Culture Change and Aspects of Culture - Assignment Example

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The paper "Culture Change and Aspects of Culture" describes that the definition of culture change is wide and varied and it can be argued that the available definitions are as many as available scholars. However, before a proper definition of cultural change is made, it would be appropriate to give a comprehensive definition of culture…
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Culture Change and Aspects of Culture
The definition of culture change is wide and varied and it can be argued that the available definitions are as many as available scholars. However, before a proper definition of cultural change is made, it would be appropriate to give a comprehensive definition of culture (Carr, 2006). Culture can be briefly defined as the accumulated deposits of knowledge, experience, beliefs, and values and other by a group of people in the itinerary of generations in the course of individual strife and group striving. In a very broad sense, culture is a cultivated behaviour; that is the sum total of an individual's learned and accumulate experience which is hence socially transmitted, or behaviour through the process of social learning. In light of the deeper aspect of culture, culture change can be defined as the gradual or sporadic modification of a society’s beliefs and values through the processes of innovation, discovery, or even external contact with other societies.
Cultural change can hence be comprehensively defined as the dynamic phenomenon by which various cultures in the world are changing and modifying their usual and common code of conduct and behaviour in order to adapt to the external or internal forced acting on the society (Steward, 1973). Culture change is a process that not only occurs at the basic societal level but also has been observed on a wider scope. It can be seen also in organisations such as businesses or educational institutions or any other group of people who may have developed and accumulated experiences and behaviour patterns. As a result, culture change may require changes or a complete overhaul in organisation practises, physical environments inter-personal relationships at all levels and even communication patterns.
In analysing the whole concept of culture, a question that rarely fails to come up is: what makes up culture? It is with answering this question that one can isolate the various aspects of culture, that is, the very basic elements that culture is comprised of. This hence gives rise to the concept of cultural awareness (Singh, 2009). Various numerous theories have been formulated on the elements that make up culture but similarities have been observed and it can be confidently put down that there are twelve main aspects of culture. The aspects outlined are: food, clothing, recreation, government, education, language, religion, transportation, economy, environment, culture and arts. These elements are what can be used by a researcher to tell apart between dissimilar types of culture and make deductions regarding the type of culture that each group of people has. The cultural aspects of each culture are however not cast on stone. Over time, different cultures have been subject to cultural integration and other external forces that have forced them to change the aspects of their culture such as dressing and food (Shapiro, 1970). A proper example of shifting cultural aspects would be that observed between the African and western countries during the colonial period where most colonies were forced to change various aspects of their culture to the external pressure brought about by colonisation.
Carr, P. (2006). Implementing culture change: Organization development. Alexandria, Va: ASTD Press.
Singh, G. P. (2009). Historical researches into some aspects of the culture and civilization of North-East India. New Delhi: Gyan Pub. House.
Steward, J. H. (1973). Theory of culture change: The methodology of multilinear evolution. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Shapiro, H. L. (1970). Aspects of Culture. Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press Read More
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