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Sociology Discussion and Research
In most cases, value systems help in defining an individual`s behavior, interests and dislikes, or the culture of a given community. Moreover, individual or communal value systems contain numerous values, which may be either consistent or inconsistent. Consistent values are those individual or community values that do not contradict each other, while inconsistent values are those which contradict (value contradiction) with each other (Boundless 2015). In most cases, value contradiction results in conflicts, which calls for numerous interventions in order to solve them.
In the United States, there are numerous values contradictions that can be recognized. For example, in the recent past, contradiction arose on the issue of gay marriages. Most individuals, especially the propagators of this issue, claimed it is their right to marry spouses of their choice, irrespective of sex differences. On the other hand, some groups, especially Christians opposed these practices on the basis that they are against the Biblical teachings. Moreover, a value contradiction arose between authority and equality, whereby women were not allowed to vote, contest for government posts or pursue higher education like their male counterparts.
However, these value contradictions act as sources of social change in the various ways that are adopted to resolve them. These contradictions arouses the attention of society members to design a rational value system, that may prioritize the values of selected individuals, insofar as their actions do not violate the needs of the society or abrogate their rights if they degrade those of the other community members (Boundless 2015).
In this article, the author opines that culture is a collection of procedures and rules, as well as the supporting set of values and ideas, which are observed and maintained by all members of a given community. In addition, culture serves as a general concept that defines the behavior and nature of a society, in terms of varies practices such as painting, poetry, language, art, norms among others (Puja 2015).
Nevertheless, the author stipulates that there are numerous traits that every culture must possess. For example, culture is acquired rather than biologically inherited, and then transmitted from one generation to the other. In this case, individuals acquire or learn their culture through socializing with the other community members, and then pass it to their children and grandchildren. This process of transmitting culture is both continuous and constantly accumulative. However, this transmission becomes possible through language, which is its chief vehicle. In addition, culture is social in nature since it originated in from the society, develops through social interaction, and it is inclusive of the expectations of the community members. Consecutively, an ordinary culture fulfills psychological, social, moral, religious needs of both individuals and the society (Puja 2015). Additionally, any culture is adaptive, as most of its aspects undergo various changes depending on circumstances or challenges that are posed by physical and social environments.
Moreover, culture is classified into material and non-material categories. Material culture comprises products of human activity, which is observable, concrete and tangible. These products are manmade, external, utilitarian, and designed for human convenience. Examples of these products include furniture, books, tables, chairs, tools among others. On the other hand, non-material culture comprises of abstract and intangible things such as language, values, beliefs, and customs, among others. This form of culture is created with the aim of displaying the inward nature of man (Puja 2015).
Puja Mondal: Culture: Characteristics and Classifications of Culture | Sociology. The Next Generation Library, 2015 print. Retrieved from, http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/culture/culture-characteristics-and-classifications-of-culture-sociology/6223/
Boundless: “Value Contradictions.” Retrieved 04 Mar. 2015 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/culture-and-socialization-3/culture-and-the-dominant-ideology-in-the-u-s-33/value-contradictions-207-1319/