What are the career options for a person with a degree in cultural studies? That is a question that comes up from time to time, especially in career fairs that are attended by students of liberal arts. In answering this question, we usually point out that (contrary to the widely held view), there are actually many good career prospects for a person with a degree in cultural studies. Those include:
- Working for the government: A person who has a degree in cultural studies can opt to work for the government, in one of the departments that deal with cultural issues.
- Working for a non governmental organization: A person with a degree in cultural studies can opt to work for a non governmental organization, as an advisor on cultural issues. Here, one would effectively be working as a ‘consultant’. In fact, one can also set up an independent consultancy. With a good cultural consultancy, one wouldn’t be short of clients. Even private companies would be consulting him. Like if, for instance, a company like UPS wants to set up an office in the country, they may need to consult an expert on cultural issues, to understand what the national culture is like. The company may, for instance, be considering setting up an employees portal, akin to Upsers.com — that is, the UPS staff portal that is accessible through the UPSers login screen. But just before putting up such a portal, they may want to know what the local cultural attitudes are like, how the local staff are likely to respond to such a portal… and so on. As a person with a degree in cultural studies, you’d be well placed to serve as a consultant in that scenario.
- Working as a tour guide: A person with a degree in cultural studies can join a tour company, to serve as a tour guide. Then having gained a foothold in the tourism industry, he can eventually work his way up, to join the management and maybe even set up his own tour company.
- Joining the academia: a person who has a basic degree in cultural studies can opt to join the academia as a tutorial fellow (if he graduated with a very good GPA). Then he can eventually work his way up, obtaining more degrees along the way, to end up as a fully tenured professor, with a decent paycheck. With the right commitment (and with good networking skills) one can make the journey from being a tutorial fellow to being a fully-tenured professor in 10 to 12 years.
There are certain ways in which a nation’s culture can be changed. Thus, contrary to what some people think, it is actually possible to change a nation’s culture. And that applies whether you are looking at a nation of two million people or a nation of one billion people. Granted, changing a nation’s culture is not easy, but it can be done. In today’s article, we will be looking at some 3 specific ways in which a nation’s culture can be changed. And without further ado, those 3 ways in which a nation’s culture can be changed include:
- Through the use of the media: the media is a very powerful tool, when it comes to shaping people’s opinions. Through the careful (and consistent) placement of certain content in the media, it is possible to attain certain cultural changes within short durations of time. Of course, the proposed cultural changes are always bound to encounter some resistance. After all, even minor changes, in organizational settings, always encounter resistance. Like if, in an organization, employees are told to shift from manual paychecks to online paychecks (through, let’s say, Securitasepay.com), resistance is bound to be there. This is notwithstanding the fact that the shift from manual paychecks to the web-based Securitas Epay paychecks would surely be beneficial to the employees. So even minor cultural changes, in controlled organizational settings, always run into resistance. How much more, then, is the resistance to be expected when trying to implement national cultural changes? Yet with the assistance of the mass media — which the people tend to be very fond of — it is easy to get the desired cultural changes gradually.
- Through the use of the educational system: this simply entails changing the curriculum, to ensure that the kids are ‘indoctrinated’ into a certain way of thinking. Some may argue with the ethics of it but that is the way things are done. It lays the foundation for a major cultural shift. If it is done in the right way, it can, within a generation, lead to an almost ‘automatic’ cultural change.
- Through the use of the law: if you outlaw certain (major) things that were previously perceived to be legal, and you legalize certain (major) things that were previously perceived as being illegal, the net effect will be a cultural change. You can see this effect in societies that are colonized – where, thanks to the laws that come with colonization, major culture shifts take place within a few years. You can also see this effect in nations that have managed — through the use of legislation — to get rid of cultures of corruption, criminality, impunity… and so on. So it is something that can be done. Of course, the legislation has to be followed by thorough enforcement of newly-created laws: otherwise the desired cultural change won’t happen on account of legislation alone.
There are several things you need to do, to create a positive workplace culture. In today’s article, we will be focusing on those things that you need to do, if you wish to end up with a positive workplace culture. The most important thing here is for you to appreciate that you won’t get a positive workplace culture by default. You will have to put in some effort, to get a positive workplace culture. Without putting in the necessary effort, what you will get (by default) is a negative, toxic workplace culture: which is not conducive to optimum productivity. So some of the specific things you need to do, to create a positive workplace culture include:
- Discouraging workplace gossip: this is just a matter of emphasizing, during employee orientations, that workplace gossip is not tolerated in your organization. Then you need to have refresher sessions, during which the employees are reminded of this rule. Otherwise if you allow workplace gossip to take place, the employee will start hating and disrespecting one another – ultimately leading to lots of negativity.
