Explicit And Implicit Characteristics Of A Culture Essays Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Culture, Psychology, People, Behavior, Pattern, Definition, Design, Handshake
Culture is a term with a lot of meanings. It can be defined in two ways: the first is in its aesthetic matters and second is that it is a concept used by anthropologists. In an aesthetic matter, culture, in a notion of a bacteriologist, is a term used to describe of growing bacteria in petri dishes but in a notion of an anthropologist, it a concept used to describe the way people live (Berger, 2000). In a more general note, culture is the characteristics of a group of people defined through their religion, social habits, arts, music, and language (Zimmermann, 2012).
Culture as Patterns
In 1952, Kroeber and Kluckhohn came up with their own definition of culture after compiling and reviewing different definitions and concepts of culture. To them, culture is a pattern of behaviors and ideas that has been passed down through time which consists of explicit and implicit patterns. These patterns can be referred to as value orientation, ideologies, and norms that are historically derived and ideas as manifestation in institutions, practices and artifacts. It can also be that of a pattern that can be considered as products of action (Crandall & Schaller, 2003).
.Explicit Patterns of Culture
The explicit patterns of a culture are those actions or behaviors that are easily observed. These are day-to-day customs, practices and usages that can be identified by anyone even if the observer is not a member of the culture. Thus, explicit culture is a set of observable acts that are regularly found in a group as stated by Kroeber and Kluckhohn,.
In the context of a business meeting, an American business would begin by both parties having a handshake. On the other hand, parties of a Japanese business meeting would bow to each other rather than having a handshake. The handshake and bowing are two different ways of greeting people. These actions are what explicit patterns done by people from different culture: American and Japanese.
Implicit Patterns of Culture
Implicit patterns are opposite to that of explicit patterns. If explicit patterns are easily observed, implicit patterns are not easily observed but are taken for granted. It is an unrecognized pattern in our everyday life but cannot be observed directly by outsider. Also, the person exhibiting these patterns cannot even be articulated. An example of an implicit culture is the norms that guide proper conduct and the rules of address to control an interaction. People may know how to they are to talk and act in a certain situation without knowing why they are expected to act that way by making assumptions after recognizing the situation and what is expected to be done in that kind of situation. These are the fundamental features of social structure, myth or rituals that resulted from inference, comparison and generalization (Crandall & Schaller, 2003).
An example of an implicit pattern is the relationship between men and women. Men were expected to open the doors for women, but were not necessarily conscious on the implication of his actions about the status of the relationships between men and women in the society.
Culture and Psychology
The definition of culture for Kroeber and Kluckhohn are similar to the psychologists as observable behavior and underlying psychological functions and processes. The explicit patterns of culture are phenomena in psychology to the obvious behaviors that are the basic data for psychologists. On the other hand, the implicit patterns of culture are the organizing principles that lie behind the regularities. These are the indirect traits or characteristics of individuals that are being assumed due to their behavior.
Berger, A. A. (2000). M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from The Meanings of Culture: http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0005/meaning.php
Berry, J. W. (2002). Conceptions of Culture. In J. W. Berry, Cross-cultural Psychology: Research and Applications (pp. 225-231). Cambridge University Press.
Schaller, M., & Crandall, C. S. (2003). Contrasting Conceptions of Culture in Social Psychology. In C. S. Mark Schaller, The Psychological Foundations of Culture (pp. 337-341). Psychology Press.
Zimmermann, K. A. (2012, July). Live Science. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from What is Culture? Definition of Culture: http://www.livescience.com/21478-what-is-culture-definition-of-culture.html