Cultural Anthropology - Essay 2

Topics: Culture, Anthropology, Definition Pages: 2 (638 words) Published: October 9, 2011
Cultural Anthropology

All Anthropologists have different definitions of Culture. Just like how everyones Culture is different. Some Anthropologist used other Anthropologist definitions of Culture. In this paper I am going to talk about three Anthropologist who in some ways defined Culture the same but also very differently. Those Anthropologist are Edward B. Tylor, Clifford Geertz, and Conrad Kottak. I am also going to talk about my understanding of Culture.

Tylor defined Culture the best out of anybody. His defintion was "complex whole which includes knowledge,belief,art,morals,law,custom, and any other capabilities and habits aquired by man or member of society." Tylor applied ideas of higher against lower Culture for a theory on the evolution of religion. During this process he redefined Culture as different sets of activity characteristics of all human societies. His defintition was holism of the humanly created world from material Culture to social places to knowledge and meaning. His defintion is still cited to this day. Kottak used Tylor's definition of Culture. But Kottak wrote Culture is "distinctly human transmitted through learning traditions and customs that govern behavior and beliefs". Geertz defined Culture "an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate and develop thier knowledge about attitudes toward life". Geertz made a list of meanings "the total way of life of people","the social legacy the individual acquires from his group", "a way of thinking, feeling, and believing", "an abstraction from behavior", “a theory on the part of the anthropologist about the way in which a group of people in fact behave”, "a storehouse of pooled learning", "a set of standardized orientations to recurrent problems", “a mechanism for the normative regulation of behavior”, "learned behavior", “a set of techniques for...
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