Culture is one of the most abstract and difficult concepts to define. It’s like culture itself, it can be interpreted in many ways. What is culture? How do we define culture? Is culture something that exists only within a society or does culture exist outside of any social constructions? This essay will explore these questions with the hope that I’ll provide you with some insight into what culture means to me.
The culture is the set of characteristics that distinguishes one group of people from another, such as language, religion, lifestyle, and so on. The culture varies among individuals in different societies; nevertheless, they all have certain similarities. Clothes, diets , religion , and many other things differ across cultures.
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The characteristics, customs, and traditions that have been passed down through generations are referred to as a culture. A culture is made up of the shared beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and symbols that distinguish one group of people from another. We’ve seen that many people do what they thought was their culture’s norm on this occasion; however , my culture says otherwise.
They follow their cultural customs to the tee on the occasion of wedding and other significant events, such as birthdays. Those who don’t adhere to their culture or make any modifications to it are not providing them with values because they are not practicing their religion.
Several people define culture differently, for example, “Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day-to-day living patterns, these patterns and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is mankind’s primary adaptive mechanism.”1 Another author defines it as follows: “Culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one category of individuals from others.”
From these definitions, it is clear that both are referring to the same concept but using different words, suggesting that culture is first learnt before being shared, making it a natural occurrence that the younger generation learns about culture from their elders and then passes it on to the subsequent generation.
The culture, however, learned that it encompassed all of human interaction and so became humanity’s adoptive mechanism. The second definition says that the culture is the programming of the mind, therefore it includes everything related to mental programming and because to these various minds’ different groupings, distinct groups of people are distinguished from one another.
As a result, we will explore some of the features of culture in this section. Culture has its own qualities; we’ll look at a few.
As we said before, culture is learned from one’s elders. Culture isn’t something you learn about and understand; rather, it’s the process by which you pass it on to others after that you’ll be aware of culture. It’s similar to a natural inheritance. All actions carried out such as eating, dressing oneself, or wearing accessories are caused by cultural learning.
According to one writer, learning culture is “Babies and youngsters learn about their culture by viewing their parents and closer relatives. They mimic behaviors they’ve noticed, taking on new roles.” That’s true. Babies and children learn about their culture by watching their parents and close family members, then apply these different roles in their daily lives, adapting themselves to it.
Culture is something that people from different backgrounds share. It’s not something you have individually. Culture is constantly passed down through communication, therefore sharing it is important. Enculturation, as defined by author “The process of learning a culture is known as enculturation.”
The culture is passed on in a variety of ways, with language being the most popular mode of transmission. Group discussion, public speaking, and casual contact are the types of social communication and knowledge sharing through which cultures are shared. Contemporary technologies such as TV, DVD, and the internet have brought every society closer to the rest of the world by allowing them to interact with one another.
It’s incorrect to claim that culture is unique to an individual. It is the result of society, which originates and grows through social interaction. Something may be distinguished from us via comparison, therefore we must compare it to some other thing in order for us to understand all aspects of that culture.
“Culture,” according to one writer, “can be defined as the prevailing order that operates through operational and social influence to guide and constraint people’s behavior in collectives.” As a result of this statement, it is clear that culture is the sum total of all norms in a normative system; these ideas are subsequently influenced by several operational and social forces. It implies that while there are changes in culture, they are coordinated among people belonging to the same nation or group.
The process of culture over time is the continuous process. Culture is the growth of whole, which incorporates past and present achievements as well as future human achievement. Culture is the end result of previous and current changes that occur in it, allowing it to absorb those changes and making them part of its own cultural heritage. “As a result, some sociologists have referred to culture as mankind’s social inheritance.”
Cultures are always adaptable, even though cultural changes occur slowly. It is generally adaptive to all those who are a part of that culture. When there are adjustments in the culture, people become accustomed to it and feel nothing about their own culture, thus they have no attachment to it. People from other cultures will not say anything nice about their own culture because they are used to it; nevertheless, the individuals living within that country remain use to with it.
The modifications are adaptable to change in even the toughest environments, according to one writer. It implies that culture adjustments are simple for anybody to follow.
Culture is never static. Every aspect of culture, such as clothing, cuisine, communication, and so on varies from society to society. Changes occur in almost every culture at some point in time; however, we seldom claim that culture is constant.
Types of culture:
There are several types of culture:
- Material culture
- Non-material culture
Material culture is everything that persons develop and give purpose to. Material culture includes a variety of items, some of which are listed below:
The importance of dressing varies from culture to culture. It distinguishes a cultural society, for example, if a foreigner from another nation visits Pakistan and is unaware of the local customs. He will certainly recognize the location because he knows nothing about the local culture’s dress. They did not regard those who were not wearing their national robes with respect.
The significance of the dressing is gradually being phased out among people. When individuals travel to another cultural society, they typically adopt it and lose touch with their own customs. According to my most recent survey, many individuals feel that we do not give enough importance to our culture. Nowadays, owing to this factor, the culture is changing at a rapid pace, with many people stating that we don’t give enough importance to our way of life, especially dress.