- Creating avenues through which workers can channel complaints: if the employees have no avenues through which they can channel complaints, they will complaining to one another – leading to lots of negativity. This is why even big companies create portals – like, for instance, the mypremiercreditcard portal, for customers to channel their complaints. You can have a similar system, through which employees can channel their complaints. That is better than having them grumble and share bitterness amongst themselves.
- Ensuring that the supervisors treat the workers respectfully: if the supervisors treat the employees in a disrespectful manner, you can be assured that there will be a lot of negativity in the workplace. It is possible to get work done without pushing the employees in a disrespectful manner.
- Ensuring that the workers treat each other respectfully: you need to create a culture where the workers view each other as team-members, or members of the same family. This will ensure that they have respectful interactions, leading to optimum productivity. It should be possible for the employees to hold each other to account without being disrespectful.
It is possible to change a nation’s culture using education. When we talk of a nation’s culture, we are simply referring to the nation’s ‘way of life’. Culture, in its simplest definition, is ‘the way of life’. And a nation’s way of life can definitely be changed. Education can be helpful in that process, of trying to change a nation’s way of life. Education is actually one of the most potent tools you can use, when seeking to change a nation’s culture. The question that comes up instantly is as to how exactly education can be used to change a nation’s culture. And in answering that question, we come to learn that there are certain specific steps you need to follow. Those are the steps you need to follow when seeking to change a nation’s culture using education.
You need to start by identifying the specific ways in which you wish to change a nation’s culture. So this is an analytical stage. Here, you look at the current way of life (that is, the current culture), and try to figure out how it can be improved upon. The process here is more or less similar to what you would go through in the course of double your line application — where you start by analyzing the current state of your finances, before figuring out whether you can afford to take up another credit card. Similarly, before trying to change a nation’s culture using education, you have to start by taking a critical look at the nation’s present culture – and trying to figure out how it can be improved upon. You may, for instance, be in search of a more cohesive national culture, a less corrupt national culture, a more hardworking national culture… and so on. So you identify the specific changes you’d wish to see.
You then need to figure out a way in which you can change the nation’s education system, in order to bring about the desired cultural change. It may be a scenario where you just introduce certain subjects/topics into the school curriculum, in order to have the kids introduced to the new national culture. Or it may be a situation where you just have to change the entire educational system, to accommodate the desired cultural changes.
Subsequently, you need to effect the necessary changes in the education system, so as to achieve the desired cultural change. So at this stage, you implement the necessary changes in the educational system consistently — in order to see the desired cultural changes in a few years or decades.
One of the main challenges that immigrants face is that of adjusting to new cultures. A culture is simply defined as ‘a way of life’. People in different parts of the world tend to have different ways of life. Therefore, if a person moves from one region of the world to another, he is bound to encounter a different way of life. That can cause major challenges. Yet if an immigrant is to be successful in his new home, he has to adjust to the culture. That would be the first step towards integration. For ultimately, it is only through full integration that immigrants can become (fully) useful members of their new societies.
If immigrants are not helped to adjust to their new cultures, many things can go wrong. Left on their own, they may end up being totally unable to integrate into the new societies. They would therefore have to operate from the sidelines, from the shadows if you like. That may subsequently consign them to poverty. And the poverty may take a multi-generational character: when the children of the immigrants are similarly unable to integrate into the societies. These trends have been observed in France, with North African immigrants who are totally unable to integrate (though lately, the necessary interventions are being made).
Helping immigrants to adjust to the new cultures is not easy. Sometimes, once is tempted to simply let things take their course. Sometimes, one is tempted to avoid this unpleasant task. But as we have already observed, the effects of failing to help immigrants to adjust to new cultures can be too negative. So, it is best to simply bite the bullet, and take the trouble to help the immigrants to adjust to the new culture.
The actual process of helping the immigrants to adjust to the new cultures is quite straightforward, when you come to think of it. Initially, it entails helping the immigrants to deal with the culture shock. Then, after that, there is the aspect of teaching the immigrants about the rules of the new culture. Here, it helps if you know the rules of the cultures the immigrants are coming from. You’d then have an easier time, building on what the immigrants already know, to teach them new concepts about the new culture.