Culture is the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and behaviors that define a group. It helps people meet their needs in different environments, and it is a common defining characteristic of human society. The study of culture is largely based on human symbolic expression, including religion, expressive arts, and folk traditions. The term culture was coined by British anthropologist Edward Tylor. Although the concept of culture is now used widely in sociological and anthropological research, it remains an important concept in a more general context.
In a broader sense, culture can be viewed as the way people live. It includes their beliefs, values, and behaviors. Symbols, especially art, are an essential component of culture. The meaning of these symbols is learned through institutions, and can give a group a distinct identity. Often, however, there is little distinction between culture and civilization. In this way, a culture can be seen as being the way people conduct themselves.
Culture can be considered non-material or material. Non-material culture refers to ideas about culture. These ideas are ascribed to a specific society. For instance, language and beliefs can be considered non-material. While material culture is the tangible, visual, and auditory evidence of a culture, this does not provide any explanation of how that culture shaped the behavior of its inhabitants. If we want to understand the differences between cultures, we must first consider how the cultures differ from each other.
The core of a culture are values. These are broad tendencies that may include right-wrong, good-evil, natural-unnatural, and gender. Many of these values are unconscious and only known to the people who hold them. Thus, they are not discussed, but can be deduced from their actions. Other aspects of culture include symbols, heroes, and rituals. Only the insiders of a culture can reveal the true meaning of cultural elements.
In the case of a culture, the elements of the culture are the patterns of human activity in a community. These elements are symbols. The symbols can be in the form of costumes, food, and other cultural items. In contrast, cultures can be virtual, or physical. In both cases, culture is the set of rules and practices of a community. The differences between one culture and another are fundamental to human identity and survival. The two are important for a society.
In essence, culture is a set of beliefs and practices that a community has developed over time. These ideas and practices have evolved over time, and they are the foundation of a culture. As such, the idea of culture has been a part of human life for thousands of years. Historically, culture was the way people lived and acted. These values have shaped the way people live in a community. The term is an extension of the notion of culture.