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Culture Is Not Inherited.

I stand to argue that, culture is learned and not inherited, before I can give an In-depth reason why culture is learned, I would like to explain and give some basic characteristics of what culture is.

Culture: culture is an umbrella term that encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. Culture often originated from or is attributed to a specific region or location.

“We define culture as acquired information, such as knowledge, beliefs, and values, that is inherited through social learning, and expressed in behavior and artifacts (al, 2004) .”

             You cannot inherit a culture. Culture is made up of traditions and customs that are passed down from generation to generation. The old generation teaches the next one what is important to their people. A person is born into a society and immediately begins to observe its language, customs, ideals, and precepts.  We, humans, are in the process of acquiring our culture, consciously and unconsciously, throughout our lives, though most of our basic cultural understandings are acquired early on from our parents and other intimates, schools, and religious teachings. By the time a child is 5 years old, many of the foundational aspects of culture have been internalized. By the teen years, these foundations have been thoroughly elaborated upon through the process of socialization.

            Also, it is important to remember that culture is learned through language and modeling others; it is not genetically transmitted. Culture is encoded in a language’s structure, vocabulary, and semantics. Persons acquainted with more than one language are aware that there are concepts, norms, and emotions available in one language/culture that are not available in the other, which is a reminder of the inseparable link between language and culture.

        Furthermore, much of culture is acquired out of consciousness, through exposure to the speech, judgments, and actions of others. Because we learn all of our lives, we are constantly learning about our cultures. We may even pick up and incorporate parts and pieces of a culture different from our own through that process known as acculturation if we have the opportunity to live in a different cultural environment or associate frequently with persons from another culture.

The unconscious operation of cultural learning in our minds is both beneficial and problematic. It is beneficial in the sense that much of the time we automatically know how to behave appropriately in many situations, and we have values by which to rapidly evaluate the actions and ideas of others. On the other hand, the internalization of our cultural values ill prepares us for interaction with, and evaluation of, people from other cultures. This has to do with the fact that, the unconscious aspect of our learning culture even propels us to the extent of becoming abreast of other people’s cultures and makes us the best fit in society.

In conclusion, I stand to say that, culture is learned and not inherited. When one is born, individuals through socialization begin to learn their very own norms right from birth through institutions (such as; the school, church, home, etc.) that are entitled to teach the younger generation their norms and value. Through these institutions, individuals become abreast with other people’s way of life. Culture is learned not inherited.

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