps. This best illustrates the diversity in social orientation between the Whiteman and the Bushmen. This inequality suitably highlights the concept of cultural diversity that exists between the two social groups.

To various communities, it matters a lot to be considered in a given class and status. In such situation, being of a higher rank, one would then think to be superior to every other person around. Such considerations always have unlimited predicaments in the society. Lee (1969) exposes the way by which the Bushmen evade such scrapes in their community. The Whiteman asked Tomado, a Bushman, the reason to insult the person who kills the animal and distributes to the rest. He responds that it is a way to make him not think of being the big man in the society who would then make everyone else inferior. Such pride would make him kill someone. It becomes vivid that the Whiteman’s thought that, probably, he would have been greatly appreciated by the Bushmen for organizing the Christmas feast that was contrary to their rationality and, therefore, very much infeasible.

The concept of “looking glass self” is yet one of the values affecting virtually everyone in the society (Canfield, 1990). One tends to take time thinking of what others think of him or her or take him for. By interaction with others in a given society, one tends to learn from them. During the socialization process, one perceives the image of what the society may be taking him to be. If not carefully evaluated, such perceptions may lead to depersonalization and/or conformity as one tends to be what he or she is not in the real sense. The Whiteman /ontah perceives that the Bushmen took him for a miser since the foods and medicines distributed were hardy enough to eliminate the disparity between them (Lee, 1969). He ends up asking Hakekgose, the Tswana man, about such behaviors of the Bushmen. He learns that it was just their way of talking.

The cultural differences are also greatly influenced by the demographic factors like population density. The minority, who are often marginalized in various parts of the world, often exhibit mechanical solidarity in their endeavor to survive. Being few in number, they can easily adopt a collective conscience in various approaches. In such cases, communalism becomes the order of the day. This may be the reason behind the survival of these Bushmen at the Kalahari as they pursue their objectives jointly. In the article, the Whiteman had a plan to be alone with his wife Nancy and leave the Bushmen at their camp (Lee, 1969). This kind of ideology, often exhibited by the dominant groups, contradicts with that of the Bushmen who would for no reason separate.

Ethnocentrism is another value that distinguishes societies. This is the feeling that one’s society is the best and the way they do their things is the right way they are supposed to be done. In the article, there arises a debate of the best way to celebrate the Christmas. Ontah argues that the Bushmen had disgraced his Christmas occasion (Lee, 1969). According to the White, Christmas is a day of friendship and brotherly love. The Bushmen seem not to value so much such celebrations. In their view, the interest is only the Tswana-Herero custom of slaughtering an ox for the Bushmen as goodwill.

In conclusion, cultural values seem to play an important role in setting up the goals and objectives in any society in the world. However, care is to be taken on the society’s social structure so as to avoid structural strains that would then water and negate every effort to achieve the highest attainable goals.

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