Cultural Universals

Often, a comparison of one culture to another will reveal obvious differences. Still, it’s important to note that all cultures also share some common elements. Cultural universals are patterns or traits that are globally common to all societies. One example of a cultural universal is the family unit: every human society recognizes a family structure that regulates sexual reproduction and the care of children. Even so, how that family unit is defined and how it functions vary. (A) In many Asian cultures, for example, family members from all generations commonly live together in one household. (B) In these cultures, young adults will continue to live in the extended household family structure until they marry and join their spouse’s household, or they may remain and raise their nuclear family within the extended family’s homestead. (C) In the United States, by contrast, individuals are expected to leave home and live independently for a period before forming a family unit consisting of parents and their offspring. (D)

Q. In the paragraph there is a missing sentence. Look at the four squares [A, B, C, D] that indicate where the sentence could be added. Where would the sentence best fit?

In conclusion, commonalities, known as cultural universals, – like that of the family structure – between cultures can be noticed all over the world whether one compares continents or countries.

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30 Reading Questions for TOEFL Prep - Group 2

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