Types of Culture Ideal, Real, Material & Non-Material Culture with Examples

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 10:51 -- Umar Farooq

A culture has four aspects or four types material and non-material culture and ideal & real culture. Material culture is related to tangible objects made by man. Buildings, furniture, books are the products of material culture. Non-material culture is related to the abstract things like emotions, attitudes, ideas and beliefs which we feel but cannot verify by observation. Peace, war, co-operation, marriage and lecture are the examples of non-material culture. A book is material culture but its words are non-material. Man is a material but his speech is non-material. Radio is material but its sound is non­material. It means material culture has its non-material aspect also.

Real Culture

Real culture can be observed in our social life. We act upon on culture in our social life is real, its part which the people adopt in their social life is their real one. The whole one is never real because a part of it remains without practice. How far we set upon Islam is our real culture. Being a Muslims, Christian and related to another religion we do not follow Islam, Christianity etc. fully in our social life. It means the part of religion which we follow is our real culture.

Ideal Culture

The culture which is presented as a pattern or precedent to the people is called ideal. It is the goal of the society. It can never be achieved fully because some part of it remains out of practice. It is explained in textbooks, our leaders’ speeches and guidance. The part of ideal culture practiced in social life is called real culture. Islam is our ideal one. We claim to be true Muslims and this claim is our ideal culture but how far we are Muslims in practice is our real culture. Both the real and ideal cultures are related together and different from each other.

Material Culture

Material culture consists of man-made objects such as furniture, automobiles, buildings, dams, bridges, roads and in fact, the physical matter converted and used by man. It is closely related with the external, mechanical as well as useful objects. It includes, technical and material equipment like a railways engines, publication machines, a locomotive, a radio etc. It includes our financial institutions, parliaments, insurance policies etc. and referred to as civilization.

Non-Material Culture

The term 'culture' when used in the ordinary sense, means non-material culture'. This term when used in the ordinary sense, means non-material. It is something nonphysical ideas which include values, beliefs, symbols, organization and institutions etc. Nonmaterial culture includes words we use, the language we speak, our belief held, values we cherish and all the ceremonies observed.

Material and Nonmaterial Culture Examples

Material means physical object (i.e. buildings, vehicles, transportation, clothes, houses and schools). Non-Material means something you invisible, untouchable (i.e. education, language, feelings, religion, beliefs, sports, and feelings).