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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Explain cultural uniformity and cultural variability with examples



Cultural Uniformities

All societies of the world have uniformity in many cultural characteristics i but there is a dramatic difference in the manners. This universality of the cultural characteristics is called Uniformity. Murdock studied 220 societies and edited a list of uniform characteristics which was popular in all cultures and he has expressed his wonder that societies having no relation or contact with other cultures had the same characteristics. Among these is language, dress, family, religion (system of beliefs), education, customs, social norms, festivals, literature, social activities, games and political system, etc.


1. Language : 
“Language, a system'of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another.”

Man is the only creation of the earth that has language for contact and social interaction with a system of reading and writing to preserve its culture and to convey it from one to the other and new generation with all the experiences and f observations. It is also a source of contact with the past, the bad way to convey 1 the thought to others that is why, there is language in all societies of the world to convey the social interaction for the expression of thoughts and keep the continuity of culture. In most of the societies, there are more than one languages and symbol system, known as multi-lingual societies.

2. Dress :
Dress is used in all societies of the world to save from the physical and weather conditions of coldness and heat. Dress is also a show of beauty on festivals. In some societies, this is symbdl of cultural status. For instance, heads of tribes, religious leaders, married women and unmarried women have specific dress. In addition, the specific way of dress and colours are a source of cultural recognition.

3. Family System :
Human life started from family. From cultural uniformity point of view, family is the necessary part of all the cultures of the world. Human race survival and continuity is due to family. Since it is a necessary part of society, that is why no culture can exist without it.

4. Religion :
Religion is a system of beliefs and is source of knowing and contacting the supernatural forces. There are certain incidents in social life, the explanation of which is beyond from human observation. The question not to know about these natural phenomena but for spiritual peace, the system of beliefs and sacred things is the need of every society and religion institution is a necessity for every culture.

5. Socialization : 
Socialization is responsible for the transmission of culture and its survival because language and treasure of knowledge not only makes the individual of a society learn values and tradition but also it does the work of making culture fine in the minds of the individual. Thus, socialization transmits cultural pattern to next generation.

6. Customs : 
There are certain specific ways and reactions which a culture has for specific occasion of social life which create uniform behaviours in the normal life of culture, these are called customs. Whether cultures are interlinked or delinked, there is an intense uniformity in the human behaviour.
“Linton, a sociologist, expresses in his book, “The Study of Societies” that i custom are influenced by diffusion but their existence is part of culture and in ancient societies, the individuals got guidance from customs in their social lives.”

7. Social Norms :
All cultures have a system of norms to keep control in a society for its stability and unity. Norms not only give a security cultural life but also keeps it current in a pleasant manner. Norms are an important source of keeping the continuity of culture.

8. Rituals and Ceremonies :
Every culture arranges festivals and fairs to harmonies with the religion and culture and to provide mental relaxation to the individuals of a society which not only keep cultural environment pleasant but also transfer values and traditions the next generation which becomes a source of recognition of harmony and unity in a thrilling manner with the culture.

9. Literature and Arts :
Literature and arts are recognized as a source of safety and promotion of culture. Such societies where there is no art to write a language, even stories, spies and poetry and language are transmitted through verbal sources. The individual of that society takes pride and think it a part of his culture. Similarly,
cultural arts and skills like music, designing, poetry and handicrafts are included art. No culture can claim to be a culture without art and literature.

10. Recreations :
All cultures arrange recreation for the mental and physical growth and health of the individual of a society that not only keeps the social environment pleasant but also provides training for taking responsibilities of social life and social'life remains safe from boredom and inactivity.

11. Economic Activities :
Economic life of individuals depends upon the fulfillment of their life who need food, abode and dress as basic needs to live. All cultural activities control socio-economic activities and from Hunting and Gathering societies to the Post Industrial societies, economic activities have been a compulsory part of culture, depending upon the social physical environment and natural and human resources.

12. Political System : 
Unless a political system to keep the individuals of a culture safe from dispersion and disorder exists, no culture can keep its existence. This system may be formal or informal that stabilities and harmonies the social system. Linto, a sociologist, reached a conclusion after the researching cultures that in ancient cultures, the political system was informal and loose because of lack of social interaction, there was no diffusion and no danger to cultures but in a modern age, cultural diffusion has taken the form of an invasion, therefore, to provide safe and security from other cultures political system has become formal an organized and covers all the aspects of social life.


Cultural Variabilities 


There are a number of differences in cultural life in spite of general uniformity in cultures. An‘ecological viewpoint is studied to understand the reality of these differences.
Ecological view :
Another Anthropologist, Marvin Harris, explains this, “The Ecological view suggests that climate, food and water supplies; and the presence or absence threatening enemies influence the evolution of various cultural practices that help people adapt to the environment. Marvin Harris says, how people produce food and other necessaries explains the origin and development of cultural practices."

The cultural differences and their elements are explained below:
1. Language : 
Anthropologists wonder about the different manners and symbols through social interaction in spite of being Homo sapiens. Arabic is spoken in Arabia Sanskrit in India and there is great difference between their alphabets. Similar Chinese language in China and English in England has quite strong alphabets and it is difficult to think that the users of these languages spoke one language in any age. Times play a wonderful role in the change of social demands and social interaction of people, speaking different languages. For instance, in Indian Pakistan, Hindi or Urdu is spoken but one thousand years back, there was no concept of this
language present here.

