An Introduction to Culture
Culture is an umbrella phrase that encompasses the informal social behaviour and social norms prevalent in most human societies, the cultural beliefs and arts, beliefs, customs, laws, practices, and abilities of the people in these communities. These cultures can be quite dissimilar from each other, although some common elements emerge. Some of the key components of culture are formal religion, art, customs, and language, the established government, and interaction among groups of people within a society.
The concept of a culture is often used to distinguish a society or group from others that share certain similarities, but have significant differences in their fundamental values or beliefs. A common example of this is the differences between Christianity and Islam, or between Western society and the Middle East. Culture can also be used to describe a set of cultural practices or beliefs that are shared by a number of members of a community or society, such as family systems, norms, or even certain types of music or cuisine.
In most cases, it is the interaction among individuals that forms the foundation of culture. For instance, in a family, the mother passes on the customs and beliefs of her community to her children. The history of a culture can be traced back to significant periods in history, such as the rise and fall of empires, which sometimes cause significant changes in the history of a society. Furthermore, changing attitudes toward sex and other topics have also played an important role in the shaping of a culture. However, in today’s world, some of the different cultures that once existed are becoming extinct due to social and environmental factors. In order to understand how cultures affect each other and how they can be preserved and transferred from one culture to another, it is important to engage with an interdisciplinary field such as anthropology, sociology, or cultural studies.