The universals of culture are the various social behaviours and institutions which are found in some form in every single society on earth.
In 1945 the anthropologist George P. Murdock claimed to have identified sixty-seven Universals of Culture which he enumerated as follows;
age-grading, athletic sports, bodily adornment, calendar, cleanliness training, community organisation, cooking, co-operative labour, cosmology, courtship, dancing, decorative art, divination, division of labour, dream interpretation, education, eschatology, ethics, ethno-botany, etiquette, faith healing, family feasting, fire-making, folklore, food taboos, funeral rites, games, gestures, gift-giving, government, greetings, hair styles, hospitality, housing, hygiene, incest taboos, inheritance rules, joking, kin groups, kinship nomenclature, language, law, luck superstitions, magic, marriage, mealtimes, medicine, obstetrics, penal sanctions, personal names, population policy, postnatal care, pregnancy usages, property rights, propitiation of supernatural beings, puberty customs, religious ritual, residence rules, sexual restrictions, soul concepts, status differentiation, surgery, tool-making, trade, visiting, weather control and weaving.
More recently Alice Ann Cleaveland, Jean Craven, and Maryanne Danfelser have suggested that there are nine categories of universals, namely: Material Culture, The Arts, Play, and Recreation, Language and Nonverbal Communication, Social Organization, Social Control, Conflict and Warfare, Economic Organization, Education, and World View, which they have further sub-categorised and identified twenty-eight universals of culture.
1. Material Culture
2. The Arts, Play, and Recreation
3. Language and Nonverbal Communication
4. Social Organization
5. Social Control
6. Conflict and Warfare
7. Economic Organization
9. World View
On the universals of culture, George P. Murdock in Linton, The Science of Man in the World Crisis (1945)
Universals of Culture, Alice Ann Cleaveland, Jean Craven, and Maryanne Danfelser. (Intercom 92/93)