Culture is shared understanding that emerges from shared experiences. This helps people to get along and enjoy a sense of common identity. Cultures exist at many levels such as a national culture or neighborhood culture. They can include both traditional cultures and modern cultures that emerge from anything that bounds people together as a social group such as an organization, hobby or profession. The following are common examples of culture.
NormsShared norms of behavior such as an expectation that you keep your voice to a reasonable level in a particular office. Norms respect the intelligence and freedom of the group by not making everything a formal rule.
RolesRoles such as family roles in a traditional culture.
ExpectationsAn action that is expected in a particular situation. For example, a community that expects new neighbors to introduced themselves within a few days of moving in and to offer a small gift.
HabitsShared habits such as a design firm where most people work from home on Fridays.
LanguageA language associated with a national culture, regional culture or ethnic group. Unique vocabulary can also emerge in any culture.
FoodDishes, ingredients and culinary traditions.
EventsEvents such as an annual neighborhood festival.
PastimesShared patterns of leisure. For example, the Japanese tradition of flying kites on New Years Day.
ValuesValues such as a moral principle of right and wrong adopted by a group. For example, principles of sportsmanship associated with a sport.
FashionTraditional or contemporary clothing associated with a culture such as the fashion trends attached to a music scene.
EconomyThe production and distribution of value such as a traditional craft or a culture that embraces a do-it-yourself ethic. For example, cosplayers who produce their own original costumes using skills such as sewing.
LifestyleA lifestyle is a way of living. For example, a culture that values home cooked meals over convenience foods.
KnowledgeA culture may include a body of knowledge such as a farming tradition that preserves cultivation know-how.
CreativityCreative works, methods and traditions in areas such as music, fashion, art, film, performance art and craft. For example, a modern or traditional dance associated with a nation, region or city.
StoriesStories such as myths and legends that represent a shared experience, symbol, ethic or source of knowledge. These can be factual, fictional or some mix of both. For example, the stories associated with the founding of a nation.
SymbolsCultural symbols such as a mark, graphic design, story, person, event, place, tradition or thing that has significance to a culture. For example, a type of patterned cloth known as a tartan is considered symbolic national dress of Scotland.
RitualsCeremonies that are performed in a traditional way established by history. For example, the orientation rituals of a school culture.
Rites of PassageA ritual or event that marks a new stage in someone's life. For example, a coming of age celebration or practice.
HolidaysDays of celebration and symbolic meaning.
Epic MeaningCultures often provide epic meaning, a sense that one is part of something important that is far bigger than oneself. For example, a ceremony that pays respect to deities and ancestors.
CommunityA sense of belonging to a social group and avenues for social interaction. For example, a local temple that requires all neighbors to volunteer on a rotating schedule such that everyone knows everyone in the area.
ConsumerismA culture may involve consumerism. For example, a culture of fandom centered around a series of comic books, movies and related products.
Media & CommunicationAvenues of media and communication such as a fashion subculture that thrives in a particular online forum.
Shared ExperienceCulture emerges through shared experience and is reinforced by it. Without shared experience, culture becomes a weak force and people may experience a sense of anomie. For example, a neighborhood culture with no meeting places or events such that people are isolated and detached from each other.
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