Subculture, counterculture and nonmaterial culture

A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates from the actual culture they belong to. In other words, it is a cultural group within a larger cultural group.

Some examples of subcultures are as follows.

a) Youth subculture: The youth in any culture will have different tastes and means of entertainment. They like to party and be active in sports and so can be justified as a separate subculture.

b) Sexual orientation: The gays and lesbians form a separate subculture in the main culture as they have different opinions of sexual orientation and thus have different beliefs when compared to others.

c)  Based on religion: A new religion or a religion followed by a certain minority of the people in the culture can also be considered as a subculture as thy have different beliefs and opinions of what beliefs they follow.

Difference between a subculture and a counterculture?

The main difference between the subculture and counterculture is that while the subculture is a part of the main culture, the counter culture is deviant against the society. The subculture differs from the main culture in a few beliefs like religion, occupation, sexual orientation, age etc. The counter culture defies at least one aspect of the main culture. The examples of subculture include plumbers, Jews in a country dominant by Christians etc. while counter culture examples include militant groups against the government etc.

Identify and define the seven basic elements of nonmaterial culture.

The seven basic elements of non-material cultures are as follows.

a) Gestures: They can be defined as the usage of body and signals to communicate without words and language.

b) Language: It is the modern method of communication with the help of set of words and characters combined in various ways. For this method, all the parties should learn and understand the common language.

c) Values: They are set of morals which the people adhere to or strive to adhere to as a symbol of ethics in the society.

d) Norms: They are the standard behavior displayed by the people of the same culture. Different cultures have different norms that they follow.

e) Sanctions: They are the means to control the behavior of the people and to ensure that the people follow the norms and values of the society they live in.

f) Folkways: They are the informal norms of the society designed to ensure social interactions.

g) Mores: They are also the norms of the society which has significance to the culture and hence more strictly followed.


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