Material cultures arethose physical resources, spaces, and even objects that are definitive of a society’s culture. They include the things that are needed in everyday life such as churches, electricity, computers, tools, means of production etc. Material culture has implications of the behaviour of people and how they perceive life. In the book, ‘one second after’, material culture include electronics and even food. When the Electromagnetic Pulse strikes, the nation starves and people begin to queue for food while electricity is suddenly cut hence, rendering America in destruction (p. 260)
Non-materialcultures are those non-physical ideas that a society possess as adefinition of culture, values, beliefs, language morals, institution,and organizations. In this novel, American institutions are part ofher non-material culture. The Report of the commission that assessthe Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse on the United States is onesuch non-material culture. They are valued because they definesocietal perceptions and way of life. They keep life comfortable witha sense of meaning.
Culture shock is a state of disorientation that occurs when a person is suddenly exposed to strange and unfamiliar way of life. In the fiction novel of ‘one second after’ entails a culture shock for people because they have to adjust to the effects of the electromagnetic pulse that cause desperation. People are not used to this kind of life.
Values are the vital and long-lasting aspects of life that are ideal for a society. Normally they are common to members of that society. Beliefs are the convictions that a society believes to be true about people, events, and other aspects of life. The book depicts the American values of freedom and technological growth and innovation and how the EMP destroys them and makes life unbearable. Beliefs encompass America’s collective view of an external threat posed by terrorists since September 11. The values and beliefs are challenged in the text because a one day event alters them to the extent of desperation and America remains destructed.
Folkways are the behavioural customs that are socially acceptable even though they may not be morally right. Breaking folkways may not attract serious consequences from the society. Mores are more strict than folkways because the guide the morals and ethics of the society. They actually define the rights and wrongs of the society. Mores are the best to develop in the circumstances of the novel. This is because mores will define a strict way of dealing with national threats among citizens and the State hence enabling people to be always prepared for any form of aggression that seeks to destroy the United States.
A sub-culture is attempts to accept society norms even as it moves on with its own norms, traditions, and additions. It attempts to be part of the mainstream. A counter-culture rejects the norms of the society. It attempts to change what they society view as norms. Countercultures actually try to make a statement in the society. The author attempts to introduce a counterculture by condemning the haphazard that people live today. The death of a 41 year old man from a heart attack after simply carrying a bucket of water shows just how some norms have to change if the quality of life has to improve.
Culture lag is a term used to describe what occurs in a social set up when the cultural aspects of the society are outpaced by other social changes. The EMP is an event that arises from a culture lag because America is found unawares hence, unable to protect citizens against its catastrophic impact.