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The meaning of CULTURE

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Paz Velasco

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of The meaning of CULTURE

Modern development of the word
Significant range and overlap of meanings.
Complex relation between: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT - WAY OF LIFE - WORKS AND PRACTICES OF ART AND INTELLIGENCE
In other languages
CULTURA - COLERE - COLONUS/COLONY - CULTUS - CULT - COUTURE...
Definition
"Culture or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."
Elements of early culture continue on as "survivals"

Psychic unity: "all humans are governed by the same mental and psychological processes and that, faced with similar circumstances, all will respond similarly"

The defining trait of the primitive mind was its inability to think abstractly

Magical thinking - power of reason
All societies develop in the same way.
There exists a universal progression of human civilization from savage to barbarian to civilized.
"Primitive Culture" - two contributions to anthropology:
"Why cultural diversity matters" - Michael Gavin - TEDxCSU
"Everything you always wanted to know about culture" - SABA SAFDAR - TEDxGuelphU
Raymond Williams' "Keywords"
Edward B. Tylor's "Primitive Culture"
TEDx Talks on CULTURE
The meaning of CULTURE
Cultivation or tending
subsidiary meanings of honor and worship
A noun of PROCESS
TWO crucial changes:

1° A degree of habituation to the metaphor
2° An extension of particular processes to a general one
In French
It used to be a noun accompanied by a grammatical form indicating the object cultivated.

18th century - occasional use as an INDEPENDENT noun.
In German
The word was borrowed from French.
Cultur - Kultur
Up to 19th century - main use as a synonym of CIVILIZATION.
Herder made a dramatic change:
"Culture in the plural: the specific and variable cultures of different nations and periods, but also the specific and variable cultures of social and economic groups within a nation."
The independent and abstract noun describing a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development.

The independent noun generally or specifically indicating a certain way of life.

The independent and abstract noun depicting the works and practices of intellectual and specially artistic activity.
- Culture as an object of study
- A systematic method for studying it was created
Three essential premises for considering culture as universal:
- The existence of one culture
- Its development through one progression
- Humanity as united by one mind
"What's so different about Cultures anyway?" - Dato Gogichaishvili - TEDxTbilisi
"Riding the waves of culture" - Fons Trompenaars - TEDxAmsterdam
"Stereotypes" - Katerina Vrana - TEDxThessaloniki
Full transcript