While the culture of a group is an integrated network of folkways, mores, systems of beliefs, and institutional patterns, it can be broken into simple units or elements or elements called cultural traits. A cultural trait, either of a material or non-material culture, represents a single element or a combination of elements related to a specific situation. Example of cultural traits are kissing the hands of the elders after Sunday mass and at Angelus. Clusters of culture traits are known as culture complexes which, in turn, group together to form a culture pattern.
How is culture transmitted?
Culture is transmitted through:
- Enculturation. It is the process of learning culture of one’s own group. Example: Learning the folkways, mores, social traditions, values and beliefs of one’s own group.
- Acculturation. It is the process of learning some new traits from another culture. For example, when students from the rural areas migrate to the urban areas or city and gradually learn some urban customs, they become acculturated. The in traction of Filipinos with Americans in the Philippines may be considered an example of acculturation.
- Assimilation. It is the term used for a process in which an individual entirely loses any awareness of his/her previous group identity and takes on the culture and attitudes of another group. This, if an Ilocano moves to a point where he/she speaks only Visayan and assumes the folkways of the local group, we can say that he/she has become assimilated (Hunt et al, 1998).