Culture

What is culture? Although there is no one set definition for culture, it is known as an umbrella term that encompasses the attitudes, symbols and behaviors of a group of people and can be seen as an information system transcending through generations. For example in a Chinese culture, there is a normative attitude in terms of superstitions that during Chinese New Year, a plate breaking is seen as an ominous sign that the new year would bring bad luck. There is also a symbol of a red lion that celebrates the freedom of people and wards off monsters. Lastly, there is a shared behavior in that an individual should always greet and respect the elderly. In many ways, culture is also seen to be a building block of numerous social networks and ways of recycling information. Culture also allows for a platform in which people can socially interact with others to form the basis of society by food production, knowledge development and procreation.

In establishing culture, we can also establish cultural norms, which are simply attitudes, symbols, and behaviors shared across a group of the same culture which is passed on through generations. Cultural norms are a subset of social norms where the social dimension is set by the elements of culture (eg. ethnicity), this in-group is usually a larger group in comparison with other social groups (eg. friendship circles). Sub-culture norms can also be apparent in large cultural groups where sub-units can be formed in terms of social hierarchy, or specific behaviors (eg. particular organizations).

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