that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a person as a member of a society. (Edward Taylor, 1871)
Functionalists define culture as the totality of meanings, values, customs, norms and symbols relative to a society. It includes all creations, material and non-material achievements, the inherited expectations, the past and present gains as a result of living together.
A mental map which guides us in our relations to our surroundings and to other people. (Downs, 1971)
Everything people have, think and do as members of a society.
represent people’s convictions about the reality of things and are shared ideas about how the world operates. They are the means by which people make sense of their experiences, both personal and social. They are reflective of highly valued feelings about the world by which people live.
indicate the moral imperatives and social conscience or social control internalized by people of the society. They direct people on what should and should not be done, what is good or bad, and what, why and how to choose.
Norms: are shared rules or patterns of behavior in a particular culture that informs its members what they should or should not do, in a given situation. They are considered as “oughts” or “should” of the society.
Sanctions: are socially imposed rewards and punishments. Rewards for those who behave properly and punishment for those who behave otherwise.
Kinds of Norms
are the habits, customs and repetitive patterns of expected behavior and tend to be self-perpetuating. Some evolved into the present form out of slow but continuous process of trial and experimentations. Some are rational, others are irrational. Folkways include rules of eating, sleeping, dressing, cooking, studying, working and modes of greetings and farewell.
are strongly held norms, which are essential to the welfare of the people and their cherished values. They have moral or ethical values, and thus going against them is offensive to the standards of righteousness and right behavior. They consist in large part of taboos, acts that are prohibited or forbidden. Incest, child abuse, battering wives, and prostitution are examples.
are formalized norms formulated by a governing body. Some mores are enacted into laws and enforced by political and legal authorities.
Elements of Culture
refers to the physical, tangible, and concrete objects produced by people. Behind the artifacts or material objects is the pattern of culture that came from the ideas of the artifact, its use and function and the techniques of using or applying it. Material culture determines the physical options and opportunities of the society like the kind of foods eaten, the kind of clothes worn, the kind of houses lived, or the settling of the community in which one lives.
refers to the techniques and knowledge in utilizing raw materials to produce food, tools, clothing, shelter and means of transportation and weapons.