What are Characteristics of Culture?

Alex Williams
9 Min Read

Different styles and interests form a culture. It’s a term that defines our behavior, traditions, norms, values, etc. which encompasses the originality of people and groups of people. But what are the characteristics of culture and its examples? In this article, we will discuss not only the best characteristic of culture but also the characteristic of high cultural intelligence. So, let’s begin!

1. What is Culture and its Example?

When some common beliefs and values are shared by a group of people, it is said to be a culture. Cultural elements like rituals, festivals, food, languages, and architecture are also shared by these groups of people. Let us know more about the culture and its examples: 

  • High culture: Elites generally practice high culture by participating in fine art, opera, yachting, and horse riding.
  • Youth culture: Youths create their own culture of dance, music, words, and euphemisms.
  • Counterculture: A subculture that is opposed to the dominant culture and can’t be tolerated easily is a counterculture. Example: the anti-globalization movement.
  • Western culture: A mix of Christianity and European enlightenment values.
  • Traditional culture: Traditional clothes, open cooking, and old music are a part of traditional culture. Common languages and pastimes are shared by all the members of each culture.
  • Internet culture: Culture can also be created by connecting with people with similar interests and values around the world.

2. Why is Culture important?

The top reasons why is culture so important can be understood by knowing more about culture and its examples: 

  • Self-realization: Culture lets you know about yourself better and relate to your origin and realize your value. It boosts your dignity and self-respect and makes you feel proud.
  • Moral Values: Moral values can be instilled in you by following a culture. It makes you able to co-exist with different people and make a harmonious society.
  • Knowledge: Profound knowledge can be gained by studying every aspect of culture.
  • Compassion: Culture teaches you to live peacefully and respectfully with others.
  • Ancestry: Culture helps you know about your ancestry and traditions.

3. What are the Types?

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The different types of cultures are: 

  • Traditional cultures: Traditional cultures are responsible to link the older generations to the new generations of extended families by passing cocktails.
  • Individualistic culture: An individual’s needs and goals are privatized by culture.
  • Internet culture: The Internet has changed the ways of interaction and relations with one another. It has made communication possible with people across the world, thus, establishing an internet culture.
  • Western culture: Concepts like democracy, feminism, liberty, and secularism come from the Western culture
  • Subculture: Subcultures of many different types including hipsters, artists, punks, and hippies. They are for a short duration but can also transform into a dominant culture with time.
  • Global culture: International institutions promote global culture, such as United Nations. They believe that some shared norms of behavior must be set among the Nations.
  • Syncretic culture: It is the blend of two cultures that gives a new culture that is unique and influenced by the original two cultures.

4. What is Culture Determined by?

The characteristics of culture can be determined by the behavior of humans which is responsible for human society. It is accumulated slowly over generations. It is the product of the individuals and society who compose the culture. Society is held together by culture and the people in a society follow the culture or the way of life. Culture belongs to a group of people and not an individual. It may vary across different regions in the world resulting in diversity around the world. Customary ways of culture and its examples are everyday behavior, religions, beliefs, moral standards, language, expressions, and food. (See What are Some Cultural Aspects?)

5. What are the Characteristics of Culture?

The characteristics of culture are:

  • Distinct entity: Different nations have established different identities due to different patterns of the culture of different societies of the world.
  • Acquired traits: The sum of the traits acquired is the culture. While growing up, traits are acquired by a newborn baby and the baby acquires different attitudes, values, and ideals during the process this forms an individual’s culture.
  • Transmission: The cultural heritage is modified by each generation and transmitted to the next. Therefore, this transmission of culture from generation to generation is a continuous process.
  • Utility: A culture dies out after some time if it does not fulfill the purpose of utility to society or an individual. Therefore, all the cultures in the world are adopted by the people just promoting the world culture, and inhibiting cultural integration.
  • Dynamism: Culture is dynamic and not static which means that it grows and changes with time. Cultures become composite by adopting another culture. Hence, cultural synthesis occurs which leads to a change in the beliefs, behavior, patterns, and values of individuals.

6. What are 4 Basic Characteristics of Culture?

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The basic characteristics of culture are: 

  • A shared belief system among a group of people is seen with the same cultural background.
  • Dynamic with time culture changes and adapts, thus culture is not static.
  • The members of a group share symbols of a common culture and understand their meanings.
  • The same language is spoken among a group or community.

7. What is the Best Characteristic of Culture?

The best characteristic of culture is that culture is learned and not inherited. People learn their behavior from the experiences of others that are responsible for their culture. For example, kids learn to speak from the people at their home. Similarly, behavioral norms like cheer and applause are learned from people in society. Therefore, cultures are based on geographic locations and religions in society. (See What are the Elements of Culture in Sociology?)

8. What Common Characteristics do most Individual Cultures share?

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The common characteristics of culture that most individual cultures share are symbols, myths, spirituality, religion, the role of language, authorities, traditions, ceremonies, celebrations, sexuality, geographic locations, the concept of punishment, relationships, and grouping, prejudice, stereotypes, and legitimacy. (See Which is an Example of Cultural Diffusion?)

9. What is a Characteristic of High Cultural Intelligence?

The characteristic of high cultural intelligence can be known by the following examples:

  • Personality: Individuals try to consider others’ perspectives and are always open to new experiences to see social interactions. Stable people are emotionally more confident and comfortable.
  • Cultural capital: The diverse competence that is accumulated from the home environment of a child and the intrinsic resources are referred to as the cultural capital including knowledge, values, and mindsets. These resources are developed in a child by the orientation of parents positively towards diversity.
  • International and multicultural experience: People who travel are found to have more cultural intelligence than nontravelers. They develop an intercultural understanding of complex thinking, novel behavior, and confidence to experience cross-cultural interactions.
  • Training: Formal training can develop cultural intelligence like training in Q knowledge, Q drive, and Q strategy can develop self-confidence, mental capacity for understanding, and cultural understanding.
  • Foreign language acquisition: This can improve cultural intelligence since the main source of the characteristic of high cultural intelligence is language. To enhance understanding of culture, competence in different languages can play an effective role.

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