At the end of this chapter, the students should be
1. understand the meaning of communication and
2. show the relationship between language and
3. enumerate the characteristics of culture
4. explain how language distinguishes man from
5. identify the communication, behavioural,
cognitive, and material components of culture
6. understand and explain cultural relativism
The world today is characterized
by an ever growing number of
contacts resulting in
communication between people
with different linguistic and
This communication takes place
because of contacts in the areas of
business, military cooperation, science,
education, mass media, entertainment,
tourism and also because of
immigration brought about by labor
shortage or political conflict.
- is an act or instance of
Two types of Communication
1. Verbal – refers to use of language
2. Non-verbal – refers to the use of
gestures, facial expressions, and other
- is a system of verbal and in many
cases, written with rules about how
those symbols can be strung
together to convey more complex
Four Developments that
Illustrate the Impact of
1. E-mails – including people in various
parts of the world exchanging and
sharing new information and
2. Web log or Journal – is a rapidly
growing from of electronics
3. Computer or generated slide software
such as PowerPoint
4. Telecommunicating - is an
arrangement in which employees use
computers to perform their regular
work responsibilities at home or
- is the language of gestures, expressions and
Body Language or Kinesics
- the most obvious form of paralanguage
A man’s language
- is a reflection of the kind of person he is, the
family where he comes from, the level of
education he has attained.
The Study of Language is divided
into Four Areas:
Grammar, and Pragmatics
- the system of sounds that a particular language uses,
includes not only the language’s basic unit of sounds, or
phonemes, but rules about how we put phonemes together to
form words and rules about the proper intonation patterns for
phrases and sentences.
- is the study of word meanings and combinations.
Comprehension of written as well as spoken language
requires not only a knowledge of specific words and their
definitions but an understanding of how we use words and
how we combine them in phrases, clauses, and sentences.
- describes the structure of a language which consists of two
major parts: morphology and syntax. Morphology is the study of
the language’s smallest units of meaning called morphemes –
prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
- consists of rules for the use of appropriate language in
particular contexts. Thus pragmatics is concerned not only with
speaking and writing but with social interaction, and it directly
addresses the issue of effective communication.
Perhaps the most significant of the
inventions made possible by culture is
language. The learning of culture
takes place through language. From
our enormous capacity to learn and
use language is derived our collective
memory, as well as writing, art, and
all other media that shape human
consciousness and store and transmit
According to Panopio et al, 1992:
Language is an integral part of culture
and human culture cannot exist without it.
All human societies have languages. In
some simple societies where people cannot
read or write, they have a spoken
language. Through the use of language,
wide vistas of reality have been opened.
One way a society’s language may
reflect its corresponding culture is in
lexical content, or vocabulary. When
experiences, events, or objects are singled
out and given words it may be the result of
• If culture can affect the structure and
content of its language, then it follows that
linguistic diversity derives in part from
According to Edward Sapir:
The linguistic relativity hypothesis
asserts that language determines
thought and therefore culture. In
reality language and culture influence
Every society has a
culture, no matter how
simple the culture may be,
and every human being is
cultured in the sense of
participating in some culture
As our nation continues to change, we all
will interact with others from quite different
backgrounds from our own, especially in the
classroom. The manner in which we
respond to others who seem different can
have a serious impact on success in school,
work, and harmonious relationship with
Culture is defined as the set of learned
behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and
ideals that are characteristics of a
particular society or population. (Ember,
Culture, as defined by Calhoun, et al.,
(1994) is the learned norms, values,
knowledge, artifacts, language, and
symbols that are constantly communicated
among people who share a common ritual
Allan Johnson (1996)said that culture is
the sum total of symbols, ideas, forms of
expressions, and material products associated
with a collective way of life reflected in such
things as beliefs, values, music, literature, art,
dance, science, religious ritual and
E.B. Taylor, defines culture as that
complex whole which includes knowledge,
belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other
capabilities and habits acquired by man as a
member of society. (Panopio, 1992)
Leslie A. White refers to culture as an
organization of phenomena that is
dependent upon symbols, phenomena which
include acts(patterns of behavior);
objects(tools and things made by tools);
ideas(beliefs, knowledge); and
Hofstede(1997) states that culture
consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of
and for behavior acquired and transmitted
by symbols, constituting the distinctive
achievement of human groups, including
their embodiments in artifacts
1. Culture is learned.
The first essential characteristic of culture is
that it is learned .
2. Culture is shared by a group of people.
For a thought or action to be considered
cultural, it must be commonly shared by some
population or group of individuals.
3. Culture is cumulative.
Knowledge is stored and passed on from one
generation to the next, and new knowledge is
being added to what is existing.
4. Culture change.
All cultural knowledge does not perpetually
accumulated. At the same time that new
cultural traits are added, some old ones are lost
because they are no longer useful.
