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Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and norms found in
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, cultu ...
societies, as well as the
knowledge Knowledge can be defined as awareness of facts or as practical skills, and may also refer to familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distin ...
,
belief A belief is an attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes about the world which can be either true or false. To believe something is to tak ...
s, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and
habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.
s of the individuals in these groups.Tylor, Edward. (1871). Primitive Culture. Vol 1. New York: J.P. Putnam's Son Culture is often originated from or attributed to a specific region or location. Humans acquire culture through the learning processes of enculturation and socialization, which is shown by the diversity of cultures across societies. A cultural norm codifies acceptable conduct in society; it serves as a guideline for behavior, dress, language, and demeanor in a situation, which serves as a template for expectations in a social group. Accepting only a monoculture in a social group can bear risks, just as a single species can wither in the face of environmental change, for lack of functional responses to the change. Thus in military culture, valor is counted a typical behavior for an individual and duty, honor, and loyalty to the social group are counted as virtues or functional responses in the continuum of conflict. In the practice of religion, analogous attributes can be identified in a social group. Cultural change, or repositioning, is the reconstruction of a cultural concept of a society. Cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging change and forces resisting change. Cultures are externally affected via contact between societies. Organizations like
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
attempt to preserve culture and cultural heritage.


Description

Culture is considered a central concept in
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of be ...
, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies. These include expressive forms like art, music, dance,
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized ...
,
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatur ...
, and technologies like tool usage, cooking, shelter, and
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials and natura ...
. The concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including practices of political organization and social institutions),
mythology Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Since "myth" is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narra ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. ...
,
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
(both written and
oral The word oral may refer to: Relating to the mouth * Relating to the mouth, the first portion of the alimentary canal that primarily receives food and liquid ** Oral administration of medicines ** Oral examination (also known as an oral exam or or ...
), and
science Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earliest archeological evidence ...
comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society. In the
humanities Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with divinity and referred to what is now called classics, the main area of secular study in universities at t ...
, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in
the arts The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both ...
, sciences,
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty ...
, or manners. The level of cultural sophistication has also sometimes been used to distinguish
civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of a state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language (namely, a writing system). ...
s from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture,
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a ...
, or
folk culture Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging fro ...
of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital. In common parlance, culture is often used to refer specifically to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification,
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials and natura ...
or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century. Some schools of philosophy, such as
Marxism Marxism is a Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand S ...
and critical theory, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the proletariat and create a false consciousness. Such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions. When used as a
count noun In linguistics, a count noun (also countable noun) is a noun that can be modified by a quantity and that occurs in both singular and plural forms, and that can co-occur with quantificational determiners like ''every'', ''each'', ''several'', e ...
, a "culture" is the set of customs,
tradition A tradition is a belief or behavior (folk custom) passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. A component of cultural expressions and folklore, common examples include holidays or ...
s, and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. Culture is the set of knowledge acquired over time. In this sense, multiculturalism values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same planet. Sometimes "culture" is also used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture (e.g. " bro culture"), or a
counterculture A counterculture is a culture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, sometimes diametrically opposed to mainstream cultural mores.Eric Donald Hirsch. ''The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy''. H ...
. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism hold that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture.


