Social Studies

What is culture? Components of culture in social studies

len Alfred Ajibola - 07th September, 2022 @ 11:48 AM

Topics in Social Studies

Values and Norms explained What are norms? Types of norms Differences between values and norms How to prevent fraud Types of fraud explained Fraud as a contemporary social problem in Nigeria Explanations on the social problems in Nigeria and their solutions Contemporary social problems in Nigeria What is culture? Components of culture in social studies Child marriage and its consequences Consequences of Female Genital Mutilation What is healthy self-esteem? Characteristics of healthy self-esteem Causes of Environmental Problems Effects and Solutions to Environmental Problems Consequences of drug trafficking and solutions to drug trafficking Drug Trafficking: Reasons for drug trafficking Self-esteem: How to overcome low self-esteem What is low self-esteem? Characteristics of low self-esteem Low self-esteem: Causes of low self-esteem Consequences of Conflicts and Solutions to Conflict


Academic Questions in Social Studies

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Twitter is a part of our social environment.

  • A. True

  • B. False

The following are objectives of social studies except _____.

  • A. It teaches morals and values

  • B. It enables us to better understand our environment

  • C. It creates national consciousness

  • D. It assists in producing upright citizens

  • E. It promotes the military form of government

  • F. It fosters judicious use of resources

Which of the following is not a natural cause of environmental problem?

  • A. Tsunami

  • B. Deforestation

  • C. Earthquake

  • D. Drought

  • E. Hurricane

  • F. Tornado

Conflict can simply be defined as a clash of interest.

  • A. True

  • B. False

_____ refers to a personal reflection of one's overall self worth.

  • A. Integrity

  • B. Reputation

  • C. Personality

  • D. Self-esteem

  • E. Psychoanalysis

  • F. Attributes

A type of marriage whereby a christian man marries a muslim woman is termed _____ marriage.

  • A. Faith

  • B. Religious

  • C. Denominational

  • D. Interfaith

  • E. Intrafaith

  • F. Church-Mosque

_____marriage is said to exist between couples who have lived together for a very long time with no prior form of marriage.

  • A. Open

  • B. Convinience

  • C. Trial

  • D. Left Handed

  • E. Companionate

  • F. Common Law

Tribal marks - Len Academy

The above image is considered a part of harmful traditional practices. The following are similar examples of such practices except _____.

  • A. Sharo

  • B. Wuuse

  • C. Female Genital Mutilation

  • D. Widowhood

  • E. Breast Ironing

  • F. Child Marriage



Definition of Culture:

Culture is defined the total way of life of a group of people which differentiates or distinguishes them from other people. In simple terms, culture is a way of life. In this regard, different tribes go about their lives in unique ways.

It is important to state categorically that no culture is inferior or superior to others. Specifically, the culture of a tribe is held in value and high esteem by the people comprising it. In short, culture as a way of life encompasses the people's values, beliefs, religious practices, language, mode of dressing, food, drama, music, rituals, custom, courtesies, relationship, marriage, artifacts, arts, crafts and even their technological discoveries. These features of culture are transmitted both consciously and unconsciously from one generation to another. For this reason, culture is dynamic as it may change slightly along the transmission process from time to time.

Please read on values in civic education here


Tribalistic and racial discriminations are considered as unhealthy in the world we live in. Going by this fact, cultural ethnocentrism is a term that describes the act whereby a group of people look down on other people’s culture, seeing theirs as a standard of judgement. This is a negative value on such groups and thus can be seen as tribal or racial discriminations.

Please read on harmful traditional practices in Nigeria here

However, a society can have multiple or heterogeneous cultures. This is typically seen in urban environments. It therefore implies that such societies have people with varying cultures living within it.  On the contrary, the rural environment and villages often presents a homogenous culture; that is, people who share a common way of life.

You can read on types of marriage here


Interestingly, the culture of one country may be adopted by the people of another country. When this happens, it is called acculturation. As an instance, Nigerians working in corporate organizations within Nigeria will typically wear suits or corporate shirts to work. However, understand that these corporate mode of dressing isn't a part of the Nigerian culture, rather, it was adopted from the western world.

Please read on the meaning and objectives of social studies here

With regards to mode of dressing, Nigeria is a multicultural nation whose cultural mode of dressing has become a trend on social media. In fact, people of other nations are now embracing their attires. As an instance, the Yoruba people of Nigeria are widely known with their agbada clothing while the Igbos, another popular ethnic group is revered for their isiagwu. These are shown in the image below.

Agbada and Isiagwu
Agbada (left) and Isiagwu (right)

You can read on self-esteem here


Components of culture

Culture comprises of the material and non-material aspects. These material and non-material culture make up the components of culture. They are explained below.


