Defining Culture

Culture (Latin: cultura, lit. “cultivation”)[1] is a modern concept based on a term first used in classical antiquity by the Roman orator, Cicero: “cultura animi”. The term “culture” appeared first in its current sense in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, to connote a process of cultivation or improvement, as in agriculture or horticulture. In the 19th century, the term developed to refer first to the betterment or refinement of the individual, especially through education, and then to the fulfillment of national aspirations or ideals.

In the 20th century, “culture” emerged as a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of human phenomena that cannot be attributed to genetic inheritance. Specifically, the term “culture” in American anthropology had two meanings:

(1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively;

(2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.[3]

Hoebel describes culture as an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.[4]

Culture can be 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. [2]

The main aspects of a culture can be divided as follows:
Language (and dialects)
Religion (spirituality)
Aesthetics (art, music, litterature, fashion and architecture),
Values and ideology,
Social conventions (norms, taboos, etiquette)
Gender roles
Recreational activities (holidays, festivals, etc)
Commercial practices
Social structures

The human expressions, percieved as a culture, can take place in so many ways, shapes and forms… the followings are some examples (some include others)

folklore, myths, epics, legends, tales, books, poems, riddles, traditions, beliefs, lore, use of plants, cuisine, celebrations, festivals, carnivals, rites, dances, chants, hymns, clothings, embroidery, jewelry, ornaments, architecture, carvings, city organisation, behaviors, rituals, ceremonies, mores, customs, norms, taboos, etiquette  …and what else ?


5 thoughts on “Defining Culture

  1. Teresa

    Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply nice and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

    1. rubijoe Post author

      Hi Teresa,

      I’m glad to see that there is actually someone who came across this page ! I’m busy with school at the moment so I don’t invest much time in updating the blog but I soon will, when I’m done with exams.

      So sure please follow and add it to your feed. I will also be doing a little bit of advertising when the page will be a little bit more ready, but right now as I said it’s still under construction, kind of.

      Thank you very much for your feedback, I appreciate it, it’s motivating me to keep up doing this 🙂

  2. best cheap stairlift

    I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you
    make this site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m planning to create my own blog and would love to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!

    1. rubijoe Post author

      Hi, i’m glad you find my page 🙂
      I did do this myself, but it’s nothing very complicated, just playing around with wordpress’ functions, no coding whatsoever. I dont know how to go and see the theme right now because i’m using the ipad app but next time i’m on a computer I will find it out for you. And the background is an image I found on the net.

      What do you want to create a page for ?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s