2. Dress : 
To save individuals from physical environment and weather conditions, the use of dress is made in all cultures. Since, different cultures have been living in different weather conditions and physical environment, therefore, there is a difference of dress. In addition, customs and religious beliefs also affect the style of dress in terms of colour and design, In India Pakistan, because of hot weather and Islamic beliefs, light and cotton dress, covering the whole body, is used. Shalwar and shirt for men, Shalwar suit with head cover cloth (Dopatto) is used by women whereas in Switzerland because of very cold weather, people wear heavy woollen clothes consisting of coat, pantaloons, and hat or woollen cap.

3. Family System :
According to Anthropologists, family structure is dependent on the economic sources like food and other biological needs availability. The more the sources, the more the size of family. For example, ancient nomadic tribe, societies and agrarian societies had an element of extended family as a part of culture, whereas in modern urban and industrial societies simple family culture is the popular family system. In addition, polygamy customs are different in different cultures. In India Pakistan, nikah and marriage feast are cultural traits, whereas in India, Bride and bridegroom take round around the fire and bojun distribution are customs.

4. Religion :
Religion is an integral part of culture because the support of supernatural forces to decrease the danger natural calamities has an integral part of human nature. The religion is, to get a spiritual relief by setting up, a connection with the real creator (God) and living in bring a revolution in a culture or to some culture and its transmission. That is why, that different culture has religions and beliefs. For instance, in Pakistan, with reference to Islam religion, individual of the society believes in Oneness of God and Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as the last. In India, several gods and idols are worshipped.
Ram is thought as the apostle of God. In Japan, Muhatama Budhha is thought the redemption of humanity and is invoked for help and guidance.

5. Socialization : 
All cultures change through education to convey the culture to next generation and to harmonize the individuals of the society with the manner of culture but this manner is different in different cultures.
According to Mead: “Cultural training teaches the individuals aggression or submission or competition and accommodation.”
The variety of knowledge, experience and observation play an important role in making the effects different.

6. Customs :
Every culture because of his individual festivals and beliefs has a manner or way of celebrating religious rites, effected by weather and society just as with the people of the Sub-continent, marriage is an important source of recreation and is a collection of many customs whereas in proposal or engagement, mehndi, barat, nikah, departure, marriage party and brides visit to parents after marriage are included. Drum beating, singing songs and such like recreations are also included. In Europe, a special dress for marriage, acceptance of bride and
bridegroom for each other and invitation to a few friends at the occasion and expression of sorrow, coffin, burial or burning ways and arranging feast for people coming at the occasion and a collective prayer etc. are observed.

7. Social Norms :
Social norms are bound by values, traditions and beliefs of a culture and their way is different because of different structures and expectations of different cultures. To say Salam is a Pakistani social norm, whereas there is used good morning to convey the same sense in European culture. Similarly, in Pakistani society, not drinking wine is a mores whereas in European culture this is not a mores. Left hand driving is lawful but in Saudi Arabia it is unlawful.

8. Rituals and Ceremonies :
Rituals and ceremonies are an important source of transmission of culture and providing relief to the society because the passion of participating in them impresses on the minds, the effects of culture. There are different rites because of belief about nature and natural phenomena just as, in Pakistan, because of Islamic attachment; Eids, Miraj-an-Nabi and Mellad Sharif rites are observed. Under social views, celebrations for, Pakistan Day and Quaid-i-Azam Day are held as rites. In India, Holly, Dewali, Basant and Independence Day while in England ‘Good Friday’, Christmas and Easter are celebrated as rituals.

9. Literature and Arts :
Literature and Arts is an important source of keeping remembered the epic and romantic incidents, occurring in a culture and also to transmit them to next generation. Art is an expression of pride and skill of individuals of a society but every culture has different experiences and observations. That is why, the manner and way is different in every culture. Just as, in Pakistani culture, Heer Ranja, Sussi Punnu; in Iranian culture, Sheren Farhad; in Arabian culture, Lailu Majnon etc. are topics of arts and poetry. Bungra, Luddi and Dance are part of Pakistani culture and Brake Dance and Pop Songs are part of European culture.

10. Sports and Recreations : 
Sports and recreations keep the individuals a society healthy and full of thrills and are a part of culture. However, because of this tendency of the individuals of a society and difference of environment, different cultures have i different plays, games and sports. In Pakistan, besides Kabaddi, Football, Volley ball, Cricket and Fairs, Urs, Circus, Cinema, Television and Theater are popular sports. In Arabian culture, Horse race, Camel race and Shooting arrows are popular whereas in European culture, there are Football, Car rallies, Motor sports, Clubs and Cinema are popular sports and recreations.

11. Economic Activities :
Economic sources and natural environment determine the economic activities of a culture of a society. The activities of-the individuals are according to economy of the society. A society depending upon agriculture economy is called an agrarian society. A society depending upon industrial economy is called an industrial society. Pakistan is an agricultural country with fertile land and with canal system with plenty of water whereas Japan is an industrial country with no land for agriculture but with industry chances.

12. Political System :
Wherever man has been (from nomadic society to industrial society), political system has been a part of its culture. They fought fights and died for it. However, the political system while going through stages of evolution has been different in structure in different cultures. In Saudi Arabic. Monarchy; in Libya, a dictatorship, in Britain, democracy; and in America democratic president-ship is current. 

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