Culture is part and parcel of human life. It is the ‘thing’ that separates human beings from animals. For example, if a person’s memory is flashed in a moment and their clothes removed, the person will most likely not see it as a bad thing. However, they learn it is a bad thing when they realize people starring at them and realizes that he is not the same as the people in his group, which is the human beings who look like him. The concept of being naked can be referred to as nature, and it is through nurturing of the human being that cultural concepts like putting on clothes come along. Therefore culture is learned, and it plays a very big role in the making of a person.
Culture is broken down into things and ideas, and things refer to clothes or signs when crossing the road, and this is referred to as material culture. On the other hand, the interpretation we give to the different material things we come across determines our cultural knowledge because different things mean different things to different people. Values and norms form culture. They guide behaviors and what one is supposed to do. For example, in one culture, a person may be willing to give a seat to an older adult who is fully acceptable and seen as an honor and respect to the elderly. On the other side things like helping the elderly may not be taken as important to society.
These are the norms and the values which guide what people do. They form a person’s behavior, and in so doing, certain groups of people are constructed with similar behavioral characteristics, and therefore, they can be referred to as a cultural community. There are also other categorizations of culture like civilized culture and un-civilized culture, as was observed by the Europeans, especially in the view of their colonies. Therefore culture is an important aspect of human life that cannot be alienated from human beings and people continue to improve and become better in their culture and learn new things.
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CrashCourse. (2017). Symbols, Values & Norms: Crash Course Sociology #10. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGrVhM_Gi8k