Culture Defines Situations: Culture defines social situations for us. It not only defines but also conditions and determines – what we eat and drink, what we wear, when to laugh, weep, sleep, love, to make friends with, what work we do, what God we worship, what knowledge we rely upon, what poetry we recite and so on. Culture Defines Attitudes, Values and Goals. Attitudes refer to the tendency to feel and act in certain ways. Values are the measure of goodness or desirability. Goals-refer to the attainments which our values define as worthy. It is the culture which conditions our attitudes towards various issues such as religion, morality, marriage, science, family planning, prostitution and so on.
Our values concerning private property, fundamental rights, representative government, romantic love, etc., are influenced by our culture. Our goals of winning the race, understanding others, attaining salvation, being obedient to elders and teachers, being loyal to husband, being patriotic, etc., are all set forth by our culture. We are being socialised on these models. Culture Decides our Career: Whether we should become a politician, a social worker, a doctor, an engineer, a soldier, a farmer, a professor, an industrialist, a religious leader, and so on is decided by our culture.
What career we are likely to pursue is largely decided by our culture. Culture sets limitations on our choice to select different careers. Individuals may develop, modify or oppose the trends of their culture but they always live within its framework.
Only a few can find an outlet in the culture. Culture Provides Behaviour Patterns: Culture directs and confines the behaviour of an individual. Culture assigns goals and provides means for achieving them. It rewards his noble work and punishes the ignoble ones. It assigns him statuses and roles.
We see, dream, aspire, work, strive, marry, enjoy according to the cultural expectations. Culture not only controls but also liberates human energy and activities. Man, indeed, is a prisoner of his culture. No individual is completely culturally determined: Every individual is unique in any culture. The uniqueness may be based on individual differences in ability, aptitude, and learning.
The impact of culture on the individual is not always identical in every case. Every individual is sooner or later exposed to influences which are not completely predetermined by culture. He meets other people outside the culture. Travelling, books, radio, cinema, television, theatre, newspapers expose an individual to many influences outside the culture.
Various biological and social factors bring about the uniqueness of the individuals in any culture.