• Is a way of life of the people i.e. traditions of any given society.
  • It is the belief, tradition, practices of any given society.
  • It can also be defined as the traditions, values, norms, knowledge and artifacts, languages and symbols that are constantly communicated among people ho share a common way of life.

Elements of culture

Culture can be understood as either material or non material.

Norms – is a specific guideline for action or it is a rule that says how people should behave in a particular situation. Norms are passed or are taught through language or exemplication.

Knowledge – is a body of facts, beliefs and practical skills that people accumulate over time. Knowledge consists of information about places, people, events or ideas. It can come from books, tutorials, stories.


Believe system

Artifacts – objects made b people to express their means of livelihood or way of life e.g. drums

Morals – knowledge about good or bad.

Mores – rules that is expressed in a hidden way.

Cultural traits



Cultural relatives

Different cultures have different elements and it is not fair to compare them equally or to complete them.

Cultural relatives is the aspect of looking at different cultures with their due share of consideration without judging he one or the other, values, norms, symbols and language. For example, Kalenjins may not be exactly as Luos and none of the two should be judged.

Cultural Continuity

Every culture has its own ‘silent’ drive or forces that propel it to continue against other competitive elements. All cultures struggle for continuity.


It is the acquisition of new traits or elements by a culture that were not there before, adoption of new ways of dressing, circumcision etc.


It is the permanent adoption of new traits acquired.

Cultural depletion

This is the loss of some traits or elements by a culture.

Cultural shock

Comes about when a person belonging to one culture experiences cultural elements or traits that he/she was not familiar with, this comes about as a result of three factors:-

  • Time
  • Circumstances
  • Places e.g. tumbo cut is a cultural shock to old women.
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