- 1 material culture
- 2 Material and Non‐Material Culture
- 3 National Culture
- 4 The DIMENSIONS OF NATIONAL CULTURE:
- 5 ABOUT THE RESEARCH
HomeLifestyles Concerning Social Issues Sociology Material culture, tools, weapons, utensils, machinery, ornaments, art, structures, monuments, written records, religious imagery, clothes, and any other ponderable items made or utilized by people are all included in this definition. If all human people on the face of the planet were to cease to exist, nonmaterial parts of civilization would be extinguished along with them. However, evidence of material culture would continue to be there until it was completely destroyed.
The fact that the effect of material culture has differed from society to civilization appears to be undeniable.
The Industrial Revolution, the second big revolution in technology since the Renaissance, began about 1800 and was centered on the harnessing of energy from coal, oil, gas, and heat for use in manufacturing processes.
Educate yourself about the first atomic bombs that were tested and used during World War II.
On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated 210,000 people each time.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
Michael Ray has made several revisions and updates to this article in the most recent version.
Material and Non‐Material Culture
Sociologists distinguish between two aspects of human culture that are intertwined: the physical objects of culture and the ideas that are associated with these objects. When individuals talk about material culture, they are referring to the actual things, resources, and locations that they utilize to define their culture. Homes, neighborhoods, cities, schools, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, offices, factories and plants, tools, means of production, goods and products, stores, and so on are all examples of what is included in this category of objects.
In the United States, for example, technology is a critical component of contemporary material culture.
When we speak of nonmaterial culture, we are referring to the nonphysical ideas that people have about their culture.
For example, the non-material cultural concept of religion is comprised of a collection of ideas and beliefs about God, worship, morals, and ethics that are not based in material culture.
A culture’s employment of numerous processes to form its members’ thoughts, feelings, and actions is considered nonmaterial culture by sociologists. These processes are described as follows: Symbols, language, values, and social standards are four of the most significant of these elements.
The research of Professor Geert Hofstede was one of the most complete investigations of how values in the workplace are impacted by cultural norms in the world. He defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one group or category of people from members of other groups or categories of people.” Professor Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, Michael Minkov, and their research teams conducted considerable study to develop the six aspects of national culture.
The DIMENSIONS OF NATIONAL CULTURE:
The six aspects of the Hofstede model of national culture are as follows: Countries (rather than people) are distinguished from one another on the basis of their cultural characteristics, which signify autonomous preferences for one state of affairs over another. The country’s performance on the dimensions is relative, in the sense that we are all human while yet being individually distinct. To put it another way, culture can only be utilized meaningfully when it is compared to something else.
POWER DISTANCE INDEX (PDI)
Power inequity is expressed in this dimension by the degree to which the less powerful individuals of a society accept and anticipate that power is unequally allocated. The primary question in this case is how a society deals with inequities between individuals. People living in communities with a high degree of Power Distance are willing to accept a hierarchical system in which everyone has a place and which does not require any additional reason. Those who live in societies with a low Power Distance attempt to equalize the allocation of power and demand justifications for the existence of inequities in power distribution.
INDIVIDUALISM VERSUS COLLECTIVISM (IDV)
It is possible to characterize Individualism, which is on the high end of this dimension, as the preference for a loosely-knit social structure in which people are expected to look after just themselves and their immediate families. Collectiveivism, on the other hand, is a social framework in which individuals may rely on their family or members of a particular ingroup to look after them in exchange for unwavering devotion. It is the antithesis of individualism. The position of a society on this dimension is reflected in whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “we,” depending on the culture.
MASCULINITY VERSUS FEMININITY (MAS)
When it comes to the Masculinity component, there is a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness, and money benefits as a result of one’s achievements. Society as a whole is becoming more competitive. Femininity, on the other hand, represents a propensity for collaboration, humility, care for the vulnerable, and overall high quality of life.
The general public is more concerned with reaching a consensus. A variation on this theme is “tough vs delicate” cultures, which refers to the contrast between masculinity and femininity in the workplace.
UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE INDEX (UAI)
The Uncertainty Avoidance dimension reflects how comfortable individuals of a culture are with uncertainty and ambiguity, and it is measured in percentages. The primary question here is how a society deals with the knowledge that the future can never be predicted: should we attempt to control the future or should we simply allow it to unfold? Countries with a high level of UAI retain rigid standards of thought and behavior, and are intolerant of unconventional behavior and ideas, according to the World Bank.
LONG TERM ORIENTATION VERSUS SHORT TERM NORMATIVE ORIENTATION (LTO)
Every civilization, in order to deal with the difficulties of the present and the future, must keep some ties to its own history. Throughout history, societies have placed varied values on these two existential aspirations. Countries with low scores on this dimension, for example, tend to preserve time-honored traditions and customs while viewing social change with scepticism. On the other side, those that have a high-scoring culture adopt a more realistic approach: they stress thrift and diligence in contemporary schooling as a means of preparing for the future.
In the academic context, the terms Monumentalism vs Flexhumility are occasionally used to describe opposing perspectives.
INDULGENCE VERSUS RESTRAINT (IVR)
Indulgence refers to a culture that provides for the relatively unfettered satisfaction of fundamental and inherent human urges such as the desire to enjoy life and have pleasure. Restraint refers to a society that suppresses the satisfaction of desires and restricts it via the application of rigorous social standards and regulations. WithCulture CompassTM, you can compare your own preferences to the scores of a nation of your choosing. Try ourCountry Comparison tool to see how your tastes compare to the ratings of a country of your choosing.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
The research of Professor Geert Hofstede was one of the most complete investigations of how values in the workplace are impacted by cultural norms in the world. He conducted his research using a massive database of employee value scores that had been gathered by IBM between 1967 and 1973. The data set consisted of more than 70 nations, from which Hofstede selected the 40 countries with the greatest groups of respondents to begin with and then expanded the study to include 50 countries and three regions in the following stages.
Results on each dimension are reported for 76 nations in the 2010 version of the book “Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind,” which was partially derived from replicated or extended IBM studies conducted on various worldwide populations and by various experts.
Despite the fact that national culture cannot be changed, it is important to understand and appreciate it. Geert Hofstede is a Dutch politician.
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In: Medical Journal of Australia, volume 186, number 10, page S54.||doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01042.x Published on the internet on May 21, 2007. Human health is derived from a variety of elements, including material, social, cultural, and spiritual. In addition to physical exercise and sleep, we are physical creatures with material need for healthy food, clean air and water, and suitable housing, among other things. We are also social beings that require the support of our families, friends, and communities in order to thrive.
And we are spiritual creatures who are telepathically connected to our environment.
A background in the social determinants of health and well-being, particularly cultural factors, is used to inform this article’s argumentation.
Because of this, it is believed that cultural change may be productively investigated on a big scale of global influences influencing whole civilizations, rather than on a small scale of culture as local knowledge altering the everyday lives of people and groups (the approach favoured by anthropologists).
- Intuitively, but not necessarily consciously stated, spirituality is a sense of being linked to the environment in which we live that is fundamentally intuitive.
- My primary goal is to demonstrate how macrocultural influences such as materialism and individualism may influence the manifestation of the spiritual, including religion, in order to have an impact on health and well-being in society.
- Religious belief and practice have been shown to improve health and well-being, but some parts of this link have been challenged in the past.
- 5-8 All of these elements may be found in other places, albeit more difficult to come by; religions “package” many of the components of health and well-being in order to make them more available to the general population.
- Ultimately, being connected and involved, and being suspended in a web of connections and interests, is what brings about a sense of wellbeing.
- There are many interconnected sources of well-being, and the linkages between sources and well-being are frequently reciprocal, with one source being able to compensate, at least partially, for the absence of another.
- 9 Things such as employment, family, friends, interests, and desires are all things that are close to their personal life.
There is also the amount of identification with a nation or ethnic group, as well as with a particular community or group of people.
Spirituality is the most comprehensive and profound type of interconnectedness.
As the sole form of meaning that transcends people’s personal circumstances, social condition, and material world, it is the only kind of meaning that can sustain them through the trials and tribulations of mortal existence, as well as the joys and sorrows of life.
People’s susceptibility rises as a result of a lack of significance that extends beyond themselves.
