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Q. 1. What do you mean by Culture?Write in detail.
What is Culture?Explain it with definitions.
Ans. The most important thing which differentiates humans from animals is the culture which humans have but animals don’t have. The most important thing which humans have is their culture. If culture would be taken away from them, nothing would be left with them. Among all the organisms of the world, only humans have the capability to make and preserve their culture. Culture comes out of the human. Culture not only comes out of human interaction but it shows the way to future’s human interactions. Culture helps in the formation of personality of a man and helps him to live in society. Culture makes that type of atmosphere in which man becomes capable of doing functions of society. In this way man and culture are connected very deeply with each other because culture differentiates man from animals.
Culture is the most important feature of human society. According to Aristotle, ‘‘Man is a social animal.’’ If we list out the differences between man and animal then this culture will be the decisive factor of difference between them. Man himself creates his culture and has the capacity to preserve it for its future generation. Actually it is the product of human interactions and on the basis of this culture we can differentiate one society from the other. We cannot understand human society without understanding culture because culture exerts a lot of impact on the social life. Cultural factor is also an important factor of social change. In this way we can say that man is not only a biological man but is a cultural man also. In common language culture is compared with education that literate person is a cultured man and illiterate person is a non-cultured man. But this meaning of culture is not correct. Sociology takes its meaning in very wide sense. According to sociologists any thing which man has made to fulfil his needs is culture.
1. According to MacIver and Page, ‘‘It is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and thinking, in our everyday course, in art, in literature, in religion, in recreation and enjoyment.’’
2. According to Bierstedt, ‘‘Culture is the complex whole that consists of everything we think and do and have as members of society.’’
3. According to Ogburn and Nimkoff, ‘‘It is that part of man’s total environment into which he alone is born. It consists buildings, tools, wearing apparel, art, science, religion and all the ways of doing things which man learns.’’From the given definitions it is clear that all such things are included in culture which a man learns while living in society such as art, law, feelings, customs, ways of wearing, eating, literature, knowledge, belief etc. All these things are the part of culture and all these parts do not work separately but they work with each other and form an organization. This organization is known as culture. In short the things which a man has learnt and whatever he has got from his ancestors as heritage is known as culture. In heritage, tools, ways of behaviour, ways of science, ways of doing work are included.
Q. 2. Explain different characteristics and types of culture.
Ans. 1. Culture is transmitted from generation to generation : Culture is transmitted from one generation to another because child learns many things from the behaviour of his parents. Man learns a lot from the achievements of his ancestors. No one wants to start any thing from the beginning and that’s why he takes care of the work which his ancestors had done. This transmission is going on from ages and that’s why every one gets separate personality. No one brings any thing with his birth. He need to learn every thing while living in society with his parents, grandparents etc. In this way culture is transmitted from one generation to another.
2. Culture is social. Culture cannot become the personal property of an individual. It is social because neither one man can make the whole culture and nor it is the property of any one. When any one invents any thing, that invention is not his personal thing but becomes property of society because that thing will be used by the whole society. In this way different things of our culture are used by society.Any thing can be called a part of culture at the time when that thing is accepted by most of the people of society. In this way universality of that thing is an essential element of culture. So culture is not individual but is social.
3. Culture can be learned : Culture is learned by humans. It is not a biological quality which a man gets from his parents by birth. Man learns culture by socialization. No one brings thoughts and ideas by birth but he learns them by interacting with other persons of society. Every type of work is learned in society.From this it is clear that culture is a learned behaviour.
4. Culture fulfil needs of society : If any thing is invented, it is invented because man needs it. In this way, every thing of culture comes out so that the needs of man could be fulfilled. Why man learns to grow wheat, because he needs wheat for his hunger. In this way man learns to grow food and this learned behaviour is transmitted by generations. Needs are not only biological but are socio-cultural also. With hunger, man needs love and sympathy which a man learns while living in society. In this way different parts of culture fulfil different needs of society. Whichever part of culture is unable to fulfil the needs of society, gradually it comes to an end.
5. Changes often come in culture : Culture never stops at one place but often changes come in this because nothing is unchangeable in the world. Change is law of nature and if change is necessary, that thing is changeable. Culture fulfill all the needs of society and needs of society generally change with the passage of time because situations are not the same all the times. With the change in situations, needs also change and with change in needs, the means of fulfilling those needs also change. For example, earlier, agriculture was done with old means like plough but with the increase of population, needs were also increased that’s why now agriculture is done with tractors and combines to fulfil the increased needs. So with the change in situation, culture is also bound to change.
