Observationof Human Differences in Texas—Killeen and Gatesville Towns
Observationof Human Differences in Texas—Killeen and Gatesville Towns
Thedifferences in human behaviors are inherent to the society because ofdifferent intervening factors. One of the factors that have asignificant impact on the behavior of people is culture. In thiscase, culture is the way of life of individuals. The cultural elementhas a major impact on people`s actions, including how theycommunicate and relate among themselves and even the strangers(Hofstede & Hofstede, 2014). For instance, the culture of peoplein one continent may be different with those of other continents.Praetorius(2016) envisages two broad categories of which all cultures can bebroadly classified: collectivist and individualist. Individualistsocieties tend to have loose ties with their extended families andtheir society, preferring ’my immediate family’ and ‘I.` On theother hand, the collectivism dimension defines cultural orientationsin which individuals value ties with the community they belong(Hofstede & Hofstede, 2014 Lustig & Koester, 2015). Inessence, collectivism describes the tendency of societies to nurturerelationships tie large extended families and non-family persons intogroups. For instance, communities in the East are collectivists whilethe Western countries are individualists. However, these differencescan play out within limited geographical areas. For example, it ispossible for individual communities within a given region to exhibitcertain stronger tendencies towards a certain dimension that is farremoved from the size by which they are generalized. Building uponthis theory, this paper sought to examine the differences insociability between two cities in Texas: Gatesville and Killeen.
Thestudy adopted a qualitative, observational approach. The method isconvenient in gaining a clear understanding of the underlying reasonsand opinions in a given event, culture, belief and subject—providinginsights regarding the question by helping the researcher to developideas and hypothesis. Besides, in this study, the qualitativeprovides convenience in the process of collection and sampling ofdata. Besides, a qualitative approach forms a foundation that will bevital in quantitative analysis of data. In addition, the approach hasbeen selected because the outcomes are not apparent to theresearcher. The qualitative approach proves as a convenient methodfor conducting a simple observational study.
Theresearch was interested in the sociability of people in differentsized towns. The two cities the study focused on were Gatesville,Texas and Killeen, Texas. Gatesville is the smaller town and Killeenis larger. All the research did was asking people with a prettystraight face in each city, "Hi how have you been?" Then toimprove on the results, the research started smiling real big as hesaid the same words to the people almost, as if he knew them.
Whenasked with a pretty straight face, "hi how have you been?",people in Gatesville carried on for quite some time while most of thecitizens in Killeen just said ‘fine’ and some did not answer atall. When the researcher is smiling cheerfully and said the samewords as if he knew them, they would talk more. These findings createthe allowance to hypothesize different elements regarding thesociability of people in various towns. These hypotheses arepresented in the sections as follows.
HypotheticalPosition 1: People in Small Towns are Much More Sociable than LargeTowns
Theresults from the study could indicate that the people residing insmall towns and cities (lowly populated) are likely to socialize thatthose living in the major cities and villages. This observation couldbe attributed to the influence of close relationships among people insmall towns. Ideally, people in small towns are likely to be familiarwith each other. Therefore, they would probably think that anyone whogreets them is a commoner. They would be quick to converse alongwell. In contrast, people in large towns do not have any familiarties with each other. Therefore, they do not expect any likelihoodthat someone would know them. As a result, they will not bother torespond to greetings of strangers. People living in the main citiesmay tend to have loose ties and lack trust, which limits theirinteraction with other people. In contrast, the people living insmall town have good relationships and are sociable due to the trustthat exists between them.
HypotheticalPosition 2: People in Gatesville are Collectivists While those inKilleen are Individualists.
Thesecond theoretical situation is that citizens in Gatesville could becollectivist while those in Killeen are individualists. Ideally, theresidents of Gatesville town might have established cultures that arecollective. They tend to be free to associate and engage strangersbecause of the trust and norms that is common to them. Perhaps, partof the stand of their culture is to be open and welcoming to otherpeople in the community, including the strangers. On the contrast,people from Killeen could be regarded as an individualist. Thishypothesis creates the allowance to argue that interactions inKilleen is ‘everyone for himself’ and ‘don’t care aboutstrangers.` The ties in the Killeen can claim to be loose. Everyoneis expected to gather and look after himself on top of her or hisimmediate family members, excluding the rest of the public orpopulation (Lustig & Koester, 2015).
Althoughthere are high chances to account the results based on twohypothetical standards, the collectivist-individualist account wouldbe the perhaps the most outstanding position that is likely to besupported by the literature. Individualism is the degree to whichindividuals in any region prefer to behave and act as individualsrather than as belonging to certain groups. The social ties betweenpeople and the society are loose. People pay much attention to theirimmediate families and themselves. On the contrary, the collectivistsocieties encourage cohesion and creation of healthy relationshipsbeyond extended families (with aunts, uncles, and grandparents) frombirth. All members of the community are always concerned aboutprotecting the ties in exchange for unweaving loyalty. Forindividualist communities, communication is intended to buildrelationships and share information. In the collectivist communities,communication is regarded as the means of securing personal goals(Darwish & Huber, 2014 Lustig & Koester, 2015). In thiscase, it can be argued that the communities in Gatesville tend toconform perfectly with the idea characteristics of the collectivistsocieties and may be considered collectivists.
Inconclusion, the purpose of this paper was to examine the sociabilityand determine the reasons behind the geographical behavioraldifferences between residents of different towns. The two citiesresearched were Gatesville, Texas and Killeen, Texas. Gatesville isthe smaller city and Killeen is larger. All the researcher did wasasking people with a pretty straight face in each town, "Hi howhave you been?" In Gatesville, most of the people carried on forquite some time while most of the citizens in Killeen just said fineor did not answer at all. Then to improve on the results, theresearch started smiling cheerfully when he said the same words tothe people almost as if he knew them. The finding revealed that ifthey thought they knew each other, even if they did not remember,they would talk more. These results were explained based on twohypothetical positions: People in small towns are much more sociablethan large towns, and People in Gatesville are collectivists whilethose in Killeen are individualistic.
Whilethese hypothetical stands offer a potentially plausible account ofthe differences in sociability, the collectivist-individualistaccount tends to wield a lot of support from literature. Inparticular, the findings correlate with Hofstede`s discussions onindividualist and collectivist dimensions. Individualistic societieshave loose ties with the majority only associating with theirimmediate family. On the other hand, collectivism cultural dimensiondescribes communities that rely on relationship and relationshipswith immediate families, extended families, and other unrelatedgroups. Hofstede uses communities from the Eastern world to emphasizethe collective cultural dimension while linking the western side withthe individualistic aspect. Indeed, culture can have significantimpacts on human behavior social and interactive capacity. However,there is the need to conduct a further study to ascertain whether itindeed holds that people in Gatesville are collectivists, while thosein Killeen are individualists.
Darwish,Abdel-Fattah E., & Huber, Gunter L. (2013). Individualism vscollectivism in different cultures: a cross cultural study.Intercultural Education, 14(1), 47-55.
Hofstede,Geert & Hofstede, Gert Jan. (2014). Cultures and OrganizationsSoftware of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importancefor Survival. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Lustig,Myron W., & Koester, Jolene. (2015). Intercultural Competence:Interpersonal Communication Across Cultures(5thed.). Boston, MA:Pearson Education, Inc.
Praetorius,P. (2016). Adapting Communication to Cultural and OrganizationalChange. In Cynthia L. Selfe (Ed.), Resources in TechnicalCommunication. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.