Culture Defined Culture is a complex term that consists of so many things. At the base of culture one would find people who live in social groups and share a way of living which separates them from other human groups. A culture may include rituals, religion, economic systems, language, a style of dress, a way of cooking, and a political system. People who share a culture typically follow the same rules and form a social society. Culture is not inherited, but must be learned and shared. A culture can also change and adapt to the needs of a society. Culture can help humans survive in this ever-changing globe. Many members of a culture develop a feeling of superiority over other cultures and can become ethnocentric. Some societies, like the United States, are multicultural and consist of many diverse cultures. People can also develop self-identity within a culture and may have culture shock if they are exposed to a new and confusing culture different from their own. There are also several levels of culture. On the material level a culture has an economy that provides a way to produce and exchange material goods in order to survive. A material culture provides humans a way to feed, shelter, and clothe themselves. On the social level a culture gives humans a way to organize themselves. Social culture involves kinship and family. It also gives societies a work life and political structure. The last level of culture involves the ideological. It gives a group of people a unique way of thinking about beliefs, values, and ideals. All of these different aspects of culture give humans an understanding of how the world works and how they live and act in their own environment.
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