Free «Culture» Essay Sample


Culture is one of the most significant elements of the surrounding world contributing to the exchange of customs, traditions and values between different nations. In simple words, culture is an environment created by people in order to support lifestyle and behavior of every individual formulating a nation. It is an element, which creates peculiarities of nations and emphasizes their true lifestyle with a set of attributions. These attributions formulate the basement of culture. There are two types of culture including material and non-material cultures. These parts have a specific nature outlining different aspects of human performance. These elements have different roles in contemporary world. However, the main idea is that material and non-material cultures are interrelated. It means that these two categories integrate into a single category, which influences human activity on a daily basis (Olsen, 2003). It is essential to take into account both categories separately in order to understand the significance of every element. In addition, it will help to outline the similar points between two categories.

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Material Culture

Material culture is a category, which refers to physical objects, space, resources and other objects, which formulate the basement of human activity. This category includes physical objects as products of human activity, which help a generation to grow and develop. These elements formulate the supportive side of human activity making life safe and healthy. Examples of material culture include temples, neighborhoods, office buildings, theaters, museums, factories, educational institutions, stores, and other buildings. Contemporary world includes such products of human activity as automobiles, computers, books, works of art and other forms of material art. In addition, material culture is a category formulating one of the key aspects of archeologist’s vocabulary. Artifacts, treasures and other staff left by other generations help to establish appropriate research and learn more about lifestyle of the past. Material culture has an aim of helping people to formulate history and learn more about the story of other nations. In general, material culture includes objects of everyday life, which help people handle their routine duties and responsibilities. For example, it is obvious that technological era is one of the phenomena taking over traditions and customs of the past. Contemporary students must have personal computers in order to access Internet. It has become one of the outlining elements of American, European and Asian cultures. In its turn, Africans have an opposite element formulating their culture. For example, in some villages, young generation learns how to cut trees in order to work and find food. It is the prerogative and obligation of African people to find instruments of labor, which will help them to work. These instruments, in turn, become objects of material culture.

Material culture also includes works of art: paintings, sculptures and textiles. There are numerous specialists from material culture sector learning more about these objects. In museums, many material culture specialists can tell everything about works of art, which once belonged to different nations. Material culture specialists take care of bringing to light accurate information about lifestyle of previous nations by taking into account instruments of their labor, works of art and various objects, which became the basement of their activity. These objects became regulators of human activity, which resulted in an outcome of specific behavioral patterns and performance in general.

Non-material Culture

Non-material culture is a category of human activity, which includes ideas, perceptions, beliefs, norms, standards, customs, traditions, language and moral values. These elements outline spiritual and ethical side of every generation’s development. Numerous examples emphasize the importance of non-material culture in the development of the whole society. For example, religion is a key aspect of non-material culture orienting people towards worshipping God. Religion includes a set of norms and principles, which become standards for every individual following this segment of non-material culture. Religion also becomes a reflection of the culture in the aspect of reactions, responses, feelings and behaviors. It outlines the way people respond to events, emergencies and issues in the prospect of religious context. Non-material culture does not have a physical shape. Knowledge is another example, which is one of the similar points between material and non-material cultures (Batali, n.d.). It is a non-material part of culture, which enriches the material side by penetrating it with sense and meaning.

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Interrelation of material and non-material cultures has a natural prospective. It means that physical objects cannot exist without explanation of their meaning to the development of a generation. Facts and theories formulate the basement of knowledge, which integrates two categories of culture. Obviously, there are numerous examples of non-material culture. However, there are four main basic elements, which specialists use in order to refer to the non-material side of the culture. These elements include symbols, norms, language and moral values. In addition, these elements are some of the similar points between material and non-material cultures. Finally, two categories of culture integrate in a single formation producing a diversity of objects and knowledge about them, which help to explore the surrounding world at different stages of its development. History is another form of non-material culture, which includes all facts about the nation’s existence. It is a tool, which contributes to the cultural exchange not only between different nations, but also between different generations.

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