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Kimberly Ann D.

Bagtas SS003 Assignment #2: CULTURE

Tuesday October 1, 2013

Definition Culture Coined from the Latin word cultus which means civilization. Sir Edward Taylor defines Culture refers to that complex whole which included knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.

2.1 Characteristics

The characteristics of culture are shared; group products; symbolic; learned; patterned; integrated; adaptive; compulsory; cumulative; dynamic and diverse.

1) It is shared The culture is shared by the social interaction may take in many forms to transmit the beliefs, values and expectation of the human society. The exchange of social ideas may provide understanding and learning the human culture and tradition. The culture works by social dynamism using language, communication technologies and commercial trade. a) The use of language as a form of social communications such as group communication, informal communications, discussion and public speaking.

The sharing of information is done through the transmittal of knowledge .The use of language or dialect may transmit information to the group of people that may later on learn and understand the culture, tradition, beliefs and expectations of a given society. The common human activities are the grapevine information, social occasions, and public debates. b) The use of communication technologies through powerful media tools such as computers, televisions, DVD and cell phones. The modern technologies have gradually exposed universal culture that can easily transmit with mass media. The ethnic traditions and cultures are documentarily televised by cable programs such as national geographic or discovery channels. The modern fashion and fads of the western culture becomes the basis of global design in clothing for different occasions. c) The commercial trade and global enterprises provide the better social exchange through the manufactured goods and services provide in the public and private enterprise. These technological change given the opportunity to sell products that are now fuse in the modern living of the human society. d) The traditional concept of shared culture emphasizes the ethnic traditions, beliefs, norms and other social activities that may be transmitted by the elders and parents in the family and the tribe. However, the modern life has changed so many things in the sharing of the universal culture for all. 2) It is a group product

The group product is the by-product of culture is shared by the social activities of the society. The group products provide important knowledge and experiences about the racial and ethnic activities.

It is the result of life long social experience made by those living in certain communities that governed by the family of elders. They formed tribe with their own cultures and traditions that have been dependent in hunting, fishing, and agriculture. The culture and tradition are passed on to the succeeding generation by educating the children from all the social life activities of the tribe.

Generally, the group product usually done by cultural diffusion, innovation and amalgamation of cultures.

a) The group product is made through the social interaction among the members of the group to form a unique life in a given geographical location. The social life has always imbibed the unique contribution of individual life. This is adjusted by the geographical conditions to ensure a better life. b) The group product is multi-dimension activities that provide the understanding and learning the elements of culture such as values, beliefs, norms, language, folkways, mores, laws, material culture and technology. The complexities of culture have been integrated to form part the universal human society

c) The group products primarily use language and education of the offspring to ensure the survival of the culture and tradition of the tribe. The transmission of culture is done by giving informal and formal education. 3) It is learned The cultural transmission or enculturation is the best way to describe culture is learned. The people acquire information about the culture by many ways. This is done by learning the language and other form of educational information of the society. a) The members of the group learn to understand and apply certain ideals, values, expectations, beliefs and traditions to the society. b) The younger generations readily accept the norms of the society as a part of their education to sustain the societal system within their family or tribe. c) The culture is also learned by the language, literature, arts, music and local history that are passed across generation. d) Usually, it is through formal and informal education that the culture is transmitted across generation. The parents provide the early education of their children from the way they live in the family and society. The social influence taken from their friends and relatives including their actual experiences provides the actual learning on a given societal culture. Modern society learns the culture by the formal education from varied levels such as the basic education and tertiary education. However, the advent of modern technology the culture is easily learned through mass media and internet.

4) It is Symbolic The communication process uses symbols to identify the given actions, attitudes and behaviors of the people. a) The use of language has varied types of symbols depending on its natural environment, exposure and education to groups or tribes, the social experience and influence. b) The social experiences as a whole provides specific communicative symbols along arts, music, literature, history and other forms of societal actions. c) The abstract knowledge is reinforce in the way they understand and learn the feelings, ideas and behaviors of certain group of people in the society. 5) It is patterned and integrated The culture is patterned by specific dimension of social life such as the economic and political activities. These are the norms of conformity for the human beings to follow in order to meet the psychological and social needs. The social activities a) The economic activities are patterned by the innovation and inventions of cultural groups that need to be integrated by the social life of the members of the society. b) There are activities that we always do such as going to toilet, washing the hands, cleaning the house, driving the car, going to bedroom and etc. We tend to follow certain habits that are patterned by specific culture of a

given society. Remember that the American way of life maybe totally different to the Africans and Asian way of life. c) There are cultural values that are patterned to be followed to live on specific group of people with unique cultures that individual must also follow to integrated similar social life. 6) Culture is adaptive The cultural adaptation is the evolutionary process that modifies the social life of the people in the given natural environment. a) The social evolutionary process is created by the condition of the natural environment that human being constantly adapting on any changes. b) The biological modifications and adjustments are always flexible to adapt even in the harsh conditions of the environment. c) The human adaptations uses innovative way to create new cultural dimension on its way of life from the cultural transformation of clothing, food shelter, music, arts including the beliefs, traditions and history. 7) Culture is compulsory. The human beings always consider the harmonious relationship with any of group cultures being grown for a period of time. a) The group members of the conformed with the ways of living within the bounds of beliefs, expectation, and norms.