Etymology

The modern term "culture" is based on a term used by the ancient Roman orator
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the esta ...
in his '' Tusculanae Disputationes'', where he wrote of a cultivation of the soul or ''"cultura animi,"'' using an agricultural
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (or obscure) clarity or identify hidden similarities between two different ideas. Metaphors are often compared wi ...
for the development of a philosophical soul, understood teleologically as the highest possible ideal for human development. Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a modern context, meaning something similar, but no longer assuming that philosophy was man's natural perfection. His use, and that of many writers after him, "''refers to all the ways in which human beings overcome their original
barbarism Barbarism, barbarity, or barbarous may refer to: * Barbarism (linguistics), a non-standard word, expression, or pronunciation ** Hybrid words, formerly called "barbarisms" * Any society construed as barbarian ** Barbarian invasions, a period of ...
, and through artifice, become fully human."'' In 1986, philosopher Edward S. Casey wrote, "The very word ''culture'' meant 'place tilled' in Middle English, and the same word goes back to Latin ''colere'', 'to inhabit, care for, till, worship' and ''cultus'', 'A cult, especially a religious one.' To be cultural, to have a culture, is to inhabit a place sufficiently intensely to cultivate it—to be responsible for it, to respond to it, to attend to it caringly." Culture described by Richard Velkley:
... originally meant the cultivation of the soul or mind, acquires most of its later modern meaning in the writings of the 18th-century German thinkers, who were on various levels developing Rousseau's criticism of "
modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history ** Early Modern period ** Late Modern period *** 18th century *** 19th century *** 20th century ** Contemporary history * Moderns, a faction of Freemasonry that existed in the 18th century Philosophy ...
liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on the Individual rights, rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law."political rationalism, hostilit ...
and Enlightenment." Thus a contrast between "culture" and "
civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of a state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language (namely, a writing system). ...
" is usually implied in these authors, even when not expressed as such.
In the words of anthropologist E.B. Tylor, it is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, "Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices, discourses and material expressions, which, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common. The ''
Cambridge English Dictionary The ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary'' (abbreviated ''CALD'') was first published in 1995 under the name ''Cambridge International Dictionary of English'', by the Cambridge University Press. The dictionary has over 140,000 words, ...
'' states that culture is "the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time." Terror management theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the merely physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that ''Homo sapiens'' became aware of when they acquired a larger brain. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively. This ability arose with the evolution of behavioral modernity in humans around 50,000 years ago and is often thought to be unique to
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, cultu ...
s. However, some other species have demonstrated similar, though much less complicated, abilities for social learning. It is also used to denote the complex networks of practices and accumulated knowledge and ideas that are transmitted through social
interaction Interaction is action that occurs between two or more objects, with broad use in philosophy and the sciences. It may refer to: Science * Interaction hypothesis, a theory of second language acquisition * Interaction (statistics) * Interaction ...
and exist in specific human groups, or cultures, using the plural form.


