Humans, what make us the most intellectual species on planet Earth? Is
it just because of our morphological characteristics and highly developed
neural network or also because of our culture? Yes, some truth is behind our
body geometry but a greater role is also played by the norms, values and ideas
passed on to us by our fore fathers. These complex integrated pattern of
learning that is passed on just like genes from earlier civilization to today’s
generation, is defined as culture. Human societies consists of social
behaviours and norms which is known as culture
People have different ideologies on the true definition of it but in
every language it is somehow similar to its fundamental values. A great soviet
era Psychologist named Lev Vygotsky quotes, ‘Language and Culture are the
frameworks through which human experience, communicate and understand reality’.
So a greater portray on its importance can be derived from his message. And sociologist Georg Simmel (1858–1918),
referred to culture as ‘the cultivation of individuals through the agency of
external forms which have been objectified in the course of history.’ Therefore, culture in the sociological
field can be characterized as the mind sets, the methods for acting, and the
material objects that together shape a people’s lifestyle
that are common to all cultures are called Cultural Universals. These do not
change over time but the way they are expressed do change with time. Some
examples are language, food, music, and clothes. Cultural Universals meet basic
human needs. Culture can be expressed materially (physical, tangible objects)
and non-materially (customs, beliefs, philosophies). Both are equally important
in defining and continuing a culture.
have been descending with the expansion of new thoughts and items from
generation to generation. This dynamic procedure of society expands culture
with refreshment which creates some new and different culture in every
generation. For its continuity and survival, society struggles as it adjusts according
to environmental situation of its surrounding. Societies and cultures are going
through changes. As long as people keep on inventing something that did not
exist before, discover new things and also keep on spreading cultural qualities
from one group to another, the changes will keep on continuing.
norms and values are important parts to culture which cannot be separated from
one another. They always coexist. Language is the foundation of every culture
which consists of word meanings and symbols which not only describes a culture
but shapes it as well. It includes speech (spoken sounds), written characters
(letters), numerals, symbols (& % J), and gestures (waving hello).
Norms are built up
measures or standards of behaviour kept up by society. People have to meet up
certain standards or follow certain rules to be a part of a particular society.
Formal norms are composed
and have particular outcomes for clinging to them or breaking them. Casual or
informal norms are not composed but rather are understood; outcomes come as praise
or criticism. Norms that are important to society’s welfare are called Mores.
These behavioural standards generally carry some moral consequence, are
difficult to change, and result in severe punishment if violated or dishonoured.
Incest, child abuse and multiple marriage partners are some of its examples. On
the other hand norms that govern daily behaviour without much concern for
society’s welfare are called Folkways. These behavioural standards generally do
not carry a moral implication and change easily. (Examples are church dress,
business attire, helping a stranger.) We are more likely to formalize mores
are the concept of what is ‘great’, legitimate, attractive, what is determined to
be ‘awful’, despicable, and unfortunate inside a culture. We value particular substantial
things (people, objects, wealth) and general things (health, power, status). A
culture demonstrates its value of a specific thing by the lengths it goes to
protect it. The most commonly devalued things in our culture are women,
children, Judeo Christian beliefs, and education.
is variation in culture. Ways in which segments of the population develop
cultural patterns that differ from the dominant culture is known as cultural
variation. Subcultures and counter cultures are 2 types of cultural variations
where subculture is a section of society that has a distinct pattern of mores,
folkways, and values different from those of the dominant culture that are familiar
to those both within the group and those
outside of the group. Subculture members belong to the dominant culture while
at the same time engaging in behaviors that are unique and different to a
subculture. Subcultures can be based on one’s age (teenagers, retired folks),
region (WV “Hillbillies”, Ozark Appalachians), ethnic group (Swedish), beliefs
(neo-Nazi), vocation (police, truckers) and shared interests (Computer users).
It is not unusual of a subculture to develop its own language.
counter culture is a segment of society that rejects the values and norms of
the dominant culture and seeks alternative norms and values. The “hippies” of
the 60’s and the “survivalists” of the 80’s and 90’s are the most obvious
examples. The Dominant Culture works to monitor and alter these groups so as to
limit their growth and influence.
impacts one’s standards, their lifestyle as well as the way they view their
surroundings. It influences our method of living as well as our social life. In
simple words, culture is a programming of the mind which differentiates
categories of people and their members from one another. People get adapted to
certain circumstances throughout their lifetime and there comes a change in their
lifestyle, way of learning things, environmental perception and many more. They
pass these culture to their younger generation while they grow older and the cycle
continues. Activities which we perform such as eating, dressing, wearing accessories
and so on is the consequence of the culture we learned.
all know that the babies observe their parents, copy their behavior and later
on speak what their parents speak or what they are taught by their parents.
They adapt to the surrounding while growing up and learn different things from
their parents, family or people who are close to them. Unavoidably culture changes,
and is changed by a handful number of factors such as, different interactions with
variety of groups as well as individuals, technology, mass media and other