Alternatively, the imbalance might go the other way, with the desire for meaning and belonging leading to the complete enslavement of one’s own being — as in religious fundamentalism or patriotic fanaticism, for example.
Examples include the fact that persons who are socially isolated die at a rate that is two to five times higher in a given year than those who have strong links to family and community.
2 The fact that the link between religion, health, and well-being is so complicated is the driving force behind a never-ending dispute among scholars concerning religion’s health consequences.
11Others argue that once all mediating elements have been taken into consideration, there should be no such relationship.
More than that, the primarily statistical connections on which the relationships between religion and health are founded just scratch the surface of the importance of spirituality in one’s life.
In her vast writing on spirituality, Tacey believes that “spirit” plays a critical but mostly underappreciated role in human flourishing, and that secular cultures have failed to grasp the meaning of the term, let alone recognize its ability to nurture and transform.
15,16 It is the interaction between two opposing parts of human existence — the individual and the social — that results in social integration (of which social support is a by-product).
According to Durkheim, social institutions such as family and religion play a crucial role in tying individuals to society, maintaining a “firmer grasp” on them, and assisting them in emerging from their “condition of moral isolation.” 17 Religion is influenced by cultural factors.
I’ve already written on their impact on health in another context.
Individualism has always been focused with liberating the individual from societal restrictions, notably that imposed by the Church.
Individualism is becoming increasingly dangerous as it is becoming increasingly related with the concept that we are self-sufficient and independent of others.
In establishing relationships and meanings, values serve as the framework for determining what is important, true, and right.
2,9 Based on current knowledge of welfare and Durkheim’s theories of social integration, most cultures have tended to encourage values that emphasize social duty and self-restraint while discouraging values that promote self-indulgence and antisocial behavior.
Vices are characterized by the unfettered fulfilment of individual wants or the submission to human flaws, respectively.
Many levels of religion and its embodiment of the spiritual are being impacted by the cultural impact of materialism and individualism: the decline of mainstream Christianity in Western countries; the rise of “New Age” beliefs, which are often individualistic and consumeristic; and the counter-trend towards increasing religious fundamentalism, where strict adherence to the literal truth of sacred texts results in an excessive amount of power being ceded to religious authorities.
- Cultural influences, on the other hand, do not only alter the exterior “form” of religion; they also alter its internal structure.
- 18,19 The result may be religious reform and compromise, including a higher tolerance for consumerism and self-gratification, so lessening the need to choose between “God and Mammon” in the first place.
- For example, when it comes to religious belief and observance, Americans distinguish themselves from the inhabitants of other affluent countries.
- The country is a religious island amid a sea of atheism in the developed world, and it is the only one to do so.
- 21 In spite of their religious beliefs, Americans have not been shielded from the surge in teenage suicide, which has been one of the most significant unfavorable health trends in Western countries over the past 50 years (but now improving in many of the countries that saw the largest rises).
No relationship existed between suicide and the importance young people placed on God in their lives, but there were strong, positive relationships between suicide and several different measures of individualism, including young people’s sense of freedom of choice and control over their lives, according to the study.
- And the success of religious belief in this respect may be dependent on the manner in which it is expressed and practiced.
- They can have an impact on the way the spiritual is expressed, notably through religion.
- Another metaphor is that of religion as a jar or jug, the spiritual contents of which can be ruined or polluted by other religious or philosophical traditions.
- However, my argument here is that as spirituality dwindles, religion’s social relevance is weakened because its transcendental component is lost or misunderstood, as is the case with modernity.
In spite of this, the spiritual impulse is still strong, and there is evidence that, between the “old Church” and the New Age, new expressions of spirituality are emerging that transcend, rather than confront, the powerful individualizing and fragmenting forces that characterize contemporary Western culture.
The Jewish prayer book, Gates of Prayer, captures the essence of what religion, as an expression of the spiritual, has to offer: it offers: Religion is more than just a belief in an ultimate reality or in an ultimate ideal.
that what is highest in spirit is also deepest in nature.
that the things that matter most are not at the mercy of the things that matter least.
Western civilization, with its emphasis on individual consumption and self-gratification, contradicts this ideal, at the expense of one’s health and well-being in significant ways.
The restoration of a more powerful spiritual component to one’s life will be critical in turning around the current circumstances.