5. Culture is dynamic.
This is a characteristic of culture that stems
from its cumulative quality. No culture is ever
in a permanent state. It is constantly changing
because new ideas and new techniques are
added and old ways are constantly modified
6. Culture is ideational.
Culture is an ideal pattern of behavior
which the members are expected to follow.
Man assigns meanings to his environment
and experiences by symbolizing them.
7. Culture is diverse.
The sum total of human culture consists
of a great many separate cultures, each of
them is different. Culture as a whole, is a
system of with many mutually
8. Culture gives us a range of
Every culture allows a range of
ways in which men can be men and
women can be women. Culture also
tells us how differentt activities should
e conducted, such as how one should
act as a husband, wife, parent, child,
A. COMMUNICATION COMPONENT
1. LANGUAGE. Perhaps more than anything else,
language defines what it means to be human. It
forms the core of all culture. When people share
a language, they share a condensed, very flexible
set of symbols and meanings.
2. SYMBOLS. Along with language and non-verbal
signals, symbols form the backbone of symbolic
interaction. They condense very complex ideas
and values into simple material forms so that the
very presence of the symbol evokes the signified
ideas and values.
B. COGNITIVE COMPONENT
1. IDEAS. Are mental representations(concept,
categories, metaphors) organize stimulus, they
are the basic units of which knowledge is
constructed and a world emerges.
KNOWLEDGE. Is the storehouse where w
accumulate representations, informations, facts,
assumptions, etc. Once stored, knowledge can
support learning and can be passed down from
one generation to the next.
BELIEFS. Accept a proposition, statement,
description of the fact, etc., as a true
2. VALUES. Are defined as culturally
defined standards of desirability
goodness and beauty, which serve as
broad guidelines for social living.
3. ACCOUNTS. People who share a
common language for talking about
their inner selves.
C. BEHAVIORAL COMPONENT(how we act)
1. NORMS. Are rules and expectations by which
a society guides the behavior of its members.
Norms can change over time, as illustrated by
norms regarding sexual behavior. Norms may
vary in terms of their degree of importance.
TYPES OF NORMS:
• MORES. They are customary behavior
patterns or folkways which have taken on a
moralistic value. This includes respect for
authority, marriage and sex behavior
patterns, religious rituals, and other codes of
• LAWS. Laws constitute the most formal and
important norms. Laws are the mores deemed
so vital to dominant interests that they become
translated into legal formalizations that even
nonmembers of society are required to obey.
• FOLKWAYS. These are behavior patterns of
society which are organized and repetitive. The
keyfeature of all folkways is that there is no
strong feeling of right or wrong attached to
them. They are simply the way the people
usually do things.
• RITUALS.These are highly scripted
ceremonies or strips of interaction that
follow a specific sequence of actions.
The ff. are examples:
- ceremonies: graduation, baptism, funerals,
- holidays: thanksgiving, Christmas
- Everyday public rituals: greeting, kissing,
answering the telephones, birthday and
D. MATERIAL COMPONENT
Human make objects, sometimes for
practical reasons and sometimes for
artistic ones. Material components of
culture refer to physical objects of
culture such as machines, equipment,
tools, books, clothing, etc.
A CULTURAL TRAIT, either of a material or
non-material culture, represents a single
element or a combination of elements
related to a specific situation.
Example of cultural traits are kissing the
hands of the elders after Sunday mass and
at Angelus. Clusters of culture traits are
known as culture complexes which, in turn,
group together to form a culture pattern.
Culture is transmitted through:
1. Enculturation. It is the process of learning
culture of one’s own group.
2. Acculturation. It is the process of learning
some new traits from another culture.
3. Assimilation. It is the term used for a
process in which an individual entirely
loses any awareness of his/her previous
group identity and takes on the culture and
attitudes of another group.
Culture is what distinguishes
human beings from the lower
animal forms making them
unique. It is a powerful force in
the lives of all people and shapes
and guides people’s perceptions
1. Culture helps the individual fulfill his
potential as a human being.
2. Through the development of culture, man
can overcome his physical disadvantages
and allows him to provide himself with fire,
clothing, food and shelter.
3. Culture provides rules of proper conduct
for living in a society.
According to Rosado(2003), is in
essence an approach to the question of
the nature and role of values in culture.
Cultural relativism in anthropology
is a key methodological concept which
is universally accepted within the
According to Glazer(1996), is an
anthropological approach which posits
that all cultures are of equal value and
need to be studied in a neutral point of
view. The basis of cultural relativism is
a scientific view of culture, which also
rejects value judgments on cultures.
Here is an illustration of cultural relativism:
Practices considered immoral or taboo to a
certain group of people but are accepted by
other groups with a different cultural
“The central point in cultural relativism is
that in a particular setting certain traits are
right because they work in that setting while
other traits are wrong because they clash
painfully with parts of the culture.”
- Hunt et., 1998
“No culture can live, if it attempts
to be exclusive.”