Aspects of British Culture
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Cultural Studies|
|✅ Wordcount: 1679 words||✅ Published: 10th Mar 2017|
Aspects of British Culture
What is culture? Is it the language we speak, overall ethnicity in a region, or the simple customs of a daily routine? Culture is something we are all a part of whether we like it or not. Your family may have certain customs and routines. This is culture. In this research paper I will be analyzing British culture in four categories: history, ethnicity, customs, and also the future direction of British Culture.
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How did Britain become so rich in culture? Well Britain certainly did not just appear one day. The name of the country and the term “English” derive from the Old English word for one of the three Germanic Peoples that invaded the British Isles in the 5th century (Countries and Their Cultures). The Angles “Britain” and “British” derive from a Roman Term for the inhabitants (Countries and Their Cultures). In fact, written records of British History do not exist until the arrival of the Romans (J.P. Dommerville). Before the arrival of the Romans, there is only archaeological evidence of Britain’s inhabitants (J.P. Sommerville). The earliest inhabitants of Britain for whom there is compelling evidence are bands of hunters living in Southern and Western England during the Hoxnian (J.P. Sommerville). Many peoples make up the rich history of British Culture. There were many immigrants that came to found The United Kingdom. Their genes still walk the grounds today. Just like America this country was founded, and made by immigrants from many different backgrounds.
Like many cultures, there are different peoples whom make up the general ethnicity. British Culture is no exception to this understanding. Britain or the U.K. known to others is located in Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea, northwest of France (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The capital of the United Kingdom is London (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The population is roughly 60, 766, 238 people; with an ethnic make-up of White, Black, Indian, Pakistani, Mixed, and Other (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The White Population is composed of: 83.6% English, 8.6% Scottish, 4.9% Welsh, and 2.9% Northern Irish (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The other ethnic populations are composed of: 2% Black, 1.8% Indian, 1.3% Pakistani, 1.2% Mixed, and 1.6% Other (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). As you can see, all of these different ethnicities will definitely impact culture. So what customs will follow this diverse cultural background?
Many people may assume that British Culture is defined with scones and tea, or the rich writings of Shakespeare; however it is not like this at all. There are many customs that British people practice, that Americans or any other type of nationality may find odd. Many customs are associated with the annual climate, and British Culture is once again no exception. The annual climate of the United Kingdom has temperatures that are moderated by southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current, and more than one-half of the days are overcast (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The U.K. is also home to a constitutional monarchy (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Although there is no defined official language due to the diverse cultural background, the primary language is English (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). About 70% of the population speaks English (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Other languages that are frequently spoken include: Welsh, Irish, Ulster Scots, Cornish, Gaelic, and British Sign Language (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The United Kingdom is comprised of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Now all of these countries share a common thing, and that is to address a person from a country properly. For instance, English and British do not mean the same thing (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The term “British”, denotes someone who is from England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). The term “English”, refers to people from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). People from different countries want to be known for what they are; another example is people from Scotland are identified as “Scots”. People from Wales are identified as “Welsh”. People from Northern Ireland are identified as “Irish” (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette).
The Class System
As many people can depict from their prior knowledge, British Culture has been known for their many kings and queens, knights, priests etc., however British Culture has changed. Yes, Britain still has and practices a monarchy form of government, but the class system is somewhat complex. Class is no longer simply about wealth or where one lives; the British are able to assume someone’s class through a number of complex variables (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Brits focus on demeanor, accents, manners, and compartment to determine and factor a class system (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Brits are also facing a very diverse culture, therefore making it difficult to define someone British (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette).
In the United Kingdom, human interaction is of utmost importance. You do not want to offend anyone who is a native, or move there and ignore a culture’s customs. Most of Britain’s population enjoys sport and leisure activities (Currency). In one way or another, Britain’s population is involved in sports or leisurely activities whether as a participant or a spectator (Currency). A difficult thing to grasp might be understanding a regional dialect, or accent (Currency). The British have been historically known for their “stiff upper lip”, and “blitz spirit” as demonstrated during the German bombings of World War II (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). This grin and bear it attitude in the face of adversity of embarrassment lives on today (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). In common interaction Brits do not choose to show strong emotion when engaged in conversation (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). This is not because of their lack to feel, or rudeness; they simply just wish not to display this in public (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). In the U. K. manners are all about a reduction of violence between people (Currency).
Religion is a large part of British Culture. Due to the large diversity among British peoples, religion is present in many forms and beliefs. Christianity is a popular religion with many denominations such as: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, and also Methodist. Roughly 71.6% of British population is Christian and belongs to some Christian Denomination (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette). Other religious practices involved with British Culture are Muslim, Hindu, Other, and unspecified or none. Roughly 2.7% are Muslim, 1% are Hindu, 1.6% are other, and 23.1% are identified as an unspecified or none (UK – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette).
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What does the future hold in store for British Culture? As we can see in the modern day culture is always changing. Culture is definitely different then it was in the seventeenth-century. So what does the future hold in store for British Culture? Well, according to Vikki Heywood (CBE, Chair of the RSA, and formerly executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), exclaimed that the commissions brought a wealth of experience in the arts and cultural sectors to the task (King’s College London). Heywood also proceeds to exclaim that there are five key goals for the future of the cultural and creative industries (King’s College London). The five goals focus on creating, harnessing, and maintaining a rich cultural and creative ecosystem that contributes to the economic and social success of all areas of the country (King’s College London). In 2013, the cultural and creative industries provided around 77 billion sterling pounds of added value to the global economy (King’s College London). So what does all of this mean? Well the answer is quite simple. The government, cultural, and creative industries need to work together to ensure that everyone has equal access to a rich cultural education, and that conditions are in place for culture, and creativity to play their part in economic success (King’s College London).
In conclusion, I would say after doing somewhat extensive research, culture is a broad term. There are so many things that impact culture. All cultures are different; however I feel that I have learned an enormous amount of details from writing this paper. I do feel like I have achieved my goal of analyzing four categories or aspects of British Culture. I also feel like I have effectively covered the history, ethnicity, customs, and future direction of British Culture. British Culture is very rich in history, ethnicity, customs, and also future direction. As of right now it looks as if British Culture is evolving into a very rich and unique position of power.
“Countries and Their Cultures”. Culture of England. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
“Currency”. Learn English. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
“J.P. Sommerville”. Sommerville: Courses. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
“King’s College London”. King’s College London-Homepage. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
“UK-Language, Culture, Customs, and Etiquette”. UK. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.
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