What Is Culture?
Topics: Culture / Pages: 13 (3184 words) / Published: Apr 8th, 2013

What is culture?

* Culture is learned through experiences, observations, listening, talking, interacting with others, etc. * Our own cultural learning depends on the uniquely developed human capacity to use symbols, signs that have no necessary or natural connection to the things they stand for or signify. * Anthropologist Clifford Geertz defined culture as ideas based on cultural learning and symbols. * Sometimes culture is taught directly. (ex: parents tell their kids to say thank you) * Culture also is transmitted through observation. * Culture is absorbed unconsciously. * Anthropologist Leslie White defined culture as : dependent upon symbolling…culture consists of tools, implements, utensils, clothing, ornaments, customs, institutions, beliefs, rituals, games, works of art, language, etc, * Symbols are often linguistic. * All humans posses the abilities on which culture rests—the abilities to learn, to think symbolically, to manipulate language, and to use tools and other cultural products in organizing their lives and coping with their environments.

Culture is Shared

* Culture is transmitted in society. * Enculturation is the process by which a child learns his or her culture. * Enculturation unifies people by providing us with common experiences. * American culture individualism itself is a distinctive shared value. * Individualism is transmitted through hundreds of statements and settings in our daily life. * People become agents in the enculturation of their children, just as their parents were for them. * Culture constantly changes, but there are still some beliefs, values, and other traditions that endure through generations.

Culture and Nature

* Culture takes the natural biological urges we share with other animals and teaches us how to express them in particular ways. * People have to eat but culture teaches what, when, and how. * Habits are cultural traditions that

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