This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What Is Culture? Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

The first definition of ‘culture’ by Oxford’s Dictionary is ‘art, literature, music and other intellectual expressions of a particular society or time’ (“Culture,” Oxford’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English). Anthropologist of culture, Raymond Williams argued that the term ‘culture’ was first used in reference to the cultivation of crops which was later associated in relation to the cultivation of the human mind, hence the expression ‘cultured/cultivated person’. The noun of process thenceforth grew into a noun of configuration in the later 18th century where culture meant ‘the generalisation of the ‘spirit’ which informed the ‘whole way of life’ of a distinct people’ (Williams, 1981) implying a common ‘way of life’ shared between a group of people or community. The plural of culture was first used to clearly differentiate from ‘any singular and unilinear sense of civilization by Herder (1784-1991)’ (Williams, 1981). However, followed by the development of comparative anthropology in the nineteenth century resulted in the construction of the new meaning of culture – ‘to designate a whole at and distinctive way of life’ (Williams, 1981) based on a set and questions emphasized on the ‘lived culture’.
The materialist and the idealist are the two approaches in the study of culture. The materialist approach concerns itself with Marxist and the Frankfurt School’s literary criticisms on culture with an emphasis on class relations and social structure. Contrary to materialism, idealism governs itself in the creation of concepts to adequately explain the current world through ideas through the literary works of Matthew Arnold, F.R. Leavis and Q.D. Leavis, hence the Arnoldian and Leavisism criticisms of culture.
Marxism is a form of historical materialism where it focuses itself on the variable actors of social structure and the chronological order of human relationships based on the literary criticisms of Karl Marx. Marx, as cited in Chris Barker’s Cultural Studies – Theory and Practice, argued that human beings main concern is to produce their means of survival, i.e. food and clothes, through labour consequently creating themselves. He further argued that in the capitalist society, culture equals power as the bourgeoisies – those own the economic means and relations of production, controls the cultural production, the distribution mechanisms of cultural products and the cultural structure of a society – i.e. art, culture and politics. Economic determinism although is not autonomous, is essential to the understanding of culture where the structure and meaning of a specific cultural product is determined by the profit-driven motive and class relations where it examines the cultural trend in terms of their ‘own rules, logics, development and affectivity’ (Barker, 2009: 56). Marx predicted that with the arrival of capitalism, consequently comes the fall of it as the conflict of class will drive the proletariats, the labourers, to overthrow...

Find Another Essay On What is Culture?

American Culture: What is in and what is out

1538 words - 6 pages American popular culture is clearly defined by what is the most fashionable or eccentric fixation that is a trend at a certain time. Examples of this phenomenon are written literature and broadcasting, music, consumer products such as trash compacters and dish washing systems to video game consoles, cars, dance and theater as well other cultural characteristics of social life as distinguished by ethnic, communal, and regional consortium

What is culture? What effect does culture have on the conduct of business? Explain, giving examples

1388 words - 6 pages hidden basic assumption. Norms and values are included in the middle layer of culture. Norms tell people what they should do or should not do when values which is the judgments of good and bad. It serves as a road map to cultural organizations formal or informal ways of operating in the culture. (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997)2.1.3 The coreThe core of culture or its deepest layers reflects our system of basic assumption. It is the layer

What is Culture Relativism: Views by James Rachels

1237 words - 5 pages Culture Relativism; what is it? Culture Relativism states that we cannot absolute say what is right and what is wrong because it all depends in the society we live in. James Rachels however, does not believe that we cannot absolute know that there is no right and wrong for the mere reason that cultures are different. Rachels as well believes that “certain basic values are common to all cultures.” I agree with Rachels in that culture relativism

What is the Culture of the Republican Party?

700 words - 3 pages identity, nationalists put more faith in the Federal government. This is not what the Republicans had expected or exactly hoped for, but since it was Republicans in power, it never became an issue for them.( Schwengel, 2002)Rather than be influenced by Republican leaders, the developing nation had influence of its own on those leaders. America's culture began to grow apart from the Republican vision of the future, and the conceptual ideas of

What is “organisational culture”, and why is it important for managers to have a thorough understanding of their organization’s culture?

