WHAT IS CULTURE?
Directions: Read all of the documents carefully and answer questions that correspond with each document on your own paper.
1. What does the statement in Document 1 mean?
Culture refers to the following Ways of Life, including but not limited to:
; Language : the oldest human institution and the most sophisticated medium of
; Arts & Sciences : the most advanced and refined forms of human expression.
; Thought : the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around
; Spirituality : the value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of
human beings, expressed through language and actions.
; Social activity : the shared pursuits within a cultural community, demonstrated in a
variety of festivities and life-celebrating events.
; Interaction : the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of
socialization, negotiation, protocol, and conventions.
2. According to document 2, how can we define culture?
3. How does each picture represent culture?
The word culture has many different meanings. For some it refers to an appreciation of good literature, music, art, and food. For a biologist, it is likely to be a colony of bacteria or other microorganisms growing in a nutrient medium in a laboratory Petri dish. However, for anthropologists and other behavioral scientists, culture is the full range of learned human
behavior patterns. The term was first used in this way by the pioneer English Anthropologist Edward B. Tylor in his book, Primitive Culture, published in 1871. Tylor said that culture is "that
complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." Of course, it is not limited to men. Women possess and create it as well. Since Tylor's time, the concept of culture has become the central focus of anthropology.
Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but it is a fragile phenomenon. It is constantly changing and easily lost because it exists only in our minds. Our written languages, governments, buildings, and other man-made things are merely the products of culture. They are not culture in themselves. For this reason, archaeologists cannot dig up culture directly in their
excavations. The broken pots and other artifacts of ancient people that they uncover are only material remains that reflect cultural patterns--they are things that were made and used through cultural knowledge and skills.
4. What are the various meanings of culture?
5. Why is culture fragile?
Haiti to be honored at this year's West Indian American Day Carnival Parade
6. By looking at the title and the picture in document 5, how can we describe culture?
7. What do the different symbols represent?
8. Why do you think some religions have different symbols?