Change

Raimon Panikkar identified 29 ways in which
cultural change Culture change is a term used in public policy making that emphasizes the influence of cultural capital on individual and community behavior. It has been sometimes called repositioning of culture, which means the reconstruction of the cultural conce ...
can be brought about, including growth, development, evolution, involution, renovation, reconception, reform,
innovation Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or services or improvement in offering goods or services. ISO TC 279 in the standard ISO 56000:2020 defines innovation as "a new or changed enti ...
, revivalism, revolution,
mutation In biology, a mutation is an alteration in the nucleic acid sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA. Viral genomes contain either DNA or RNA. Mutations result from errors during DNA or viral replication, m ...
, progress,
diffusion Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atoms, ions, molecules, energy) generally from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in Gibbs free energy or chemical ...
,
osmosis Osmosis (, ) is the spontaneous net movement or diffusion of solvent molecules through a selectively-permeable membrane from a region of high water potential (region of lower solute concentration) to a region of low water potential (region ...
, borrowing,
eclecticism Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories i ...
, syncretism, modernization,
indigenization Indigenization is the act of making something more native; transformation of some service, idea, etc. to suit a local culture, especially through the use of more indigenous people in public administration, employment and other fields. The term i ...
, and transformation. In this context, modernization could be viewed as adoption of Enlightenment era beliefs and practices, such as science, rationalism, industry, commerce, democracy, and the notion of progress. Rein Raud, building on the work of Umberto Eco, Pierre Bourdieu and Jeffrey C. Alexander, has proposed a model of cultural change based on claims and bids, which are judged by their
cognitive adequacy Rein Raud (born 21 December 1961) is an Estonian scholar and author. Early life He was born in 1961 in the family of Eno Raud and Aino Pervik, both children's authors. He is the eldest of three children. His younger brother Mihkel Raud is a ...
and endorsed or not endorsed by the symbolic authority of the cultural community in question. Cultural invention has come to mean any innovation that is new and found to be useful to a group of people and expressed in their behavior but which does not exist as a physical object. Humanity is in a global "accelerating culture change period," driven by the expansion of international commerce, the mass media, and above all, the human population explosion, among other factors. Culture repositioning means the reconstruction of the cultural concept of a society. Cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging change and forces resisting change. These forces are related to both social structures and natural events, and are involved in the perpetuation of cultural ideas and practices within current structures, which themselves are subject to change. Social conflict and the development of technologies can produce changes within a society by altering social dynamics and promoting new cultural models, and spurring or enabling generative action. These social shifts may accompany ideological shifts and other types of cultural change. For example, the U.S.
feminist movement The feminist movement (also known as the women's movement, or feminism) refers to a series of social movements and political campaigns for radical and liberal reforms on women's issues created by the inequality between men and women. Such ...
involved new practices that produced a shift in gender relations, altering both gender and economic structures. Environmental conditions may also enter as factors. For example, after tropical forests returned at the end of the last ice age, plants suitable for domestication were available, leading to the invention of
agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people ...
, which in turn brought about many cultural innovations and shifts in social dynamics. Cultures are externally affected via contact between societies, which may also produce—or inhibit—social shifts and changes in cultural practices. War or competition over resources may impact technological development or social dynamics. Additionally, cultural ideas may transfer from one society to another, through diffusion or acculturation. In
diffusion Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atoms, ions, molecules, energy) generally from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in Gibbs free energy or chemical ...
, the form of something (though not necessarily its meaning) moves from one culture to another. For example, Western restaurant chains and culinary brands sparked curiosity and fascination to the Chinese as China opened its economy to international trade in the late 20th-century. "Stimulus diffusion" (the sharing of ideas) refers to an element of one culture leading to an invention or propagation in another. "Direct borrowing," on the other hand, tends to refer to technological or tangible diffusion from one culture to another. Diffusion of innovations theory presents a research-based model of why and when individuals and cultures adopt new ideas, practices, and products.Stephen Wolfram (May 16, 2017) A New Kind of Science: A 15-Year View
As applied to the computational universe
Acculturation Acculturation is a process of social, psychological, and cultural change that stems from the balancing of two cultures while adapting to the prevailing culture of the society. Acculturation is a process in which an individual adopts, acquires and ...
has different meanings. Still, in this context, it refers to the replacement of traits of one culture with another, such as what happened to certain Native American tribes and many indigenous peoples across the globe during the process of colonization. Related processes on an individual level include
assimilation Assimilation may refer to: Culture * Cultural assimilation, the process whereby a minority group gradually adapts to the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture and customs ** Language shift, also known as language assimilation, the prog ...
(adoption of a different culture by an individual) and transculturation. The transnational flow of culture has played a major role in merging different cultures and sharing thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.


Early modern discourses


German Romanticism

Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and ...
(1724–1804) formulated an individualist definition of "enlightenment" similar to the concept of '' bildung'': "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity." He argued that this immaturity comes not from a lack of understanding, but from a lack of courage to think independently. Against this intellectual cowardice, Kant urged: "" ("Dare to be wise!"). In reaction to Kant, German scholars such as Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) argued that human creativity, which necessarily takes unpredictable and highly diverse forms, is as important as human rationality. Moreover, Herder proposed a collective form of : "For Herder, was the totality of experiences that provide a coherent identity, and sense of common destiny, to a people." In 1795, the Prussian linguist and philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) called for an anthropology that would synthesize Kant's and Herder's interests. During the Romantic era, scholars in
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
, especially those concerned with nationalist movements—such as the nationalist struggle to create a "Germany" out of diverse principalities, and the nationalist struggles by ethnic minorities against the Austro-Hungarian Empire—developed a more inclusive notion of culture as " worldview" (). According to this school of thought, each ethnic group has a distinct worldview that is incommensurable with the worldviews of other groups. Although more inclusive than earlier views, this approach to culture still allowed for distinctions between "civilized" and "primitive" or "tribal" cultures. In 1860, Adolf Bastian (1826–1905) argued for "the psychic unity of mankind." He proposed that a scientific comparison of all human societies would reveal that distinct worldviews consisted of the same basic elements. According to Bastian, all human societies share a set of "elementary ideas" (); different cultures, or different "folk ideas" (), are local modifications of the elementary ideas. This view paved the way for the modern understanding of culture. Franz Boas (1858–1942) was trained in this tradition, and he brought it with him when he left Germany for the United States.


