Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A.O.C.: Choice & the Influence of Cultural Background

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups

Sheena Iyengar's travels to multiple countries and her interactions with hundreds of people, not to mention her attention to studies involving thousands of participants, have given her tremendous insight concerning the cultural factors that influence choices.

Iyengar notes that "members of individualist societies are taught the special importance of choice" while on the other hand, "members of collectivist societies place greater emphasis on duty" (45). Iyengar strives, by the way, to move beyond the typical task of suggesting that one society's approach is superior to another; instead, she highlights and celebrates the differences.

We're still doing exploratory work on this book, so let us hear from you. What aspects of choice, in relation to the influence of cultural background, seemed most essential to you and why concerning chapter 2 (pages 22 - 73) of Iyengar's book?

7 comments:

Robert F said...

It seemed that it was essential that you understood the meaning of choice was different among different cultures. My idea of choice is most likely different than the meaning of choice in India. Once you figured out your definition of choice, you could make your own choice ultimately leading to a life of happiness.

Robert F said...

It seemed that it was essential that you understood the meaning of choice was different among different cultures. My idea of choice is most likely different than the meaning of choice in India. Once you figured out your definition of choice, you could make your own choice ultimately leading to a life of happiness.

Kiara Gay said...

An important aspect of choice that is essential to me is that people realize that not everyone has the same options to choose from. Different cultures are only allowed to choose between certain things because either their cultural practices or even their religion may not accept the decision. I believe, though, that choices that people make should lead to them being happy, not thinking about the whole, but themselves, and having to live with the choice that they make.

Jade Green said...

The most important aspect of choice is that individuals have different opinions in life. Having different cultures, opinions, etc can lead someone to be different and happy or possibly sad having to stick with their choices. The ultimate part of choice is whether you make yourself happy with your choice and not others.

Kayleigh E. said...

I think it is important to understand how having choices affects us in the terms of education. I can recall in high school we would have papers to write and the teacher would give us a broad topic to write on. We had the choice on what specifically we wrote on. I always wished the teacher would just tell us what to write on. I would do better. I can see why some cultures like being told what to do.

Trinity Foree said...

I feel it is important that people clearly evaluate what influences choices, and how strong these influences are. Sometimes, aspects of our lives to which we are accustomed are hard to view objectively. When we become accustomed to an environment, a culture, a way of thinking, all of it becomes "second nature". They fail to receive much conscious attention or consideration, while being major influences at the same time. While I do not mean to say that cultural values are in any way wrong, I argue that when we take the time to consider each of these factors, our words and actions reach their fullest potential.

Ashya Ford said...

I think the important thing about choices is they are inspired from the background in which the come from. Not everyone is from the same woodwork and thus a good decision for one person can be a fatal decision to another. I think overall, the only choices we don't have, are the ones we choose not to educate ourselves about. That being said, we must educate ourselves of our options and possible outcomes.
Ashya F.