Cultural Behavior

Topics: Culture, Psychology, Cultural anthropology Pages: 2 (596 words) Published: February 1, 2011
Cultural behavior is behavior exhibited by humans (and, some would argue, by other species as well, though to a much lesser degree) that is extra-somatic or extra-genetic, in other words, learned. For a behavior to be considered cultural it must be shared extra-genetically; that is, it must be taught. Language is an important element in human culture. It is the primary abstract artifact by which culture is transmitted extra-geneticallyCultural programming is an integral part of the overall school programming. The school has several initiatives that provide for cultural experiences. Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another. The position that the ideas, meanings, beliefs and values people learn as members of society determines human nature. People are what they learn. Optimistic version of cultural determinism places no limits on the abilities of human beings to do or to be whatever they want. Some anthropologists suggest that there is no universal "right way" of being human. "Right way" is almost always "our way"; that "our way" in one society almost never corresponds to "our way" in any other society. Proper attitude of an informed human being could only be that of tolerance. The optimistic version of this theory postulates that human nature being infinitely malleable, human being can choose the ways of life they prefer. The pessimistic version maintains that people are what they are conditioned to be; this is something over which they have no control. Human beings are passive creatures and do whatever their culture tells them to do. This explanation leads to behaviorism that locates the causes of human behavior in a realm that is totally beyond human control. It does not imply normalcy for oneself, nor for one's society. It, however, calls for judgment when dealing with groups or societies different from one's own cultural differences manifest themselves in different ways and...
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