Traditions and Their Impact on Personality Development
1. Introduction: Traditions and Their Impact on Personality Development
As a person grows from an infant to an adult, he or she learns formal and informal elements of his/her culture. The combination of these two factors shapes the individual’s personality and influences the way he/she interacts with others. In this essay, I will discuss how traditions impact personality development by looking at the example of traditional Chinese and Japanese identity formation. I will argue that while both cultures place emphasis on group membership and conformity, traditional Chinese culture is more likely to lead to individualistic personality traits, while traditional Japanese culture is more likely to lead to collectivistic personality traits.
2. Traditional Chinese Identity Formation
Traditional Chinese culture places a great deal of emphasis on filial piety, which is the idea that children should show respect and obedience to their parents. This virtue is considered to be one of the most important character traits a person can have, and it heavily shapes the way children are raised. For example, children are often expected to obey their parents without question, and they are usually not given much opportunity to express their own opinions or desires. As a result, traditional Chinese children learn to suppress their own wants and needs in order to conform to what their elders expect of them.
While filial piety is still considered an important virtue in modern China, the country has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, and many parents now allow their children to express themselves more freely. However, the emphasis on conformity remains strong, and most Chinese people still expect their children to show respect for authority figures and to uphold traditional values.
3. Traditional Japanese Identity Formation
Similar to China, Japan also has a tradition of filial piety, but the country also places a strong emphasis on group membership and conformity. In Japan, children are expected to conform not only to their parents’ expectations but also to the expectations of their social group (e.g., classmates, teammates). Deviating from group norms is considered taboo, and children who do not conform are often ostracized by their peers. As a result, traditional Japanese children learn to value group harmony above all else and they develop a strong sense of loyalty to their social group.
4. The Impact of Traditions on Personality Development
The different emphases placed on filial piety in traditional Chinese and Japanese cultures lead to different outcomes in terms of individual personality development. In China, the focus on filial piety leads to individualistic personality traits such as independence and self-reliance, while in Japan the focus on group conformity leads to collectivistic personality traits such as loyalty and interdependence. These differences can be seen in the way that each culture deals with conflict; for example, in China individualistic tendencies often lead to conflict between family members, while in Japan collectivistic tendencies often lead to conflict between social groups.
In conclusion, traditions play a significant role in shaping individual personalities by influencing the way that children learn to think about themselves and interact with others. While both Chinese and Japanese cultures place emphasis on filial piety, the two cultures differ in terms of the values they emphasize ( individualism vs. conformity), which leads to different outcomes in terms of personality development.
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