6. One culture consists of many cultures : In every culture, we can see some common norms, traditions, feelings, rituals, behaviour etc. but with this we can see many ways of eating, wearing, ways of living, behaviour, etc. From this it is clear that one culture consists of many cultures. For example we can see many subcultures in Indian culture because every one has its own ways of living, behaving, eating etc. from which it is clear that one culture has many cultures.
Types of Culture
Culture is an important factor of social change with the change in culture, society also changes because it is the social heritage of society.Famous sociologists Ogburn and Nimkoff, in their book ‘Hand Book of Sociology’, have given two types of culture and these are:
(1) Material Culture
(2) Non-material Culture.
1. Material Culture: Material culture is unnatural culture. Its main feature is that all the things made by man are included in this. Material culture is related with concrete things. We can touch and see all the things of material culture. For example machines, tools, means of transport, books, phone, etc. Material culture is related with inventions of man.
2. Non-material Culture: Important feature of non-material culture is that it is abstract. Abstract means those things which we cannot touch, and see. We can only feel them. For example religion, traditions, rituals, customs, art, literature, music, values, ideas etc. are included in non-material culture.
Q. 3. What is civilization? Write in detail.
Ans. Culture has two parts material and non-material. In material culture all the things are included which we can touch and see such as table, chair, machine, book, building, car, plane etc. In non-material culture all the things are included which we cannot touch and see only can feel like thoughts, feelings, religion, rituals, ideals etc. Material culture is concrete and non-material culture is abstract. We can take out the meaning of civilization from this. The useful things, tools or organizations, with the help of which man has won over the nature and natural environment and even controlled other humans, is known as civilization. All these things are the part of our culture. Civilization is known as the developed form of culture. In culture all those things are included which man has achieved from the beginning till today. But civilization is that with which man becomes modern. To know about the exact meaning of civilization let us see the definitions of civilization given by different sociologists.
1. According to Fichter, ‘‘Civilized people are those people who are sedentary, literate and complex in their behaviour.’’
2. According to Weber, ‘‘In civilization all those useful material things and the methods of their formation and usage are included.”
3. According to Ogburn and Nimkoff, ‘‘Civilization may be defined as the later phase of the super organic.’’From this definition it is clear that according to Ogburn and Nimkoff civilization is the later and developed form of culture.
4. According to Green, ‘‘A culture becomes a civilization only when it possesses written language, science, philosophy, a specialized division of labour and a complex technology and political system.”
5. According to Gillin and Gillin, ‘‘The more of complex and developed form of culture is civilization.’’
6. According to MacIver and Page, ‘‘Civilization is the mean of fulfilling needs,” MacIver says that civilization is the material culture and in this all those things are included which are useful. In this way according to MacIver, ‘‘Meaning of civilization is from all the mechanism and organization planned by man to control useful things and conditions of life.’’
In this way after looking at these definitions we can say that the developed form of culture is civilization and according to sociologists, civilization is the higher level of culture. But here one problem comes and the problem is that MacIver and Page does not agree with the fact that only material things are the part of civilization. According to him development of intellectual, religious thoughts, feelings, ideals etc. should also be the part of civilization.
According to MacIver and Page all these things which were made by man such as machines, cars, bank, money, building etc. are the part of civilization but all these things are developed by keeping in mind the social conditions of society. That’s why the things like religion, art, philosophy, literature, feelings should also be included in culture. In this way according to him material things made by man are civilization and man made non-material things are culture.
Q. 4. Explain what are the differences between culture and civilization.
Ans. Differences between culture and civilization are given below:
1. Civilization always develops but culture not: If we compare ancient society and modern society then it will be clear that civilization develops but not the culture. We can say that development came in machines, cars, motors but we cannot say that religion, art, ideas are also developed which are the part of non-material culture. Does views of present day people, religion, ideals, feelings are more higher and developed than the people of earlier societies? May be not. So in this way we can say that civilization develops but not the culture.
2. Civilization can be adopted without any change but not the culture: It is not that civilization can be adopted without any change but not the culture. We can transmit any machine, tractor, motor car from one generation to another but is it possible with ideas, norms, religion etc? May be not. Ideas, religion, ideals cannot be adopted without any change because when we transmit ideas, religion, ideals to next generation then the change is necessary. For example there is a lot of difference between the Indian Christians and European Christians.
