This article will explain the meaning, influence, and factors that affect culture.
Definition of Culture
There is no single definition of culture, and there is no unanimity among different thinkers. Mr. A.L. T. Parsons and Korelaber in an article about the Concepts of Culture and of Social Systems American Sociological Review have defined culture as “a complex of ideas, values, and other meaningful symbols” that are used by men to influence human behaviour and how it is transmitted from generation to generation.
Another author states that culture refers to “a set of values and ideas, anti facts and other meaningful symbols that assist individuals in communicating, interpreting, and evaluating their roles as members of society.” Another writer believes that culture is a collection of socially acquired values that society accepts and transmits to its members via language and symbols. A culture can also be described as “the largest group of people with a distinct social heritage”.
Many philosophers believe that culture is an abstract, material element that is hard to define. Culture is difficult to define because it “focuses on the broadest part of social behaviour in all societies”. While sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists focus on one part of the society, culture studies the whole fabric of it. Culture, in other words, requires the study of every aspect of the society, including language, knowledge and religions, food customs, music, technology, work patterns, products, as well as other anti-facts that give the society its unique flavour. Culture is, in a sense, a society’s personality.
It is impossible to define culture because it is impossible to define a society’s personality. This problem becomes more challenging for countries such as India, which has a long history and people from different cultures, languages, and religions. They have also settled in different parts of the country over the centuries. Similar to India, there is a wide range of beliefs and races in other countries due to the settlement of people from different parts. Many other countries also have a variety of cultures.
Despite so many differences, culture gives society a sense uniqueness, common identity, common understanding, and thoughts that are shared by all.
Behaviours and Attitudes Influenced By Ones Culture:
1. Personality, i.e. the sense of self and society.
2. Language is i.e. communication.
4. Food habits
5. The belief system of religion and religious faiths.
6. The customs of marriages, religions, and social customs.
7. Social relationship (system that includes marriage, family structure, and relationships, as well as social and religious organizations, government)
8. Education system, role of churches and temples, mosques, etc. on education system) i.e. mental process of behavior (formal and religious symbols as well as colleges, technical institutes, universities, etc. ).
9. Products and work habits. They vary widely from one country to another and from region to region.
10. Time value (punctuality and late arriving work hours, rest hours, etc.
11. Values and norms (discussed further).
12. Beliefs, faiths, and religions (religion – vegetarianism – meat eating, nonviolence, fate, luck, and so forth).
14. Art, music, pictures, TV. Radio, movies, theatres, etc.
15. Innovation and technology.
16. Services and products
18. The laws of the Government, social traditions and laws enacted by religion.
Although there are many other factors that may influence culture and the society, our goal is to understand how culture influences consumer behavior. We define culture as “the sum of all learned beliefs and values that guide the consumer behaviour of members in a society”.
Also See – Here is an important discussion about whether to consider sociology a science or not?
We therefore study the following cultural factors which are all dynamic and change with time, development and progression of knowledge, globalization, and other cultural discoveries. Each society still has its own culture.
In India, for example, despite the influence of cross-cultural education media, knowledge, technology and knowledge, we don’t abandon our customs, traditions and beliefs that were passed down from our forefathers. This is why, despite Indian Constitution’s prohibition against untouchability, it is still widespread in rural areas.
Culture is not only the foundation of a society, but also its identity. There are many cultural differences within a country, in addition to the culture of the society. To segregate them, we divide a nation into these cultures. In India, for example, there are 29 states and six territories that have been created on the basis of cultural differences. customs, beliefs, values.
There are 18 languages that are considered official, and many dialects and sub-regional languages. These languages are separated at the micro level in order to separate them from other cultures. There are many religions in India, including Sikhism and Hinduism.
Also see – Learn about the meanings and functions of social values in this article.
There are also differences in faith and beliefs among Christians, Hindus, Jains, and Jains. This creates sub-cultures. You can also segregate sub-cultures based on sex, education level, income, profession, and age. There are many sub-cultures due to differences in values, beliefs, and work ideas. Depending on the purpose, there are many sub-cultures that can be broken down into the society.
As stated previously, there are three stages to culture.
Factors That Affect Culture
There are many factors that affect culture. The most important are listed below:
According to nearly every author, value is the most important aspect of culture that affects our behavior as consumers. Values are the beliefs and norms that are accepted by societies which are different from our culture. In other words, most cultures believe in freedom, including thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. This has led to democracy, freedom to communicate, an independent judiciary and freedom of choice for products. Consumers who are given the right to complain about a product or service’s shortcomings have freedom to do so.
Jainism and Hinduism believe in the sacrifice of material comforts and belonging to ensure the welfare of others. This belief has led to the creation of charitable schools, colleges and hospitals as well as dharamsalas (free rest homes for society, especially at religious places). While this led to the development of education and medical institutions, it also limited their commercialization.
Another belief that Indians, especially Hindus, hold is the belief in luck and faith. Many believe that luck is the best thing. People believe that you can’t get more than what is in your luck, and that there is no way to get anything done before the time is right. Many people feel lethargic when compared to Americans, Japanese, or Europeans who believe everything is possible with hard work and effort. Their attitude to life is very different from that of the average Indian.
