Sample Cultural Studies Paper on Cultural Concept of Neutralism

Neutrality is a situation where a state does not participate in war on behalf of other countries where the said state remains impartial. The countries who do not practice neutrality are bound to recognize neutral countries’ policies. International law provides rights and duties that are recognized by both belligerents and neutral countries. Neutralist states can also act as diplomats on behalf of other neutralist countries and belligerents.

Neutral states are expected to be unbiased and provide independent dialogue whenever needed. For instance, Switzerland’s foreign policy is fundamentally based on Swiss neutrality. The foreign policy states that Switzerland should not involve itself with other states’ conflicts. It is designed to promote peace, and guarantee external security as the policy is constant, armed, and self-imposed. In case of a conflict, a neutral party is viewed as a party with no conflict of interest and is expected to operate without prejudice. However, there have been criticisms n the philosophical aspect of neutrality. Woodrow Wilson for instance stated that, neutralism does not express the American culture as they are focused on preserving the foundations based on rebuilding peace.

Just like any other philosophy, neutrality essentially has a theoretical background. On the aspect of political behavior, the traditional attitude theory is considered. However, it is flawed. It is unable to differentiate the two types of neutralism; indifference which is described as lack of either effect and ambivalence which is explained as the balance of negative and positive effect. A most recent theory on attitudes clarifies that individuals can give both positive and negative opinions both independently and simultaneously. This theory is two-dimensional as people with an indifferent attitude essentially differ from those with an ambivalent attitude. However, I think that ambivalent individuals are most likely to participate in voting than indifferent citizens. The latter are politically unbiased hence being politically conflicted does not cause any barrier during voting.

Neutrality has had a tremendous effect on both the world’s political, academic, and economic aspect. Through neutralism, the United Nations Charter passed a law that promoted the non-refoulement principle that banned states from returning asylum seekers back to their countries where they would be in danger of persecution due to their religion, nationality, political affiliation, race, and membership of social groups (Schindler, n.d.). In business, with the aid of Switzerland, through the European Union, the state’s main goal was to promote free circulation of industrial goods within western Europe which in turn led to the signing od the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) (Schindler, n.d.).

On the academic aspect, principles of neutrality state that educational authorities, schools, and teachers ought to be neutral. According to interviews and personal experiences, the question of whether schools can become neutral comes up. However, it is next to impossible for schools to remain neutral as the educational development of students is different (Kleinig, 1976). This comes in form of both curricula and extra curricula activities. Whenever decisions pertaining the latter are made, the concept of neutrality diminishes. Neutrality in higher education has been a milestone. Problems such as racial segregation, harassment, and discrimination are mainly handled internally (Shining the Spotlight on Higher Education and the Need for Neutrality (Paid Content by JAMS from The Chronicle of Higher Education), 2018). By embracing neutrality, the latter entity can give a wide range of solutions as the third party is neutral.

 

 

 

The neutralist culture can also have links with other intercultural concepts. For instance, in international business, both logic (reason) and emotion are fundamental. The importance of these two aspects is based on our ability to be either neutral (not emotional) or affective (emotional). Individuals whose values are based on neutrality, are rarely emotional and can easy control their feelings (Affective/Neutral, n.d.). People who are affective on the other hand, are openly emotional and could easily express themselves through crying, laughing, scowling, or leaving a room. Not all cultures practice neutralism, as states such as; Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Netherlands, and Norway do not respond well to emotion. However, the United States, France, Singapore, and Italy openly embrace the affective culture.

Both the emotion and reason are part of human communication however differential they are culturally as individuals express themselves by understanding other people’s feelings and ideas.

In summary, neutrality is whereby a state does not take part in war with or on behalf of other states. Neutralism is clearly seen in Switzerland where it has been practices since 1515. Through this practice they were able to evade the consequences of the first and second world war and the cold war. Through their neutrality, humanitarian laws have been put in place to maintain international peace. The main aim of this paper was to capture the cultural aspect of neutrality. The latter is also linked with other intercultural experiences as mentioned above. An example of logic and emotion has also been extensively explained to link neutrality with other cultures. Just like every cultural concept, neutrality’s concept is based on the attitude theory which explains that neutral individuals can independently have both positive and negative opinions. Neutrality has had a huge effect on global view on education, politics, and business. Through the humanitarian law, human rights are protected. Also, brought about the Free Trade Agreement. However, the academic aspect cannot be neutral as this would affect the current academic prospect. It is evident that neutralism will never be an irrelevant cultural and political concept.

 

References

Affective/Neutral. (n.d.). InterCultural English. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.ic-english.com/affectiveneutral.html

Kleinig, J. (1976). Principles of Neutrality in Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 8(2), 1–16.

Schindler, D. (n.d.). Neutrality and Morality: Developments in Switzerland and in the International Community. 17.

Shining the Spotlight on Higher Education and the Need for Neutrality (Paid Content by JAMS from The Chronicle of Higher Education). (2018, November 19). The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/paid-article/shining-the-spotlight-on-highe/188