It is in this regard that this essay aims to present what the concepts of culture are as a means for human beings to adapt to changes in the environment through spans of time. Further, this paper would delve into the theoretical orientations this concepts have to perceptions of marriage and family.
According to Dow (1997, par. 3), “anthropologists have recognized that culture is primarily a mental phenomena. Yet culture belongs to a group without single mind other than an artificial mind imposed by ideological pressures. The true mental content of culture must be stored and transmitted symbolically from human to human. The mechanism for storing the mental content of culture, cultural memory, can have profound consequences for the evolution of cultural knowledge”.
In a book written by Soliven, et.al. (2006), culture is defined in its narrow and broad senses. In its narrow sense, culture is “a system of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people. It is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another” (p.18). In its broadest sense, culture “refers to the totality of a person’s learned, accumulated experiences, which are socially transmitted. It consists of his values, sentiments, and aspirations” (ibid). Jocano (1990, p.IX) explains culture as the people’s “commonly shared ways of thinking, believing and doing things”. It is according to Spencer (1974) a “way of life” in the social environment and includes the method of living, eating, dressing and searching for happiness and following rules of living” (p. 368).
All culture shares the following characteristics, to wit: (1) it is an adaptive mechanism, (2) it is learned, (3) it is cumulative, (4) it changes, (5) it is shared and transmitted, (6) it is gratifying, and (6) it is social.
In examining the concepts of marriage and family, cultural diversity definitely should be taken into