Culture is the total way of life of people of a society. It includes the people’s beliefs, language, religion, artwork, dressing, dancing, greetings, technology, etc. Culture differs and varies from place to place and a society is known by its culture. Culture grows and changes with time. The result of assimilating other people’s belief, customs and traditions through continuous contact is known as “ACCULTURATION”


Aspect of culture

The two aspects or components of culture are:

  1. Material culture
  2. Non-material culture


  1. Material Culture: This refers to those aspects of culture that we can see, feel and touch around us. It includes those things which the society makes in order to meet the people’s needs such as houses, furniture, art works, books, food, etc.
  2. Non-Material Culture: This is also called intangible culture that is not visible to man such as language, music, belief, values, knowledge, religion, morality, etc. we cannot see or touch them but we can hear and understand them.


Characteristics of culture

  1. Culture is learning – we learn culture
  2. Culture is created – we create our culture
  3. Culture is collective – culture belongs to all.
  4. Culture is dynamic – culture changes
  5. Culture is shared – culture is shared among the people and this brings peace and harmony
  6. Culture differs from place to place and must be respected
  7. Culture is heterogeneous –culture is both local and foreign.


Concepts of culture

  1. Acculturation
  2. Enculturation
  3. Cultural influence
  4. Cultural consciousness
  5. Cultural universals
  6. Cultural alternatives


Similarities and differences in culture

Nigeria is made up of over 250 ethnic groups, these ethnic groups have different languages, religion and customs but they still share certain similarities and differences as well.


Similarities Differences
Marriage Religion
Respect for elders Dressing
Farming Music
Art work Greeting
Chieftaincy. Institution. Food
Celebrations of birth, marriage and death Traditional institutions etc.
National celebrations like independence day



  • Define culture
  • With examples, mention and explain the two aspects of culture.
  • Students also read the following:


See also

national unity and integration




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