What Are Examples of Culture Traits?

Jun Seita/CC-BY 2.0

There are seven primary culture traits: learned behaviors, transmission of information, symbolism, flexibility, integration, ethnocentrism and adaptation. People acquire cultural traits as they grow up in environments surrounded by others with similar ideas and concepts. Cultural traits are a part of the larger system of culture that includes a network of behaviors, values, beliefs and norms.

Learned behaviors are among the most important cultural traits that allow individuals to identify with certain groups. Many children learn the customs and traditions of their native ethnic groups, but children who move elsewhere at a young age typically adopt the behaviors of the second group. Children learn a variety of behaviors by watching others and listening. They may assume behaviors by interacting and communicating verbally and non-verbally with their peers and others in their group. Children also acquire learned behavior by observing others and by imitating their actions.

Children learn cultural behaviors in conscious and unconscious states; in the realm of consciousness, they might learn stories and read literature about their culture, whereas unconscious learning includes absorbing culture through language. Transmission involves the passage of information from one generation to the next. This step is critical, as information that fails to pass down from the previous generation to the next essentially dies.