Large cultural groups

Large cultural groups within a geographic region often share similar subjective cultural elements. However, these groups are rarely homogenous and can be divided into distinct subgroups. For example, Africa is made up of different countries, and within those countries, there are numerous distinct cultural groups. Although many of these subcultural groups are dissimilar with regard to particular beliefs and practices, there are times when an overriding issue makes another common group identification more salient and important. For example, in 2003, Christian and Muslim women from different subcultures in Liberia banded together to fight back against oppression and stop the civil war. There were widespread killings; the survivors were deeply traumatized and abused; the children were robbed of their childhood, with many being recruited to fight; and women had been dominated and raped. The women’s movement was featured in the Documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This discussion question focuses on the cultural subgroups that often supersede the familial cultural groups.

In your response, address the following:

Do you think that clusters characterized by gender are valid subcultures? Do you self-identify with gender before your ethnic group? If you could design a study to investigate an issue related to women and culture, what would you study and why?
What caused the women of Liberia to ignore their familial cultural inheritance and band together? Do you think that biology and environment interact to create a women’s subculture? What did the women do to force the men to change in Liberia? Explain your answers.

Sample Solution