We believe in spiritualism in India, as opposed to materialism in the West. This has led to a decrease in the demand for material goods and services. However, this belief is still fundamentally spiritualism. This is why Indians tend to be more honest, despite recent political events and the exposure of many frauds.
Also see – Do you want to be an effective communicator? Here is a guide on basic principles of effective communication.
Another important aspect of culture is the norms of public behavior. In the west, for example, there is no restriction on how you dress, especially at hotels, beaches and swimming pools. In the west, excessive exposure of dress is acceptable. However, in India, it is prohibited. This is the definition of fashion: dress, clothes.
In India, disrespecting elderly people is considered bad behavior. In the west, children and especially sons are not expected to care for their parents after they have passed away. This norm of public behavior makes a big difference in consumption patterns. In India, old parents don’t have to look to charity or old people’s houses but instead to their children. Senior citizens can get concessions on railway fares, income tax, and old age pension.
Respect for women in Indian culture is another norm. A Puja is incomplete without a wife. However, in the West women are considered an object of pleasure and sex while enjoying greater freedom of movement and jobs than in India. In India, women are becoming more independent and taking up jobs in urban areas.
Marketers have new opportunities to sell because of the increased purchasing power of women and families in which both husbands and wives work. They are now required to target their campaigns to women as well as gents.
This is another common characteristic of women, especially ladies. They want to appear younger than they are. This has led to a rise in demand for low-fat products, such as toiletries, cosmetics and health clubs in India and the west. This has led to a greater demand for preventive medicine, tonics, and other health products. There is a high demand for foods that provide energy such as milk, juices, and proteins.
It is now a common behavior to seek comfort, regardless of whether you believe in spiritualism and materialism. This has led to a demand for refrigeration, water coolers and air conditioners. Sometimes, the quality of a company is measured by its office.
Another universal norm is to be optimistic, work hard and be entrepreneurial. In a country such as India, where luck and fate are believed to be the only way to achieve success, one must work hard. Geeta says that they must do their duty and live up to the potential of good results. One must work. Entrepreneurship is another common behavior that has created entrepreneurs around the globe.
India has seen many entrepreneurs succeed because of their faith and optimism. In the past, Birlas, Tatas, and Dalimas were successful, while Ambanis, Patel, and many others have helped to create new industries and produce new products.
Every man, in his different ways, is striving to conquer the natural world and become his own master. This is a core value in the west, and it’s what we are trying to achieve in the east. This belief and desire is often resisted by small groups such as Narmada dam in Gujarat and Tehri dam respectively in Uttaranchal.
However, the values are dynamic and changing rapidly all around the globe. People are becoming more materialistic and want more comforts and pleasures. They also seek self fulfillment over self denial (sacrifice), which was a core value of Indian culture.
People desire a better quality of life than merely a high standard of living. Women are now more involved in all aspects of life than ever before. Self-reliance is replacing worship. In developing countries, the law-abiding distinct is decreasing and so is nationalism.
This is why there are more cases of corruption and crimes. Information growth is more important than the industry. Traditional and family influence are declining, and culture is becoming more dynamic. This is something that marketers will need to consider when segregating society.
It is widely believed that everyone should have equal access to education, career and achievement opportunities. However, this is merely moral preaching and not a real condition. There are many types of discrimination in entry. There are many discriminations in entry.
There are competitive exams to ensure equal opportunities in Indian education institutions and government services. However, there are some reservations for certain social groups. Open subordination is allowed, with special respect for royalty, upper classes, scientists, etc.
The impact of religion on culture is declining, especially in the younger generation. They don’t practice religious practices such as visiting temples or keeping fast on religious occasions. Its impact on culture is decreasing. Researchers should conduct surveys to determine the impact on consumer behavior.
Culture can have both macro and micro aspects. Ethnic patterns are determined based on race and region. They are micro factors that influence a particular group within a society. In India, a Dravarian will have a different behavior than an Aryan or someone of Arabic origin. People from South will be different than people who live in Mizoram, Assam Hills or Jharkhand or other regions.
These groups are formed based on nationality (NRI in USA), religion (Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs Christians, Jains, Budhs, etc. India), physical attributes (the races), geographic locations (which can be too many around the world and India), or other factors. Conflict has occurred between these ethnic micro-cultures and other values in some countries. Russia is divided on the basis of ethnicity. There have been conflicts between blacks and whites for a long time. These micro-cultural differences can have a significant impact on consumers and are therefore important for marketers.
Income level and profession also have an impact on values and norms. High-ranking executives, industrialists, and lawyers as well as professionals such doctors, lawyers, architects, etc. Each micro-culture is unique. Micro cultural differences can also be based on education. Scientists, technocrats and researchers all belong to their own class. Some people are deprived of education, and they have become other cultural classes. Each class’s behavior is unique; language is another microculture.
Cultures of Bengali, Assamee and Tamalian, Hindi-speaking people, etc., differ from one another. However, language like Hindi, which is spoken in many Northern Indian states, can differ from one state to the next.
There are many cultural variables and there can be more. Marketers need to be able to understand the differences between them. Different cultures must be separated to maximize market potential. Advertising strategies should be informed by cultural differences. Products must be adapted to meet the needs of people from different cultures. Fashion goods require that garments, dresses and cosmetics are culturally appropriate.