English Romanticism

In the 19th century,
humanists Humanism is a philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and agency of human beings. It considers human beings the starting point for serious moral and philosophical inquiry. The meaning of the term "human ...
such as
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national ...
poet and essayist Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) used the word "culture" to refer to an ideal of individual human refinement, of "the best that has been thought and said in the world." This concept of culture is also comparable to the
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
concept of : "...culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world." In practice, ''culture'' referred to an elite ideal and was associated with such activities as art,
classical music Classical music generally refers to the art music of the Western world, considered to be distinct from Western folk music or popular music traditions. It is sometimes distinguished as Western classical music, as the term "classical music" al ...
, and haute cuisine. As these forms were associated with urban life, "culture" was identified with "civilization" (from la, civitas, links=no, lit=city). Another facet of the Romantic movement was an interest in
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, rangin ...
, which led to identifying a "culture" among non-elites. This distinction is often characterized as that between high culture, namely that of the ruling
social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties ...
, and low culture. In other words, the idea of "culture" that developed in Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries reflected inequalities within European societies. Matthew Arnold contrasted "culture" with anarchy; other Europeans, following philosophers
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book '' Leviathan'', in which he expounds an influ ...
and
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolu ...
, contrasted "culture" with "the state of nature." According to Hobbes and Rousseau, the Native Americans who were being conquered by Europeans from the 16th centuries on were living in a state of nature; this opposition was expressed through the contrast between "civilized" and "uncivilized." According to this way of thinking, one could classify some countries and nations as more civilized than others and some people as more cultured than others. This contrast led to
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, psychologist, biologist, anthropologist, and sociologist famous for his hypothesis of social Darwinism. Spencer originated the expression " survival of the f ...
's theory of Social Darwinism and Lewis Henry Morgan's theory of
cultural evolution Cultural evolution is an evolutionary theory of social change. It follows from the definition of culture as "information capable of affecting individuals' behavior that they acquire from other members of their species through teaching, imitation ...
. Just as some critics have argued that the distinction between high and low cultures is an expression of the conflict between European elites and non-elites, other critics have argued that the distinction between civilized and uncivilized people is an expression of the conflict between European colonial powers and their colonial subjects. Other 19th-century critics, following Rousseau, have accepted this differentiation between higher and lower culture, but have seen the refinement and sophistication of high culture as corrupting and unnatural developments that obscure and distort people's essential nature. These critics considered
folk music Folk music is a music genre that includes traditional folk music and the contemporary genre that evolved from the former during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has ...
(as produced by "the folk," i.e., rural, illiterate, peasants) to honestly express a natural way of life, while classical music seemed superficial and decadent. Equally, this view often portrayed
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
as "
noble savage A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an " other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness. Besides appearing in m ...
s" living authentic and unblemished lives, uncomplicated and uncorrupted by the highly stratified
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, private ...
systems of the West. In 1870 the anthropologist
Edward Tylor Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (2 October 18322 January 1917) was an English anthropologist, and professor of anthropology. Tylor's ideas typify 19th-century cultural evolutionism. In his works ''Primitive Culture'' (1871) and ''Anthropology'' ( ...
(1832–1917) applied these ideas of higher versus lower culture to propose a theory of the evolution of religion. According to this theory, religion evolves from more polytheistic to more monotheistic forms. In the process, he redefined culture as a diverse set of activities characteristic of all
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, cultu ...
societies. This view paved the way for the modern understanding of religion.


Anthropology

Although anthropologists worldwide refer to Tylor's definition of culture, in the 20th century "culture" emerged as the central and unifying concept of American
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of be ...
, where it most commonly refers to the universal human capacity to classify and encode human experiences symbolically, and to communicate symbolically encoded experiences socially. American anthropology is organized into four fields, each of which plays an important role in research on culture: biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, and in the United States and Canada,
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landsc ...
. The term , or "culture glasses," coined by German American anthropologist Franz Boas, refers to the "lenses" through which a person sees their own culture. Martin Lindstrom asserts that , which allow a person to make sense of the culture they inhabit, "can blind us to things outsiders pick up immediately."


