Sub Culture Definition & Meaning in Sociology

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 04:07 -- Umar Farooq

Definition of Sub Culture

Sub culture defined as a sub division of a national culture, or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of human behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, habits, values, norms, and orientation toward life and life after death.

The concept of sub culture refers to a totality of ways of thinking, behaving, learning and living of majority of people living within a bigger complex whole. The concept of subculture suggests both a separate identity as well as a part of the whole. For example, people living in various provinces of Pakistan have own sub cultures which differs markedly from one another and an essential part of the main Pakistani culture. The rural or urban cultures are other examples of sub cultures of Pakistan. Similarly Muslim culture is different from the sub cultures of minorities living in Pakistan.

The sub cultural groups in Pakistan could be identified on the basis of ethnic orientation, religious affiliation, geographical identity, belief system and language.

Meaning of Sub Culture

Sociologists explain such differences in terms of sub cultural variations between the working class and the middle classes. The life orientations are different, the working class life contains immediate orientations getting along, action as experience and justification of action rather than believer in individual accomplishment and responsibility. There are economic insecurities, powerlessness and no clear picture of future. These factors have different psychological and sociological implications. The working class children are constantly reminded of by the significant other an privileged others that they are a different type. The children are not sure of themselves and feel if would be illogical for them to be over ambitious in life.

This ideal description of working class, culture further points out how different social class experience produce different cognitive and evaluation skills and habits. If this description is correct we are justified in assuming that working class members will tend to learn attitudes and actions to the effect that the world 'around them (perception) cannot be logically analyzed and manipulated by individual actions. The low class child expects the school and the society to make greater room for luck, chance, unpredictability, coincidence (personality traits). The non-family norms demand cheek on spontaneity, deferred gratification, performance and instrumental approach to the life. The implications are obvious.

Furthermore, the working-class child learns (through significant others) a different language, and has different vocabulary. This language is simple, commanding, blunt, limited, illogical, intellectually and culturally poor. His parents do not encourage curiosity, exploration of knowledge and mutual trust and confidence among children (all personality traits). So there is less chance left to this child to get adjusted to non­family environment as compared to middle class children.