Sociologists mainly describe social norms as the handbook of society behavior. The norms that are common in Europe are totally differently seen in the Middle East, or even do not exist on the African continent. There are as many sets of norms as societies in the world. Such norms can even be created in a lot smaller groups that are co-existing together for a time. They can be created between within a group that travels to the forest, or a group that works in an office on some project. However, in a broader concept, this question relates to norms that were developed together with the historical development of some nation. Often, these norms have a straight connection with the economic welfare of the society. Exploring the social norms of Cuba we can take into consideration that a lot of norms were brought here during the era of colonization and American invasion.
The formation of Cuban nation started at the time of Spanish colonization and was prolonged by the American invasion; thus, one imperial domination replaced the other. After Cuba had gained independence, there were actually three groups of people that determined the character of the former colony and shaped the nature of the Cubans. Most of them derive from early Spanish settlers the African slaves and other colonists from Europe. These three groups were up to build a new social canton on the island.
The Cuban music and dances along with the Afro-Cuban cultural forms are the factors that played an essential role in gaining the Cuban independence and uprising the national spirit. . The prevailing African culture, as well as minor European one, have a significant impact on still developing social norms of Cuba. The African rhythms were embedded into the European music and transformed into the main feature of the Cuban nation. Performing such dances as rumba, bachata and others was considered an act of freedom during the colonial times. Cuban spirit and nationalism formed rejecting everything associated with the American culture. The society was totally supersaturated by the invasions and the compulsory invaders’ traditions.
The main line of social behavior in Cuba is the constant socialization based on contact with others. The Cubans do not lay such emphasis on privacy as the Americans do. Interacting with others and socializing in different groups, they do not consider physical contact a problem. In most cases, even physical contact between strangers does not excite a conflict. This is the spirit of Latin America which reflects in such behavior. Sharing body space and social space is a daily thing. The social regime in the island has allocated the power between the groups that own collective rights of all the enterprises.
The government decided to gain some profit from the tourist sector and used efforts to advance it. Since the end of the 90s, this sector is developing rapidly. This question caused a conflict because tourists started to exploit resources that belong to the Cubans. This way the Cubans were separated from the area, and some tourist resorts were created for foreign visitors alone. As for now, the tourist sector brings a well income to the country and is developing every year. During the Revolution, a great amount of women joined the ranks of workpeople in such spheres as agriculture, health care and industry. Comparing to the world standards, the Cuban society has one of the most developed sector of woman labor force. For example, by the end of the 90s, the half of the practicing dentist doctors in the country were women. In fact, women who choose not to take part in intellectual or industrial development of the state, but want to stay housewives are considered to have failed to help in the development of their country. Unfortunately, men still expect women to take full care about the housing even if they have a full time job. Women that want to contribute to the development of the country are often also discriminated by the “sons of the Revolution”, which indicates that the Revolution is actually an act effected by men. Also, the sexual liberation is vividly spread in the country even more than in other nations. Free and legal abortions are accessible for every girl that turned sixteen; contraceptives are widely spread and effective sex education is a common thing. This results in a high rate of pregnancies under sixteen when the young couple is neither economically nor mentally prepared to raise children and need help of the grandparents. Therefore, it is a common practice when a young mother shares an apartment with her parents while her husband is looking for a job.
To sum everything up, it is clear that social norms in Cuba differ a lot from the ones of the modern urbanised world. Unlike America or Europe, there are no fences around houses in Cuba, and everyone is welcomed to visit the neighbours. The demonstration of affection, even on the streets, is not considered as a sexual assault, it is a gesture of compliment. Open- mindness, common decision making and discussions in public are regarded as an act of violence. The most valuable things for Cubans are the Revolution and the freedom of expression. For this nation, freedom means not acting under the pressure of a foreigner but venerating the spirit of the country.