Page 1 of 2

List and define the 5 components of all human cultures. Why do yo...

Continues for 1 more pages »
Read full document

List and define the 5 components of all human cultures. Why do you think they are found in all cultures? Explain how these 5 components are interrelated.

  • By
  • Feb. 22, 2006
  • 799 Words
  • 34964 Views
Page 1 of 2
There are five components of human culture; symbols, language, values and beliefs, norms, and material culture and technology. Symbols are anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture. Language is a system of symbols that allows people to communicate with each other. Values are culturally defined standards by which people assess desirability, goodness, and beauty, and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. Beliefs are specific statements that people hold to be true. Norms are rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. Technology is knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their surroundings, which is reflected by material culture.

I think that all of these components are found in all cultures because humans are all from one single species. This reverts to Sociobiology, or ways in which human biology affects how we create culture. We are all made the same, with the same foundation for thought; meaning that when it comes down to it we all think the same about very general things. This allows all cultures to also have several commonalities among their foundations. Symbols are probably the most common things taken for granted. The simplest most everyday things are symbols. A wave of the hand can be a friendly gesture of hello. However, if not done properly with all the fingers in the upright position it can be a rude gesture and a great sign of disrespect. The honking of a car horn is a symbol to grab someone's attention to their surroundings, i.e. the panic button on a key chain. Even something as common as a kiss is a symbol of love and caring. Language can be words or sounds that are spoken or words that are written. For instance some people believe that dogs communicate with each other through barking, this may be their own language. In the ancient days of the Pharoses of Egypt there were hieroglyphics that were written on the walls of tombs. Several Indians of the...