Cultural Perspective


A ‘Cultural Perspective’ refers to a set of attitudes, beliefs, customs, practices, and social behaviors that are learned and shared among members of a group or society. These shared factors contribute to a shared way of understanding or interpreting the world and can significantly influence an individual’s behavior, decisions, and perception of others and their environment.

Elements of Cultural Perspective

Understanding cultural perspective involves unpacking its various elements.

Values and Beliefs

Cultural perspectives are shaped by the values and beliefs shared within a culture. These can relate to aspects such as morality, the meaning of life, the concept of time, and relationships among people.

Norms and Customs

Norms and customs – shared expectations about appropriate behavior – also significantly contribute to a cultural perspective.

Cultural Perspective in Different Fields

The concept of cultural perspective plays a pivotal role across various fields.

In Sociology

In sociology, understanding cultural perspectives helps in studying societal patterns and structures.

In Anthropology

In anthropology, cultural perspective is key to studying human societies and cultures and their development.

In Psychology

In psychology, cultural perspectives help understand the influence of society and culture on individual behavior and mental processes.

The Importance of Recognizing Different Cultural Perspectives

Recognizing and understanding different cultural perspectives is vital in today’s interconnected world.

Fosters Empathy and Understanding

This understanding promotes empathy, tolerance, and appreciation of diversity.

Enhances Communication

It aids in effective communication across different cultural contexts and helps avoid misunderstandings.


Let’s consider some examples to better understand the concept of cultural perspective.

Example 1: Individualistic vs Collectivist Cultures

The cultural perspective of individualistic societies, like the United States, emphasizes personal freedom and achievement. In contrast, collectivist cultures, such as in Japan, value harmony, group cohesion, and cooperation.

Example 2: Different Attitudes towards Time

In many Western societies, time is often seen as linear and valuable, leading to a focus on punctuality. Conversely, in some other cultures, time is perceived more cyclically, resulting in a more flexible approach to punctuality.


Cultural perspective is a lens through which individuals view, interpret, and understand the world around them. Recognizing the influence of cultural perspectives can enrich our understanding of human behavior, facilitate cross-cultural understanding, and promote more harmonious coexistence in our diverse world.