b) The behavioral conformity is expected to follow any violations within the norms have specific sanctions as to the provisions of law or even a given set of norms in the social context. c) The social interaction of man follows the collective activities with common goals including specific norms, traditions, and beliefs which is followed as a blue print of its distinct cultural existence in the society. 8) Culture is cumulative. The cumulative culture may be passed from one generation to the next generation. Those pertinent knowledge and culture are gradually built as it is useful to the society. However, those information that no longer useful to the society may gradually phased out. 9) Culture is dynamic. There is continuous change of culture as new ways of life evolved by the changing conditions of the societal life. There are cultural practices that no longer useful today. 10) Culture is diverse. The culture is different from each other as we must consider the social experiences, traditions, norms, mores and other cultural ways in the community.

2.2 Types

a) Subculture

A subculture, which is part of a dominant culture, is distinct with its own values, folkways and mores. For example, in the U.S. a subculture is the snake handlers who live in Appalachia in the Southeast or the stock brokers who work on Wall Street. This type of cultural group will often develop its own language, which is known as an argot, that further distinguishes the group. For example, members of subcultures who are fans of electro-house music have an eclectic vocabulary that includes terms like hipster, Molly, and raver. A subculture is not focused on deviancy, but this type of group implements its own social values and ways that are only followed by its own group.

b) Counterculture

A counterculture, on the other hand, is considered somewhat deviant against society. This type of subculture defies at least one aspect of the dominant culture. Examples of countercultures includes: The hippies who protested the war in Vietnam KKK clan members who terrorize other ethnic groups Homeschooling families who choose not to enroll their children in public or private educational institutions

Militant groups who are against government control Survivalists who believe society is going to collapse due to man-made or natural events.

Aspects of Culture

When dealing with multiple cultures among societies and subcultures within societies, the differences in cultural practices often create tension. For example, whenever someone travels to another culture, they may experience culture shock, which leaves the traveler feeling disoriented and even fearful. They may be served foods theyve never seen before, or they may not understand how to act in social situations. Everything they understand based on their own culture may be completely different, sending them into mental and emotional shock.

Ethnocentrism, Cultural Relativism and Xenocentrism

Whenever someone believes that their own culture is superior over another culture, this isethnocentrism. Rather than judging other societies negatively because they have different cultural beliefs, as sociologists we are trained to maintain cultural relativism. This involves noting other cultures practices from the position of your own culture. You then use neutrality to notice the differences of behaviors, while attempting to understand why the culture has that particular behavior. You may not accept every behavior of other cultures, such as female genocide or the eating of horse meat, but you are open to understanding why the other cultures do so. On the reverse end of ethnocentrism is xenocentrism. This means to think that another culture is better than your own. For example, you might think that the math skills of students in Singapore are better than those of American students or that food in France is better than your Spanish cuisine. This can create

distress among a society when its individuals do not feel that their own culture is up-to-par.

2.3 Components

The 4 components of culture are:

1) Norms

Guides or models of behavior, which tell us what is proper and which are appropriate or inappropriate, right or wrong. They set limits within which individuals may seek alternatives or ways to achieve their goals. Norms regulate peoples behavior in a given society.

-Usually in the form of rules, standards, or prescriptions followed by people who follow certain standards or roles.

Forms of Norms: a) Folkways - Are customary patterns of everyday life that specify what is socially correct and proper in everyday life. - Customary ways. They are the repetitive or the typical habits and patterns of expected behavior followed within a group of community. b) Mores - Are seen as extremely important and are considered vital for the groups welfare and survival.

- While folkways specify correct and proper behavior, mores define what is morally right and morally wrong. c) Laws - are norms that are enforced formally by a special political organization. They are formalized social norms enacted by people who have been vested through the machinery of the state. d) Taboo - A taboo is a norm engrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion for most people.

2) Values

Major Value Orientations:

a) achievement and success b) activity and work c) moral orientation d) humanitarianism e) efficiency and practicality

Filipino Major Value Orientations:

a) Emotional closeness and security in the family. b) The authority value. c) Economic and social betterment. d) Patience, suffering, endurance.

3) Language

- refers to a system of symbols that have specific and arbitrary meaning in a given society.

-The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is the idea that language structures thought, and that ways of looking at the world are embedded in language, supports this premise.

