Cultural Identity is described as the identity of feeling of belonging to a group. It is part of a person’s self-conception of self-perception and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. In this film Soul Food the film starts off at a wedding ceremony. For the youngest daughter also known as “Byrd” played by Nia Long. It shows that she is marrying “Lim” which one would call a street thug. Byrd is approached by her ex while at the same time Lim is being approached by his ex-girlfriend. While Byrd declines the advances made by her ex-boyfriend.
Lim appears to be enjoying the special attention that he is receiving from his ex. When it comes to Hall’s perspective to culture as a screen. One can conclude it to be true. For example while the act was taking place the sister, Byrd, Maxine and Terri. Were in the bathroom and had already come to the conclusion that they were going out there to “confront the heffer.”Halls perspective states that in low-context cultures ideas are expected to be outspoken as well as very straight forward and it requires an explanation. The three sisters had every intention of going back out to the wedding reception and being very loud and outspoken and would have required an explanation as to why the ex-girlfriend was behaving that way as well as why Lym was allowing it.
Cultural patterns are ways by which people of a society organize what they have, think and do in order to fulfill all of their basic needs. This film exhibited a lot of different cultural patterns. One of the largest as well as traditional patterns that were done several times throughout this film was Sunday Dinner. Sunday Dinner in the African American culture is something that is done typically after church. Sunday dinner is supposed to be the start of your week. Although I can honestly say that being that this film was filmed in 1997 Sunday Dinner and the word “Family” means different things now a days. However during the time of this movie being filmed Family meant everything and coming together for Sunday Dinner after church was a must.
As the film went on Sunday Dinner became a thing of the past, because the Family allowed for the influences as well as the insecurities of one another separate what Family should be. Ultimately it took the smart mind of one of the youngest members of the family to come up with a scheme to get the family back together in order to have one last Sunday Dinner. The cultural patterns that were displayed throughout this film. Are a lot of cultural patterns that are constantly displayed in the real world with families? Everyone is so focused on making sure that their personal needs are always being met that they often forget that it’s not okay to leave family behind. So making sure to not only fulfill your basic needs but also making sure that we don’t leave one another behind.
Cultural Bias is described as the phenomenon of interpreting as well as judging phenomena by standards inherent to one’s own culture. This reminds me of Hofstede’s theory in regards to cultural dimensions. It describes the effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis. With cultural bias I feel that one culture is bias towards another simply because of things that have been advised by their own ancestors previously. Throughout this film I did not recall a time when cultural bias was inflicted.
This film focused mainly on the cultures that are in the African American culture. If I had to recall it may have been when cousin Faith was going to her dance auditions and the cab driver wouldn’t give her the money back and she yelled at him Fuck you Dred man. The gentleman did have an accent which one could infer that he may have been from an island or from another country. The bias was stated just because she assumed that someone has dreads they must be from somewhere other than the United States. African Americans can also be very bias to their own kind this is often where the crab in a barrel phrase goes into play.
Verbal Intercultural Communication
Verbal Intercultural communication is described as a discipline that studies communication across different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects communication. It also involves understanding the different cultures, languages and customs of people from other countries. Throughout this film the verbal intercultural communication its shows that sometimes verbal communication can be a hurtful thing. There were a lot of hurtful things that were stated in this film. And each family member who stated that things had every intention on hurting the other.
For example Terry which is the older sister that know it all the most successful of all of the siblings. Husband Myles gets caught sleeping with Terry’s cousin Faith. And while at a family gathering Terry states that “The family of the family fuked my Husband”. This also followed with Terry pulling out a knife on her husband as well as chasing him out of the kitchen. Typically in the African American culture it is very common to know not to have your cousins or any women for that matter around your spouse alone at any time. Because things like this can occur.
But in all actuality Terry’s marriage had been going through a lot of things before cousin Faith came along it was just that cousin Faith gave Myles a little attention that any man would love to have from a very beautiful women. Also in this film there was a great display of verbal intercultural communication. For example throughout the African American culture family is known to always be in everyone’s business. Even when one is lending a helping hand they often feel the need to tell someone about the good deed that they are doing.
So when Lym, Byrd’s husband who’s a felon needs a job Byrd reaches out to her ex-boyfriend so help Lym gain employment. After gaining employment the ex-boyfriend walks over to Lym and verbally tells him that Byrd is the reason that he got the job. Sometimes within the African American culture when trying to be spiteful we say things that can hurt someone and while saying we have every intention on hurting that persons feelings. These types of things are not spoken of in the Hispanic culture they are always for Family.
Non-Verbal Intercultural Communication
Non-Verbal Communication is described as the way people send as well as receive information to each other beyond words. Indicators are used to show when to speak as well as when someone should not speak. In this film there are several nonverbal intercultural things that take place. For example during the wedding ceremony and Lym was receiving very provocative dance from his ex-girlfriend. “Big Mama” intervened and when the siblings came back to the dance floor to confront the ex-girlfriend. Big Mama had already stole the show and didn’t have to say a word. It was those nonverbal cues that she had given to direct people where to go.
In addition to this film there was also another situation that I can recall was when Uncle Pete, never came out of his room and the food would have to be delivered to his door. Everyone just always assumed that there was truly something wrong with Uncle Pete because he never came out of the room. But soon after Big Mama had passed and Ahmad came up with a scheme which he basically had advised everyone to come over for Sunday Dinner because Big Mama before she passed had told him where her money was hidden.
But the truth was that there was no money it was something that Ahmad said in order to be able to get the family back together. But down comes Uncle Pete carrying a television none the less. And when he came in the room he startled Maxine because she had just put out a fire that was started by Ahmad. Whom left the towel on the stove by accident. And Uncle Pete gets sprayed with the fire extinguisher and drops the television. And inside the television was Big Mama’s hidden fortune. Throughout the film Uncle Pete was someone who displayed nonverbal intercultural communication.
In conclusion whether your family is the same familiar that was displayed in the film Soul Food. Or if your family is similar to the family portrayed in the film. We should often question ourselves are we being all that we can be in our family? Are the cultures that have been passed along from our ancestor’s things that we should continue to carry on for further descendants to come? Whether it’s Hall’s low-context or his High cultural context can that determine how each individual can play an important role in our family? If Hofstede’s dimension theory is true then this film displayed as well as confirmed that his theory in deed has a lot of truth, because there were times that the family was in shambles and it all was because everyone wanted to look out for themselves and not the family as a whole. Overall I do feel that this film was a great film to display as well as allow the author to understand different cultural patterns as well as differences throughout cultures.