During the old gone days, it was an abomination to belong in homosexual groups, people with disability were rejected, women and older individuals were undermined. In the world of today, it is seen that the minority groups such as the gay, lesbian, older individual, women and individual with disability are on the rise.
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All over the world these groups have started to be recognized as a result of increased lobbying by human rights organizations. Therefore, this paper seeks to define a cultural group and highlight factors which make the groups of homosexuality, women, older individual and individuals with disability to constitute a cultural group.
According to Feldman (1984), a cultural group is a group of people with similar cultural experiences and share common characteristics. These common characteristics may include religious inclination, ethnic background and commonality as defined by the physical appearance of the group members. It also includes a similarity in the sociological characteristics of the group.
Given the above as our working definition, it is clear that sociological factors assist in defining a cultural group. This automatically makes the gays, and lesbians cultural group. Gays are male individuals who practise sex activity amongst themselves while the lesbians are female individual who practise sex activity amongst fellow women.
It is therefore worthy to note that these groups are defined with a commonality of practicing homosexual activity. Socially, it is believed that marriage happens between different genders. However, this minority finds same gender sexual relationship satisfying.
Therefore, the common factor within this group is the ability to find sex between people of similar gender satisfying. This is a sociological commonality. As a result, they all belong to a cultural group since they share a similar cultural experience (Feldman, 1984).
Another outstanding characteristic of a cultural group is physical commonality. Disability impedes with normal functioning of the body. It leads to difficulties in performing common and simple day to day tasks without special assistance. This makes individuals with disability to have a common cultural experience characterized by incapacitation.
Incapacitation means the body of a person does not function properly and require some help in order to perform daily routine. There are different levels of incapacitation like blindness, deafness, cripple, mental handicap to name but a few that make individual to have a common physical characteristic hence leading them to belong to a cultural group (Megargee, 1969).
Apart from physical disabilities, old age can also be classified as a characteristic that can make one belong to a cultural group of the aged. These are people who have lived long and had some of their body organs fail to function normally. Similarly, they also have a common physical appearance in addition to some common incapacitation.
Furthermore, the way aged people behave draws a common line between them making them sociologically bound by a common behavior. Finally, aged people tend to have grown under similar culture and events making them similar in their way of life (Megargee, 1969).
Finally, physical commonality and sociological commonality make women a distinct cultural group. Physically, women have similar characteristics. They are also believed to be weak as compared to men. Their social positions in certain communities tend to make them distinguished from the rest of the population. This makes them a cultural group defined by commonality in physical appearance and sociological characteristics.
In conclusion, the factors discussed above (homosexuality, incapacitation and age) are some of the factors that lead to a similar commonality. However there are other factors which have not been highlighted in the paper. It is therefore prudent to argue that the mentioned groups are well distinguished cultural groups. This is important because it gives policy makers ability to formulate appropriate policies to better lives of the people.
Feldman, D.C. (1984). The development and enforcement of group norms, Academy of Management Review, 9, 47-53.
Megargee, E. (1969). Influence of sex roles on the manifestation of leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 53, 377-382.