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75 Examples of the Influence of Culture

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Culture influences human thinking and behavior in foundational ways such that attitudes, opinions, perceptions, values, way of life and beliefs are all deeply influenced by culture. This begins with language whereby every thought you have is influenced by the collection of concepts you have obtained from culture via language. As humans think with language and visual symbols from culture, human thought is inherently cultural. The following are common examples of how culture influences human behavior and society.
Common sense
Sense of humor
When an apology is expected
Fashion sense
Sense of personal space
Holiday traditions
Saving face
Directness of communication
Religious beliefs and practices
Sense of right and wrong
Greetings such as shaking hands
Tipping or not tipping
Work expectations
Politeness such as when to use please, thank you or excuse me
Symbols of social status
Superstitions such as things that are viewed as unlucky
Expectations for dressing casually or formally by situation
Personal hygiene practices
Dating practices
Wedding traditions
Rites of passage such as coming of age celebrations
Gift giving customs
Funeral customs
Sense of time such as not rushing through a meal
Punctuality such as the idea of being fashionably late in France
Leisure culture such as spending long hours in a cafe
Attitudes towards aging
Respect for seniors
Sense of social hierarchy
Social roles such as grandparenting
Gestures of respect
Perceptions of what deserves respect
Conventions for building and sustaining trust
Sense of pride
Sense of humility
Expressions of gratitude
Sense of individualism or collectivism
Attitudes towards authority
Views of materialism & consumerism
Attitudes towards risk taking
Beauty ideals and perceptions
Sense of personal responsibility
Sense of entitlement
Sense of reciprocity and repaying kindnesses
Conflict avoidance
Approach to conflict resolution
Prioritization of group harmony
Comfort level around social conflict and tension
Hospitality norms
Unwritten rules of conduct
Work ethic
Norms of discipline & self-control
Attitude towards emotion and emotional displays
Cultures that value “being yourself”
Cultures that value ideals of behavior
Meaning of body language
Facial expressions
Meaning of eye contact
Parenting practices
Cultures that require consensus to make decisions
Cultures that value leadership and individual decisions
Outgoing versus socially reserved cultures
Sense of honesty and attitudes towards dishonesty
Polite fictions and white lies
Tactful behaviors vs candor
How friendships are built and sustained
Table manners and dining customs
Meaning attached to food and social dining
Nightlife norms
Expectations for community participation
Family values
Norms of family life
Views of competition
Attitudes towards change
Attitudes towards technology
Cultures can be broadly categorized using concepts such as collectivist vs individualist culture. For example, a collectivist culture values social harmony, conflict avoidance, saving face and consensus decision making. This tends to produce mediocrity and low creativity but also low social conflict and high stability.
A polite fiction is something that is untrue but is adopted as true for practical reasons such as social harmony. For example, smiling not because you're happy but because it is expected.
Next: Examples of Culture
More about culture:
Characteristics of Art
City Culture
Community Culture
Community Events
Community Life
Cultural Concepts
Cultural Context
Cultural Environment
Cultural Exchange
Cultural Experience
Cultural Expressions
Cultural Influence
Cultural Institutions
Cultural Issues
Cultural Life
Cultural Things
Cultural Transmission
Cultural Values
Culture Analysis
Culture Change
Culture System
Entertainment Culture
Family Culture
Food Culture
High Culture
Local Culture
Modern Life
Pop Culture
Role Of Culture
Shared Experiences
Social Culture
Symbolic Culture
Visual Arts
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