How people can be influenced by our different cultures?

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kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Culture is multifaceted and includes our languages, architecture, work, food, artistic expression, religion, health practices, and beliefs about the world and ourselves. Even this list is not enough to sum up culture. Anthropologists like to say that anything not biological (and found in our DNA) is culture. Culture is constantly transmitted, and communicated: "passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. ... [by] symbolic communication ... learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions" (Texas A&M University).

Sometimes cultural change is very quick--think of how often slang terms change. Cultural change is generally very slow--think of how the styles of houses have changed over the past two thousand years.

Culture has a huge impact on humans because it shapes the lives we live. Perhaps the biggest impact culture has on humans is how it contributes to the health or sickness of our bodies. Beliefs about health and how to stay healthy differ from culture to culture. In general, we agree that people need adequate food, water, and shelter. Unfortunately, these aren't always available to people, partly due to another aspect of culture: economy. Economic systems can create or be influenced  by class systems. Where a class or caste system is in place, some people are valued as better than others, and these people live better, safer, healthier lives. 

You can think about this in your own life, too! What kinds of food does your family like to eat? Are these foods healthy? What kind of activities do you do for fun? What kind of house do you live in? What words would you use to describe your best friend? What kind of transportation do you use, and why do you choose this? These are all questions to do with how culture affects your life every day.