One universal about the nature of cultures is that they all change over time, although not to the same degree or at the same speed. The fact that cultures change is very much inherent in what exactly a culture is, and it is for that reason that we all know what it means for a culture to adapt.
We have all seen it, after all — it’s something that we all know from our own lives and our own observations. But the question of how they change is a little trickier to appreciate, and something that we might never get to the bottom of. Nonetheless, in this article we’ll look at some of the major ways in which cultures tend to change over time, no matter where they are or who lives within them.
One of the major and most important ways that cultures change is by the invention of new products and ideas which change how we do things. From the wheel to the Internet, inventions are often the major driving forces behind the changes that a culture goes through. In a broader sense, we might call this technological change — clearly something that is particularly relevant at the moment, and which is exponentially growing all the time.
Much of how a culture is operating is dependent on the manner in which it presents itself to itself. In essence, this comes down to aesthetics, and it is something that a lot of people understand to be important intuitively. Aesthetics appear in many places, and you can see how they are changing by looking at those places: for instance, in the top five dance crazes that a culture has developed, or the way in which its artists tend to portray something. The way that we show ourselves the world is an important part of how the culture changes and adapts over time.
Laws are important to any culture. You can tell a lot about a culture by the laws that it follows — and those it considers unimportant. In a sense, it would be accurate to say that a society produces all the criminals it deserves — that is, they are a result of the place they were born, and the kinds of laws that they have in the first place. When laws change, it is one of the major ways in which the culture as a whole changes, and this is something that is going to be the case at all times in all cultures.
By infrastructure, we really mean the way in which the basic structures of the culture in question fit together. This includes things like courts, hospitals and police, and it is clearly an important part of the process of an evolving culture. If you want to see how a culture changes over time, take a look at how its infrastructure changes. That will give you a clear indication which you can’t really overlook, and it will show you what it is that the culture in question finds to be important.