Modern and Primitive Cultures

Eng 101-06

May 6, 2001

People have to have a relationship with other people and the nature. It is necessary for the people. People who share a common place or a common language also share a common culture.

A professor is named Deikman said that “Culture is the customs, ideas, and attitudes shared by a group, transmitted from generation by generation by learning processes rather than biological inheritance; adherence to these customs and attitudes is regulated by a system of rewards and punishments peculiar to each culture.” (P. 159). Deikman said a group because every people in the world is belongs to different societies. Their language, their customs or their ideas are different from each other. According to professor, Deikman culture is transmitted by environment rather than heredity. For instance the people who live in South-East Asia solve their problems by environmental solution (Widdicombe, p.159). In other words it shows the importance of the environment for the people. The people believe that the environment keeps their ideas or their soul. When they have a complex problem they only must look the environment because solution is in the environment. “Professor Deikman’s definition is simple but its application can be complicated. There are many, many gradations of groups constituting a culture and many degrees of differentiation within what might be considered one cultural group” (Widdicombe, p. 159-161). Some cultures in the world can be more contemporary. It is due to the time and the place where people live. But generally we can talk about two kinds of cultures. These are modern and primitive cultures. If we want to understand what a primitive culture is, we have to look at history? “The archaic cultures –the cultures of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic ages- are also referred to as primitive” ( In addition, we can see some special feature of primitive cultures in the modern age. For instance, the African people still live like their primitive ancestors. They still live in the forest and wear old clothes, which were worn by their ancestors. Modern cultures are cultures, which have contemporary living conditions. In other words Europe and America are two rich countries, which are modern cultures. The social and religious and, economical lives of the primitive culture may seem more interesting than the social, religious and economical lives of the modern cultures. However if we investigate carefully we can find some similarities between two cultures.

The social life of the primitive cultures was based on the family, laws and classification. Father, mother and children constituted the family. However in some primitive cultures, the mission of father and the mission of mother were different. While father was staying at home and was looking children mother went out and worked to earn money. Growing up the children was due to the place where family live in. However generally children grew up in their families. For example: “in most cases the Arab children continued in the family way of life, whether they were shepherds, farmers, merchants or whatever they might be. There was no caste system nor were there different social classes, but no follow on with the family occupation came naturally” (Glubb, p.10). This was for the children who lived in the villages. “In towns, the boys went to day school and the girls learned domestic duties in their families” (Glubb, p.11). In the primitive Arab societies, family did not only mean father, mother and the children, but also aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and more distant connections and neighbors were members of the family. Members of the primitive cultures determined laws. “They judged according to the traditions, and, by such principles, ruled what action should be taken against any law-breakers. As the Ainu had no means of writing, their whole legal system was verbal” (Ed. Shah, p. 183). There were a lot of people who had verbal laws like the Ainu people. Although laws were transmitted orally laws did not change. Classification was the most important problem of the primitive cultures. Because, every people did not have the same justice. “Societies such as Bundu had females only as permanent members, although men were allowed to watch them dance” (Ed. Shah, p. 53). Slaves were not accepted to be a people. Moreover, in some societies,