Elements of culture refer to the factors that are related to social control. The first element of culture is language, which it forms the cornerstone of behaviors or patterns of communication for a particular community. It’s worth noting that all cultures have spoken language though it must not be necessary formal- written (Andreatta& Ferraro, 2013). From the fact that a society is made up of diverse communities, a vast range of local dialect- people speaking different languages exist. Therefore, language designates people to certain ethnic groups.
Members of a society are known to organize themselves into sizeable numbers and strive towards attaining their basic needs. In a family set up for example, the young are expected to learn acceptable conducts and ethics from the elderly, and the married have an understanding of their roles in the extended family set up through their interaction with the other members of the society (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). The social organization is responsible for creation of social ranks and classes of people in a society according to their education and occupations among other social distinguishing factors.
The economic system of a society is another element, which dictates what its citizens are capable of producing, the radical changes in the production methods, and how they market it or basically who is the target for the produced products. People tend to consume less of the obviously limited resources in the scramble to satisfy their needs. Therefore, most societies overproduce what they rely on for survival. For example; gathering, hunting, herding cattle, making of tools and own clothes. This can be termed as the traditional economy. However, in as much as the government and individuals make concurrent economic decisions regarding the control and production of the goods, on the other hand the individuals will always have the lowest economic power (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). Other elements of culture include; religion, forms of government, arts and literature and customs/traditions of the society.
In conclusion, it’s advisable that the members in the society grow in all these seven dimensions of the culture. Cultural relativism refers to the tendency to understanding ones beliefs in terms of the individual own culture. On the other hand, ethnocentrism refers to the feeling of worthiness for one’s culture and the regard of this culture as a reference for others.
Andreatta, S., & Ferraro, G. P. (2013). Elements of culture: An applied perspective. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage.