Sat, Nov 27, 2021

Introducing the concept of multiCulture: new perspectives from which to explain how and why people behave as they do.


  • 11/15/2021 - by Benjamin Luke Swan

The concept of multiCulture is a concept that encapsulates and articulates the idea that it is both the influence of multiple contextual cultures and the emergence of an individual’s own personal multiCulture that has the greatest influence on the way that individuals behave and interact with other people and with different contexts. The concept is called multiCulture, because individuals are influenced not by a single culture but by multiple contextual cultures as they interact with individuals and different contexts. The influence of multiple contextual cultures on individuals means that the development of an individual’s own personal multiCulture derives not from a single culture but from multiple contextual cultures that are nested within and connected to other Contexts and other Contextual Cultures. In effect, all individuals are influenced to behave by the multiple influences of a number of different yet similar contextual cultures. Therefore, everyone develops a personal multiCulture that derives from many different contextual cultures. Therefore, over time it is the personal multiCulture of individuals and not a single contextual culture that has the greatest influence on the behaviour of individuals.

There have been many attempts to explain what makes individuals behave as they do; theories of culture and personality are two ways which people have used in order to explain why individuals behave as they do. However, using theories of culture and personality theories to explain the reasons for the behaviour of individuals, has only been helpful to a certain point in explaining why individuals behave as they do, as theories of culture and personality do not always provide a clear explanation as to the causes of an individual’s behaviour. I would like to suggest some alternative explanations that I believe can be used to explain the behaviour of individuals. I would like to suggest that the behaviour of people can be understood from new perspectives if we look at how contextual cultures, and not just culture, and the personal multiCultures of individuals, and not just personality, influence the behaviour of different people.

The objective of this short essay is to suggest some alternative ways of using theories about Personality and Culture to explain why individuals behave as they do. 

Firstly, I would like to introduce the idea that there are universal influences in all contexts that influence individuals to behave in certain ways in order to do the following things:

  • Manage, control, and experience the flow of time
  • transfer information to other people
  • make decisions and resolve conflicts
  • control and coordinate activities
  • communicate using a language 
  • use registers of language 
  • Legitimise and justify the decisions and actions that they make and take.

Additionally, I would like to suggest that the term contextual culture as an influence on the behaviour of individuals could be used as an alternative to the term culture in order to explain why individuals behave as they do. Different forms of each Universal are dominant in different contexts and these dominant forms fuse together to create a contextual culture, and these contextual cultures have a different type of influence on the behaviour of individuals.

The influence of multiple contextual cultures on individual behaviour allows personal multiCulture to emerge as an influence on the behaviour of individuals. As individuals interact with multiple contexts, they become familiar with the forms of the universals of the dominant Contextual Culture in those contexts and choose one of these forms (either consciously or unconsciously) to use in order to:

  • Manage, control, and experience the flow of time
  • transfer information to other people
  • make decisions and resolve conflicts
  • control and coordinate activities
  • communicate using a language 
  • use registers of language 
  • Legitimise and justify the decisions and actions that they make and take.

The forms of a universal that an individual uses to do these things fuse together and form a personal multiCulture that the individual uses to guide their behaviour and interactions with different contexts.

Finally, I would like to make some remarks about the boundaries of the influence of contextual cultures and suggest that the spread of the influence of a contextual culture can only be carried beyond the borders of the context where it exists if the forms of the universals that are dominant in the contextual culture are also forms of the universals that are dominant in the personal multiCultures of individuals travelling from that context into another context. I also suggest that it is personal multiCulture and not a single contextual culture that has the greatest influence on how individuals behave.

Potential uses of the concept of multiCulture

I am suggesting and introducing the ideas of contextual culture, personal multiCulture, and the concept of multiCulture as alternatives to using theories of Culture and Personality in order to explain why individuals behave as they do, and also to create a new discussion about how individuals are really influenced to behave and interact with Contexts and other Individuals.

I believe that using the concept of multiCulture and the terms Contextual Culture and personal multiCulture provides new perspectives from which the behaviour of individuals can be viewed, explained, and understood. I further believe that investigating the influence that Contextual Cultures and personal multiCulture have on interactions between individuals could help to explain and resolve the problems surrounding the failure of human interactions that are normally attributed to clashes of culture and/or personality. 

I also believe that studying and understanding how Contextual Culture(s) and personal multiCulture(s) influence the way that people interact and behave with one another is a valuable and worthwhile pursuit and developing our knowledge of the concept of multiCulture can be used to make interactions between individuals and contexts as successful as they can be.

Implications for further Research

The concept of multiCulture is a new and exciting concept and much is still to be done to develop the concept further. Although the Universals have now been identified and their influence on human behaviour revealed, they must be researched thoroughly, and data collected to illustrate both their existence and their influence on the behaviour of individuals.

Forms of the Universals that already exist have been described, but there are many forms that have not yet been fully described, and new forms of the universals will be discovered and will also certainly emerge in the future. Therefore, forms of the universals must be continually identified and described in order to understand how these forms of the universals influence behaviour.

The identification and mapping of contextual Cultures and the personal multiCulture of individuals is also a rich area of research potential, and by doing this I believe that new insights into not only how individuals behave, but also why individuals behave as they do will be obtained.

Finally, research could also be carried out into the mapping of contextual cultures from the past, exploring the causes of past historical events by learning about how the contextual cultures of that time were formed and also exploring how these contextual cultures influenced people to behave. By mapping the contextual cultures of the past, it may be possible to predict how the contextual cultures of the future may be shaped giving insights into the type of future that can be created by people and different social groups.


Benjamin Luke Swan


References

Bakhtin, M.M. (1981) The Dialogic Imagination. Texas. University of Texas Press 

Freire, P. (1993) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London, Penguin.

Geertz, C. (2000) The Interpretation of Cultures. New York, Basic Books.

Malinowski, B. (2103) A scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays. London, Read Books Ltd.

Weiner, N. (1954) The Human Use of Human Beings. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.