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Geology, Sociology, Anthropology

What is Culture?
Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language,
religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
What are the Two Types of Culture?
Material and Non-material Culture. Material is tangible and concrete type of culture while non-material is
composed of abstract ideas, non-concrete, and intangible.
What are the Characteristics of Culture?
Characteristics of Culture
Culture has five basic characteristics: It is learned, shared, based on symbols, integrated, and dynamic.
All cultures share these basic features.

Culture is learned. It is not biological; we do not inherit it. Much of learning culture is
unconscious. We learn culture from families, peers, institutions, and media. The process of
learning culture is known as enculturation. While all humans have basic biological needs such as
food, sleep, and sex, the way we fulfill those needs varies cross-culturally.

Culture is shared. Because we share culture with other members of our group, we are able to act
in socially appropriate ways as well as predict how others will act. Despite the shared nature of
culture, that doesnt mean that culture is homogenous (the same). The multiple cultural worlds
that exist in any society are discussed in detail below.

Culture is based on symbols. A symbol is something that stands for something else. Symbols
vary cross-culturally and are arbitrary. They only have meaning when people in a culture agree
on their use. Language, money and art are all symbols. Language is the most important symbolic
component of culture.

Culture is integrated. This is known as holism, or the various parts of a culture being
interconnected. All aspects of a culture are related to one another and to truly understand a
culture, one must learn about all of its parts, not only a few.

Culture is dynamic. This simply means that cultures interact and change. Because most cultures
are in contact with other cultures, they exchange ideas and symbols. All cultures change,
otherwise, they would have problems adapting to changing environments. And because cultures
are integrated, if one component in the system changes, it is likely that the entire system must

What are the Elements of Culture?

Language: The various languages are essentially an important part of the culture.

Norms: Every society or every civilization has a set of norms, which are an inseparable part, and an
important element of the culture. This can include the folkways, mores, taboos and rituals in a culture.
Values: The social values of a particular civilization are also considered as an element of the culture.
The values of a culture often refer to the things to be achieved or the things, which are considered of
great worth or value in a particular culture.
Religion and Beliefs: The religion and the beliefs of the people in a civilization play an important role in
shaping up of the culture as well.
Social Collectives: Social collectives refer to the social groups, organizations, communities, institutions,
classes, and societies, which are considered as symbolic social constructions.
Status and Role in Society: A status or a social role is nothing but a slot or position within a group or
society, which gives an overall idea of the social structure and hence is an important element of culture.
This can also include traditional gender-based or age-based roles.
Cultural Integration: This includes the degree of harmony or integration within the various elements of
culture. This can include elements like sub-cultures, local cultures and the difference between historical
and cultural traditions.
Superstitious Beliefs of Filipinos:
1. To see black butterfly is bad luck. It means a relative or someone you know will die. Same goes with
the black cat.
2. When you travel by boat and the skies start to darken, you can make the dark clouds go away by
waving a "walis tingting"(a broom made by coconut leaf ribs) in front of the boat.
3. The blood of white animals, such as chicken and goat, must be poured where the foundation of a
house or bridge is to be built to appease the spirits that live in the area. Otherwise, bad things will
happen to the future occupants/users of the structure.
4. On weddings, when someone in the family got married, dont marry on the same year or else one of
you will die.
5. Dont sleep while your hair is wet, you will get blind.
6. When someone died in the family, dont take a bath for three days after the burial, bad things will
come your way.
7. Sleeping with a book under your pillow will make you smart.
8. If you were singing while cooking, you will get married in much older partner than your age.
9. Throwing coins in a newly built house/business establishment is good luck, the owner will have a
wealthy life in the latter.
10. Don't throw your garbage at night, its like your throwing away the good luck.