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PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA (University of the City of Manila) Intramuros, Manila

College of Human Development

Written Report in SOST 32: Socio-Cultural Anthropology

The Nature of Culture

Reported by: COLET, Aeiza May VALBUENA, Jo-Nathaniel

Presented to: Prof. Conchita Vargas Yumol

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I. Definition of Culture Culture refers to that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society. -Eduard B. Taylor Culture is an elaborative rate system of standardized expected ways of feeling and acting which the members of society generally acknowledge and generally follows. -Horton and Hunt

Definitions by Different Personalities Culture, is all the socially learned behaviors, beliefs, feelings, and values the members of a group or society experience. -Percell II. Types of Culture Material Culture Includes physical objects and artifacts They are detectable by senses and easy to observe Often impressive Example includes dwelling units, artifacts, tools, clothing, weapons, etc. Non-Material Culture Consist of language, habits, ideas customs and behavior They are abstract and non-tangible Inherent in culture Examples includes laws, and lifestyle

Culture is an organized body of conventional understanding manifest in art and artifacts, which, persisting through tradition, characterizes a human group. -Robert Redfield


III. Levels of Culture Culture results when people organize and interact, but this occurs mostly subconsciously and on the basis of their experiences, expectations, and beliefs about themselves, others, and their shared context. The Cultural Orientations Approach can be applied to each of the six levels of human organization and interaction at which culture operates. These six levels include:

National/Societal Culture Organizational Culture Identity Group Culture Functional Culture Team Culture Individual Culture

National/Societal: The level of culture that deals with awareness of cultural dynamics and patterns by nationality. It is particularly relevant for (a) entering a new market for product, service, and/or talent; (b) cross-border division of labor; and (c) international outsourcing relationships. Organizational Culture: The level of culture that focuses on the experience of cultural dynamics in an organization. This is especially relevant for global organizations and those involved in M&A. Identity Group Culture: The level of culture for analyzing the diversification of society by gender, generation, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and other social groups. It is particularly relevant for workforce diversity and talent management concerns.

Functional Culture: The level of culture that addresses cross-functional effectiveness, based on the cultures created by specific business units. Cross-functional or management teams concentrate on functional cultures and leverage their differences carefully, bridging distinct cultural differences across their constituent units. Team Culture: The level of culture that becomes apparent when teams develop a distinct identity and culture. To effectively build teams in global and matrixed organization, an understanding of how to collaborate in complex and dynamic situations is essential. Individual Culture: The level at which the "building blocks" of culture are present, in both intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics. An understanding of this level is important for successfully addressing the concerns at any level of culture. IV. Characteristics of Culture There are seven characteristics of culture. Because of these characteristics, Culture can be studied scientifically. Culture is Learned and Acquired: Culture was never innate, instinctive; it must be learned or acquired Culture is first through the senses and Learned and Culture is everyday experiences. Acquired Culture is Shared and Culture is Shared and Cumulative Transmitted Transmitted: Man transmits culture by means of ideas; some may be technical processes and others may be mental images that convey abstraction. Culture is Social: Culture is always a product of an Culture tends Culture is interacting group, from their Characteristics Toward Social accumulated knowledge and of Culture Integration expectation. Culture is ideational: Any individual sees and approaches the world according to the standpoint of his culture. Within any given culture are patterns of Culture is habits and expectations Culture is Ideational Culture which every member is Adaptive Gratifies expected to follow. Human Needs

Culture Gratifies Human Needs: Every member of a culture has its own needs, and culture has provision to satisfy those needs (Biological and Socio-Cultural Needs). Culture is Adaptive: Culture is dynamic. It adjusts according to the prevailing environment (physical or social environment). Culture Tends toward Integration: The elements of a culture are not just random assortment of customs, but are mostly adjusted or consistent with one another. There is a period of time that a culture will be coherent in its elements.

