Something that we do all the time in our everyday life is to communicate. The action of communication involves the usage of symbols, which are things that represent something else, for example a red light symbolizes "stop". A symbol can be a written or a spoken word, a gesture, a facial expression Symbols stand only because a group of people agrees to interpret them the same way. That is why the meaning of symbols varies from culture to culture. Symbols are symbols because a group of people have agreed on their common usage.
As Gudykunst and Yun Kim (1997) claim, the relationship between symbols and the things which they symbolize is not a self evident or natural one Symbols derive their specific function from group consensus or social convention and have no effect whatever (outside their rather trivial physical characteristics) on any person not acquainted with such consensus or convention. .
The meaning we attach to a symbol is a function of our culture, our ethnic group, our family and our unique individual experiences. The human ability to develop speech and language and to communicate derives from the usage of symbols. Their meaning is learned within the process of socialization, the process of acquiring a culture.
Culture is a way of life developed and shared by a group of people and passed down from generation to generation. Furthermore when people in the same geographical area acquire the same behavior through time, a society is born. These people that interact together in the same environment and behave the same, they perceive the world they inhabit almost the same way based on some agreements they have made. In other words these sets of cultural ideas that these people share, give meaning to their social surroundings.
Our culture is our guide of our behavior when we communicate with others by the norms and rules that we use. While socializing within the boundaries of our culture, we can learn how we are expected to view ourselves (i.