Monday, July 25, 2011

Four Common Characteristics That Cultures Share

There are many characteristics that cultures can sure, and in this post I am going to describe four of them.

Culture is Learned
While we inherit many of our biological traits and behavioural instincts, culture is socially inherited. This means that we must learn our culture from others in the society.

Culture is Shared
Something is only an aspect of the culture if it is shared among almost all the people in the culture. This means that if only one person has a recurring thought or behaviour, that thought or behaviour will not be an aspect of  the culture, but instead a personal habit. On the other hand, if almost everyone in the culture has a similar thought or behaviour, then the thought or behaviour would be an aspect of the culture.

Culture Defines Nature
Culture can influence our biological needs. For example, even though all humans need to eat, people from some cultures may prefer to eat pork, while the others may prefer to eat beef.

Culture Has Patterns
Cultures are not random collections of beliefs or behaviours. In fact, underlying each culture are the the values or world views that almost all the members of the culture share. For example, some Canadian core values are democracy and freedom. Such values define our culture and sets our culture apart from the others.

 Also, as one aspect of a culture changes, so will the others.