THE STRUCTURE OF CULTURE
A culture is not simply an accumulation of folkways and mores; it is an organized system of behavior. Let us see some of the ways in which culture is organized.
Cultural Traits and Complexes
The smallest unit of culture is called a trait. Phoebe’s definition [1949, p. 499) is: “A reputedly irreducible unit of learned behavior
pattern or material product thereof.” Traits of the material culture would include such things as the nail, the screwdriver, the pencil and the handkerchief. Non material culture traits would include such.actions as shaking hands, driving on the right-hand side of the road, kissing to show affection, or saluting the flag. Each culture includes thousands of traits. Is the dance a trait? No; it is a collection of traits, including the dance steps, some formula for selecting the performers, and a musical or rhythmic accompaniment. Most important of nil, the dance has a meaning intervention. as a religious a magical rite court Ship activity, a festive orgy or some hing else. All these elements combine form a culture complex, a cluster of relate traits, Another cluster of objects, skills, am attitudes forms the surfing complex.” Dozen more could be added. The culture complex is intermediate between the trait and the institution. An institution is a series of complexes centering upon an important activity. Thus, the family in secludes the dating complex, the engagement and-wedding complex, the honey moor complex, the child-care complex, and sever others. Some complexes are parts of institutions others, revolving around less important activities-such as stamp collecting-are aim ply independent complexes.