A culture is made up of languages, norms, values and symbols. Every culture in the world has its own characteristics, which distinguish it from other cultures. Contemporary or modern culture incorporates modern values as well as shared ideas that apply to the entire world. As such, modern philosophy gives rise to colonial societies, where everyone belonging to the group shares common values, social status and norms. When we study the aspects of modern culture, we find that it considers importance of change, value of time, gender equality, and self-help to be values at its core. Moreover, it gives more weight to competition than cooperation in order to facilitate and encourage growth.
Let’s have a look at these values of modern culture in detail.
Aspects of Modern Culture.
Modern culture is made up of different social classes where people belonging to the same class have to follow the same definitive rules and standards. They also share similar socioeconomic status. Some cultures have only three social classes; others have as many as seven classes. They include elite, upper middle, middle, lower middle and poor. Societies where people are divided into more than five classes also include established and technical middle class. These are also known as the seven social classes of the 21st century.
It has been seen that only the elite class are more obsessed with this idea of dividing the society into classes. The working class may enjoy a socially active life but they are not financially stable. They are further divided into affluent and traditional working class. Established middle class is the closest in stature to the elite. They are usually a part of important cultural events and are given almost the same opportunities as the elite. Their children also go to the same schools and may decide to raise their standards to match those of the wealthiest class in the society.
The poor are also known as precariat, and they are most deprived of all the groups in modern culture. They live only in some designated areas of a country. The most graduates in the society are often found in the established middle class but emergent service workers are not far behind. These people want to become financially stable and therefore they seek quality education. It is also possible to be a part of the elite class even without a graduate degree. This means that the richest people in the society have only one distinguishing feature, which is their wealth and affluence.
American culture is considered the most contemporary of all cultures that exist in the world. So here we will look at some of the values in American culture:
- Goal-oriented society – A society where people are in control of their own destiny, and so they are more productive and goal-oriented.
- Proper use of time – Time is considered the valuable asset in modern culture. A progressive society is possible only if people know how to use time to their benefit.
- Gender equality – Everyone in the society gets equal opportunities to grow and prosper regardless of their social status, gender and ethnicity.
- Individualism – People are encouraged to become self-centered because everyone has their own set of skills, ideas and values. They are seen as individuals rather than members of a group or society as a whole.
- Self-help – There is nothing more prolific than self-help, which means trusting your own abilities to achieve something. People in modern culture are encouraged to take pride in their accomplishments.
- Change – Modern culture embraces change as a means to grow and improve. When change is welcomed, the result is a progressive society both in terms of economy and social infrastructure.
- Free enterprise – Free enterprise or free market refers to an economic system where business owners are in control of all the operations related to their business without state interference. This facilitates competition and more productivity.
- Optimism – People have realized that if they learn to leave the past behind, they can actually make their future happier and better. This is also known as future orientation and it is an important aspect of a modern society.
- Value of time – In modern culture, it is considered immoral to waste time and hence time is of utmost importance when it comes to achieving goals.
- Egalitarian attitude – An attitude that excludes, among other things, arrogance and superiority is a trademark of modern culture. There is no such thing as formality in this society so that people can work together more freely and casually.
- Honesty and truthfulness – The importance of these two values is recognized in almost every type of culture whether it has modern or traditional roots. When people learn to tell the truth, only then they could be trusted.
- Practical decision making – Decisions based on emotions or face value are not as beneficial as decisions based on practicality and efficiency.
- Materialism – This is probably one arguable aspect of a modern society as it makes people care more for things than people. Some cultures in the world are moving towards minimalism, which does not consider money or material things to be a measure of happiness.
The world has become a global village is a statement that is best understood in the context of cultural values and norms. The entire world can be seen as a combination of different social classes where the elite are considered the wealthy and the most affluent of all. No matter where these people are settled, they would be treated as elite class. These shared global values become the basis for modern or contemporary culture. In this post we have discussed some aspects of modern culture including the values prevalent in the American society to this day and age.
Some of the most important values that distinguish modern culture from traditional culture include individualism, self-help and free enterprise. People are given recognition for their own abilities and strengths and everyone is given equal opportunities to grow and climb up the ladder that is made of various social classes. Another aspect that puts modern culture in the limelight is future orientation.