3. Culture is internal and Civilization is external: In civilization, a number of external things are included and that’s why it is concrete. In culture many internal things of humans are included such as ideas, feelings, religion, ideals, ways of behaviour. That’s why it is internal and abstract. Civilization express the culture.
4. Civilization can be measured but not the culture: Civilization can be measured but not the culture. All the things included in civilization are useful for us and that’s why they can be measured on the basis of specific units. But the things which are included in culture like ideals, religion, ways of behaviour feelings cannot be measured on any unit because we have not made any unit to measure them. In this way we can say that civilization can be measured but not the culture.
5. Civilization can be passed on without efforts but not the culture: In civilization, all those things are included which are used by man. Because they are related with external life of man, that’s why there is no need of any special effort to transmit it to next generation or to other country. But culture is opposite to this. Culture is related with all those things which are not external but internal to us and no one can see them. If it will not be transmitted to others then these will come to an end with that man only. That’s why to transmit them from one person to another we need special efforts. Civilization can be adopted without any special effort but culture cannot be adopted without any specific effort.
Yet a number of differences are given between culture and civilization but still they cannot live separately or separate from each other. Many things of civilization are affected by culture. Many things of civilization take the form of culture. Production of culture depends upon any technological process. In short culture is the motivational and driving force of society and civilization gives direction to society.
Q. 5. What do you mean by the concept of Cultural Lag?Write in detail.
Ans. First of all the concept of cultural lag was used by Ogburn to understand the problems of society and conditions of conflict. Ogburn was the first sociologist who gave the detailed meaning of the concept of Cultural Lag. Yet other sociologists such as Spencer, Samner, Muller etc. have also used the concept of cultural lag in their writings but Ogburn used this concept in his book. ‘Social Change’ to understand social disorganization problems and tensions. In sociology, this concept is widely accepted.
Meaning of Cultural Lag: According to Ogburn and Nimkoff change in different parts of culture never comes with same speed. The speed of change of one part is more as compared to other. But culture is a system. It is made up of many parts. Its different parts are inter-connected and inter-related. This system of culture can be maintained if change in all parts of culture will come with same speed. Actually what happens is that if one part of culture is changed due to any invention and other part of culture, which depends upon that part, also changes. But change in second part comes very late. How much time will this second part will take, depends upon the nature of second part. This lateness goes on for many years because of which problem comes in system. This lag in different parts of culture is known as Cultural Lag.
According to Ogburn culture has two parts : (1) Material Culture (2) Non-material Culture. In material culture all those things are included which we can touch and see like machine, table, chair, book, T.V., scooter etc. and in non-material culture all those things are included which we cannot see and touch only we can feel them. For example habits, thought, behaviour, feelings, customs etc. These both parts are closely inter- related. If change comes in any part then second part is bound to change. This law is also applicable on material and non-material culture. Changes often come in material culture and these changes are coming very fast because of new inventions. Material culture changes very fast but the speed of changes in non-material is very slow. That’s why because of rapid changes material culture moves forward but nonmaterial culture, whose speed is very slow, is lagging behind. In this way the Lagging behind of non-material culture from material culture is known as cultural lag.
Here one thing should be kept in mind that both parts of culture are closely interrelated. If material culture will change then non-material culture is bound to change. If change comes in material culture and change does not come in non-material culture then non-material culture will stay behind in the speed by material culture. With this, social instability will come in society. To save from this condition of instability,society will try to take the non-material culture up to the level of material culture which takes some time. This difference of time is known as cultural lag.
In our society still old ideas exist. Still we are dependent upon our traditions. In Indian society we have taken Cars, Scooters very quickly but the rules of development of country came very late. In modern age a condition has come that some conditions of society, have been changed and some are not. Cultural lag has exerts its pressure even at international level. We can see Lag in every sphere of society. Buildings, furniture etc. of schools have been changed but policies of education have not been changed so that the man can earn his livelihood. Today’s age is full of tension and is the age of rationalism. Man has invented a lot and these inventions are adopted by humans but their ideas are not changed. He doesn’t want to leave his old ideas, traditions but he is ready to accept modern techniques. This is cultural lag. We can see many examples of cultural lag in Indian society. Like we are providing computer, good clothes, money, modern technical education motor cycle, cars etc. to our children but we will never tolerate that boys and girls will set or go any where together. This is an example of cultural lag.