CIVICS FORM FOUR SUBJECT NOTES
CHAPTER : 1  CULTURE

CULTURE

TOPIC OBJECTIVES

By the end of the topic, the student should be able to;

  • Identify positive and negative aspects of our cultural values.
  • Illustrate customs which lead to gender discrimination
  • Point out customs that lead to the spread of HIV/ AIDS and STIs.
  • Analyse the impact of the negative aspects of our customs
  • Propose ways and actions to be taken against negative aspects of our socio cultural values.
  •  Explain the importance of promoting and preserving our worthy cultural values.
  • Assess the roles of different groups and institutions in promoting and preserving our cultural values.
  • Illustrate  problems facing the promotion of our cultural values.
  • Propose solutions to problems arising in the process of promoting and preserving our cultural values.
  •  Explain the meaning and the importance of culture of preventive care and maintenance of personal and public property.
  • Analyse the consequences of neglecting timely repair and maintenance.
  •  Explain the meaning, aspects and elements of culture.
  •  Illustrate the importance of each element of culture.

 

KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS.

 

  • Culture – Totally ways of life of which includes customs, traditions, arts, religion to mention but a few.
  • Traditional culture – Totality of human ways of life which have been inherited from the past
  • Intellectual culture – This is total way of life of formally education
  • Modern culture – Is the totality of human ways of life of present generation especially youths.
  • Foreign culture – Is totally of human ways of life which originate from other people
  • Traditions – Comprises of inherited past practices which are difficult to change.
  • Customs – Consists of acceptable practices at a particular period of time.
  • Religion – Made up of people’s believes about God.
  • Norms – An element of culture which is made up of standard of behavior that are acceptable to society.
  • Value – Are things which people behave to be good in the society.

 

Definitions:

  1. Culture – Is the totally of human ways of life which includes customs, traditions, arts and crafts, religion to mention but a few.

 

  1. Culture can be defined as the totality of socially transmitted behaviors patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions (systems), products of human work (e.g. craft and other materials such as houses and thought.

 

THE ORIGIN OF CULTURE:

 

      Different writers argue that human culture started since creation of man developed language, customs and other ways of life enabled him to master his environment.

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE:

 

  1. Culture is dynamic – This means that culture changes from time to time because of different reasons example advancement of science and technologies.
  2. Culture is interactive – This means that one culture can borrow elements from other culture when people interact. Example African culture borrowed elements form European culture during colonialism.
  3. Culture is adaptive – This means that people with different cultural background can tolerate other people with different cultural background. Example during colonialism Africans adopted eating of tanned food from whites.
  4. Culture is a complex whole – This means that culture is a compound made up of different elements of culture. Example traditions, customs, language, arts and crafts.
  5. Culture is commercial – This means that cultural objects or elements can be used to produce profits. Example curving in curio shops.
  6. Culture is learned – This means that new generations get to know the ways of life example traditions in the society by learning from elders.
  7. Culture is symbolic – This means that culture includes different symbols example the national culture includes different symbols such as national flag and national currency.

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING CULTURE.

 

  1. It facilitates communication among the people by using language as an element of culture.
  2. Culture brings people together. This means that culture promotes unity and solidarity among the people.
  3. It encourages good morals and behaviors. Culture promotes good morals and behaviors through norms of conduct and the positive aspect of cultural values. Example respect of leaders.
  4. Promotes physical and mental health through sports and games as well as promoting good relationship between people. Example the Olympic Games which promotes international cooperation.
  5. It provides important human needs through crafts as a part of cultural element. Example furniture form carpentry.
  6. It facilitates responsibilities in the society through initiation ceremonies as a part of culture because they prepare young men and girls to take up their responsibilities as elders in the society. Example girls are preparing to be a good mother.
  7. Some traditions and customs as a part of culture are very important because they bring people together. Example the tradition of marriage and the customs of wedding brings people together in the society.

 

TYPES OF CULTURE:

 

There are four types of culture namely:-

a)     Tradition culture

b)     Intellectual culture

c)      Modern culture

d)     Foreign culture

 

 

TRADITIONAL CULTURE

      Is the totality of human ways of life which have been inherited from the past. Examples of the societies where traditional culture can be seen easily are Maasai and Hadzabes.

 

 

INTELLECTUAL CULTURE:

      Is the totality of human ways of life of formally educated people. Example the use of foreign languages, good time management, eating tanned foods to mention but few.

 

MODERN CULTURE:

      Is the totality of human ways of life of the present new generation especially youths example the use of computers, use of social mass media.

 

FOREIGN CULTUTE:

      Is the totality of human ways of life which originate from other people. Example the European culture in Africa during colonialism.

 

 

 

 

ELEMENTS OF CULTURE:

 

Elements of culture are parts of culture which manifest them in physical (experience) and practical (demand) of human life.

