Culture is one of the most important concepts of social science. It is a unique possession of man. Only man in born and brought up in a cultural environment. It is a very broad term that includes in itself all our works of life,our modes of behavior,our philosophies and ethics, our morals, manners, our customs and traditions. Definitions:-
1.B.Malinowski defined culture “cumulative creation of man.”
2.Graham Wallas, culture as an accumulation of thoughts values and objects, it is the social heritage acquired by us from preceding generation through learning.
3.Robert Bierstadt, culture is that complex whole that consists of all the ways we think and do and everything we have as members of society.
4. Edward B.Tylor, a famous English anthropologist defined as that complex whole which includes knowledge ,belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
Characteristics :- Culture is learnt: It is learnt socially by man & not an in born tendency. Culture is often called learned ways of behavior. Culture is social:-It doesn’t exist in isolation, and product of society, shared by member of society. It helps to develop human qualities in a human environment. Culture is shared, it is not something that an individual alone can possess. For eg,customs, traditions, beliefs, idea, values, morals all are shared. It is from one generation to another. Culture is transmitted not through genes but by means of language. Language is an achievement of culture. It exists in continuous process and conceived as a kind of stream flowing down through centuries from generation to another. It is relatively stable and not altogether static. Change and growth are latent N in culture. Every society has a culture of its own, differs from society to society.
It is one of the basic concepts of sociology. The word Structure in its original meaning refers to building construction or arrangement of parts. The term became relatively popular in psychological studies with the works of Herbert Spencer, that is after 1850,he was fascinated by his biological analogies applied the term ‘structure’ to his analysis of society. Murdock’s uses of term ‘structure’ either building analogy or deal organic model. Radeliffe- Brown pressures that society may be compared to a living organism.
Radcliffe-Brown defines “An arrangement of persons in institutionally controlled (husband & wife).2.M. Ginsberg regards social structure as “the complex of principal groups and institutions which constitute societies. According to A.R.Brown, general and regular kinds of relationships that exist between people, constitute the elements .For functionalists, the elements of social structures are social institutions.The term ‘structure’ refers to some sort of ordered arrangements of parts or components. A structure that can be called a building can be obtained only when these parts or components are properly ordered and arranged one in relationship with other.
Elements of Social Structure:-
1. Sub –groups of various Types:-This big group or larger system consists of various sub-groups. Various political, economic, religious and other groups and association represent such sub-groups.Social structure consists of roles of various types:- Roles are found within the larger system and also within the sub-groups. Role occupants are expected to fulfill obligations to other people. For eg.in family, the husband has obligations towards his wife & children.Regulative norms governing sub-groups and roles:-Sub-groups and roles are governed by social norms. Social norms are of two types (i) Obligatory or Relational & (ii) Permissive or Regulative. Cultural values:-Values refers to the measures of goodness or desirability, individuals or groups are often found to be...
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