Culture is Cumulative: People are able to retain certain features of their culture that are significant in their relationship and interaction with other human being. V. Components of Culture Even though considerable variation exists, all cultures share four components: A. Communication Component 1. Language: Perhaps more than anything else, language defines what it means to be human. If forms the core of all culture. When people share a language, they share a condensed, very flexible set of symbols and meanings. That makes communication possible. 2. Symbols: Along with language and non-verbal signals, symbols from the backbone of symbolic interaction. They condense very complex ideas and values into simple material forms so that the very presence of the symbol evokes the signified ideas and values. Symbols not only bring big ideas and depply-held values into everyday social life, they can be used for more trivial things. B. Cognitive Component 1. Ideas/Knowledge/Beliefs: Ideas are mental representations (concepts, categories, metaphors) used to organize stimulus; they are basic units out of which knowledge is constructed and a world emerges. When linked together and organized into larger sets, systems, etc., ideas become knowledge.Knowledge is the storehouse where we accumulate representations, information, facts, assumptions, etc. once stored, knowledge can support learning and can be passed down from one generation to the next. 2. Values: Values are defined as culturally defined standards of desirability, goodness and beauty, which serve as broad guidelines for social living. They support beliefs, or specific statements that people hold to be true. The values people hold vary to some degree by age, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, and social class. 3. Accounts: People who share a culture share a common language for talking about their inner selves. Accounts are how people use that common language to explain , justify, rationalize, excuse, or legitimize our behavior to themselves and others. C. Behavioral Component (how we act) 1. Norms: Norms are rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. Norms can change overtime, as illustrated by norms regarding sexual behavior. Norms vary in their term of degree of importance. Norms are reinforced through sanctions, which take the form of either rewards or punishments, the following types are norms: a.) Mores: They are customary behavior patterns or folkways which have taken on a moralistic value. This includes respect for authority, marriage and sex behavior patterns, religious rituals, and other basic codes of human behavior. They are considered essential to the groups existence and, accordingly, the group demands that they be followed without question. b.) Laws: Laws constitute the most formal and important norms. Laws are the most deemed so vital to dominant interests that they become translated into legal formalizations that even nonmembers of society (such as visitors) are required to obey. c.) Folkways: These are behavior patterns of society which are organized and repetitive. The key feature of all folkways is that there is no strong feeling of right or wrong attached to them. They are simply the way people usually do things. Folkways are commonly as customs. d.) Rituals: These are highly scripted ceremonies or strips of interaction that follow a specific sequence of actions. They occur at predetermined times or triggered by specific cues. D. Material Component Humans make objects, sometimes for practical reasons and sometimes for artistic ones. The form and function of these object is an expression of culture and culturally-defined behavior

often depends on the presence of specific objects. We call such objects material culture. Artifacts or material objects that society creates, express the values of a culture. VI. Culture and Process Described below are six important concepts about the deep structure of culture. Awareness of them helps us understand culture as a process. Culture is a set of rules for behavior. You cannot see culture because you cannot see the rules; you can only see the products of culture, in the sense that you can see the behaviors the rules produce. Yet, cultural rules do not cause behavior; they influence people to behave similarly, in ways which help them to understand each other. Culture is characteristic of groups. The rules of a culture are shared by the group, not invented by the individual; the rules of the group which are passed on from one generation to the next form the core of the culture. It is a mistake to confuse individual differences with group cultural differences. Every person develops a unique personality as a result of their personal history, and at the same time develops within a cultural context with some behavioral characteristics which are shared with other members of the group. Culture is learned. No one is born acculturated; rather, we are born with a biological capability to learn. What each person learns depends upon the cultural rules of the people who raise them. Some rules are taught with words hold your fork in your right hand, and your knife in your left. Other rules are demonstrated by actionswhen to smile, how close to stand when talking to someone. Because culture is learned, it is a mistake to assume a persons culture by the way s/he looks. Someone can be racially black and culturally Irish. A person can also become bi-cultural or tricultural by learning the rules of cultures other than his or her own primary group. Individual members of a culture are embedded to different degrees within their culture. Because culture is learned, it can be well learned by some people in the group and less well learned by others. As children are acculturated they usually learn the core rules of their culture, yet they may not always learn every cultural rule equally well. Some families are more tradition oriented, other less. Further, even then families and individuals learn the cultural rules, they may not always behave according to what they have learnedsome people are conformists, others are nonconformist. As a consequence of both phenomena, we say that the behavior of members of a culture will vary depending upon how deeply embedded his or her experiences are within the core of a culture. As we work with individual families, thinking about behavioral variations in this way helps us understand why for instance; all Japanese people dont always act Japanese. Cultures borrow and share rules. Every cultural group has its own set of core behavioral rules and is therefore unique; yet some of the rules of Culture A may be the same as the rules of Culture B. This happens because cultural rules evolve and change over time, and sometimes when two groups have extensive contact with one another, they influence each other in some areas. Thus two groups of people may speak the same language, yet have different rules about roles for women. Understanding this helps us avoid becoming confused when a person from another culture is so much like you in some ways, yet so different in others. Members of a cultural group may be proficient at cultural behavior but unable to describe the rules. Acculturation is a natural process, and as we become acculturated we are not conscious that our ideas and behavior are being shaped by a unique set of rules. Just as a 4-yearold who is proficient with language couldnt if asked, diagram a sentence or explain the rules of grammar, so also do people become thoroughly proficient with cultural behavior without consciously knowing that they are behaving according to rules. Understanding acculturation in this way explains why you cant walk up to a person and ask them to teach you their culture. Nor could you probably explain your own. VII. Adaptations of Culture There are four principal ways in which this process of cultural adaptation occurs. These ways were given by Joseph Fichter.