- The degree of cultural diversity in finger counting has been grossly underestimated. Europeans, for example, tend to begin counting with the thumb of their left hand. People from the Middle East, however, often begin counting with the little finger of their right hand. If you hail from China, or North America, youre more likely to begin counting on an index finger. The Japanese are the odd ones out; they tend to start from an open- hand position, and count by closing their fingers into a fist, beginning with the little finger.

4) Symbols

Not universal-specific to a culture Can be icons, images, gestures, and tangible things

2.4 Adaptations


a) Parallelism - independent development of a culture characteristics in two widely separated cultures b) Diffusion - much more common process of patterns and traits passing back and forth from one culture to another. Example: behavior patterns, food, customs, rituals and festivities. c) Fission - a process that can be traced historically when a long established society breaks up into two or more independent units. Example: Aetas of Zambales, Manobos, Igorots, Dumagats of Palanan. d) Convergence is the fusion of two or more cultures into a new one which is somewhat different from its predecessors. Example : Moorish+Spanish culture, Roman+ Germanic traits

2.5 Importance

Functions of Culture: Culture has been fulfilling a number of functions which may be divided into two (a) for the individual and (b) for the group. a. Importance to the individual: (1) Culture distinguishes man from animal. It is the culture that makes the human animal a man. It regulates his conduct and prepares him for a group life. Without culture he would have been forced to find his own way which would have meant a loss of energy.

(2) Culture provides solution for complicated situations. Culture provides man a set of behaviour for difficult situations. In the absence of culture man would have been baffled even at the simplest situations. Culture not only defines but also determines what we eat and drink, when to sleep, when to laugh etc. (3) Culture provides traditional interpretation to certain situations. Through culture man gets traditional interpretations for many situations according to which he determines his behaviour. For example, if a cat crosses his way he postpones the journey. (4) Culture shapes personality. No child can develop human qualities in the absence of cultural environment. Culture prepares man for group life. It is culture that provides opportunities for the development of personality and sets limits on its growth. b. Importance for the group: (1) Culture keeps social relationship intact. Culture has importance not only for men but also for the group. Culture prepares man for group life. Group life would have been poor, nasty, and short if there had been no cultural regulations. Group solidarity rests on the foundation of culture. (2) Culture has given a new vision to the individual. Secondly, culture has given a new vision to the co-operation of the individuals. Culture teaches him to think of himself as a part of the larger whole. It provides him with the concepts of family, state, nation etc. and makes possible the coordination and division of labour.

(3)Culture creates new needs. Finally, culture also creates new needs and drives, for example, thirst for knowledge and arranges for their satisfaction. It satisfies the moral and religious interests of the members of the group. Conclusion: From the discussion we know that culture is the unique possession of man. No one can develop human qualities without culture. Culture distinguishes, leads, changes the personality of the individual and structure of the group.

2.6 Factors that account for the Development of Culture

Diversity exists within any cultural group. Not everyone from the same culture behaves and thinks in the same way. There are differences within the same cultural group due to:

the subculture or subgroup the person belongs to the persons unique experience personal or individual factors.

Internal and external factors Many factors determine specific values or behaviours of a persons family or social group, and contribute to the development of their culture.

Internal factors Values and beliefs provide guidance to our attitudes, perceptions and judgement Norms provide guidelines towards culturally acceptable behaviour or expected behaviour Thinking style how information is processed Problem-solving style problem analysis and identifying solutions Family loyalties and responsibilities

External factors Art and craft Customs dressing style, forms of address and relating to others Dietary habits Law system social rules, standards and regulations Communication style language, non-verbal communication and interpretation of meaning Family structure kinship and role expectations

2.7 Causes of Culture Change

Cultures usually change slowly and incrementally, though change can also happen in rapid and dramatic ways.

One of the key ways that material culture can change is through technology.

Cultural change can also occur through cultural diffusion, which is when different groups share their material and nonmaterial culture with each other.

Cultural leveling occurs when cultures that were once distinct become increasingly similar to one another.

Cultural imperialism is the imposition of one cultures beliefs, practices, and artifacts on another culture through mass media and consumer products.

Sources: http://www.slideshare.net/kimcardenaspretty/sociology-culture?from_search=1 http://savior.hubpages.com/hub/Characteristics-of-Culture http://www.slideshare.net/marssalmero/characteristics-of-culture-15591237 http://www.slideshare.net/ruth.tabuniar/components-of-culture-presentation http://legacy.communitydoor.org.au/resources/etraining/units/chccs405a/section1 /section1topic02.html http://www.preservearticles.com/201101173456/important-functions-ofculture.html http://www.scribd.com/doc/11870329/Characteristics-of-Culture http://www.sociology.com/2013/04/cultural-diversity/