Various definitions of Culture.... - CSS Forums (2023)

Various definitions of Culture.... - CSS Forums (1)Various definitions of Culture....

Various definitions of culture

1-) What has been termed the classic definition of culture was provided by the 19th-century English anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor in the first paragraph of his Primitive Culture (1871):

"Culture . . . 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."
In (1881) Tylor made it clear that culture, so defined, is possessed by man alone. This conception of culture served well for some 50 years.

In Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (1952), A.L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn cited 164 definitions of culture, ranging from “learned behavior” to “ideas in the mind,” “a logical construct,” “a statistical fiction,” “a psychic defense mechanism,” and so on. The definition—or the conception—of culture that is preferred by Kroeber and Kluckhohn and also by a great many other anthropologists is that culture is an abstraction or, more specifically, “an abstraction from behaviour.”

Kroeber and Kluckhohn were led to their conclusion that culture is an abstraction by reasoning that if culture is behaviour it, ipso facto, becomes the subject matter of psychology; therefore, they concluded that culture “is an abstraction from concrete behavior but is not itself behavior.” But what, one might ask, is an abstraction of a marriage ceremony or a pottery bowl, to use Kroeber and Kluckhohn's examples? This question poses difficulties that were not adequately met by these authors.

3-) A solution was perhaps provided by Leslie A. White in the essay “The Concept of Culture” (1959). The issue is not really whether culture is real or an abstraction, he reasoned; the issue is the context of the scientific interpretation.
When things and events are considered in the context of their relation to the human organism, they constitute behaviour; when they are considered not in terms of their relation to the human organism but in their relationship to one another, they become culture by definition. The mother-in-law taboo is a complex of concepts, attitudes, and acts. When one considers them in their relationship to the human organism—that is, as things that the organism does—they become behaviour by definition. When, however, one considers the mother-in-law taboo in its relationship to the place of residence of a newly married couple, to the customary division of labour between the sexes, to their respective roles in the society's mode of subsistence and offense and defense, and these in turn to the technology of the society, the mother-in-law taboo becomes, again by definition, culture. This distinction is precisely the one that students of words have made for many years. When words are considered in their relationship to the human organism—that is, as acts—they become behaviour. But when they are considered in terms of their relationship to one another—producing lexicon, grammar, syntax, and so forth—they become language, the subject matter not of psychology but of the science of linguistics. Culture, therefore, is the name given to a class of things and events dependent upon symboling (i.e., articulate speech) that are considered in a kind of extra-human context.
(Britannica ultimate)

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*Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

*Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.

*Culture is communication, communication is culture.

*Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person's learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.

*A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

*Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group's skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.

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*Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action.

*Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.

*Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.

CARLA’s Definition

culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group.

Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
"Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies. The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects of human societies. People within a culture usually interpret the meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the same or in similar ways."

Damen, L. (1987). Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language Classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
"Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day- to-day living patterns. these patterns and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is mankind's primary adaptive mechanism" (p. 367).

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Hofstede, G. (1984). National cultures and corporate cultures. In L.A. Samovar & R.E. Porter (Eds.), Communication Between Cultures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
"Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another." (p. 51).

Lederach, J.P. (1995). Preparing for peace: Conflict transformation across cultures. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. "Culture is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities around them" (p. 9).

Linton, R. (1945). The Cultural Background of Personality. New York.
"A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society" (p. 32).

Parson, T. (1949). Essays in Sociological Theory. Glencoe, IL.
"Culture...consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes" (p. 8).

Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963). Human Organizations, 22(3).
"Culture has been defined in a number of ways, but most simply, as the learned and shared behavior of a community of interacting human beings" (p. 169).

A simpler definition
A simple way of defining culture is:
"Culture is a system for differentiating between in-group and out-group people."

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“Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values.” -- Geert Hofstede

“Culture is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic ‘taken for granted’ fashion an organization's view of its self and its environment.” -- Edgar Schein



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What is culture definition by different authors? ›

Definition of Culture

According to British anthropologist Edward Taylor, “Culture 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”.

What is the defintion of culture? ›

Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art.

What are the 7 types of culture? ›

There are seven elements, or parts, of a single culture. They are social organization, customs, religion, language, government, economy, and arts.

What are the 4 elements that define culture? ›

Key Takeaways
  • The major elements of culture are symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts.
  • Language makes effective social interaction possible and influences how people conceive of concepts and objects.

What is culture according to Taylor? ›

Tylor in his book, Primitive Culture, published in 1871. Tylor said that culture is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Of course, it is not limited to men.

What is culture according to Karl Marx? ›

In sum, Marxist historical materialism finds that culture is a social product, social tool, and social process resulting from the construction and use by social groups with diverse social experiences and identities, including gender, race, social class, and more.

What is culture definition Google Scholar? ›

Culture is the unique characteristic of a social group; the values and norms shared by its members set it apart from other social groups and is influenced by conscious beliefs.

What 5 things define culture? ›

The major elements of culture are symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts.

Which choice is the best definition of culture? ›

Which choice is the best definition of culture? Shared, socially transmitted ideas that are reflected in and reinforced by institutions and rituals.

What is culture According to Oxford dictionary? ›

The way of life of a people, including their attitudes, values, beliefs, arts, sciences, modes of perception, and habits of thought and activity.

What is culture according to scholars PDF? ›

Culture is the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together form a people's way of life. • Culture is NOT society-culture is a blueprint for how we live, think and act, while society is a group of people within a geographic area.

What is culture definition in sociology? ›

Among sociologists, “culture” just as often refers to the beliefs that people hold about reality, the norms that guide their behavior, the values that orient their moral commitments, or the symbols through which these beliefs, norms, and values are communicated.

What is culture in sociology PDF? ›

Culture refers to the ways of life of the members of society, or of groups within a society. It includes how they dress, their marriage customs, language and family life, their patterns of work, religious ceremonies and leisure pursuits (Giddens, 2005).

What is the introduction to culture? ›

It is what makes us human. Without culture, there would be no humans. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, way of life, from the most spiritual to the most material. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Human beings are creators of culture and, at the same time, culture is what makes us human.


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