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A clash of values, a clash of cultures

In our multi-cultural societies today, it is not uncommon to face a clash of values. Our values come from our parents, the way we are raised, our peers, the traditions passed on from generation to generation. That cultures clash is hardly a surprise. No wonder our society is not without friction.

Here are likely situations that pose dilemmas for the parties whose values clash:

A mother believes that her adolescent daughter can wear whatever she wants and even apply make-up because she is discovering herself on her way to adulthood. The mother believes that men should know how to behave properly even if women wear provocative clothing. Her daughter's teacher believes otherwise. He knows that men are attracted to pretty women, however young or old, and that provocative clothing and make-up suggest their intention to attract men. In concern for the girl, he wants to tell her to tone it down.

Should the teacher show disapproval and have a word with the mother or just keep quiet? What would you do?

A good-looking unmarried girl in her mid-twenties is afraid to tell a forty-something bachelor whom she had always considered a friend but suspected that he's attracted to her and hopes to be more than a friend, that she has fallen in love while she was away. She's afraid that if she tells him, then he will not be nice to her. If she doesn't tell him, then he will have his hopes up and eventually be disappointed. In fact, she likes to befriend men and women on the Internet. In her Asian culture, you are acquaintances or friends unless you express a desire for romance. Unfortunately, the men tend to view such encounters in chatrooms as potential romantic relationships. Even if she were to state her intentions of platonicity, which she has done on many occasions, she is still unsure whether she can trust those men she considers purely platonic friends.

Should she tell the bachelor about her new boyfriend and risk losing his friendship?

A student is caught between her teacher and her teacher's boss who is the head of the department. While she feels at ease with her teacher, even as close as good friends, she feels she can probably learn more from her boss, whom she thinks is a male chauvinist pig. She feels she would be betraying her teacher if she asked to transfer to her boss. Meanwhile, she is demotivated not only from not learning but from this dilemma.

What should she do?

Get expert advice on decisions in your career, personal relationships, and life in the forthcoming Bon Journal Decision Making Guide. Contact the editor to place your order.

25 August 2005 Thursday

Related links:
A decision dilemma
Life decisions that change your life
Post-decisional regret
Decision conversation in Green Park
Ask Bon Journal: Help! Love emergency
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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