Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Most cultures have been found to identify laughter as a sign of humor, joy, or pleasure. Likewise, most cultures recognize music in some form. Music and laughter are examples of:

Most cultures have been found to identify laughter as a sign of humor, joy, or pleasure. Likewise, most cultures recognize music in some form. Music and laughter are examples of:


a. relativism
b. ethnocentrism
c. xenocentrism
d. universalism

The Correct Answer Is:

d. universalism

Correct Answer Explanation: 

Universalism: Understanding the Universality of Music and Laughter

Universalism, as applied in the context of the question, refers to the recognition that certain elements of human experience, like music and laughter, are fundamentally understood and appreciated across various cultures, regardless of their specific practices or beliefs.

This concept asserts that there are certain aspects of human nature that transcend cultural boundaries and are shared by all societies. In the case of music and laughter, they serve as prime examples of this universalism.

Music: A Universal Language

Music, in its various forms, is a quintessential expression of human emotion and creativity. It has been found in every known culture, from the ancient tribes of Africa to the bustling cities of Asia. This universality stems from the fact that music is not confined to linguistic or cultural barriers.

Even without a shared spoken language, people can connect through the emotional resonance of music. A sad melody can evoke feelings of sorrow in anyone, while an upbeat rhythm can inspire joy. This universal appeal of music highlights a fundamental aspect of human existence – the ability to feel and convey emotion through sound.

Furthermore, music often plays a significant role in rituals, ceremonies, and social gatherings across cultures. It unifies communities, provides a means of storytelling, and serves as a vehicle for cultural expression.

For instance, the rhythmic beats of drums are used in various cultures to facilitate dance and communal activities. This shared use of music underscores its universal significance.

Laughter: A Common Thread of Humanity

Laughter, much like music, is a universal form of expression. It is a spontaneous reaction to humor, joy, or pleasure, and it transcends linguistic and cultural boundaries.

The physiological response to laughter is consistent across all humans, involving the contraction of facial muscles, changes in breathing patterns, and the release of endorphins, which contribute to the feelings of pleasure and well-being.

The universality of laughter is evident in its presence across cultures, even if the specific triggers of laughter may vary. What one culture finds humorous, another may not, but the act of laughter itself is recognized and understood as a sign of positivity and shared enjoyment.

This commonality of laughter reinforces the idea that certain aspects of human experience are innate and shared by all.

Why Other Options are Not Correct:

a. Relativism:

Relativism posits that different cultures have their own unique ways of understanding and interpreting the world, and there are no absolute standards by which to judge them.

While this is an important concept in cultural anthropology, it does not apply to the universality of music and laughter. The fact that these are recognized and appreciated across cultures suggests a shared human experience that transcends relativism.

b. Ethnocentrism:

Ethnocentrism refers to the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own culture. This term is the opposite of what we are discussing. Ethnocentrism would imply that one culture’s understanding of music and laughter is superior to others, which is not the case.

The universality of these experiences emphasizes the shared human condition.

c. Xenocentrism:

Xenocentrism is the belief that other cultures are superior to one’s own. Similar to ethnocentrism, this concept is not relevant to the universality of music and laughter.

The universality of these experiences implies a recognition that they are not limited to any specific culture’s perspective, but rather, are shared by all.

In conclusion, the recognition of music and laughter as universal expressions of human emotion and enjoyment highlights a fundamental aspect of our shared humanity.

These phenomena serve as powerful reminders that, despite our diverse cultural backgrounds, there are certain elements of our experience that bind us together in a common understanding of joy, pleasure, and creativity.

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