940 words - 4 pages /Willcoxson_Millett_AJMOB_v3n2_PV.pdf (visited 1st, April, 2014) (visited 1st, April, 2014) (visited 1st, April, 2014) (visited 1st, April, 2014) (visited 1st

This is an essay on the culture of Argrntina and what life is like in Argentina

2144 words - 9 pages Life In ArgentinaCulture, as defined in Webster's dictionary, is"...the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends upon mans capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations..."(Merriam Webster 1). Culture consists of things like language, ideas, customs, beliefs and religion. Everywhere you go you may find many different cultural things, even within the same area, and even with in the same

What is Organizational Culture?

569 words - 2 pages practices, and have a great impact on the people who work there. For this reason, it is very important to understand those aspects of your organization's culture that may have an influence on its performance.The Denison Organizational Culture Survey is based on 15 years of research on over 1,000 organizations and 40,000 individuals. It uses 60 items to focus on four cultural traits that can have significant impact on organizational performance in areas

What is Organizational Culture? Explain both how the culture of an organization might evolve and why an understanding of the organizational culture is important

1613 words - 6 pages When we hear the word 'culture', what appear on our minds are traditions, which have lived and been practiced through the generations of a certain race, tribe or people, for examples, top-spinning and traditional wedding for the Malays. In the following paragraphs, I will be explaining what organizational culture actually is, as applied to the organizations nowadays.According to R.W. Griffin, in his book Management, he defines organizational

What is organisational culture? Why is it important that managers especially in the context of international organisations have an understanding of organisational culture?

2883 words - 12 pages simple way of defining culture is: "how things are done around here" (Mullins 2005 p.891). Atkinson goes further to explain organisational culture as "reflecting the underlying assumptions about the way work is performed; what is 'acceptable and what is not acceptable', what behaviour and actions are encouraged and discouraged" (Atkinson 1990 cited in Mullins p. 891, 2005). A more detailed and widely used definition is the "collection of

What is popular culture and why is it such a big part of life in the UK?

1233 words - 5 pages , with the aim of attracting public's attention and making profits. As Williams (1976) expounded, 'popular means being seen from the point of view of the people rather than from those seeking favour or power over them'. In addition, popular culture is different from folk culture which is more ethnic and traditional while popular culture usually has nothing to do with 'outmoded' and it only deals with what is 'in fashion'.Popular culture was spread

What is meant by 'masculinity in crisis' in recent debates about men and masculinity? Use a specific example from media or popular culture to support your argument

1242 words - 5 pages 5. What is meant by 'masculinity in crisis' in recent debates about men and masculinity? Use a specific example from media or popular culture (for instance, media coverage of the Bulldogs scandal) to support your argument. You should draw on Whitehead's argument in your answer.The concept of 'masculinity in crisis' has been put forth in recent debates regarding men and their masculinity. Critical analysis of men and thus of the gender of

Similar Essays

What Is Culture? Essay

1505 words - 6 pages Question One What is culture? Culture can be interpreted in multiple ways and have many different meanings to different individuals. Consequently, it is because of those facts that a definition is so hard to create. To some, culture results from consumed meanings by a social group (Lewis, 2008). Others view culture as something based on economics and servitude (Marx, as cited by Lewis, 2008). Hebdige ambiguous concept As I attempt to

What Is Culture? Essay

677 words - 3 pages 1. What is Culture? What I personally think is that our culture is the foundation of who we really are in life. It identifies the lifestyle and pursuits that are practiced in the group of people we relate with in our society. In other words, an important concept to understand is that cultural beliefs, values, and practices are learned from birth first at home, in church, and other places where people meet. Some practices and beliefs in human

What Is Culture? Essay

1056 words - 5 pages Culture, what is it exactly? Many people believe that your culture defines who you are as a person, as well as in society. When in retrospect, culture is something that you have no control over. You are brought up in a certain way that your family has been brought up for generations. No amount of schooling or experience, can help shape or control who you really are as a person. Sure, in your lifetime you can see extraordinary things that might

What Is The Culture Diversity? Essay

629 words - 3 pages What is the culture diversity? Before the class, I thought the culture diversity was the synonym of ethnicity and race. People have different color, tradition, language, custom and religion. However, after this class, I know the culture diversity is the difference not only in ethnicity and race but also in basic beliefs, values, lifestyle and even sexual practice in groups of people who can be different ethnic or the same ethnic. I am an