My observation of the culture and the lifestyle of the Peruvian people can be exemplary of social differentiation(6:174). For Peruvian people the difference between their culture (2:41) and the American consists of differences in norms (2:43). The sociological perspective that can be distinguished from this observation is symbolic interaction (1:21), as an emphasis on the communication through expressing themselves through interaction acting in fashioning behavior. (1:22)
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In the light of the observation the interaction is based on shared meanings (1:23) The reaction to public display affection could be based on the effect of the concept of looking-glass self (3:80) as a process of imagining ourselves in the place of other people looking at us.
The elements of disapproval that were experienced by me could be referred to the strain toward consistency (2:50) that link the society, the American society in this case, on such issues as public displays affection.
Analyzing such observation, it could be said that this behaviour could be also referred to according to cultural transmission theory (5:143), where it might have occurred through the processes of socialization.
Accordingly such behaviour could be considered as deviance (5:132). Specifically, the behaviour observed as a public sexual act. The deviating behaviour in that case is estimated from the point of view of the culture accepted in Peru.
The observation made me acknowledge to what extent the views on various expressions in different societies can be based on what can be considered normal through personality development. The terms acceptable and unacceptable obtain different meanings when applying social control through internalization (5:139)
The limits of the display of public affection are limits put by the norm of the society, which in itself might be limited by traditions, religion, etc. In that sense, the definitions of bad – good and moral-immoral can sometimes be shaped by relative measures.
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These measures could create a certain mass relation both to composure, and to an excessive emotionality. In some societies excessive impulsiveness becomes even more preferable, than composure. It is no secret that there are many mass culture creations that glorify the pure and clear (and at times amotivational) passion and emotional waterfalls.
Personally, as an adult I have nothing against such forms of public expressions as long as they are suited to the norms of behaviour in this particular territory following the attitude of the generalized other (3:83). However, if in case of simple expressions this can be accepted, I believe that there are some generally recognized norms of behaviour that do not depend on the geographic location or local culture – cultural universals (2:49). At that I totally believe that these recognized norms do not include public sexual intercourse. In the case of Peru, I think that behaviour would have been unacceptable and even illegal.
Hughes, M, & C. Kroehler. (2008). Sociology: The Core. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages.