Characteristics of Culture




Characteristics of Culture:

1. Culture is Abstract:

Culture exists in the minds or habits of the members of society. Culture is the shared ways of doing and thinking. There are degrees of visibility of cultural behaviour, ranging from the regularised activities of persons to their internal reasons for so doing. This behaviour occurs in regular, patterned fashion and it is called culture.

2. Culture is a Pattern of Learned Behaviour:

The definition of culture indicated that the learned behaviour of people is patterned. Each person’s behaviour often depends upon some particular behaviour of someone else. The point is that, as a general rule, behaviours are somewhat integrated or organized with related behaviours of other persons.

3. Culture includes Attitudes, Values Knowledge:

There is a widespread error in the thinking of many people who tend to regard the ideas, attitudes, and notions which they have as “their own”. It is easy to overestimate the uniqueness of one’s own attitudes and ideas. When there is an agreement with other people it is largely unnoticed, but when there is a disagreement or difference one is usually conscious of it. Your differences, however, may also be cultural. For example, suppose you are a Catholic and the other person a Protestant.

4. Culture is shared by the Members of Society:

The patterns of learned behaviour and the results of behaviour are possessed not by one or a few people, but usually by a large proportion. Thus, many millions of persons share such behaviour patterns as Christianity, the use of automobiles, or the English language.

5. Culture is a human Product:

Culture is not a force, operating by itself and independent of the human actors. In a strict sense, therefore, culture does not ‘do’ anything on its own. It does not cause the individual to act in a particular way, nor does it ‘make’ the normal individual into a maladjusted one. Culture, in short, is a human product; it is not independently endowed with life.

6. Culture is Idealistic:

Culture consists of the intellectual, artistic, and social ideals and institutions which the members of the society profess and to which they strive to confirm.

7. Culture is transmitted among members of Society:

The cultural ways are learned by persons from persons. Many of them are “handed down” by one’s elders, by parents, teachers, and others [of a somewhat older generation]. Other cultural behaviours are “handed up” to elders. Some of the transmission of culture is among contemporaries.

8. Culture is Continually Changing:

There is one fundamental and inescapable attribute (a special quality) of culture, the fact of unending change. Some societies sometimes change slowly, and hence in comparison to other societies seem not to be changing at all. But they are changing, even though not obviously so.

9. Culture is Variable:

Culture varies from society to society, group to group. Hence, we say the culture of India or England. Further culture varies from group to group within the same society. There are subcultures within a culture. Cluster of patterns which are both related to the general culture of the society and yet distinguishable from it are called subcultures.

10. Culture is an integrated system:

Culture possesses order and system. Its various parts are integrated with each other and any new element which is introduced is also integrated.

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