- Culture is one of the most complex concepts in the social sciences. The term
has a wide variety of uses and meanings.
- Cultural values, beliefs and behaviours serve as the program that
determines how we construct our social realities. Society itself is a
product of culture.
Definitions of “culture”:
- “culture” is one of the most complex concepts in our
- the essence of culture is to cultivate, sustain, and preserve human life
- The complex pattern of lifestyle, beliefs and social practices that are specific
to a human group and which define the identity of its members.
- Culture often determines who we are, our self and identity, our values, our
worldview, and can determine our behaviour in a given situation.
- Culture shapes human temperament and patterns of
Margaret Mead: A cultural comparison of Sex and Temperament in Three
Primitive Societies : The Arapesh, Mundugumor, and Tchambuli. The
comparison illustrates “the flexibility of human nature” and how differences
between group behaviour is based not on heredity but on cultural values and
- Culture includes material and ideational elements:
Material: the technologies and physical objects which aid in
human survival, tools, buildings, shelters, aqueducts and other
manipulations of landscape and geography, food, objects to aid in living, art
objects, (texts and signs),
Ideational: knowledge, beliefs, norms, values, beliefs, information, symbolic
forms of communication, shared meanings, art and literature
- is culture something unique to humans?
- Animals are ruled by instinct while humans are guided by culture.
- culture as second nature
- culture is complex, universal, relative, situational,
Culture as an enabling force - Culture as a disabling force Culture as a force of preservation - Culture as a force of domi