Selasa, 07 Juli 2009

The Differences of American Indonesian concept toward age

Each country has its own culture. Basically, culture holds important roles to identify the people shown by their behavior in society life. Culture describes where you come from, how you socialize in your environment, how you appreciate your life, and so on. According to Geert Hofstede, culture is collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group from another. Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population passed down from generation to generation. According to Gary Wederspahn, culture is the shared set of assumptions, values, and beliefs of a group of people by which they organize their common life. Indonesia and America have also the cultures which are different each other, including the concept toward age. Hard work is considered as an important value in a culture involving interaction among the individualisms. There are some certain differences cultures between American and Indonesia in working circumstance.

United States is a country which respects on freedom. American believe that the ones who make efforts to be the best, so they can be the best. There are no factors like caste, religion, and culture which can stop the ones to be the best. The American emphasis on concrete achievements and "doing" means that age is to be feared, the less you can do or contribute to society. In America, age is not highly valued, for the older you the less you can accomplish.
Age is also suspect because new is usually better in American culture, and the elderly are generally out of touch with what is new. The Americans emphasize on physical beauty and youth. In American culture, good performance or good looking is important in work circumstance because someone who is good looking will take other's attention easily. For instance, by having sympathetic face and friendly smile either man or woman will make others feel comfort. Beside that, youths basically have brilliant mind. They have new ideas to create something new. In other words, the youths tend to be creative ones. Also, they tend to be easy to solve the problems since they have better and fresher solutions than the elders. Younger workers are seen as enthusiastic and ambitious. They always make some innovations and breakthrough in their fields. Furthermore, the younger workers have strong physic making them not to be easier to get sick, so that they have much more effective time to work.

Besides, American judges the worth's worker based on the worker's productivity, not seniority. For examples, someone who has high productivity no matter he or she is young or old will be more value than the one who does not. In this case, the worker is demanded to have high quality and productivity. They never consider on 'how old are you" but they consider on "how many productivities and contributions you have done". They work professionally to reach the best what they can do. Furthermore, to get higher position is easy fr American workers. A worker does not have to wait for years to upgrade to the next position. They really appreciate time. They never ignore each chance coming to them. Therefore, no wonder if someone who is still young has become a leader of a company or director.

In contrast, Indonesia is a country which has politeness norm and appreciate what it is called tata karma. For Indonesians, age is highly valued. The older you are, it means you have made many contributions. You will be respected more. Also, the older you are the higher position you are in. The elders are absolutely respected. They are considered having many experiences or what it is called as experienced workers since they have been working for many years. Older workers are seen as being more likely to think before they act and being more loyal, conscientious, reliable, and dependable. In making decision, they never consult or even pay attention to the younger worker because the older ones think the younger is too young to know what they are going to do. In addition, youths tend to be considered as the ones who know nothing, so that sometimes their brilliant ideas they have will be useless.


Moreover, Indonesian judges the worth's worker based on seniority, how long she or he has been working. In Indonesian culture, seniority is one of the heritage cultures. The system which is applied that is juniors must respect the seniors. In working circumstance, this system exists and has been being applied by the workers. Basically, seniority is aimed to create the harmony among the workers. In other words, the older and the younger can respect each other. The older workers considering as experienced workers teach how to work well and give good guidance and suggestions to the younger ones, so that they become salute and good team work. Furthermore, to get higher position is not easy for Indonesians because they should follow some certain determined procedures and rules. They have to wait for years for it. So that's why a leader of an institute or a director of a company in Indonesia basically comes from the older generations.

In brief, America and Indonesia have certain differences culture. In America, age is to be feared. New is better. Americans do emphasize on personal achievements. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, age is highly valued. The elders are respected since they are considered as experienced workers. Indonesians do emphasize on seniority and harmony. Concept toward age is important to be understood and mastered in working circumstance in order not create misunderstanding.

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