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What is Culture? Culture In United States of America (Essay Sample)


This paper examines what culture entails.

Culture refers to the common behavioural pattern of certain group of people who have similar language, religion and social habits. Generally, culture can also be defined as the complex learned behavioural patterns and in this case, human beings as well as animals play a role in creating and using cultures. Behaviours can either be learned or inherited from the parents or ancestors (Georgas, James 2003). A country may have different groups of people and hence have variety of cultures. A culture may be influenced by a large group of people. A member of the cultural group may be identified by shared patterns of behaviours. This paper examines what culture entails.
Scientists describe culture as the symbolic or intangible elements of human societies. People of the similar culture interpret symbols in the same way. The culture appreciates good literatures, music food and art. Culture plays a central role in the field of anthropology. Culture is a very essential tool for human survival. It can be easily changed and lost since it exits in human minds. Many written government rules, languages, building s and many other artificial things are the products of culture.
Culture can be classified in three levels according to the learned behaviour and perceptions. The first layer is the body of traditions, which helps in distinguishing a particular society. The traditions are passed from the parents to children through the shared language. The second level of culture, which helps in identification of a group of people, is the subculture, which is made up of diverse societies. Each group retains most of their original cultural behaviours and hence they emerge as a subculture in the new society. Shared cultural traits in diverse cultures differentiate them from the rest of the society (Montagu, Ashley 1962).
In United States of America, several identifiable subcultures are adopted and they include three ethnic groups such as Mexican Americans, African Americans and Vietnamese Americans. People who belong to each subculture have similar identity and traditions. Some of their cultural traits originate from their common ancestral background. Members of a subculture may acquire the cultures of the dominant national population and eventually the subculture stops to exist. Examples of this case are the German Americans and the Irish Americans who leave in United States and identify themselves as the Americans. They place themselves as a part of the cultural mainstream of the Americans. A group, which claims to have similar ancestors, does not abandon their culture.
The third level of the culture comprises of the cultural universals. In this layer of culture, the collective human behaviours are included irrespective of the area of origin. The universal traits are involved in this level of culture and they include use of gender to classify people, grouping people based on their marriage status or any respectable relationship and raising children in some manner of family setting among many human cultural traits. Although many cultures have adapted to these universal cultures, some different cultures have their own specific traits, which they follow, in their way of life.
Deaf people have their deaf subcultures, which involve use of hands in communicating with sign language, which have grammatical rules as verbal communication. Deaf community perceive deafness as uniqueness in human experience and hence it is not as a form of disability. The deaf culture is applicable to all deaf people as well as those who belong to deaf community and can interpret the sign language.
The deaf culture can be acquired within learning institutions for the deaf students and social gatherings where deaf people are united. A few deaf individuals acquire sign language and culture while in their infancy stage of development. Different deaf communities adapt to different cultures and this creates diversity within deaf culture.
Culture can be created and then transmitted to other individuals in different societies. A group of individuals in the community have the mandate to create the culture through their interaction wit...
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