GP Tuition Notes on Culture - GP Tuition Singapore - Main

GP Tuition Notes on Culture

Culture is a big component of our everyday lives. Be it a traditional form or the modern culture, culture affects us in many ways. Some ways would be how it affects our daily lives, the way we behave, the way we work and the way we govern. We will elaborate on how it does so. To aid your understanding of this topic, we will be using a mix of materials such as videos, notes and essay discussions.

How is culture important?

Culture is important because it influences the way we live our lives in terms of the way we interact (social), the way we work (economic), the way we behave (individual), and the way we govern (political). Read on to find out more!

Individual: How culture affects our daily lives?

Culture affects our daily lives as it forms part of our personal identities which will shape the way we live our lives, such as the way we dress, eat, converse and think because culture dictates how the people around us act. Hence we will in turn naturally act and behave the same ways. For example, in Singapore due to our culture of being ‘kiasu’ (afraid of losing out), Singaporeans tend to be more self-centered, hence there being cases such as there being a need for designated reserved seats for the elderly in buses and trains so that when the younger and more fit people refuse to give up their seats, the elderly, disabled or pregnant are able to still get seats. Read on to find out more about how culture affects our daily lives.

Social: How culture affects the way we behave?

Culture influences our social interaction such as how we communicate with others as it sets the ways we prefer and tend to communicate with. An example would be with how because currently almost everyone has a phone and internet, people tend to communicate through communication apps such as WhatsApp, which has over one billion users. In addition, culture shapes our behaviour which may give rise to seldom, yet unintended conflicts due to misunderstandings. For example, the Chinese set chopsticks upright in rice bowls when making offerings to their ancestors. When people of other races come to a Chinese restaurant, they may stick their chopsticks in their rice bowls because they want to put the chopstick down and that would be convenient, without understanding that it means something to the Chinese. Hence this might bring about a misunderstanding as it could be considered as rude.

Economic: How culture affects the way we work?

Culture impacts the economic developments as it shapes our mindsets and values which then influences our behaviours at work. This could be because of the social pressure too to do what your peers are doing. An example would be in Singapore, where because it is a very small country, we have a very competitive culture as we need to work hard to go far and be successful. This then causes Singaporean workers to be hard workers, often working over time to complete more work and to please their employers. Culture can also shape career preferences and choices. This can also be seen in Singapore where jobs such as being construction workers or cleaners are often seen as low wage jobs, and because it is tiring and require a lot of manual work, many Singaporeans would rather not work these jobs if they have the choice.

Political: How culture affects the way we govern?

Culture affects the political developments of countries which can serve as supporting pillars or even obstacles. This can be seen in terms of cultural influences that shapes the perceptions of individuals to advocate policy changes. Alternatively, the clash of cultures can give rise to conflicts that destabilizes societies. For instance, some white Americans typically consider raised voices to be a sign that a fight has begun, while some black, Jewish and Italian Americans often feel that an increase in volume is a sign of an exciting conversation among friends. Thus, some white Americans may react with greater alarm or take offence to a loud discussion.

What we will teaching during our GP Tuition

During our GP Tuition, we focus mainly on two features, namely content enrichment via the viewing of educational videos and articles, as well as GP essay writing skills development (which will be done by reading model essays on culture and attempting practice questions in class).

Topical Enrichment on Culture

Culture can be understood by examining the meaning of ‘culture’ and real life examples to illustrate its significance from our personal observations. Class discussions are conducted to promote individual reflective thinking so that you can strengthen your comprehension of the GP issue and apply it to the comprehension and essay questions.

GP Model Essays

Our GP Tuition programme will also cover GP model essays that will be instrumental in showing how your newfound knowledge can be applied to examination questions. Furthermore, there are additional practice questions that are featured in the online learning sites that you can try out as self-revision after viewing and reading the resources.

GP Videos Discussion

Examine the meaning of culture and its importance in our lives by watching the featured video below. It will help you comprehend what ‘culture’ is and how it has changed over time.

GP Video #1: What is culture?

Watch the featured video to develop a better understand of this meaningful term and think about any relevant examples to advance your comprehension of the idea.

GP Essays

Linked below are model essays on culture. They will provide you with in-depth discussions on culture and its main areas of discussion such as its social, economic, personal and political impacts it has. Read on to learn more about culture so that your GP essay can be improved.

GP Essay #1 – In today’s globalized world, it is difficult for the nations to preserve their cultural heritage. What are your views?

GP Issue for Discussion

In this section, we will feature a topic for discussion to promote reflective thinking. Share with us your views on the listed topic and use this opportunity to practise your writing. Also, you can browse through the responses posted by fellow students.

Topic for Discussion: Is it important to have a Singaporean culture?

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