1. Material Culture

This refers to the tangible or visible parts of culture. They are discovered and produced by the people in an attempt to satisfy their respective needs. We see the material aspects of culture in the type of clothes worn by the people, their hairstyles, musical instruments, works of art and craft, type of housing and so on.

An instance of the material aspect of culture is expressed in movies. Such movies include ancient Chinese, British and Nigerian movies respectively. In this regard, we see material culture in their structures of houses, their type of clothes, craft, warfare, the food they eat and so on.

Please read on cooperation in civic education here


2. Non-Material Culture

This refers to the invisible aspects of culture. They are expressed by the people but cannot be seen. The non-material aspect of culture include the values and morals of the people, their language, religion, folklores, music and so on.

Please read on the story: 'the gods are not to blame' here


Generally, a combination of the material and non-material components of culture will give rise to the various features or items that make up culture. These are quite unique in each culture. They include the following:

  • Food

  • Shelter

  • Clothing

  • Religion and Beliefs

  • Language and Communication

  • Drama and Music

  • Moral behavior

  • Courtesy

  • Relationship

  • Marriage

  • Rituals

  • Artifacts

  • Transportation

  • Arts and Craft

  • Methods of Defence

  • Technological innovations

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Amazing facts in Social Studies

Statue of Unity - Len Academy

The Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India, is the tallest statue in the world. It stands at 182 meters (579 feet)

2.7 Billion Dollars was realized from the movie - Avengers: Endgame. This makes it the top-grossing film of all time

Sulawasi pigs - Len Academy

The world’s oldest known work of art was discovered by scientists in 2019 on an Indonesian island named Sulawesi. This work of art was created 44,000 years ago, and it shows paintings of three Sulawesi pigs

68% of households in New Zealand have a pet, and this is more than any other nation or country in the world

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of people alive today represents about 7% of the total number of humans who have ever lived.

Yahoo is an acronym for: 'Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle'

Ashrita Furman holds the world record for the holder of the most world records. He had set over 600 records and currently holds more than 200 world records

As at 2023, France remains the most visited country (with about 90 million visitors), followed by Spain (83.7 million). Next is the United States of America (79.3 million)

Car license plate in canada - Len Academy

Some car license plates in the Northwest Territories of Canada are shaped like a polar bear

The Library of Congress located in Washington D.C, America is the world's largest library. It contains over 162 million items in more than 450 languages.

The British Library (with over 150 million items) comes second, followed by the Library and Archives Canada with 54 million items (third), the New York Public Library with 53.1 million items (fourth), and the Russian State Library with 44.4 million items (fifth)


Notable points in Social Studies

Social Studies is defined as an integrated study on the interaction of human beings with their physical and social environments.

We can think of our environment as everything that surrounds us at any point in time. For instance, the soil, air, your clothes, phone and everything surrounding you right now are all part of your environment. (That is, they make up your environment).

Physical environment describes every visible thing around us. It could be water, air, soil, clothes, phones or all other things found around us.

Social environment on the other hand describes the various social roles or positions that influence an individual or a group. It is represented in our culture, norms, values, the people and various institutions with whom we interact with. Meanwhile, understand that social media applications like facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube and the likes present a social environment where people can interact with one another regardless their geographical location around the world.

Please read on the meaning and objectives of social studies here

The causes of environmental problems can be either natural or man-made.

Natural causes of environmental problems will include the followings:

  • Erosion

  • Earthquakes

  • Drought

  • Tsunami

  • Tornadoes

  • Hurricanes


Some of the man-made causes of environmental problems are:

  • Pollution

  • Ozone layer depletion

  • Deforestation

  • Uncontrolled urbanization

  • Increased turnout of waste

  • Flooding

Environmental problems can be defined as problems associated with the lithosphere (land), atmosphere (air) and hydrosphere (water) as a result of man's action on earth.

Below are some of the constituents that make up our environment. These constituents may in turn act as factors that bring about environmental problems. They include:

  • Air or Atmosphere

  • Soil

  • Water

  • Bacteria

  • The people around us

  • The animals around us

  • The things around us. For instance, books, food, shoes, phones and so on.

Please read more on environmental problems here.

The following proactive processes can help reduce conflict in various organizations:

  1. Communication

  2. Set conflict guidelines

  3. Encourage collaboration and teamwork

  4. Proper recruitment process

  5. Promote social events

  6. Applying fair treatment

  7. Listening and understanding skills

  8. Private opinion and feedback from staff

  9. Gender equality

Please read more on conflict management in organizations here