Sociology

The sociology of culture concerns culture as manifested in
society A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Soc ...
. For sociologist Georg Simmel (1858–1918), culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history." As such, culture in the sociological field can be defined as the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together shape a people's way of life. Culture can be either of two types, non-material culture or material culture. Non-material culture refers to the non-physical ideas that individuals have about their culture, including values, belief systems, rules, norms, morals, language, organizations, and institutions, while material culture is the physical evidence of a culture in the objects and architecture they make or have made. The term tends to be relevant only in archeological and anthropological studies, but it specifically means all material evidence which can be attributed to culture, past or present. Cultural sociology first emerged in Weimar Germany (1918–1933), where sociologists such as Alfred Weber used the term ('cultural sociology'). Cultural sociology was then reinvented in the English-speaking world as a product of the
cultural turn The cultural turn is a movement beginning in the early 1970s among scholars in the humanities and social sciences to make culture the focus of contemporary debates; it also describes a shift in emphasis toward ''meaning'' and away from a positi ...
of the 1960s, which ushered in structuralist and postmodern approaches to social science. This type of cultural sociology may be loosely regarded as an approach incorporating cultural analysis and critical theory. Cultural sociologists tend to reject scientific methods, instead hermeneutically focusing on words, artifacts and symbols. Culture has since become an important concept across many branches of sociology, including resolutely scientific fields like social stratification and social network analysis. As a result, there has been a recent influx of quantitative sociologists to the field. Thus, there is now a growing group of sociologists of culture who are, confusingly, not cultural sociologists. These scholars reject the abstracted postmodern aspects of cultural sociology, and instead, look for a theoretical backing in the more scientific vein of social psychology and cognitive science.


Early researchers and development of cultural sociology

The sociology of culture grew from the intersection between sociology (as shaped by early theorists like Marx, Durkheim, and
Weber Weber (, or ; German: ) is a surname of German origin, derived from the noun meaning " weaver". In some cases, following migration to English-speaking countries, it has been anglicised to the English surname 'Webber' or even 'Weaver'. Notable pe ...
) with the growing discipline of
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of be ...
, wherein researchers pioneered ethnographic strategies for describing and analyzing a variety of cultures around the world. Part of the legacy of the early development of the field lingers in the methods (much of cultural, sociological research is qualitative), in the theories (a variety of critical approaches to sociology are central to current research communities), and in the substantive focus of the field. For instance, relationships between
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a ...
, political control, and social class were early and lasting concerns in the field.


