Thursday, January 8, 2015

Interrelated Component Parts of Cultures

by Antonio C. Antonio
January 8, 2015

Culture is oftentimes considered a vague concept.  However, some anthropologists say that culture is a clear and firmly structured system of concepts that even has component parts.  The following are the interrelated parts or components of cultures according to one of my favourite professors, Daylinda Banzon-Cabanilla, in her book “Cultures and Societies in Typical Forest Ecosystems”:
  1. Ideology refers to a society’s beliefs, attitudes, values, knowledge, and information.  Some anthropologists consider ideology and worldview as synonyms.  Others even think of ideology as the entirety of culture.  Ideology includes religion, science, and magic.  It can refer to pro-Erap political programs, the moral values of movie stars, and the environmental attitudes of scientists.
  2. Techno-economy is a society’s production, consumption and distribution of goods and services.  Most anthropologists would just call this component “economy”, but to emphasize technology others use the hyphenated word.  Techno-economy includes livestock raising, food sharing, marketing or trading of corn, stockmarket transactions, and ATMs.
  3. Social organization consists of social units and their patterns of interaction.  You can also call this component “social relations” or “social structure”.  This includes the way individuals and groups in the society interact.  Formal organizations such as NGOs as well as institutions such as marriage, family, and kin groups are types of social organizations.  Societies are also seen as organized along age, sex, gender, ethnicity, and class dimensions.
  4. Environment includes both biophysical (local climate, terrain, flora and fauna, natural resources) and social (neighboring societies) environments.  It includes both natural and human-made surroundings.

Again, culture (defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively) may still appear to be a bit confusing even with the interrelating component parts of culture.

Just my little thoughts…

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