Your World View, Society, and Living in Different Cultures

Your World View, Society, and Living in Different Cultures

What is a “world view“?  It is the lens through which a person sees his surroundings. They are the beliefs about the limits and workings of the world shared by the members of a society and represented in their myths, lore, ceremonies, social conduct, and general values.

There are three types of world views.

Guilt vs. Innocence (N. America, Europe)

Fear vs. Power (Africa, S. America)

Shame vs. Honor (Asia, Middle East, North Africa, parts of S. America)

Everyone possesses some of these three world views in different ratios. A lot of a person’s world view is effected by where they grew up, family, community and religion. The ratios of your world view change over time. This is a result of the movement of cultures within societies, often over centuries.

Example:  Europe

The Dark Ages: Fear vs. Power
Knighthood age: Honor vs. Shame
The Roman empire:  Guilt vs. Innocence

Components of the different world views:

Guilt
1. there is a right and a wrong
2. good guys vs. the bad guys (ex. Hollywood movies)
3. something is bad even if no one knows
4. wrong is based on standards, not opinion

Innocence
1. if innocent, one feels good
2. Abuse mechanism: Innocence at all costs

Fear
1. man (politicians, strangers, police, etc)
2. supernatural (evil eye, amulets, etc)
3. the unknown – change, lack of security

Power
1. control
2. intimidation

Honor
1. Adhering to family or society standards
2. Focus is on acting honorably, not correctly

Shame
1. Family/group honor is the guideline for actions
2. Abuse mechanism: Not bad unless I get caught.

Where have you come from? Where are you today in your world view and how was it influenced? What influenced your world view? The three primary world views are present in the world view of every distinct group of people. In working and living in another culture, you need intercultural intelligence. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge your own world view. You will become a world citizen and have a better understanding of people, politics, faiths and yourself!

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One response to “Your World View, Society, and Living in Different Cultures

  1. I will not tell you where I DO come from, but from about the time I was born till the age of six I was in Shame Vs. Honour and then I moved on to Guilt Vs. Innocence up until now (I am now 19).
    Now it does seem very interesting the way you categorised it, but I am hoping this is only a simplification and that you are not saying that these are the ONLY types of world views. Humanity is very diverse when it comes to culture and society.

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