It is a common perception that persons raised in one culture may learn to act like people in an adapted culture but will never be able to think and feel like a person of the adopted culture. Do you agree?
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Culture is the entire way of life of a society as well as all its products. Society is then composed of individuals who share a culture. This has several implications.
Culture is Shared
To be a member of society means sharing a culture. In this sense, a society is more than the sum of its members. Membership in a society necessarily involves sharing a way of life, engaging in similar patterns of thought and behavior, such as celebrating Thanksgiving in comparable fashion, overspending before Christmas or spending years in school.
Culture is Learned
Human beings are not born with cultural patterns encoded into their DNA. No one is born Christian, English-speaker, and MP3 files user. All such patterns of behavior have to be learned, and the more complex the society one lives in, the longer it takes to learn the necessary skills needed for competent social participation. Accordingly, most members of postindustrial societies spend long years in the educational system whereas member of the few remaining hunting and gathering societies have no need for formal education and rely rather on informal training. But however such learning takes place, informally with a relative or in a formal setting such as a school, it is vital for individuals to be able to become true members of society.
Culture is Nonmaterial
Nonmaterial culture comprises the software of society: specific shared ways of thinking shared by members of society such as language, beliefs systems, customs, myths, music, scientific knowledge or political ideas. And as mentioned above, culture also involves shared ways of behaving, such as participating in religious rituals or organized sports. These shared modes of thinking and behaving all constitute non-material or intangible culture.
Culture is Material
Material culture also comprises all the hardware of social life, that is, all the material and physical products of society: buildings, computers, IPods, bows and arrows, DVDs and DVD players and all forms of technology. Technology consists in the material application of knowledge, scientific or other.