1. Parallelism: It refers to the independent development of a culture characteristic in two widely separated cultures. Diffusion Parallelism 2. Diffusion: It refers to the process of patterns and traits passing back and fourth from one culture to another. 3. Fission: It refers to the process that can be traced Ways of Cultural Adaptation historically when a long-established society breaks up into two or more independent units. 4. Convergence: is the fusion of two or more cultures into one Convergence Fusion which is somewhat different from its predecessors. VIII. Functions of Culture The culture as a whole performs a number of functions distinct from the objectives of the various institutions. Culture serves as a trademark or special feature that distinguishes one society from another. Culture brings together, contains, and interprets the values of a society in a more or less systematic manner. Culture provides individuals with the meaning and direction of his existence.

Culture as a Category

Specific Uses

The culture of society provides behavioral patterns.

2 Major Uses

Functions of Culture

The culture of any society is the dominant factor in establishing and molding the social personality.

Culture as a Tool in Prediction Culture provides one of the most important bases for social solidarity. Culture provides a blueprint of, as well as the materials for social structure.

a.) Two Major Uses. As a construct, Culture has two major uses: 1.) Culture as a Category: By using the construct of culture, the social scientist classifies phenomena and thereby defines the scope of his field. Through classification which uses categories, man is able to segregate things that must occupy his priority. 2.) Culture as a Tool in Prediction. Prediction of social behavior depends upon understanding how the human organism will react to its surroundings. Because culture is learned and internalized by all individuals in the society, its a part of their usual subjective way to respond to stimuli. Consequently, through cultures and the portions of culture known to different individuals in the same social group may vary, knowledge what about a person or a group has learned, or internalized, provides basis for predicting future behavior. b.) Specific Functions 1.) Culture serves as a trademark or special feature that distinguishes one society from another. It characterizes a people more meaningfully and more scientifically than the


color of their skin or any other psychological making. It provides for the student of society a basis for distinguishing peoples that is much more realistic than territorial and political boundaries and so-called national characteristics. 2,) Culture brings together, contains, and interprets the values of a society in a more or less systematic manner. Through culture, people discover the meaning and purpose of both social and individual living. Meanings and values become integrated in and through the culture of a given society. 3.) Culture provides one of the most important bases for social solidarity. It inspires loyalty and devotion to associates and to the society in general. Culture provides the people of any given society the knowledge of the common objectives of such a society, which all of them try to accomplish. In this way, common feelings, common sentiments, and common aspirations are developed, thereby attaining a common national pride. 4.) Culture provides a blueprint of, as well as the materials for social structure. It systematizes social behavior so that the person participates in the society without the necessity of constantly relearning and inventing ways of doing things. Culture relates and coordinates all the various segments of the behavior of individuals and groups. 5.) The culture of any society is the dominant factor in establishing and molding the social personality. It is the fact that any given society, a sort of cultural stamp is always observed despite the differences in the individuals. Ones social personality is the product of his culture. 6.) The culture of a society provides behavioral patterns. The behavior of people in any given society is governed by culture. It provides them with some norms to follows. As a result of this, there is a coherent, consistent and systematic pattern of behavior manifested by the individuals in the society. 7.) Culture provides individuals with the meaning and direction of his existence. Not only individual aspirations and objectives will guide the individual in his quest for meaning also the objectives of the group where he belongs, the goals of the group and community where he is a participant, and the concepts and motives of the society where he belongs; all of these will certainly shape his life and direction.

