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Culture. The 7 Elements of Culture. Culture. Culture : everything that makes up a person’s entire way of life. 7 Elements of Culture. These are things that all cultures have in common. What might some of those things be?. Social Organization

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The 7 Elements of Culture

  • Culture: everything that makes up a person’s entire way of life
7 elements of culture
7 Elements of Culture

These are things that all cultures have in common.

What might some of those things be?

  • Social Organization

-When a culture organize its members into smaller groups

        • What might some smaller groups be in a culture?
          • Families
          • Friends
          • Religious groups
          • Social classes
  • Occupation
  • Interest groups
7 elements of culture4
7 Elements of Culture
  • Social Organization, cont.

- family: the most important unit of social organization

          • Nuclear family- husband, wife, children
          • Extended family- several generations in one household

- respect for elders is usually strong in extended fams.


7 Elements of Culture

  • Social Organization, cont.

- social classes: a way to rank people in order of status

      • What can social class be based on?
        • Money
        • Occupation
        • Education
        • Race
        • Etc.
7 elements of culture6
7 Elements of Culture

2. Customs and Traditions

- rules of behavior (written and unwritten)

7 elements of culture7
7 Elements of Culture
  • Language
      • Important for communication and passing on traditions and beliefs
  • There is some debate about making English the official language of the United States.
7 elements of culture8
7 Elements of Culture

4. Arts and Literature

- teach about a culture’s values

- promote cultural pride and unity


7 elements of culture9
7 Elements of Culture
  • Religion
      • Monotheism: belief in one god
      • Polytheism: belief in more than one god
    • Major World Religions
      • Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism
7 elements of culture10
7 Elements of Culture

6. Forms of Government

  • People form governments to provide for their common needs
  • Types
    • Democracy: people have supreme power
    • Republic: people choose leaders to represent them
    • Dictatorship: a ruler or group holds power by force

White House

Great Britain’s Houses of Parliament

7 elements of culture11
7 Elements of Culture
  • Economic Systems
      • Four types

1. Traditional: people produce most of what they need to survive

2. Market: basic economic questions are answered by buying/selling goods and services

3. Command: government controls answers to economic questions

4. Mixed: individuals make some economic decisions, the government makes others

ways cultures change
Ways Cultures Change
  • Technology
        • Cars, telephone, computers, TV dinners
  • Environment Changes
  • New Ideas (like recycling)

4.Diffusion: movement of customs and ideas from one place to another

be careful of
Be Careful of…
  • Ethnocentrism: judging other cultures by the standards of your own
        • Assuming your own culture to be the best
  • Racism: belief that one racial group is naturally superior to another
        • Race is a culture thing. It does not actually, physically exist.