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Introduction to Sociology

The answer is A. Symbols are representations of a generally recognized idea within a culture. These ideas, in the form of deities, clans, castes, and almost other aspects of the culture. Symbols are effective tools to gain recognition, which in turn evokes authority. It is important to note that specific symbols will be worthless if not for universal recognition of its meanings. Symbols can appear in various forms. It can be printed material, a shape, a sculpture or other forms.

Symbols, is not evident in the form of intangible materials alone. Abstract ideals and beliefs can also be made tangible through the use of different symbols. Symbols also represent status in a society as in the case of war tattoos that represents prowess in the battle field or role in the military of a particular culture. Until in modern times, this is practice in symbolizing ranks of military men in a particular society. Symbols have definitions entailed and specified in different cultures.

This definition has become a traditional belief among the people in a particular society, thus defining symbols as a common trait in the particular culture. However, different cultures may have different meanings entailed for different symbols. The swastika, which has been associated as a symbol during Hitler’s Nazi regime and also anti-Semitism, is defined in Hindu as mysticism, a sacred symbol. The white conical hood of the Ku Klux Klan has also been associated with racism but it is the symbol of priesthood in Spain.

The role of symbols in a particular cultures directs the commonness and tradition of people sharing one culture. As years progress and the beliefs are carried from one generation to another, the essential meanings and root definitions of these symbols are carried within the culture. Many cultures treasures the symbols they share, not only because the meanings have relevance in their living and culture, but also because it is what defines them as a culture sharing communis.

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