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Old Saturday, July 23, 2011
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Culture

Sir Edward Taylor: “Culture is the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws, customs and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as member of Society”. Pakistan, China and USA have different cultures.

Horton and Hunt: “Culture is everything which is socially learned and shared by numbers of society.” It is social heritage. Culture is manmade environment.

Characteristics of Culture

Culture is actually shared.
Culture is transmitted.
Culture is ever changing
Culture is accumulative
Culture is pervasive

Kinds of Culture

The man made environment can be classified into two main categories in order to analyze the culture.

Material Culture
Material culture includes all the things that are having physical form. For instance, pen, table, radio set, book, automobile, tools, furniture, buildings, etc. are the some examples of material culture

Generally, the agrarian and the industrial societies are rich in respect of material culture due to greater use of science and technology in all walks of life as compared to the primitive societies. It is considered that material culture is close to civilization.

Non-Material Culture
It consists of ideas, customs, beliefs, traditions, value system, knowledge, philosophy etc. it does not have physical shape. These are very important in determining the human behaviour and have a strong hold on the individual. The non material part of culture is responsible for enriching the material part. Both parts are interrelated with each other.

Elements of Culture

There are various elements of culture. Generally, it is classified into the following six parts though there is no set rule to divide it into water tight compartments.

1. Trait: it is the smallest unit of culture and we cannot think to sub divide it. It is not easy to count the exact number of cultural traits in a given society.

Characteristics of Trait: it has four characteristics:
Form. The smallest part of culture has some physical or non physical form which can be seen or perceived by the people.
Use. Such a trait is useful for the individuals who are the participants of culture. They get some satisfaction from its use which may be physical or emotional irrespective of value judgment.
Function. It contributes to the integration of Cultural whole.
Meaning. It has a special meaning for the individuals of a particular culture. For example, people of Pakistan use “Huqa” for smoking purposes but Americans who visit our country may take Huqa to America with them on their return and use it for decorative purposes.
2. Complex: When two or more cultural traits are combined it can be called a complex.

3. Pattern: When two or more Complex is combined, they form a pattern. There is uniformity in the human behaviour due to the cultural patter.

4. Theme: The combination of two or more cultural patterns results in a theme. Themes do not come into existence unconsciously or just by chance but these are the result of organized and deliberate efforts of the individuals. The postulate like “All the human beings are equal” can be an example of theme in our culture.

5. Configuration: When two or more cultural themes are integrated, the product is called the cultural configuration. e.g caste, marriage systems etc. It is not essential that a social institution may wholly and solely share a single configuration. For example, caste system prevailing in indo Pakistan sub continent is the property of any particular social institution. It is shared by religious, economic, family and marriage institutions.

6. Ethos: Cultural ethos is the flavour or central point of a culture. It is the philosophy or ideology of entire culture, around which the entire society rests. The behaviour of individual in the given culture is directly or indirectly affected by its ethos.
For example, Pakistani culture is attributed as religious while Japan’s as co operative America’s as competitive, and Russia’s accommodative to describe briefly these cultures.

Geographical factors:
Climate and geographical factors play a pivotal role in cultural development. Early civilizations are example in this regard.

Non human and social organization:
Non humans have no particular system of social life. Human only create cultures and not the animals.

Language and symbolic communications:
Body language is also a form of commutation.

Animal Nature:
Animals do not have any culture only humans have culture.

Courtesy
Bhutta Sb.
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