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Anthropological Definition of Culture: What Is Culture?

June 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 254

The concept of "Culture" can be defined on different levels and in different ways. If you search on the Internet "definition of culture", you will have more than thousand results! And each of those thousand definitions is true for someone. That is the uniqueness of this concept and the constructive approach: each person defines and understands it due to their reality. Therefore, we are not going to tell you that the approach presented here is the general truth (please note, if anybody ever says/writes that "this is the definition of culture which is general truth because... " it is a sign of absurdity!).

So, if a 70 year old grandma says that "culture is national dances, songs, and architecture!" we are not going to persuade her to read and think over some theories about intercultural communication and to dedicate time to her multicultural education. What she believes in is her reality! But you, who live and work in our multicultural societies (every big city of each developed or even developing countries is multicultural!!!), have to raise your sense of intercultural awareness and develop some basic competences on intercultural management.

We propose to use the anthropological approach in defining "culture". Due to our experience, it is the most convenient approach while working in a multicultural environment, and especially with young people: 'a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same way'. Likewise, any group or people who share a common culture, in particular common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organization, constitute a society. Therefore each society has its own cultural peculiarities.

The other level on defining culture due to the anthropological approach is: 'Everything on Earth which is worked out by man is culture'. Therefore, everything which is created or developed by human hand or mind is culture, starting from tea cups to philosophical ideologies. So, everything on Earth is culture except for Nature. Nature is the only phenomenon which is not touched by human hand or mind. But it is the core for developing culture, and it has influence on formation of cultural differences.

This article is a short description of "Culture" based on an anthropological research. Therefore, If you ever want to get into the deeper aspects of it, please make a proper research in Anthropology where you will also learn about the components of culture in details.

This unique article written by Arthur Sabine, expert in the field of cross-cultural management and intercultural education:

Source: EzineArticles
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Cultural Diversity


Intercultural Communication


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Defining Culture

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