Home >> Culture >> Attributes of Culture

Attributes of Culture

Anthropologists have identified many attributes

Ethos and Eidos
This distinction as given by Kroeber highlights two different aspects of culture.Eidos is the formal appearance of a culture derived from its constituents. Ethos on the other hand is the disposition of a culture which determines its quality, its main themes and interests. According to Batson the first consisting of the total emotional emphasis of a culture is called ethos and the second consisting of the emphasis resulting from the cognitive processes operative within a culture is called eidos.

Explicit and Implicit Elements
The celebration of festivals when people are filled with joy, happiness, togetherness and a devotional fervour is an example of explicit element of our culture. However behind every festival there are mythological stories or otherwise deep-routed meanings and implications and these could be termed as the implicit elements of our culture.

Culture determinism
The term culture determinism proposes a viewpoint according to which culture determines everything in the society. Culture is the matrix of everything else and is itself governed by its own laws of growth and operation. Neither human biology nor human society is regarded as capable of explaining its reality.

With the increasing accumulation of the evidence of the role which individuals play in fashioning and changing culture it became obvious that among various other types of causes individuals also were at least to some extent the creators of culture. To accommodate this evidence culture determinists said that a culture operates as if it were independent of individuals. This viewpoint suffers from the culturalistic fallacy of regarding culture as the essence and self mover of human life.

Culture versus individual
According to Linton, for majority of us culture plays the role of guide. It guides our behaviour by laying down norms and values. Culture is must for our own survival which prompted some to people to call it liberation.