Culture and Society
Culture refers to the manners and arts portrayed by a particular social group. It entails the values and knowledge that are shared by the society. Culture shapes a society. This is considering that cultural aspects are passed on from one generation to another generation in decades and centuries (Hodkinson, 2011). Culture identifies with the excellence in the humanities and fine art, integrated human knowledge pattern which is characterized by behavior, belief in a social learning and the attitudes shared by a social group. Other parameters shared indicate goals, values, and the practices displayed by the social group. All these factors shape that nature of the society. Society is defined as an extended social group with particular economic organization and distinctive cultural affiliations.
Culture was developed in the eighteenth century and it is believed to have come from the cultivation process and improvement of tilling land (Hodkinson, 2011), this is related to the agriculture. Researchers initially applied the term culture to indicate universal human capacity. It is believed that culture entails the whole range of learned human behavior patterns that shape the society. Culture has been identified with knowledge, law, custom, morals, belief, art and other habits that are complex acquired by human beings in the society.
It is believed that culture is a survival tool in the society. It takes both positive and negative aspects. Media can be a source of inspiration and hope. It enables different people to meet and share experiences fostering a positive impact. Researchers have noted that culture is easily being eroded by the changing world. Times have changed and people of different cultures are staying together as one community (Hodkinson, 2011). This has made cultural mix dilute the original cultural platform. Culture exists in the minds of human beings. The products of culture indicates man made things including, languages, buildings and the governments. The remains used by archeologists indicate the culture of that time. This is an indication that culture shapes maintain the society.
Culture is subdivided into three distinct layers that identify with the learned behavior perceptions and patterns (Hodkinson, 2011). Cultural traditions differentiate people to distinct societies taking an example of people speaking different languages like, Japanese or Italian. People refer them as Japanese culture and Italian culture respectively. This is critical in that the two groups of people that make up the society share language, beliefs and traditions. Culture makes people have different perspectives about things. Cultures are developed with time. People learn culture from the parents, guardians or from the immediate community.
Subcultures are another layer of the culture that identifies with the identity. Multicultural environments are complex considering that people have come from different parts of the world while maintaining original cultures. Cultural traits that are shared by a particular group set them apart from the rest of the society. A good example of the American population indicates the Black Americans and the Mexican Americans indicating sub-cultures. Researchers have noted that members of a particular subculture share common identity, traits, tradition, dialect and other cultural traits (Hodkinson, 2011).
Time is eroding cultures; the dominant national culture is eroding away the subcultures. Taking a look at the German Americans subcultures, the people identify themselves as Americans first then as Germans, an indication that the subcultures are losing weight with time. American culture is the dominant national culture defining American society that is made up of subcultures.
The third cultural layer constitutes the cultural universals. This is critical considering that the learned behavior patterns are shared by all the human life in the world. The traits are considered universal and applicable to all people irrespective of the part of the world. The human culture traits reflect verbal communication, classification of people with gender and age, classification of people in marriage and families, family setting in raising children, division of labor in reference to sex, playing games and jokes, the act of having art, setting up of rules that govern male and female behaviors and privacy concept. Other features indicate the ethical and moral behaviors, body ornamentation and set leadership roles. There are many other roles representing the human culture that make up the society (Hodkinson, 2011).
Societies are influenced by the cultures. This is in light considering that societies are made up of interacting organisms. Human societies differentiate them from other societies that are represented by other living things. Researchers have noted that culture is developed and passed onto other people in a society. This indicates that culture and society are perfectively correlated.
Media and Society
Media is a means or a platform that stores and communicates information. It identifies with mass communication industry that uses newspapers, radios, televisions, journalists and other strategies of transferring information (McQuail, 1994). Media has a significant influence on the societies. The world is dynamic bringing in many changes to the cultural aspects of people in the society. People have come to embrace the media as a tool of communication. People wake up in the morning and switch onto the media to get the news updates. This has been the order of the day (Burtina, 2005). People go to work and in the evening turn to televisions, radios and computers and tools that relay information to the society.
Technology has revolutionalised the world making it possible to get timely information of the world happenings. Life seems impossible without technology (Rayuso, 2012). Media has been credited with providing information, comfort and entertainment. People are investing in technologies that are changing the societies. Media influences the cultures and in return alters the society composition. Media has influenced the decisions made by the human race ultimately changing the society composition.
Commercials seen in the internet and televisions shape the decisions and choices people make. This has brought in conflict with the cultures in that media influences social norms (Burtina, 2005). Advertisements are believed to target certain group of audiences depending on the product being sold to the market. Most of the advertisements are being targeted at the young adults. Media has influenced the youths as well, they are conscious on the size, clothes and appearance. Advertisers know that the young adults have disposable income and are sensitive of how the peers will perceive them (Kellner, 1997). This makes the advertisers promise a bright future when they consume their products. Commercials conform with the users on the products in market that are suited to a particular group. This has seen youths and teenagers deviating from their social norms to suit with other youths and teenagers in the world creating societal conflicts.
Media has influenced the society in positive and negative aspects. Well renowned preachers have managed to spread the gospels to all over the world. Transfer of information has been made easy (Burtina, 2005). There are industries that are eroding the characters of the youngsters, the porn industry is harmful cultivating a culture of rape in the societies, it is difficult to surf in the web and not come across inappropriate porn material. Researchers have indicated that pornography is the most surfed material in the internet. It is high time that people realize that pornography leads to social decay. Movies with violent reactions have made young people violent burning cars and buildings aimlessly. These are some of the influences of the human culture in the society (Burtina, 2005). Culture has been incorporated to technological innovations that have influenced the transfer of information with a click of a button. It is worth noting that media influences the country’s economy, supplies information and provides entertainment, which in turn influences the choice people make in the society (Burtina, 2005). People nowadays are culturally obsessed with fame and celebrity.
Media influences culture which then changes the composition of the society. Researchers have indicated that media influences the choices people make. This is critical stating that media changes the character traits of people. Media has been noted to influence the body image, outlook, self worth and personal behaviors. The youths are obsessed with media developing a subculture of its own (Rayuso, 2012). Checking at newspapers, television, movies, radios, and internet and in magazines, it is all about youth and beauty. This in turn has influenced the societies. It is worth noting that culture and media maintain society in dynamic formats.