Worldview can be defined as the overarching philosophies about the world that a person holds. There are various factors that shape a person’s acquisition of worldview. These include age, community, gender among others. These philosophies affect, albeit differently, a person’s behavior, including the ability to learn.
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One of the factors that shape a person’s worldview is gender. Gender means being either male or female. Suffice to state that every community has gender specific roles that it inculcates into people from an early age. For instance, amongst the Japanese, men are seen as the only relevant members of the society, while women are relegated to insignificance. As such women are purely dependent on men in every aspect of life. This means that the worldviews that women and men hold differ because of the social roles imposed upon each these genders by the culture. As such, Japanese men and women have varied concepts of the self; men see themselves as decision makers while women see themselves as inferior to men. Likewise, age also shapes a person’s worldview especially in hierarchical societies, as opposed to egalitarian societies.
In hierarchical societies one of the factors that govern the attainment of social status is age. In these societies, as a person progressively attains certain age, the social roles changes due to change of status. A person worldview is only limited to the expectation of the age-based social status since that person is not expected to perform the roles stipulated of a different and higher social status. Furthermore, as a people climb up the social ladder, their behavior becomes more formal. In addition, in the contemporary world, the new age movement is also influencing the worldviews of those who ascribe to its philosophies1. Additionally, community also shapes ones worldview about the self, the world and those one is living with. In this sense community refers to the people one lives with and the dominant interpersonal relationships. Such relationships may either be friendly of strained. In a community, one is expected to perform various community roles. Suffice to say that a person motivation to perform those roles is influenced by dominant interpersonal relationships. As such, a persons overarching philosophies about the world within ones community is shaped by the dominant interpersonal relationships2.
Age, community, gender and other factors shapes a person worldviews. According to how these factors shape a person’s worldview, the person forms certain beliefs about the world, the self and how a person behaves towards others, the world one lives in and the things a person does. A person’s ability to learn is therefore influenced by age, the community ones lives in and gender. In hierarchical societies women’s view education as irrelevant to them due to their social roles. Similarly, a community’s interpersonal relations may affect a person enthusiasm to learn positively or negatively. Moreover, a person age in hierarchical communities affects the speed at which a person attains learning, since learning is associated with social status, which is progressively attained. Suffice to say that such concepts about life are not permanent. They can change since meaning is contextual and changes in regard to place and time.
A person worldview does not just occur automatically, but is influenced by a number of factors. Age, community and gender are some of these factors, which influences how one conceptualizes the world. The resultant philosophies lead to the formation of a person behavior towards others, and other life issues such as learning.
Marshall, L. and Rowland, F. (2006). A Guide to Learning Independently. London: Pearson Education.
Samovar, L. et al. (2010). Communication between Cultures. Boston: Wordsworth Cengage Learning.
- Larry Samovar et al. Communication between Cultures. (Boston: Wordsworth Cengage Learning, 2010) 97 – 152.
- Lorraine A. Marshall, Frances Rowland. A Guide to Learning Independently (London: Pearson Education, 2006) 1-18.