Cultural studies

In the United Kingdom, sociologists and other scholars influenced by
Marxism Marxism is a Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand S ...
such as Stuart Hall (1932–2014) and
Raymond Williams Raymond Henry Williams (31 August 1921 – 26 January 1988) was a Welsh socialist writer, academic, novelist and critic influential within the New Left and in wider culture. His writings on politics, culture, the media and literature contrib ...
(1921–1988) developed cultural studies. Following nineteenth-century Romantics, they identified culture with consumption goods and leisure activities (such as art, music, film, food, sports, and clothing). They saw patterns of consumption and leisure as determined by relations of production, which led them to focus on class relations and the organization of production. In the United Kingdom, cultural studies focuses largely on the study of
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a ...
; that is, on the social meanings of mass-produced consumer and leisure goods. Richard Hoggart coined the term in 1964 when he founded the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies or CCCS. It has since become strongly associated with Stuart Hall, who succeeded Hoggart as Director. Cultural studies in this sense, then, can be viewed as a limited concentration scoped on the intricacies of consumerism, which belongs to a wider culture sometimes referred to as Western civilization or globalism. From the 1970s onward, Stuart Hall's pioneering work, along with that of his colleagues
Paul Willis Paul Willis (born 1945) is a British social scientist known for his work in sociology and cultural studies. Paul Willis' work is widely read in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and education, his work emphasizing consumer culture, sociali ...
, Dick Hebdige, Tony Jefferson, and Angela McRobbie, created an international intellectual movement. As the field developed, it began to combine
political economy Political economy is the study of how economic systems (e.g. markets and national economies) and political systems (e.g. law, institutions, government) are linked. Widely studied phenomena within the discipline are systems such as labour ...
,
communication Communication (from la, communicare, meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is usually defined as the transmission of information. The term may also refer to the message communicated through such transmissions or the field of inqui ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of empirical investigation an ...
, social theory, literary theory,
media theory Media studies is a discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history, and effects of various media; in particular, the mass media. Media Studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but most ...
, film/video studies, cultural anthropology,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. ...
, museum studies, and
art history Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in historical and stylistic context. Traditionally, the discipline of art history emphasized painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and decorative arts; yet today, ...
to study cultural phenomena or cultural texts. In this field researchers often concentrate on how particular phenomena relate to matters of ideology,
nationality Nationality is a legal identification of a person in international law, establishing the person as a subject, a ''national'', of a sovereign state. It affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of t ...
, ethnicity, social class, and/or
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to femininity and masculinity and differentiating between them. Depending on the context, this may include sex-based social structures (i.e. gender roles) and gender identity. Most culture ...
. Cultural studies is concerned with the meaning and practices of everyday life. These practices comprise the ways people do particular things (such as watching
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication medium for transmitting moving images and sound. The term can refer to a television set, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, ...
or eating out) in a given culture. It also studies the meanings and uses people attribute to various objects and practices. Specifically, culture involves those meanings and practices held independently of reason. Watching television to view a public perspective on a historical event should not be thought of as culture unless referring to the medium of television itself, which may have been selected culturally; however, schoolchildren watching television after school with their friends to "fit in" certainly qualifies since there is no grounded reason for one's participation in this practice. In the context of cultural studies, a text includes not only written language, but also
film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmospher ...
s, photographs,
fashion Fashion is a form of self-expression and autonomy at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body posture. The term implies a look defined by the fash ...
or hairstyles: the texts of cultural studies comprise all the meaningful artifacts of culture. Similarly, the discipline widens the concept of culture. Culture, for a cultural-studies researcher, not only includes traditional high culture (the culture of ruling
social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties ...
s) and
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a ...
, but also everyday meanings and practices. The last two, in fact, have become the main focus of cultural studies. A further and recent approach is comparative cultural studies, based on the disciplines of comparative literature and cultural studies. Scholars in the United Kingdom and the United States developed somewhat different versions of cultural studies after the late 1970s. The British version of cultural studies had originated in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly under the influence of Richard Hoggart, E.P. Thompson, and
Raymond Williams Raymond Henry Williams (31 August 1921 – 26 January 1988) was a Welsh socialist writer, academic, novelist and critic influential within the New Left and in wider culture. His writings on politics, culture, the media and literature contrib ...
, and later that of Stuart Hall and others at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. This included overtly political,
left-wing Left-wing politics describes the range of political ideologies that support and seek to achieve social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically involve a concern for those in soci ...
views, and criticisms of
popular culture Popular culture (also called mass culture or pop culture) is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of practices, beliefs, artistic output (also known as, popular art or mass art) and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a ...
as "capitalist" mass culture; it absorbed some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School critique of the " culture industry" (i.e. mass culture). This emerges in the writings of early British cultural-studies scholars and their influences: see the work of (for example) Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Paul Willis, and Paul Gilroy. In the United States, Lindlof and Taylor write, "cultural studies eregrounded in a pragmatic, liberal-pluralist tradition." The American version of cultural studies initially concerned itself more with understanding the subjective and appropriative side of audience reactions to, and uses of, mass culture; for example, American cultural-studies advocates wrote about the liberatory aspects of
fandom A fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the objects of their fandom and spend a significant ...
. The distinction between American and British strands, however, has faded. Some researchers, especially in early British cultural studies, apply a Marxist model to the field. This strain of thinking has some influence from the Frankfurt School, but especially from the structuralist Marxism of Louis Althusser and others. The main focus of an orthodox Marxist approach concentrates on the production of meaning. This model assumes a mass production of culture and identifies power as residing with those producing
cultural artifact A cultural artifact, or cultural artefact (see American and British English spelling differences), is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthropology, ethnology and sociology for anything created by humans which gives infor ...
s. In a Marxist view, the
mode Mode ( la, modus meaning "manner, tune, measure, due measure, rhythm, melody") may refer to: Arts and entertainment * '' MO''D''E (magazine)'', a defunct U.S. women's fashion magazine * ''Mode'' magazine, a fictional fashion magazine which is ...
and relations of production form the economic base of society, which constantly interacts and influences superstructures, such as culture. Other approaches to cultural studies, such as feminist cultural studies and later American developments of the field, distance themselves from this view. They criticize the Marxist assumption of a single, dominant meaning, shared by all, for any cultural product. The non-Marxist approaches suggest that different ways of consuming cultural artifacts affect the meaning of the product. This view comes through in the book ''Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman'' (by Paul du Gay ''et al.''), which seeks to challenge the notion that those who produce commodities control the meanings that people attribute to them. Feminist cultural analyst, theorist, and art historian Griselda Pollock contributed to cultural studies from viewpoints of
art history Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in historical and stylistic context. Traditionally, the discipline of art history emphasized painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and decorative arts; yet today, ...
and
psychoanalysis PsychoanalysisFrom Greek: + . is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques"What is psychoanalysis? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a body of knowledge. In what might ...
. The writer Julia Kristeva is among influential voices at the turn of the century, contributing to cultural studies from the field of art and psychoanalytical French feminism. Petrakis and Kostis (2013) divide cultural background variables into two main groups: # The first group covers the variables that represent the "efficiency orientation" of the societies: performance orientation,
future orientation In psychology and related fields, future orientation is broadly defined as the extent to which an individual thinks about the future, anticipates future consequences, and plans ahead before acting. Across development, future orientation is particula ...
, assertiveness, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. # The second covers the variables that represent the "social orientation" of societies, i.e., the attitudes and lifestyles of their members. These variables include gender egalitarianism, institutional collectivism, in-group collectivism, and human orientation. In 2016, a new approach to culture was suggested by Rein Raud, who defines culture as the sum of resources available to human beings for making sense of their world and proposes a two-tiered approach, combining the study of texts (all reified meanings in circulation) and cultural practices (all repeatable actions that involve the production, dissemination or transmission of purposes), thus making it possible to re-link anthropological and sociological study of culture with the tradition of textual theory.


