The Four Components of Culture
Cultures vary from one another and it shares four major components, these are the communication, cognitive, material and behavioral aspects.
Communication components include language and symbols. Through having a language, a group of people interact with one another, socially sharing their thoughts, feelings or ideas to the people with same language.
Language forms the core of all cultures throughout society. The symbols are considered as the backbone of symbolic interactions. A symbol might be considered as anything that holds a particular meaning and are recognized by the people that share the same culture. Different cultures have different symbols, it is cross-culturally and it might be change over a period of time.
The second major component of culture is the cognitive component. It includes Ideas, Knowledge and Belief, Values and Accounts.
Ideas, Knowledge and Belief are basic units of knowledge construction. Ideas are considered as mental representation and are used to organize stimulus. When Ideas are link together it will organize into larger systems of information which will become knowledge.
Knowledge now is considered as a storage of information fact or assumption, and this knowledge can be passed down from one generation to another.
Belief on the other hand assumes that a proposition, statement, description of fact is true in nature. These acceptance were influenced by the external authorities such as government, religion, or science rather than proven true from the individual's direct experiences.
Values serve as guidelines for social living. Culturally, it can be defined as the standards of desirability, goodness and beauty.
Accounts are considered to be a way on how people use the language for their explanation, justification, or to rationalize, excuse, or legitimize a behavior towards themselves or to the others.
The third major component of culture is the behavioral components. Behavioral component is the major component of culture that is concerned about on how we act. It includes norms which further categorizes into Mores, Laws, Folkway, and Rituals.
Norms are considered as rules and expectations eventually set by a particular society that serves as guides to the behavior of its members. It varies in the terms of the degrees of importance and might be change over a period of time. It is reinforced by sanctions in the forms or rewards and punishments. These are standards accepted by society culturally and serve as obligatory and expected behavior's of the people in different situations in life.
Mores are kinds of norms that are considered to be as a customary behavior patterns which have taken from a moralistic value.
Laws serve as the formal and important norms that translated into legal formalizations. Folkways are considered as behavioral patterns of a particular society that is repetitive and organize. Rituals on the other hand are those highly scripted ceremonies of interactions which follows a sequence of actions. Examples are baptism, holidays and more.
The fourth major component of culture is the Material component. This includes materials or objects created by humans for practical use or for artistic reasons. These objects are called as “material culture”. Material components serve as an expression of an individual culture.