Exam Lessons Social Studies

Culture And Social Values

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Culture is defined as the total way of life of a people. It is culture that differentiates one particular community or ethnic group from the other.


  • Culture defines a group of people.
  • Culture is not static rather it is dynamic. It changes with time. As technology changes and as people interact with one another.
  • It is not inborn rather it is learnt through the agents of socialization like family, religious organization,peer group ,e.t.c..
  •  Culture is a collective experience of a community or a group of people.
  • Culture is usually acquired, it is a continuous process passed from one generation to the other.
  • It is created by a community in order to ensure harmonious and progressive living of its members.


  1. Define culture.
  2. Explain three characteristics of culture.


There are many features of culture but they are all grouped into two; material and non material aspects.

  1. Material aspect: this refers to those things which are made by man so as to satisfy his needs. They are the products of man which when made could be seen and touched. Examples are houses, bridges, clothes, hoes, plates, aeroplanes, combs etc.
  2. Non-material aspect: this consists of those things we cannot see or touch. They are things which we learnt as part of the way we live in our society. Examples are language, religion, music, morals, dress sense, manner of eating, dancing style etc.

Cultural Similarities among Nigerians

Though there are many cultures in Nigeria because of the many cultures therein, there are still some aspects of their culture that are the same.

  1. Respect in Nigeria: Irrespective of one’s status, elders are respected in Nigeria.
  2. Traditional Political System: each community in Nigeria has its own traditional political system under a paramount chief with different titles like Oba, Obi, Obong etc.
  3. Age-grade: in every community in Nigeria, there are age mates who identify with themselves.
  4. System of Marriage: this is similar in typical Nigeria traditional communities where virgin brides are highly honoured.
  5. Leadership: authority is often exercised by the elders in most communities in Nigeria. A practice where elders rule is Gerontocracy.
  6. Communal living: extended family is a common feature of all cultures in Nigeria.
  7. Occupation:farming and trading are common to all cultures.
  8. Nigerians place high values on dignity of labour, good neighbourliness and patriotism. No job is bad within the Nigerian culture except armed-robbery and its likes.

Cultural Differences among Nigerians

There are several cultures in Nigeria. The people are diverse and the cultures and traditions vary. By each group’s culture; we can differentiate one group from the other.

  1. Language: it is a remarkable difference that differentiates one culture from the other in Nigeria. There are over 250 indigenous languages in the country.
  2. Religion: before Christianity and Islam got to Nigeria, there were various traditional religious beliefs in Nigeria. The mode of worship also differs.
  3. Greetings: there is variance in how each ethnic group greets their elderly ones. For instance, a Yoruba male/female will prostrate/kneel down to greet elders while the Hausas will squat or kneel down.
  4. Dressing: the Hausa man’s way of dressing in ‘babariga’ with a cap to match differentiates him from an Igbo man who wears caftan and ties a wrapper. The manner of dressing of each group’s womenfolk also differs.
  5. Arts and Crafts: this also differentiates one group from the other. While those in the south engage in wood carving, the Northerners engage in leather works.
  6. Food: those in the southern part of Nigeria eat food made mostly from tubers like fufu while the Northerners eat food made from grains e.g. tuwo.


  1. Briefly explain how communal living and system of marriage are similar to different cultures in Nigeria.
  2. List and explain (3) three cultural differences in Nigeria culture.
  3. List (5) five indigenous languages in Nigeria and the states where the languages are spoken.


  1. Make a list of different four (4) types of food by any two (2) ethnic groups of your choice.
  2. Define social environment.
  3. List any other three (3) jobs that are frowned at by Nigerians.
  4. Social Studies Workbook for Basic Seven. Pgs 54 – 57


Macmillan Social Studies Book by M.A. Orebanjo. Pgs. 47 & 48

Solakat New Syllabus on Social Studies for JSS Basic Nine by A. Oluwasola Oyewole, Pg. 50.

