What is Culture?

What is Culture?
There are 7 Themes of Culture
Social Organization
Customs and Traditions
Arts and Literature
Forms of Government
Economic Systems
Social Organization
• Family is the most
important social unit
• Through family, children
learn how to act, behave,
what to believe, and the
rules of a society
• Family patterns differ
from culture to culture
• culture and knowledge is
passed from one
generation to another
through discussion,
observations, actions and
Family Structure
Nuclear Family
• includes a wife,
husband and their
• typical family pattern
in industrial countries
like the US
Extended Family
• several generations
living in one
• may include
grandparents, parents,
children, aunts uncles,
cousins, etc.
Social Classes
• Societies are divided in many ways, there
are ranking systems
• Here in the United States it is based upon
such things as
physical possessions
who you know
• In some societies you are born into a social class
and you can not move out of it
Customs and Traditions
• These help to teach and enforce a societies
rules and expectations
• these can include the idea of right and
• these can include ceremonies, holidays,
family gatherings or events
• Language is the cornerstone of Culture
• it is how cultures express their ideas and
pass them on from one generation to
• it can be verbal, non-verbal, written,
including many different dialects, for
– a southern accent
– a New York accent
Arts and Literature
• Cultures express their
ideas and beliefs
through their art
• folk tales and other
literature can express
the view points of
• art, music, and
literature help to
strengthen a cultures
• Religion helps people
to answer basic
questions about the
meaning and purpose
of life.
• It also helps to support
the values of a culture
• religion is often
reflected in paintings,
music, architecture
• religion has also been
the source of many
Different gods
• Monotheism
• the belief in only one
• examples:
– Christianity
– Islam
– Judaism
• Polytheism
• the belief in two or
more gods
• examples:
– Hinduism
– Paganism
Forms of Government
Why are Governments Formed?
• Governments were originally formed to
help people meet their basic needs
keeping order
protecting their society from outside threats
• government refers to the people or person in
control and the laws and political
Early Governments
• For much of human history, people lived in
small groups
• government was fairly simple, usually
chiefs or councils made decisions for the
tribe or group
• as society expanded, government become
more complicated
• Early society were often lead by PriestKings, they were the connection between
the gods and the people
What makes up a Government?
• Someone or some body of people make the
important decisions
• there are laws and punishments for breaking
those laws
• there is a means of enforcing those laws
• there are officials to help run the
• governments must raise funds so they can
Forms of Government
There are many types of government for
• Communist
• Socialist
• Dictatorship
Brief Explanations
• Democracy - the people have supreme
power, and are involved in all decisions
• Republic - people elect representatives to
vote for them on government matters
• Monarchy - a king or queen run the country
• Constitutional Monarchy - a king or queen
shares power with an elected body, each
keeps the other in check
Brief Explanations continued
• Communism - no private property, everyone
owns everything, there are no class
distinctions, the government makes all the
economic decisions
• Socialism - state owns the means of
production, people in theory work together
to achieve the greater good for society
• Dictatorship - a person or group take power,
often through military force and use the
military to maintain their power
Economic Systems
• What is economics?
• social science that deals with the production,
distribution, and consumption of goods and
• What does economics have to do with Culture?
• Economics influences the way we live, our
lifestyle, our living situation, what we eat, wear,
listen too, see on the media, etc.
Economic Systems
• There are four economic systems
Traditional economy
Market economy
Command economy
Mixed Economy
• Each addresses the three basic economic
questions of life: “What goods and services
should we produce?” “How should we
produce them?” “For whom should we
produce them?”
• People produce most
of what they need to
• hunting, gathering,
and growing their own
• make their own
clothes, tools, etc.
• if they have extra they
trade for other goods
• Individuals answer the
basic economic
• they buy and sell
goods and services
• they work for money
to buy these goods
• government is not
involved in the market
• The government
controls what goods
are produced, how
they are produced, and
what they cost
• individuals have little
economic power
• the government
controls the factories
and the stores
• Individuals make
some economic
decisions and the
government makes
• government might
make regulations
about a product but
private businesses
make the products