  • There are eleven elements of culture namely.
  1. Languages – This is an element of culture which promotes communication among the people in the society. Example in Tanzania we have different languages such as Kiswahili.
  2. Sports and games – Sports and games compose on element of culture which promotes good physical health and good social relationship through different sports activities, example playing football.
  3. Traditions – This is an element of culture which is comprises of the inherited past practices which are difficult to change. Every society has traditions. Examples of traditions in Maasai society are circumcision, putting on “Rubega” and livestock keeping.
  4. Customs – This is an element of culture which consists of acceptable practices at a particular period of time. Example 3 days of marring for the dead, wedding ceremonies and clothes fashions.
  5. Art and craft – Art refers to the skills or the way of expressing feelings attitudes or ideas. Craft refers to all works done by hands. Example carpentry, pottery and basketry.
  6. Recreation – This is an element of culture whereby people refresh for doing work so as to regain energy through different ways. Example playing football.
  7. Religion – This is an element of culture which is made up of people’s beliefs to God. There are different religions in the world example Christianity and Islamic religion.
  8. Rules and laws. This is an element of culture which shapes people’s behaviors by showing them what is allowed and what is not allowed. Example, schools rules and land laws in Tanzania.
  9. Education – This is an element of culture also. Example there formal education and informal education where formal education is given at school while informal education not given at school.
  10. Cooperation – Is an element of culture where people do different activities together so as to achieve success. Example cooperating in funeral activities.
  11. Norms – This is an element of culture which is made up of standards of behaviors that are acceptable in the society. Example respect of elders.

 

 

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF CULTURAL VALUES.

 

Definitions:

  1. Values – Are things or that which people behave to be good in the society e.g. Circumcision, bride price, early marriage.

Values can also be defines as practices that people believe to be good in the society e.g. Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M)

  1. Aspects of cultural values refer to the parts of cultural values in the society.

 

 

 

POSITIVE ASPECTS OF CULTURAL VALUES.

 

Definition:

      Positive aspects of cultural values refers to the good parts of cultural values.

 

  • The positive aspects of cultural values are:

 

  1. Respect among the people in the society. Example respect of children to their parents.
  2. Following good rules and laws in the society. Example laws for environmental preservation.
  3. Caring on the old, the sick people and disable. Example caring the grandparents.
  4. Hard working – This is a positive aspect of cultural value involves proper use of time in working. Example hard working in different economic activities such as agriculture.
  5. Accountability and transparency. Example accountability and transparency among the leaders.
  6. Communal self – reliance. This is a positive aspect of culture values in which the community becomes self reliance in different activities. Example in good decision making.
  7. Proper or decent dressing – This is a positive aspect of cultural values which involves good dressing. Example putting on clothes which do not expose the physical structure of the human body.
  8. Communal upbringing of children. This is a positive aspect of cultural values which involves all the members of community in caring and teaching children good values. Example respecting the elders.

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 END OF TOPIC QUESTIONS

 

1. MULTIPLE CHOICES

 

(i)  Norms of conduct which differ from one society to another and change from time to time is called?

  1. Traditions
  2. Customs
  3. Rituals
  4. Values

(ii) The experience of past life which are inherited by society and are unchangeable are called?

  1. Tradition
  2. Norms
  3. Customs
  4. Moral values

(iii) Culture can borrow elements from other people, means that culture is:

  1. Adoptive
  2. Interactive
  3. Dynamic
  4. Complex

(iv) Which is not a characteristic of culture, culture is

  1. Borrowed
  2. Symbolic
  3. Adaptive
  4. Interactive

(v) Culture is commercial means culture is:

  1. Can be sold
  2. Its elements can be used to produce profit
  3. Can be tolerated
  4. Changes from time to time

(vi) Which is not importance of culture?

  1. Source of income
  2. Encourage good morals
  3. Create animosity
  4. Bring people together

(vii) The following are types of culture except?

  1. Traditional culture
  2. Intellectual culture
  3. Bipartisan culture
  4. Foreign culture

(viii) Use of computers, social media, and smart phones is example of:

  1. Intellectual culture
  2. Modern culture
  3. Foreign culture
  4. Traditional culture

(ix) Which is not an element of culture?

  1. Poetry
  2. Customs
  3. Recreation
  4. Religion.

(x) Which of these is not a positive aspect of culture?

  1. Hard work
  2. Obeying laws
  3. Care for the aged
  4. Assertive behavior

 

 

2. Define the following terms.

a)     Values

b)     Positive aspect of culture

c)      Negative aspect of culture

d)     Culture

 

3. Enumerate examples of positive aspects of culture.

 

4. Explain six characteristics of culture

 

5. Why is it important to study culture? Give five reasons.

 

6. Explain the following forms of culture

a)     Modern culture

b)     Intellectual culture

c)      Foreign culture

d)     Tradition culture

 

 

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