What is culture? (a summary)
Culture is the complex and elaborate system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a group or society. It is shared, learned, sometimes taken for granted, symbolic, it can be emergent and it may vary from one society to another.
What are the major elements of culture?
The major elements of culture are language, norms, beliefs, and values. Becoming part of a social group requires learning the special language associated with that group. Language also can shape perceptions of reality.
What is the difference in norms, beliefs, and values?
Norms are rules of social behavior that guide every situation and may be formal or informal. When norms are violated, social sanctions are applied. Beliefs are strongly shared ideas about the nature of social reality. Values are the abstract concepts in a society that define the worth of different things and ideas.