Paragraphs on Culture!
What is ‘culture’? Though we vise the term quite often and in various contexts, we use it quite loosely. In fact it is a complex word meaning several things.
The dictionary gives its meaning as the “training and refinement of mind, tastes and manners; the intellectual side of civilisation”.
According to UNESCO, “We speak of culture in connection with the behaviour of people, the moral values and human relations. We denote it by action, behaviour and attitudes considered useful for the interests of society or of a certain social group. We mean standard of living, of habitation and clothing, of physical culture.
We appraise by it the culture of language, of thought, of work.” Social anthropologists distinguish between ‘material’ and ‘non-material’ culture.
The former includes technology, art forms, architecture, material goods and equipments used in daily life, that is, in household, agriculture, trade and commerce, warfare and other ‘social’ activities. In the latter are included the literary and intellectual traditions, beliefs, myths, legends and other forms of oral tradition.
In a broad sense, then, culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a human being as a member of society. The basic elements of culture are values, norms, symbols (e.g., language), folklore and religious ideas.
Culture has three dimensions. First, it is a normative system, by which we mean that there is social control in the form of sanctions, which make people follow generally accepted moral/ethical norms. Secondly, there is the expressive system; music, dance, art, literature and so on are cultural expressions of the people.
Thirdly, it is a system of ideas which enables members of a society to interpret the world meaningfully. And the process through which culture Influences a Social System Is Called Institutionalisation.