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Culture: Humankind’s Imprints to Civilization
Transcript of Culture: Humankind’s Imprints to Civilization
Allan G. Johnson
(1996) said, that culture is the sum of symbols, ideas, forms of expressions, and material products associated with a social system. It is a dynamic medium through which societies create a collective way of life reflected in such things as beliefs, values, music, literature, art, dance, science, religious ritual, and technology.
is a powerful force in the lives of all people. Although its impact is never total and its content is forever changing, culture shapes and guides people’s perceptions of reality. It tells us what is real from what is not. . It determines the food we eat and how we eat them, the clothing we wear, the music we listen to, and the games we play.
2 kinds of Culture
3. Gestures, actions that have meanings in particular cultural contexts
– a wink, a clenched fist, a raised right hand, and others; and
4. Spoken and written words that make up language
It is the most important set of symbols in any culture, for it contains the building blocks used to construct ideas (Johnson, 1996)
1. Symbolic Objects
– flag representing nations, money representing labor and goods;
2. Symbolic Characteristics of Objects
– Purple for royalty, yellow for cowardice, red for war, and so on;
1. Non-material culture:
includes the following:
A. knowledge such as natural, supernatural, magical, technical;
B. Social norms or norms such as folkways, mores, and laws;
C. Ideas such as values and beliefs.
2. Material Culture
– the physical objects of culture such as machines, tools, books, clothing and so on called material culture
is produced as the people who make up society, work out their lives together. What is generated as knowledge and what is taken as reflects the values and the sociological feature of the society (Dant, 1991)
It is a specific guidelines for action; it is a rule that says how people should be have in particular situations.
– Norms that are simply the customary, normal, habitual ways a group does things.
Mores (More-ays or Morayz)
are norms people consider vital to their well-being and to their most cherished values. Examples are the prohibition against incest, cannibalism, and sexual abuse of children.
– In political sense, law is the body of rules, made by government for society, interpreted by the courts, and backed by the power of the state.
Crazes, Fads, and Fashions
– Some special variations of man’s behavior are listed as crazes, fads, and fashions.
– Called rages or social epidemics.
Hair Coloring, among the youth, is a good example of craze.
– This word is applied to behavior which is similar to that of a craze but not so extreme. Body piercing and tattooing are good illustrations.
– generally have a direct relationship to prestige. If one has the clothes, house furniture, and types of automobiles which fit the fashions of the time, one can gain prestige
– They comprise man’s conceptions of his physical, social, and cultural world. These are manifested in the beliefs and values of the people.
– embody man’s perceptions and convictions about reality and includes the primitive man’s concept, idea of the universe as well as the scientist’s empirical view of the earth or world.
Characteristics of Culture
1. Culture is learned and acquired
– culture is not instinctive or innate in human beings; it is not a part of the biological equipment of human species. The ability of a man to think and put forward his ideas about the society where he lived in is a manifestation that there is an acquisition and learning things.
2. Culture is shared and transmitted
– the acquisition and learning of culture is a process of culture preservation.
3. Culture is adaptive or dynamic
– society changes so rapidly and the people should know how to conform to these changes.
4. Culture is cumulative
– Being original is unique. But in today’s era, originality is pass since new ideas are but the products of man’s innovation through his being a sociable creature.
5. Culture is ideational
– Culture is an ideal pattern of behavior which the members are expected to follow. Man assigns meanings to his environment and experiences by symbolizing them.
6. Culture gratifies human needs
– Culture plays a significant role in satisfying human needs. The thirst for finding solutions to recurring problems in a society whether it is material or non material or whether how simple and complex it might be, is provided by the peoples’ knowledge of things around him.
7. Culture is social
– It is basically a group product. When a group interacts, the sharing of ideas is expected. out of this sharing a new culture sprouts.
Other Cultural Concepts
– colonial mentality syndrome
• Cultural Relativity
– Cultural relativism simply means that a particular action only has meaning as it interacts with other practices in the society.
• Cultural Universals
– These are behavioral patterns that are found in all human cultures.
• Culture Shock
• Cultural Lag
Filipino Cultural Values
1. Amor Propio
– Self-esteem or self-love. It is amor propio that makes the Filipino fear to lose social acceptance.
– Disguise; hypocrisy; pretension; appearing to be what one is not.
– the shouldering of a common burden for a mutual advantage. During drinking sprees, Filipinos even pitch in on the expenses so that everyone can enjoy.
– “tulungan ng bayan sa isang Gawain”
5. Doble-kara –
Talog term of doubled-faced. Filipinos value honesty and integrity and admire a person who means that he says and
6. Eh, ano? “So What?” “So What If…”
- This expression is often used by and associated with easy-go-lucky persons. It is similar to the bahala na psychology, a common Filipino attitude. Sometimes “eh, ano?’ is also used as self-defense mechanism for one’s personality and being. Like “eh, ano kung pangit ako, matalino naman” In some instances, “ eh, ano” implies indifference. Bluntly it means, “It’s none of your damned business!”
7. Filipino “I’ll Try” -
To a Filipino this phrase has certain well-defined meaning according to the manner which it is said. One Who doesn’t know the Filipino culture will interpret this “to drop by for dinner tonight” and if he says “I’ll try; he is asking tonight” and he says “I’ll try; he is asking you to repeat the invitation more strongly.
8. Gaya-gaya –
To imitate. Some Filipinos have a tendency to imitate others, especially Westerners: the way they dress, dance, talk, celebrate and look, during the Spanish period.
– The feeling of envy over the good fortune or success of someone.
– Fate “Palad” is the Tagalog word of palm. The Filipino believes that his fortune is written in his palm (Nasa palad mo ang iyong kapalaran)
– This is an adapted Indian word which means “The law of nature” for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Kung ano ang itinanim ay siyang aanihin
12. Mahilig sa Ayusan
– The Filipino way of fixing matters in an unorthodox and usually illegal way.
– The replies “Yes” to a question attached to a term if respect. “Ho” is used for those of the same age or social position; while “po” is used for those who are older or higher in the social scale or those authority.
– “Sama” Means to go with. Thus it is uniting one’s will with the will of others in a gang or peer group
– This is a variation of “damay” which is a value inherent in the Filipino culture because of its clannishness and close-knit families. Sympathy and help are not, however, limited within the family.
16. Smooth Interpersonal Relationship (SIR)
- This is the strong cultural force among Filipinos in their effort to achieve social acceptance and maintain harmonious relationships.