According to the Colombia university press, “everything involved with food from capture to consumption is a cultural act”, implying that food first reaches us via several phases before passing on to us, including cultivation, capturing and preparation. This implies that food is an important component of the material culture because it represents a cultural act in different cultures around the world.
Construction entails development. Building is also crucial to culture preservation. Buildings are different across cultures. Some cultures have large residences, while others have modest homes. There are some cultural groups that don’t build houses but instead live in them all their lives, moving from one location to the next.
The traditional people from rural areas tend to live in large residences, while city dwellers generally live in tiny lodgings. The explanation for this may be that living conditions are better in rural regions than they are in cities. This culture, perhaps due to the reasons stated above, is more prevalent among country folks.
Non-material culture consists of ideas and behavior acquired as part of the culture in which they reside. It includes language, norms, traditions, family, religion or beliefs, values, and learning.
Without language, there would be no notion of culture. Various languages have varying descriptions of words. Even if the languages are identical, differences in speech will exist, and one will quickly be able to distinguish between them.
Because of traditions, many cultures are grouped together as one culture, for example in Pakistan there are numerous cultures but they are treated as just one culture to out-of-Asia countries. Even the subcontinent is regarded as one culture on specific occasions, such as when Asia refers to the continent and the countries outside of Asia use terms like Asian culture and European culture. The origin of culture is language. Humans learn their culture through language, which the parents then pass on to their children.
In many cultures, family is one of the most crucial ideas. Different civilizations have diverse views on what constitutes a family. Some say that relatives by blood are members of your family, whereas others restrict it to your wife and children.
According to an essayist, “Anthropologists state that a culture’s biological and marital kinship rules and patterns of reciprocal duties define family,”9 the meaning varies from culture to culture. In contrast to those from an urban environment, rural background people consider family in a broad sense that includes all of their relatives, while city-dwellers conceive of it in a restricted manner.
Religion is the most significant aspect of a culture. The religion in most cultures is extremely considerate to all of the culture’s members, and they adhere to their religion scrupulously. Islam is the most respectable faith among all cultures, as it has been observed. People who practice Islam as their religion live by Islamic laws in their daily lives and generally lead a very pleasurable existence with few resources. According to my research, a lot of my viewers adhere to their religion very strictly and pray five times a day, which is the most essential thing considering Islam. Those who practiced a different religion than Islam were mostly of the view that we are not as much devoted to our faith.
Education also has a significant role in creating a cultural society. Human beings’ fundamental need is education. Humanity would not be feasible without education, therefore almost all civilizations value education and only educate their people to succeed. However, there are still several civilizations who do not prioritize education. Some cultures just care about the male form of learning rather than the female version. The number of these sorts of cultures is decreasing at a steady rate. In general, most societies place a great deal of importance on learning and appreciate those from their culture who have been educated.
Importance of culture:
Culture is vital. Culture is the key to a nation’s identity. Without culture, society would be impossible. “Culture is the collection of transmitted and acquired behavior patterns, ideas, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought that distinguish a population’s functioning,” according to an author. As such, the only representative of the community or population is its culture.
The culture is the fundamental source of every community, defining their customs and lifestyles. The culture offers an answer to one of society’s most pressing issues. Culture instructs us to consider things from a broader perspective rather than as individuals, such as family, nation, etc.
A distinct culture is a collection of beliefs, social mores, and ethnic heritage that a community of people in a certain region possess. Culture has the potential to influence development and discipline. Values and ideas are significant aspects of culture. Religion, for example, is important in many societies since it “is highly valued” (Kerfoot).
Norms create a standard of what is acceptable. Prejudice is acquired through culture. This prejudice can be described as “generalized beliefs formed on the basis of popular belief” (Wilson 2008). Media outlets and world leaders are two sources of social influence. Human activity is shaped by culture.
This is the calculation of atmospheric diffusion through Cinder Cone Butte, Idaho. Complex diffusion in Russia had an error of 25%, while the US had a 15% error. The Russian plain is one of the most inhabited and dynamic areas in the country, accounting for around 25 percent of its land mass. There are numerous critical locations on the European plain.
The Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia is an international business center. Sheremetyevo International Airport is the busiest airport in Russia, and Novorossiysk is a significant ship port. The airport and harbor are excellent examples of Russian urban geography, which Russia dominates. In Moscow, there’s a 275-foot subway tunnel that has been extended. Change has occurred globally as well as domestically in this country.
In the last ten years, Russia has attracted foreign direct investment at a rate of 3.3%. In the previous 20 years, Russia has fallen behind and is now ranked “93rd worldwide in quality of overall” infrastructure (Eitelhuber, 2009). The Russian Railway system’s ranking is relatively good, standing at 31st. Since 2012, over 300 projects have been announced. Funding for this project is expected to be $969.4 billion. Lower rates abroad result in reduced manufacturing costs and greater net output for the national economy.
