Culture is the norms and behaviors that characterize a certain way of living of a community or a society. The concept of a society's culture entails several aspects such as the general human behavior in a society, social expressive forms such as religion, music, and art. Culture also involves the aspect of technology that is in terms of the technology used in that particular community. Different communities have different cultures. Simply defined, culture is a society's beliefs, values, and norms as well as the symbols and objects associated with it.
Expression of culture is the ways in which a society communicates its practices and norms within itself and to the outside world (Fullan, 2014). There are various forms of expression of culture depending on the society in question. Some societies use music and dances to express their culture while others use more complex forms such as wrestling or other unique methods as forms of cultural expression. A society's culture has various functions. Some of the most significant functions of culture include; bringing together and acting as the moral fabric of that society (Almond, Verba, 2015). Culture contains and interprets the values of a society and it is also the trademark or the special aspect or feature that distinguishes a society from another. In most societies, culture provides one of the most important grounds for the society's solidarity.
Public institutions should have the right to control or limit the expression of culture in a society. However, the control granted to the public institutions to limit the expression of culture in a society should be limited. A public institution should not be allowed full power to control how a certain culture is expressed in a particular society. Institutional control over the expression of culture in any society is also considered to be State control over that cultural expression.
At most times, cultural expressions are not limited especially by public institutions and are allowed to continue uninterrupted. However, there are instances in which there develops a need to curtail that particular cultural expression. For instance, where there are unacceptable cultural practices such as the Female Genital Mutilation that takes place in several societies across the world, existing public institutions in that society should be allowed to curtail that particular cultural expression.
Culture can influence an individual's perceptions, attitudes and behaviors in various ways. For instance, people throughout their lives live according to the way of living and doing things that were imported in them during their childhood times. The culture within which an individual grows in is the determinant of the kind of person that person is going to be in their future (Kluegel, J. R., et al. 2017). A culture presents a collective worldview of the people who form a person's society. This means that the culture of that place primarily influences the person's behaviors and attitudes.
There are several ways through which culture is transmitted from a group to the next and also maintained in a group (Triandis, H. 2018). Most of the ways include social learning methods such as art and music. Language use is also one of the primary ways in which culture is maintained in a group (Alvesson, 2016). Behavior patterns are the leading method through which culture is maintained in a group of people. A behavior within a group of people can form part of that group's culture in various ways. For instance, if a group of people adopts a certain behavior towards a certain topic or the way of doing things, that becomes part of their culture.
Currently, there are various theoretical perspectives regarding certain cultures and cultural values and practices (Shanks, 2016). The perspectives include the symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and the conflict theory. Symbolic interactionism refers to the use of symbols or face to face conversation. Under this bracket, symbols as a cultural aspect are highly used as a way of communication. Functionalism is another theoretical perspective regarding culture. In this context, functionalism is the relationship between the various parts of a society this bracket is also involved with how aspects of the society are adaptive or functional (Parsons, 2017). The third theoretical perspective is the conflict theory which in this perspective is the competition for scarce resources such as how the reach people manipulate the weak.
Public institutions such as learning institutions should have the right to limit some of the cultural expressions such as the use of ethnic language and other ethnic identities such as dress codes (Rampton, 2017). This helps to reduce ethnic polarization in learning institutions. Other public institutions such as the communication authorities' institutions have the right to limit the expression of culture in a society especially when that expression is done through the mainstream media and social media. The public institutions under this bracket should be allowed to check on the media especially the social media platforms. This is necessary as it helps to keep the people in check not to communicate and propagate untruths that could compromise the coexistence of a people.
Almond, G. A., & Verba, S. (2015). The civic culture: Political attitudes and democracy in five nations. Princeton university press.
Alvesson, M. (Ed.). (2016). Organizational culture. Sage.
Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a culture of change personal action guide and workbook. John Wiley & Sons.
Kluegel, J. R., & Smith, E. R. (2017). Beliefs about inequality: Americans' views of what is and what ought to be. Routledge.
Parsons, T. (2017). The present status of "structural-functional" theory in sociology. The idea of social structure (pp. 67-84). Routledge.
Rampton, B. (2017). Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. Routledge.
Shanks, Michael, and Christopher Tilley. Re-constructing archaeology: theory and practice. Routledge, 2016.
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