Essay on Culture and Society
October 21, 2011
Culture and Society essay
Culture is the common denominator that makes the actions of the individuals understandable to a particular group. That is, the system of shared values, beliefs, behaviours, and artefacts making up a society’s way of life. Culture can either be represented fin form of material or non material culture. The definitions and specific traits of each of them are discussed below.
Material culture is a term representative of the physical creations made, used, or shared by the members of a certain society; it is the society’s buffer against the environment. The components of material culture are all the creations (objects) of the human kind and mind, for example, cars, faucets, computers, trees, minerals just to mention but a few.
The transformation of raw material into useable forms through the employment of knowledge is paramount in the achievement of material culture. For example, we make living abodes to shelter ourselves from the adversities of weather and for our own privacy at the basic level, beyond this we make, use, and share sophisticated, interesting and essential items relaying our cultural orientation. For instance, the types of clothes one wears reflect so much into the culture we subscribe to like school, religion, or where the last vacation was spent.
Non-material culture on the other hand is the abstract or un-seen human creations by the society fashioned towards the behavioural influence of the said society. The components for the non-material culture include symbols, languages, values, and norms. For instance, the activities a society part takes like cricket in India, social institutions such as churches, schools, family, and so forth.
The use of language, the patterns of behaviour and beliefs, and values to it shape the direction of a society over time. Language in its influence on perception, values guiding what the society should be and norms forming the customs of the society.
Language in itself is the combination of symbols expressing ideas enabling people to think and communicate amongst each other, either verbally or nonverbally. Language helps in the description of reality, share experiences, feelings, and knowledge with other people.
The use of language enables the creation of visual images, distinction from outsiders thus maintaining societal solidarity and boundaries. It also serves as a unique tool in manipulation of symbols for the expression of abstract concepts and rules therefore creating and transmitting culture between generations.
The aboriginals for instance in their use of language confine to their society describing relationships rather than judging or evaluate. To them language shapes the reality in perception and experience indeed fronting the thought of neglecting some aspects of world traditionally viewed as important. Most of the aboriginal languages do not abhor the use of personal pronouns used to describe gender like he or she, with some amused by the western debate over whether God is a He or a She. For this, language is impact less on the world and reflects at the traditional acceptance of a certain region on the world map.
Language through preconceived ideas may reinforce perceptions about race and ethnicity in advancing the superiority of one a people against another.
The diversity of language in some parts of the world shows how it can influence the culture of the societies in such a country. Canada is one example of the diversities in language today with Aboriginal, French, and English speaking societies.
Language teaches cultural heritage and sense of identity in a culture. It also is a power and social control booster with perpetuation of inequalities between people, groups in that words can be used intentionally or not to gag people. The existence of hate in the Canadian society is one such scenario siring a lot of suffering in the country. The aboriginals lament on the assumption of the English language as a source of power and prestige citing the lack of movies in their language while the former has the lions share in the film business.
Language contributes a great deal in the advancement of the material and both the non-material cultures. Materially in that, the movie business is geared at economically empowering the culture of the English and non-materially in teaching the same on their heritage and identity.
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