Every person’s life is made up of interactions with other people. Our thoughts and ideas can’t be communicated to others unless we have effective communication skills. When it’s time to inform someone else about something, communication begins. Communication is the process of transferring thoughts, feelings, and intentions from one individual to another via the exchange of information (Pennington, 2002).
Communication is affected by a number of elements. Culture, language, and so on are among them. The cultural differences among the individuals in a group/team have both beneficial and detrimental effects on their communication. This paper explores this topic using a descriptive approach.
Impact of culture on communication
The culture has a significant impact on the communication process. Cultural differences might result in disputes and misunderstandings between those involved in the communication process (Monippally, 2001, p.45). Culture has been characterized as a person’s way of life.
Culture, in its most basic sense, refers to the behaviors and attitudes that a society has. It includes elements such as values, beliefs, expectations, norms, and more. Culture is a complicated subject to grasp; therefore researchers have sought to examine various aspects of culture and how they affect people who live within that culture.
There may be various sub-cultures in a society depending on ethnic groups, religious factions, professions, and other factors; therefore there are many variations. Behavioral scientists have conducted several studies that reveal that all of those who live within a particular culture share the same thought and behavior patterns.
A person’s culture varies from one group to the next, and these variations might have a significant influence on how open and trusting individuals of other groups are. As a result, in order to guarantee an effective communication, it is important to fully comprehend the cultural difference.
Key points of Intercultural Communication
If we recognize how one culture differs from another and on what basis, we can effectively communicate across cultures. The following are the most notable cultural distinctions:
Societal markers can also be present everywhere, no matter how small the area may appear to be. Contextual: Cultural contexts have a significant impact on how people comprehend communications. Taiwan or South Korea are examples of high-context cultures, which rely more on non-verbal communication than verbal communication; whereas Germany or the United States are low-context cultures that prioritize verbal communication.
b. Social Behavior: Another distinguishing feature of cultures is social behavior.
d. Non-Verbal Differences: It’s critical to note the various nuances that non-verbal communication may convey in diverse societies. A simple hand movement might have a different connotation in each culture.
My own experience as the leader of a state cricket team assisted me to appreciate the importance of effective communication in achieving goals.
I was able to grasp the ideas of culture, communication, and so on because I understood how they pertain to personal experiences. The Cultural Dimension of Hofstede will be beneficial in studying the influence of culture on communication. People who are only concerned about themselves (I-conscious) have a distinct culture from those who care for others as well (We -conscious).
Also, the societal distinction between men and women, the way individuals in the lower levels of society regard social differences, and people’s efforts to avoid uncertainty all represent the culture of the people. In my personal experience, I’ve observed a cultural gap relating to individualism vs collectivism.
The final game of the tournament was scheduled for a Sunday. My team was one of the finalists. I was in charge of the team, which included players from all over the state. For both the team and the match, it was critical since image and status were at stake.
Plus, it was a national level competition. Our team batted first and scored a defendable total, but when the other team began batting, our fielders started missing catches and losing fields. I recognized that the communication wasn’t working since there were players from diverse backgrounds on the team. Some people didn’t pay attention to what I had to say as the leader of the squad.
A competent leader is someone who knows how to command. To be a effective leader, one must have certain characteristics, including excellent communication skills. The captain should be well-versed in cross-cultural communication particularly when leading a team with various customs; otherwise, success would be doubtful. That was the case with me.
I took on this leadership position as though it were the same as my local team’s leader, since I knew everyone and had no significant cultural distinctions. However, this was not the case; instead, we lost the game as a result of my poor judgment and lack of coordination among team members. The causes included insufficient communication between team members, a lack of synchronization…etc
One issue I noticed throughout the game was that when a member of the team accomplishes anything, each team member’s method of appreciation is different depending on their location. Everyone attempted to bring their own culture into play, resulting in a complete mess in the group.
These difficulties might have been avoided if they had been discussed ahead of time. Communication between team members is crucial for the team’s success. I could have planned strategies differently and broken down cultural boundaries before the start of mach, thus increasing the likelihood of victory.
Lessons learned from the experience
I have a solid grasp on the ideas of communication, culture, cross-cultural communication, collaboration… I feel that with this knowledge, I will be better prepared for future encounters. If given the opportunity to lead the same team again, I would design a strategy taking into account cultural nuances.
Team members are more motivated to achieve success if they believe that their personal interests will be protected by the captain and co-members. A good communication is essential for creating this sense of security.
In future, I will not repeat the mistake I detailed in my personal experience, and I will give sufficient thought to cultural divergences while interacting with others. To be a successful communicator, you must first be a good listener. He won’t succeed if he can’t pay attention to what others are saying. In the future, I shall consider all of these elements.
Communication with people from other cultures may not result in the desired outcomes in most situations. Understanding another culture’s customs is critical for successful communication with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Ineffective communication can be caused by attitudinal and behavioral obstacles related to cultural differences if you don’t understand the culture. Communication might lead to misunderstanding if you don’t comprehend the culture.