Psychology

Starting in the 1990s, psychological research on culture influence began to grow and challenge the universality assumed in general psychology. Culture psychologists began to try to explore the relationship between emotions and culture, and answer whether the human mind is independent from culture. For example, people from collectivistic cultures, such as the Japanese, suppress their positive emotions more than their American counterparts. Culture may affect the way that people experience and express emotions. On the other hand, some researchers try to look for differences between people's personalities across cultures. As different cultures dictate distinctive norms, culture shock is also studied to understand how people react when they are confronted with other cultures. Cognitive tools may not be accessible or they may function differently cross culture. For example, people who are raised in a culture with an abacus are trained with distinctive reasoning style. Cultural lenses may also make people view the same outcome of events differently. Westerners are more motivated by their successes than their failures, while East Asians are better motivated by the avoidance of failure. Culture is important for psychologists to consider when understanding the human mental operation.


Protection of culture

There are a number of international agreements and national laws relating to the protection of culture and cultural heritage.
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
and its partner organizations such as Blue Shield International coordinate international protection and local implementation. Basically, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Cultural Diversity deal with the protection of culture. Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights deals with cultural heritage in two ways: it gives people the right to participate in cultural life on the one hand and the right to the protection of their contributions to cultural life on the other. The protection of culture and cultural goods is increasingly taking up a large area nationally and internationally. Under international law, the UN and UNESCO try to set up and enforce rules for this. The aim is not to protect a person's property, but rather to preserve the cultural heritage of humanity, especially in the event of war and armed conflict. According to
Karl von Habsburg Karl von Habsburg (given names: ''Karl Thomas Robert Maria Franziskus Georg Bahnam''; born 11 January 1961) is an Austrian politician and the head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, therefore being a claimant to the defunct Austro-Hungarian t ...
, President of Blue Shield International, the destruction of cultural assets is also part of psychological warfare. The target of the attack is the identity of the opponent, which is why symbolic cultural assets become a main target. It is also intended to affect the particularly sensitive cultural memory, the growing cultural diversity and the economic basis (such as tourism) of a state, region or municipality. Another important issue today is the impact of tourism on the various forms of culture. On the one hand, this can be physical impact on individual objects or the destruction caused by increasing environmental pollution and, on the other hand, socio-cultural effects on society.


