Saturday, 25 October 2014

Define Culture and Explain elements of Culture


Culture is a basic concept of sociology. Its study is of great importance because to understand the function of a society, the analysis and study of culture is very helpful.
    In common sense, cultured man is understood to have civilized, polite in speech and good manners, but in sociology, culture has vast and different meanings. Everything that is learnt socially is culture.
    "Culture is everything which is socially learned and shared by the members of a society. It is entire social heritage which is received by the members of .a society as participating members therein." (S.M.Barqui)
    Many sociologists and anthropologists have defined culture which helps in understanding its concept and providing guidance.

Definitions of Culture

1. R.T. Schaefer :
    "Culture is the totality of learned socially transmitted behaviour."Social learning includes views, values and customs. The members of a society learn these and transmit them to the next generation. Rather the art and
literature and others ways of expression are saved by it.

2. CH. Persell : 
“The common heritage shared by the people of a society, consisting of customs, values, ideas and artifacts, is called culture.”

3. BE. Barines :
“The totality of human deeds is named as culture.”

4. Hers Kovits :
The environment created by man itself is known as culture.”

5. Ralph Linton :
Culture is a social heritage, transmitted from generation to generation.”

6. Edward B. Taylor : 
“Culture is that whole complex which includes knowledge, belief, art, moral laws, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a man as a member of a society.”

Structure or Elements of Culture 

1. Cultural Traits :
The smallest unit of culture is Cultural Trait. It can be physical or spiritual just as Ajrak is part of Sindhi cultural trait. Green flag is cultural trait of Indian Pakistani culture. Invitation for tea is a cultural trait of Indian Pakistani culture.
Hoebel has defined cultural trait as :
“Trait is a reputedly irreducible unit of learned behaviour pattern or material product thereof.”

2. Cultural Complex :
According to Hoebel, “A cluster of related traits for an activity of ceremony.”
A song is a cultural complex because it consists of party, music, musical instrument and a specific way of singing. Rasim-e-Meimdi is also a cultural complex because it consists of Special rites, dress, yellow colour and specific manner etc. are cultural traits and a complex of these, is called cultural complex.

3. Cultural Pattern : 
SM. Baqai says: “The pattern constitutes a number of complexes.“ In India and Pakistan, marriage is a cultural pattern which consists of cultural traits like proposal, barat, nikah, feast and departure is a collection of cultural complexes. Similarly, the death occasion is also a cultural pattern consisting of cultural complexes like information of death, sadness manner. dead body bathing ceremony, funeral and burying are cultural traits and a collection of all them is a cultural pattern.

4. Ethos : 
According to Harton and Hunt: "The core of norms and values which gives a characteristic feeling or tone to the culture is called its ethos." It is nearly impossible to define the ethos of a culture because one cultural trait, complex or pattern has different feelings in different cultures. For instance, at the birth of a daughter the tones of the family and neighbours are different in different cultures even in the sub-cultures and cultural traits, complexes and pattern related with are different.

 5. Sub-Culture : 
It can be defined as: "Clusters of patterns 'such n these, which are both related to the general culture of the society and distinguishable from it, is called sub-culture." In the total culture of Pakistan, there are five sub-cultures as Sindhi, Balochi, Pakhtoon, Punjabi and Kashmiri cultures that have an identity and a separate recognition in respect of language, dress, customs, sociologist and anthropologists limit. The sub-culture more specific just as different classes of people in the same city acquire sub-cultures regarding religion, social background or economic resources so far as that a group of students in a college acquires a sub-culture because of its specific activities, movements from the rest of the students of the college. 

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