Fundamentals of Social Studies Junior Secondary School Book 1 by Sola Akinyemi.Pgs 97 – 105


  1. Which of the following statement is true?   A. There is one culture in the whole world    B. There are cultures based on the number of countries in the whole world     C. There are cultures as there are many continents in the world     D. There are many cultures as there the numbers of communities in the world
  2. Which of the following does not belong to the group?    A. Obas    B. Emirs    C. Imams    D. Obis
  3. Nuclear family is a common feature of all cultures in Nigeria? Yes or No
  4. One of the following is not a cultural similarity in Nigeria    A. Language    B. Occupation    C. Political system     D. Age grade
  5. ____________ implies that there is deep feelings for one another in all culture of Nigeria    A. Age grade   B. Respect     C. Communal living     D. System of marriage


  1. List three cultural differences in Nigeria culture.
  2. Mention five cultural similarities in Nigeria culture.


  1. a. Differentiate between material and non-material aspects of culture.

b. Highlight their features.

  • List three examples each of the two aspects.


  1. Language: it is one of the most important ways of identifying a group of people. Through language, we can  quickly state what or which culture one belongs. It is an avenue through which our culture is passed from one generation to the other.
  2. Mode of dressing: this is another way of identifying a group of people or their culture. For instance, a typical Yoruba man or woman wherever he or she is, will still occasionally dress in ‘buba and sokoto’ or ‘iro and buba’
  3. Folklores: these are invented stories about man and animal kingdoms. Through folklores, children are entertained and taught one moral lesson or the other.
  4. Legend: each ethnic group has its belief and story pertaining to the origin of man and the world.
  5. Skills and Tools (Technology): Nigeria had small industries made up of small workshops where skilled works were carried out before the advent of the Europeans. Binis were involved in ivory making and brass wares. The Ijaws and Itsekiri were noted for salt making while native soaps were the products of the Yorubas and Edos etc.
  6. Games and Entertainment: games also bring out a particular culture. For instance ‘Ayo’ and ‘Okoto’ are peculiar to Yorubas. Entertainment is majorly in form of singing; ‘Shantu and Samban’ are sets of drums among the Hausa Fulanis while ‘gangan, bata etc.’ are Yorubas  musical instruments.
  7. Buildings: before the arrival of the European, each ethnic group builds its houses in a way different from others.
  8. Food and Drink: pounded yam and yam flour are common solid food in Yorubaland while tuwo and danwanke are popular among the Hausa Fulani. While the Hausas enjoy Burukutu and Sekete as their drinks, Yorubas and Igbos like palmwine.
  9. Religion: the way a group of people relate to the supernatural and its belief is a feature of culture. Each cultural group has its own way of relating to the supreme being before the introduction of Christianity and Islam.
  10. Arts and Crafts: arts and crafts are products of our physical environment and as such each cultural group has its unique art and craft in form of carvings, metal works, painting, sculpture, wood work etc.


  1. Explain why language is seen as one of the most important features of culture.
  2. Differentiate between legends and folklores.
  3. List out the features that are material aspects of culture.
  4. Draw out the building of four different cultural group.


  1. List any two ethnic groups and their mode of dressing.
  2. Explain how culture is acquired.
  3. Social Studies Workbook .Pages 52-54


Macmillan Social Studies Book 1 by M.A. Orebanjo Pages 43-45.

Solakat  New Syllabus on Social Studies for JSS Basic Nine by A. Oluwasola Oyewole . Pgs. 44 & 50.

Simplified  Social Studies for Nigeria Secondary Schools & Colleges Bk 3 by Yusuf R.A.Pgs. 29 & 30.

Fundamentals of Social Studies Junior Secondary School Book 1 by J.O Olatunde etal. Pgs. 92 – 97


  1. Which of the following is not an aspect of culture? A. IdentityB. ReligionC. MusicD. Values.
  2. The following are parts of culture except A. dancing B. dressing C. transportationD. food.
  3. The most important aspect of culture that is used to identify a group of people is——A. drink B. house C.language D. food.
  4. Cutlass, spear, clothing are examples of A. material cultureB. non material cultureC. cultural relativity D. weapons.
  5. Folklores are for entertainment alone. Yes or No.
  6. ‘Culture is dynamic’ means culture A. changes gradually B. is strong C. is stagnantD. is static
  7. The material aspects of culture A. can be seen and touched B. cannot be seen and touchedC. can be eatenD. cannot be handled
  8. ______ is the total way of life. A. Socialization B. Culture C. IdentityD. Language
  9. All but one of the following are components of culture A. it is not inbornB. it is dynamic is not acquired D. it is a collective experience of a community or a group of people
  10. All of the following are examples of non-material culture except A. pot B. cloth C. folklore D. comb


  • a. What is culture?                           

b.List four components of culture.

  • Briefly explain the features of culture.