Lesson 7: CULTURE AS A HUMAN MANIFESTATION

Lesson 7: CULTURE AS A HUMAN MANIFESTATION

The key aspect of culture is that it is not passed on biologically from the parents to the offspring, but rather learned through experience and participation. The process by which a child acquires his or her own culture is referred to as enculturation. Cultural learning allows individuals to acquire skills that they would be unable to independently over the course of their lifetimes (Van Schaik & Burkart, 2011). Cultural learning is believed to be particularly important for humans. Humans are weaned at an early age compared to the emergence of adult dentition (MacDonald, 2007). The immaturity of dentition and the digestive system, the time required for growth of the brain, the rapid skeletory growth needed for the young to reach adult height and strength means that children have special digestive needs and are dependent on adults for a long period of time (MacDonald, 2007). This time of dependence also allows time for cultural learning to occur before passage into adulthood.

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