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What is Culture and Definition of Culture

Updated on December 23, 2012

In simple words the meaning for culture is that when a person possess polished behaviour, intelligent, refinement is said to be cultured and is generally conform to the accepted and recognized ways of society. The person who does not conform to the ways of society considered that, that person is uncultured.

In anthropological sense , there is no such person who is an uncultured since all humans have culture of their own which may be simple or complex. Culture is a design and plan for living in society. It is very difficult to live without the minimum of cultural elements.

For the sociologists , culture denotes acquired behavior which are shared by and transmitted among the members of society and the same is also passed on from one generations the other. Culture fulfills many of men's needs. It has the quality of being integrated. It is the special quality of men and is evidence of his social heritage. The culture what we created to day combines with what has been first created by our ancestors. Thus in every generation something new is added to the culture and thereby it is enlarged.

Culture is found only among the human beings who are the most highly evolved. By way of culture we can distinguish the human society with that of animal society and also by way of culture, the different human societies can be differentiated. Culture is nothing but the man cultivated the surrounding environment to suit his better livelihood. Man is able to exploit the surrounding environment because of his developed and matured brain.

E.B. Tylor's Definition of Culture

Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member or society. - E.B. Tylor

E.A. Hoebel's Definition of Culture

Culture is the sum total of integrated behavior patterns which are characteristics of the members of a society and which are therefore, not the result of biological inheritance. - E.A. Hoebel

Ralph Diddington's Definition of Culture

The culture of a people may be defined as the sum total of the material and intellectual equipment whereby they satisfy their biological and social needs and adopt themselves to their environment. - Ralph Diddington

A.F. Walter paul's Definition of Culture

Culture is the totality of group ways of thought and action duly accepted and followed by a group of people. - A.F. Walter paul

Lundberg's Definition of Culture

Culture refers to the social mechanism of behavior and to the physical and symbolic products of their behaviors. - Lundberg

H.T. Mazumdar's Definition of Culture

Culture is the sum total of human achievements, material as well as non-material, capable of transmission, sociologically i.e. by tradition and communication, vertically as well as horizontally. - H.T. Mazumdar.

cultural behaviour is learned behaviour. It is essential to the concept of culture that instincts innate reflexes and any other biologically predetermined forms of behaviour be ruled out. Culture is therefore, organised behaviour. Human beings need other human beings in order to become human and in order to remain human. We are not born human but become human by acquiring the culture or our society.

Almost all aspects of a culture come to be symbolically identified and symbolically transmitted from the old members of any society to its new members. So ft is that the very way in which the members of a society see and understand the world in which they live is shaped by the symbol system that makes up their culture.

A culture is always carried and made manifest by a group. No individual ever knows or exhibits all of its traits. Yet, culture and the society are not one. A society is people. A culture consists of not of people but of ways of acting. A society is a permanent population of people acting in accordance with its culture.

The culture learning is just conscious imitation. If a generation fails, for one reason or another, to transmit a part of its culture to the succeeding generation, that aspect of the culture will simply disappear and may have to be reinvented or rediscovered at a later date. Thus there are various things that people living at an earlier period of history know how to do not that people living centuries after them can no longer do. No one today for example knows the secret of Egyptian embalming. No one today knows the formulae for making the stained glass used to ornament medieval cathedrals. Culture may thus be conceived of as a kind of stream flowing down through the centuries from one generation to another.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The definitions of Culture here differ to that of my tribe, how it's used and expressed. You see we believe we ARE born in to our culture. I guess that's the fundamental difference between indigenous epistemology and classical western thinking. This article was very interesting. Thanks

    • profile image

      sara mojhid 

      8 years ago


    • annaw profile image


      8 years ago from North Texas

      Interesting hub. Thank you also for the follow; I look forward to reading more of your work as time permits.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very Very Nice Ur Answer.

    • profile image

      Robinson Monday 

      9 years ago

      Thanks so much i have come top learn that culture has a lot of meanings.i have come to know that we learn culture in social aspects and biological.


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