Functions of Culture - Culturology

2.5. Culture functions

Culture performs the following functions:

o transforming (mastering and transforming the surrounding reality is a fundamental human need);

o protective - is the consequence of the need to maintain a certain balanced relationship between man and the environment, both natural and social. Expansion of spheres of human activity inevitably entails the emergence of ever new dangers, which requires the culture to create adequate protection mechanisms (medicine, public order, technical and technological achievements, environmental protection, etc.). And the need for one type of protection is stimulating the appearance of others. For example, the extermination of agricultural pests harms the environment and requires, in turn, environmental protection funds, the creation of legal norms for nature protection;

o communicative: a person as a social being needs to communicate with other people to achieve different goals. It is through communication that coordination of complex actions takes place. Culture defines specific rules and modes of communication that are adequate to people's livelihoods;

o cognitive: any culture creates its own picture of the world, knows, explores the human soul, society and the world. The process of cognition is characterized by reflection and reproduction of reality in human thinking. Cognition is an indispensable element of both labor and communication. There are both theoretical and practical forms of cognition, as a result of which a person receives a new knowledge of the world and himself;

o information: the accumulation, storage and systematization of information, which ensures the process of cultural continuity and various forms of historical progress; in the modern era, the volume of unexplored problems increases in direct proportion to the amount of accumulated knowledge. The situation of the information explosion demanded the creation of qualitatively new ways of processing, preserving and transmitting information, more advanced information technologies;

o normative: any culture contains norms of behavior that maintain order in society, regulate the behavior of people and social groups. The function of universally valid norms recognized in a particular culture is aimed at ensuring the certainty, comprehensibility, predictability of behavior. We can distinguish legal norms governing the relationship between people, social institutions, individuals and social institutions; technical norms caused by manufacturing practices; ethical standards of regulation of everyday life; environmental, moral norms, etc. Many norms are closely related to the cultural tradition and way of life of the people;

o humanistic function - the formation of the moral image of a person (culture as a way of socializing a person, developing his abilities, abilities, his physical and spiritual qualities);

o value function - culture as the formation of values, ideals, cultural norms. The cultural life of people is impossible without values, as they give society the necessary degree of order and predictability. Through the system of values ​​accumulated in culture, regulation of human activity is carried out. Values ​​are a universally recognized norm, formed in a particular culture that sets patterns and standards of behavior. Each culture has its own unique value kernel, which embodies its specificity, position in the world, and also the accumulated historical experience. Thanks to this core, the integrity of this culture, its unique appearance is ensured. It is through the transformation of its values ​​that culture supports the continuity of its existence;

o semiotic, or character (Greek - sign ), the function is the most important in the culture system. Represents a certain familiar system, culture presupposes knowledge, possession of it. Without studying the relevant sign systems, one can not master the achievements of culture. The language of culture refers to those means, signs, forms, symbols, texts that allow people to enter into communicative connections with each other, orient themselves in the space of culture. So, the language (spoken or written) is a means of communication of people. In particular, the literary language is the most important means of mastering the national culture. Specific languages ​​are needed to understand the special world of music, painting, theater. Natural sciences (physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology) also have their own sign systems;

hedonistic the function is that culture can be enjoyed by a person: for example, enjoying music, literature, etc.

Special attention should be paid to the fact that every element of culture (science, art, morality, law, economics, etc.) can perform several different functions. Thus, morality, regulating human behavior, permeates almost all spheres of human life, the moral aspect is present in every element of culture. For example, art, along with artistic and aesthetic, plays a spiritual, moral, educational role. Morality becomes the basis for building religious systems. In economic culture, business, politics, there are also their "moral commandments."

However, not everything in culture can be explained with the help of functional analysis. Along with the functional, there is also a phenomenological description of culture that recognizes the independent value of both culture in general and its individual phenomena.

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