What is Culture?
"Culture is the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate behavior."
- James Spradley, Anthropologist
An understanding of culture requires an understanding not only of language differences, but also differences in knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.
Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Cultures can be "understood as systems of symbols and meanings that even their creators contest, that lack fixed boundaries, that are constantly in flux, and that interact and compete with one another."
Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art. norms of behavior, such as law and morality, and systems of belief.
Let's listen to the thoughts of our panelists.