What is Culture, Basic Elements of Culture and Features

The term culture has a wide number of meanings: to inhabit, to cultivate, to honor with worship, to protect, and so on. Hence this word is associated with developing or practicing something, as well as the cult of both a religious deity and the body or spirit. Currently, man has managed to express himself through it and although over time it has diversified a bit, the 21st century has left a great mark, a before and after in the world. The man has managed to question the system and his own actions.

What is culture?

You can talk about it as an art, encompassing music, painting, sculpture, clothing, and any talent, but it also exists as knowledge, conduct, belief, and even religion. The latter is based on the way of life of a country’s inhabitants and how they reflect their attitudes to the world, including their language. There is so much cultural diversity worldwide that it would take many years to cover it all.

What primarily characterizes it is the people who are part of it, its activities and traditions, so it can be said that it is dynamic and is constantly changing, adapting to the influence of other cultures outside of it and adopting new trends.

ELEMENTS OF CULTURE

There are many cultural aspects that we often take for granted or are invisible to our perception. However, it is convenient to pause to analyze the elements that make up a culture briefly:

1. Rights

We understand that every human culture has a shared cultural terrain. Here, territorial rules and appropriation processes are studied, not only of property but also symbolic. In addition, the available resources and how those resources are used are taken into account.

For example, the Masais live in the Border Mountains between Kenya and Tanzania and identify with their territory and the resources they obtain from it.

2. Ethnohistory

It refers to the culture of biographical identity. It is necessary to look at the cultural roots of each society to understand its culture and behavior. For example, the history of a community based on its cultural and ideological tradition or the historical events that marked the course of a given society. A possible example would be the African American community, whose identity is marked by its historical memory. We can influence this example later.

3. Beliefs and ideas

The beliefs are interpretive systems that a social group has about reality. They explain the world we live in and therefore create binding behaviors. Furthermore, these come from values.

According to Gasset says, “Ideas have, in the belief it is “. Ideas are easier to change, we form them more rationally, but beliefs are more unconscious. Beliefs do not have an intellectual but a cultural value.

Thus, ideology is an organized set of compromise ideas that have a certain socio-political development. Sometimes ideologies are confused with beliefs and become a creed.

Today there is talk of the end of ideologies, but in reality, there is an ideology: the single thought that, however, is sold as non-ideology. It is the post-industrial technocracy, where it is thought that everything comes down to the market.

But this powerful thought is being answered by new collective groups, which are constituted as social forms, platforms, informal groups, grassroots movements. Some examples are the Squat movement, the landless, the anti-globalization movements, etc. All of this is the foundation of cultures. Therefore, values, beliefs, ideas and ideologies create worldviews, collective representations.

4. Values ​​and norms

Values ​​and norms create the fundamental core of cultures. Every community has shared values, and these can be explicit or implicit. They function as markers of behavior, leading to guilt. Therefore, the character of values ​​is moral and arises from group interaction.

Some examples of cultural values would be education, emotional ties, respect and empathy, patriotism, peace, justice, freedom, beauty and personal fulfillment, among others.

For their part, the rules are external and must be assumed by the group. They can transgress and create no guilt. It is an externalization of values, so the norms vary more than the values.

5. Communication

Communication occurs through Language and Rituals. They are those cultural mechanisms that serve to communicate and inform. When a language disappears, a culture disappears, as we will see in later publications.

When we talk about communication, we must consider two aspects:

Communication: we communicate with someone.

Information: we communicate or report something so that communication has meaning. For example, if they speak to us in a language that we do not master, the message does not make sense.