Culture and Civilization

Topics: Perception, Culture, Mind Pages: 4 (1438 words) Published: April 30, 2010
Perceptions of Culture and Civilization
The words 'culture' and 'civilization' have been often used synonymously, though they have different meanings. By definition, culture is the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group. On the other hand, 'Civilization' means the betterment of ways of living, making nature bend to fulfill the needs of humankind. It includes also organizing societies into politically well-defined groups working collectively for improved conditions of life in matters of food, dress, communication, and so on. However, when talking about culture and civilization, the topic of migration and identity comes in the discussion. During the migration process, the individual may become more or less attached to his or her native culture, depending on the experience which he or she experiences. In exploring the topic of culture and civilization in the works of the authors Leslie Silko, Judith Cofer, Amartya Send and Edward Said, the different perceptions of home and host societies by these authors which are mentioned in their writings, tackle issues such as inter-cultural perceptions, personal identity and dedication to tradition. In the article by Amartya Sen “A World Not Neatly Divided”, the author explains that when trying to gain insight into the various conflicts that take place nowadays and the conflicts that occurred in the past, many social scientists and politicians support the “civilization approach” (Sen 2001, p.1). In other words, people are judged only based on religious basis (Sen, 2001, p. 1). For instance, individuals are divided into “the Western” and “Islamic” worlds (Sen 2001, p.1). However, Amartya Sen explains that in every country, there are representatives of other nationalities, which makes it impossible to generalize all people only to one category such as Muslims. Another idea is that in every nation there are people who are atheists or support the religious beliefs of another religious group. Although they...

References: Cofer, J. (2005). The myth of the latin woman: I just met a girl named maria.
Silko, L. (1974). Yellow woman and a beauty of the spirit.
Said, E. (2002). Andalusia’s journey. Travel and Leisure
Amaryta, S. (2001). A world not neatly divided. The New York Times
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