assumption

What is a cultural assumption?

A cultural assumption is when we assume that a person has particular values and attitudes based on their cultural background.

Understanding cultural assumptions and how they work will help to analyse visual texts. Composers of texts often use cultural assumptions to reach their audience. A visual text such as the film ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ directed by Melinda Marchetta, for example, is based on a number of cultural assumptions. These are based on:

Age – it is assumed that growing up is often a difficult time.
Gender – that growing up as a girl has its own issues.
Lifestyle/family – that it is the norm to have two parents.
Ethnicity – that being Italian puts particular pressures/expectations on a person.
You will make many cultural assumptions in your everyday life. Think very carefully about the cultural assumptions that you make about:

Gender – what are the characteristics of males and females? Are girls nice like sugar and spice and boys mean and never clean?
Age – what are the characteristics of young people (perhaps you believe them to be fun-loving) and older people (perhaps they are boring).