Humans, what make us the most intellectual species onplanet Earth? Is it just because of our morphological characteristics andhighly developed neural network or also because of our culture? Yes, some truthis 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 integratedpattern of learning that is passed on just like genes from earlier civilizationto today’s generation, is defined as culture. Human societies consists of socialbehaviours and norms which is known as culture People have different ideologies on the true definition ofit but in every language it is somehow similar to its fundamental values. Agreat soviet era Psychologist named Lev Vygotsky quotes, ‘Language and Cultureare the frameworks through which human experience, communicate and understandreality’. So a greater portray on its importance can be derived from hismessage.
And sociologist Georg Simmel (1858–1918), referred toculture as ‘the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external formswhich have been objectified in the course of history.’ Therefore, culture inthe sociological field can be characterized as the mind sets, the methods foracting, and the material objects that together shape a people’s lifestyle Elementsthat are common to all cultures are called Cultural Universals. These do notchange over time but the way they are expressed do change with time. Someexamples are language, food, music, and clothes.
Cultural Universals meet basichuman needs. Culture can be expressed materially (physical, tangible objects)and non-materially (customs, beliefs, philosophies). Both are equally importantin defining and continuing a culture.
Humanshave been descending with the expansion of new thoughts and items fromgeneration to generation. This dynamic procedure of society expands culturewith refreshment which creates some new and different culture in everygeneration. For its continuity and survival, society struggles as it adjusts accordingto environmental situation of its surrounding. Societies and cultures are goingthrough changes. As long as people keep on inventing something that did notexist before, discover new things and also keep on spreading cultural qualitiesfrom one group to another, the changes will keep on continuing.
Language,norms and values are important parts to culture which cannot be separated fromone another. They always coexist. Language is the foundation of every culturewhich consists of word meanings and symbols which not only describes a culturebut shapes it as well. It includes speech (spoken sounds), written characters(letters), numerals, symbols (& % J), and gestures (wavinghello).
Normsare built up measures or standards of behaviour kept up by society. People haveto meet up certain standards or follow certain rules to be a part of a particularsociety. Formalnorms are composed and have particular outcomes for clinging to them orbreaking them. Casual or informal norms are not composed but rather are understood;outcomes come as praise or criticism. Norms that are important to society’swelfare are called Mores.
These behavioural standards generally carry somemoral consequence, are difficult to change, and result in severe punishment ifviolated or dishonoured. Incest, child abuse and multiple marriage partners aresome of its examples. On the other hand norms that govern daily behaviourwithout much concern for society’s welfare are called Folkways. These behaviouralstandards generally do not carry a moral implication and change easily.(Examples are church dress, business attire, helping a stranger.) We are morelikely to formalize mores than folkways.Valuesare the concept of what is ‘great’, legitimate, attractive, what is determined tobe ‘awful’, despicable, and unfortunate inside a culture.
We value particular substantialthings (people, objects, wealth) and general things (health, power, status). Aculture demonstrates its value of a specific thing by the lengths it goes toprotect it. The most commonly devalued things in our culture are women,children, Judeo Christian beliefs, and education. Thereis variation in culture. Ways in which segments of the population developcultural patterns that differ from the dominant culture is known as culturalvariation. Subcultures and counter cultures are 2 types of cultural variationswhere 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 familiarto those both within the group and thoseoutside of the group.
Subculture members belong to the dominant culture whileat the same time engaging in behaviors that are unique and different to asubculture. 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.
Whereascounter culture is a segment of society that rejects the values and norms ofthe dominant culture and seeks alternative norms and values. The “hippies” ofthe 60’s and the “survivalists” of the 80’s and 90’s are the most obviousexamples. The Dominant Culture works to monitor and alter these groups so as tolimit their growth and influence. Cultureimpacts one’s standards, their lifestyle as well as the way they view theirsurroundings. It influences our method of living as well as our social life. Insimple words, culture is a programming of the mind which differentiatescategories of people and their members from one another. People get adapted tocertain circumstances throughout their lifetime and there comes a change in theirlifestyle, way of learning things, environmental perception and many more.
Theypass these culture to their younger generation while they grow older and the cyclecontinues. Activities which we perform such as eating, dressing, wearing accessoriesand so on is the consequence of the culture we learned. Weall know that the babies observe their parents, copy their behavior and lateron 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 fromtheir 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 withvariety of groups as well as individuals (diffusion), technology, mass mediaand other physical factors.
Diffusionis adopting ideas and customs from one group to another. We see this mostprevalent in many countries as well as ours. The food we absorb such as McDonald’s, KFC and many more, our clothing styles and our music are allinfluenced from the western culture. Many of the young generations followwestern practices and culture more than the culture which was passed onto themby their forefathers. Socialbelief and activities are spread which causes cultural diffusion. The blendingof world societies through various ethnicities, religions and nationalities hasexpanded with cutting edge correspondence, transportation and innovation.
Thecontact between two or more societies changes the lifestyle, behavior andvarious other elements of both the societies or all the societies involved. Innovationoccurs in one of 2 ways: something is discovered or something is invented.Discovery is the process of revealing new facts or knowledge. DNA strings andthe genome studies are examples of the revelation of new knowledge. Inventionis taking existing items and reshaping them to form something new. Thetechnical advancement brings changes in people lifestyle.
People slowly becomeused to different new things which gradually changes their way of living,learning and getting things done. Which in other works can be said that, the culturechanges. The geological and biological variable is atrademark or a physical part. Various physical or natural aspect affects thepeople life style or culture.
The atmosphere or rain, attitude of the spot,closeness to the sea picks the lifestyle and lifestyle of the all-inclusivecommunity. Any change in the physical segments will normally incite amodification in their lifestyle, penchants and strategy for living. Peopleadjust according to their surrounding and bring about certain changes inculture. Reference: 1.
com/search?client=opera&q=cultural+diffusion&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-83. Informationtaken from multiple sources and SDL notes.