IX. Modes of Acquiring Culture It is said that culture acquisition is primarily an intellectual process; its material aspects become meaningful only because of the mind. Because of this nature, man possesses the ability to learn his cultural environment. Learning or acquiring culture may involve any or all of the following modes: Imitation: The process of imitation becomes possible because of the examples set by the social environment, and the individual Imitation continually undergoes the process of imitation from babyhood until to M his adult life. O Indoctrination: This may take the form of formal teaching or training Indoctrination D which may take place anywhere the individual finds himself E interacting with his fellow humans. S Conditioning: This process is propelled and reinforced by a system Conditioning of reward and punishment found in a cultural system. X. Culture Changes The aphorism that There is nothing constant in this world, but change is true and applies also to culture. Culture is always changing as man adds new techniques to the old, constantly modifying and improving them, discarding what no longer seems useful and acceptable. The degree of change and the rate of change may vary. In relative primitive areas, the rate of change is slow. In highly industrialized areas, the rate of social change is rapid and greatly more varied and complex. The changes that occur within the society are brought about by discovery and invention, while the changes originating from outside area are a result of culture borrowing.

The principal source of culture change is culture diffusion. Culture diffusion is the spread of a culture pattern from one group to another people and from one culture area to another. Culture diffusion takes place either by direction or by accident as when a person migrates from one culture to another and carries culture patterns with him. If these culture patterns appeal to his new neighbors and are adapted by them, culture results by accident. When a group of people, either by conquest or assimilation, imposes its culture patterns on the subjugated people, culture diffusion by direction occurs. In culture diffusion, the borrowed trait is adapted or fitted into the culture of the group. In time, the borrowed trait becomes so fused and so integrated into the culture that the origin becomes lost. XI. Culture and Society Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society. Through culture, people and groups define themselves, conform to society's shared values, and contribute to society. Thus, culture includes many societal aspects: language, customs, values, norms, mores, rules, tools, technologies, products, organizations, and institutions. This latter term institution refers to clusters of rules and cultural meanings associated with specific social activities. Common institutions are the family, education, religion, work, and health care. Popularly speaking, being cultured means being well-educated, knowledgeable of the arts, stylish, and well-mannered. High culturegenerally pursued by the upper classrefers to classical music, theater, fine arts, and other sophisticated pursuits. Members of the upper class can pursue high art because they have cultural capital, which means the professional credentials, education, knowledge, and verbal and social skills necessary to attain the property, power, and prestige to get ahead socially. Low culture, or popular culturegenerally pursued by the working and middle classesrefers to sports, movies, television sitcoms and soaps, and rock music. Remember that sociologists define culture differently than they do cultured, high culture, low culture, and popular culture. Sociologists define society as the people who interact in such a way as to share a common culture. The cultural bond may be ethnic or racial, based on gender, or due to shared beliefs, values, and activities. The term society can also have a geographic meaning and refer to people who share a common culture in a particular location. For example, people living in arctic climates developed different cultures from those living in desert cultures. In time, a large variety of human cultures arose around the world. Culture and society are intricately related. A culture consists of the objects of a society, whereas a society consists of the people who share a common culture. When the terms culture and society first acquired their current meanings, most people in the world worked and lived in small groups in the same locale. In today's world of 6 billion people, these terms have lost some of their usefulness because increasing numbers of people interact and share resources globally. Still, people tend to use culture and society in a more traditional sense: for example, being a part of a racial culture within the larger U.S. society.
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