Elements of Culture


Elements of Culture

Culture is a way of life spend by a specific group of people. Every culture is amalgamation of the following elements, norms, values, beliefs and language.

Culture is a way of life spend by a specific group of people.


To live together in a group the most important part is communication amongst the individuals of the group. 

Language contains set of symbols, gestures and sounds which vary in different culture. Learning language is of vital importance for an individual to become a part of society, indeed it is the first and fundamental thing that a child learn. 

Moreover, it is important for a child to learn language of a given culture to acquire social skills. A child learn social skills via interacting with the members of society and language is the fundamental element for interaction. 


If an individual wants to become a part of new group or society he has have to learn the language of that group to interact with the other members of group. 

For example if a person want to join a law firm, first he has to get a law degree, because lawyers have their own terminologies and sentence structure, which could not be understood without having a law degree.

Social Norms

Social Norms refer to established rules of conduct maintained by a society. That specify how individuals should behave and should not behave within a given society. 

 Social norms are the expectations of a culture from an individual to how to behave in a society in a specific situation. 

For example if there is a line in fast food restaurant, for joining the line you have to stand behind the last person in the line, if you barge in middle or in front it will be against the norms. 

Furthermore, norms are divided in to two components, mores and folkways. 


Folkways are the general standard behaviors followed by, individuals in a group. For example way of dressing, way of greeting guests and the way of preparing food. 

Mores are the ethical and moral behaviors followed by individuals in a group. For example intrusion in someone home is unethical, steeling is not a moral behavior and in some cultures committing adultery is considered immoral behavior. Therefore, not following mores leads to punishment in a society, whereas, there is not any strict restriction on following folkways.

Formal Norms

Sociologists have categorized norms in to two types; “Formal norms” and “Informal norms”.

Formal norms refer to, written rules of conduct maintained by a society. These are written rules for those behaviors; which are collectively valued within a society. 

They serve most of the people in a group or, society. State laws are formal norms; which are established in accordance to the social beliefs and values. 

Informal Norms

Informal norms are conformed casual behaviors; they are understood but, not recorded. People learn informal norms via, socialization. When an individual interact within a society; he learns how to behave in different situations.

Informal norms are learned through, observation and imitation. Whereas, some informal norms are taught directly to children by parents or, family members like, greeting guests — respecting elders — avoiding abusive language.

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