Topics: Sociology, Meaning of life, Human Pages: 5 (1919 words) Published: September 24, 2013
‘’Children require only culture to become fully human, genes mean nothing’’. How far do you agree with this statement?. Culture is a certain type of civilisation of shared meanings, norms, values and roles of a society or group of a certain race or nation. Culture is in support of the nurture side of the nature-nurture argument. The nurture side of the debate states that people are influenced with how they dress, to even their actions by the surroundings they are brought up in as well as the people in their lives. However the nature side of the nature-nurture debate believes that people are how they are because of their DNA and genetics, therefore their personality and everything they do is believed to be already genetically wired into them from the moment they are born. Therefore the nature-nurture debate is the argument between what affects how people live their lives, how they look, their beliefs, their personality etc. Children require culture to become fully human due to the fact that when in certain cases children were not given primary and secondary socialisation by humans and instead by animals, they did not know how to behave like humans. For example John Ssabunnya ‘monkey boy’ who was abandoned at the age of 2 and the only socialisation for him was with monkeys. Due to the fact that he only had limited socialisation and only with monkeys, he was found doing everything that only monkeys would do at the age of 14 was when he was discovered. Therefore even though his genetics meant he was human, the years of his life spent with the socialisation from monkeys, meant that when he was first found it seemed unreal that he was a human being. Likewise another case similar to this was when a Ukrainian girl who was discovered in the USA, who only had the socialisation of dogs. Therefore when discovered she could eat, wash etc as a dog would do and she wasn’t capable of doing any actions a normal human being would be able to as she lacked experience of love, human care or social behaviour. Therefore even though every human being has their genes and DNA, feral children that are deprived of the stimulation of human company, stripped of the opportunity to acquire human language in early life are barely recognisable as humans. In further detail culture allows humans to know language and from this comes shared meanings, norms, values, and roles which feral children lack and therefore they are not the same as normal human beings. Evidently sociologist Stuart Hall (1997) stated that humans are able to create meanings and make sense of the world because of language. Shared meanings are an important way to communicate due to the fact that over time each social group builds up shared understandings of the world. For example it is universal when someone waves their hand when meeting someone it is a shared meaning of another way to say ‘hello’. Therefore if shared meanings like this example was not there, then people would not communicate effectively. Culture also allows humans to have their own personal values, and therefore people live by their own principles in life such as love, truth etc. Therefore if culture did not give humans values, then people would not have principles to live by from their own beliefs or from their religion etc, because genetics cannot offer humans’ values. Also culture gives us ‘norms’ which holds the social expectations of how people should or shouldn’t behave. For example this also ensures humans have manners as it is norms to hold the door open for someone, therefore culture provides basic rules of what is acceptable or not acceptable in society. Moreover culture gives us ‘roles’ which allows humans to acknowledge and learn what their individual role as a sister, brother, wife, husband etc which is changing over time to suit the generation. Therefore without roles, humans would not be able to acknowledge the important of relationships, which nature of the nature-nurture debate does not provide. Moreover...
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