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What is culture and what is society? Even though these two definitions are closely related to each other, culture and society is not the same thing. While cultures are complexes of learned behavior patterns and perceptions, societies are groups of people who directly or indirectly interact with each other. People in societies also generally perceive that their society is distinct from others in terms of shared traditions and expectations. In the same time these two definitions are inevitable connected because culture is created and transmitted to others in a society.
Cultures are not the products of lone individuals. They are the continuously evolving products of people interacting with each other. Cultural patterns such as language and politics make no sense except in terms of the interaction of people. If you were the only human on earth, there would be no need for language or government. To summarize, a culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society.
2. 5 Critically analyse the application of the terms ‘culture’ and ‘society’ to every day life.
If I should analyse the terms ‘culture’ and ‘society’ to every day life, first of all I should state the fact I am foreigner living in different country and because of that inevitable I have a different perception about the things around me in comparison with the locals. Customs and social patterns which seems perfectly normal for the others at times can feel actually pretty strange and not at place for me.
British society differs widely from the society I was living in back home; it consists of different rules and patterns of public behavior. That’s why it’s only natural for me to experience numerous cultural differences daily.
For example in British society manners are very important and people place considerable value on punctuality. In England, people make great effort to arrive on time. If you agree to meet friends at exact time you can be sure they will be on time. It is often considered impolite to arrive even a few minutes late. If you are unable to keep an appointment, it is expected that you call the person you are meeting. In my country though nobody will pay attention if you are late a little for appointment. Especially when you are meeting with friends or even going to a party often a late arrival can considered to be very fashionable.
Because of cultural differences sometimes it can occurred misunderstandings, in order to avoid that I need to be conscious of my actions in my every day life. 2. 6 Distinguish between personal perception and objective patterns. Personal perception is referred to the way how you see the world. It is related to the subjective, culture and cultural interpretation. Objective patterns are the patterns of behaviour, norms and rules which are imposed by the society and it is referred to the way how society see the world. Sometimes the personal perception can be in conflict with the objective patterns.
One example of it is the Mormons. Mormons believe that men can marry as many women as they wish. From their point of view polygamy or plural marriage is acceptable and it is considerable for normal behavior. Ofcourse this is not how larger society sees it. Society rejects the idea strongly and considers polygamous relationships for illegal. Even though now polygamy is forbidden in all states of America, over a century ago it wasn’t prohibited in Utah until 1857 when the United States federal government forced Mormons to abandon the practice.
According Wikipedia, the Mormons eventually complied and formally abolished the practice in 1890, in a document labeled ‘The Manifesto’. Bibliography: Damen, L. (1987). Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language Classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Linton, R. (1945). The Cultural Background of Personality. New York. http://anthro. palomar. edu/culture/culture_1. htm http://www. woodlands-junior. kent. sch. uk/customs/questions/social. htm http://www. carla. umn. edu/culture/definitions. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Mormonism_and_polygamy
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