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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Qualities of culture



Qualities of Culture

     Culture is soul of social life. A culture has .the following features for its survival and currency and continuity. A famous anthropologist, Ralph Linton, describes the following characteristics of culture:

1. Ever changing :
     "Culture is never stagnant, it is always changing, but the change may slow or fast." (Linton) Culture is not a solid thing. It is ever changing. There is no society of world which is safe from changes but in traditional societies the change is whereas in modern culture, these changes are seen clearly but also there is effort of bringing about these changes socially.

2. Learnt Behaviour :
    "Culture is a learnt behaviour, it has the quality of transmission. It can be transmitted from one generation to another, and in this sense, it is commutative."
    The members of a society learn from other members of society through social interaction and socialization transmits them to next generation. Thus, culture is not a specific behaviour of a race but it is a continuous learnt character.

3. Shared Heritage :
    "Culture is a mutually shared heritage or thing: People believe that they have some common norms and values etc." (Linton)

4. Product of Social Interaction :
    According to Linton: "Culture is product of social interaction. It is peculiar to man. It provides social acceptable norms for meeting biological and social needs."
    Culture is customized through social interaction between individuals because other animals fulfill their biological needs through inherent instincts whereas individuals of a society satisfy their needs through cultural fixed behaviours. Human needs take place through group interaction and group interaction is the only source of their completion.

5. Adoptive Quality :
    "Culture must also adapt to forces outside itself. The most obvious kind of adoption involves the geographical environment."
    People use food according to condition and environment suits them. They dress and build houses in a specific manner. There is a lot of difference of food of people living in mountains, plains or deserts. Same is the case with dress and living houses. Man passes his life in the end through culture and man is the most adoptive among all animals.

6. Meaningful to Man :
    "Culture has meaning for man, because of its symbolic proportions." (Linton)
    According to above statement of Linton, it is only man that has a system of meaningful symbols which no other animal has and this is a source of social interaction and the most rather the only effective source of conveying the feelings to others.

7. Dependent on Members of Society :
    "Culture depends, for its existence, upon members of society and actual behaviour of them." Culture can only exist as long as men exist and lead life accordingly. This all depends on society rather than on an individual. The values, traditions and norms of culture are dependent on man's way of life. If man ceases to exist, the non-material culture will also cease and material part of culture like I dress and house, etc. become meaningless and their existence becomes a mean of expression of some vestiges just like the cultural vestiges of Mohenj odaro.


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