See also

* Animal culture *
Anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of be ...
* Cultural area * Cultural studies * Cultural tourism * Culture 21 – United Nations plan of action * * Outline of culture * Recombinant culture * Semiotics of culture


References


Further reading


Books

* * * * * * * * * "Adolf Bastian"
Encyclopædia Britannica Online
January 27, 2009 * * Arnold, Matthew. 1869

New York: Macmillan. Third edition, 1882, available online. Retrieved: 2006-06-28. *
Bakhtin Bakhtin (Russian: Бахтин) is a Russian masculine surname originating from the obsolete verb ''bakhtet'' (бахтеть), meaning ''to swagger''; its feminine counterpart is Bakhtina. The surname may refer to the following notable people: *Ale ...
, M.M. (1981)
The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays
'. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Press. . * Barzilai, Gad. 2003. ''Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities'' University of Michigan Press. * * Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. ''Outline of a Theory of Practice.'' Cambridge University Press. * Michael C. Carhart, ''The Science of Culture in Enlightenment Germany'', Cambridge,
Harvard University press Harvard University Press (HUP) is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. After the retir ...
, 2007. * Cohen, Anthony P. 1985. ''The Symbolic Construction of Community.'' Routledge: New York, * Dawkins, R. 1982. '' The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene.'' Paperback ed., 1999. Oxford Paperbacks. * Findley & Rothney. ''Twentieth-Century World'' (Houghton Mifflin, 1986) * Geertz, Clifford. 1973. ''The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays''. New York. . * * Goodall, J. 1986. ''The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior.'' Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. * Hoult, T.F., ed. 1969. ''Dictionary of Modern Sociology''. Totowa, New Jersey, United States: Littlefield, Adams & Co. * Jary, D. and J. Jary. 1991. ''The HarperCollins Dictionary of Sociology.'' New York: HarperCollins. * Keiser, R. Lincoln 1969. ''The Vice Lords: Warriors of the Streets''. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. . * Kroeber, A.L. and C. Kluckhohn, 1952. ''Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions.'' Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum * Kim, Uichol (2001). "Culture, science and indigenous psychologies: An integrated analysis." In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), ''Handbook of culture and psychology.'' Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print book ...
* McClenon, James. "Tylor, Edward B(urnett)". ''Encyclopedia of Religion and Society''. Ed. William Swatos and Peter Kivisto. Walnut Creek: AltaMira, 1998. 528–29. * Middleton, R. 1990. ''Studying Popular Music''. Philadelphia: Open University Press. . * O'Neil, D. 2006
Cultural Anthropology Tutorials
, Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marco, California. Retrieved: 2006-07-10. * Reagan, Ronald
"Final Radio Address to the Nation"
, January 14, 1989. Retrieved June 3, 2006. * Reese, W.L. 1980. ''Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought.'' New Jersey U.S., Sussex, U.K: Humanities Press. * *
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
. 2002
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
issued on International Mother Language Day, February 21, 2002. Retrieved: 2006-06-23. * White, L. 1949. ''The Science of Culture: A study of man and civilization.'' New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. * Wilson, Edward O. (1998). '' Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge.'' Vintage: New York. . * Wolfram, Stephen. 2002
A New Kind of Science
'' Wolfram Media, Inc. .


Articles


The Meaning of "Culture"
(2014-12-27), Joshua Rothman, ''
The New Yorker ''The New Yorker'' is an American weekly magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. Founded as a weekly in 1925, the magazine is published 47 times annually, with five of these issues ...
''


External links


''Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology''


{{Authority control Social concepts Social constructionism Main topic articles