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Basic Concept of. Human Culture. Akademi Bahasa Asing. Saint Mary. 2008. 1.Sleeping 3.F a cial expressions 4.Symbolic thinking (systems). I. Introduction: Nature or Culture?. 2. Memory. Nature or Culture?. 5.Singing. 6. Forecasting. 7. Social smiling. II. What is culture?.

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Basic Concept


Human Culture

Akademi Bahasa Asing

Saint Mary



3.Facial expressions

4.Symbolic thinking (systems)

I. Introduction: Nature or Culture?

2. Memory

Nature or culture
Nature or Culture?


6. Forecasting

7. Social smiling

II. What is culture?

Everything that is not biology (breathing, hearing, voice-box)

Everything humans invented and individual humans learn (speaking, language, gestures)

A definition of culture
A. Definition of Culture

1.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.

Definition of culture
Definition of Culture:

2. Edward Burnett Tylor (Camberwell, London: October 2, 1870 – January, 2, 1917)

Culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs, and many other capabilities and habits acquired by...[members] of society." (1871)

  • Culture means: shared values, beliefs, assumptions of who and what we are.

  • They manifest themselves in our behavior and language, the groups we belong to, the nature of our society.

  • They are externalized in our artefacts, our art and technology.

  • Our physical environment conditions our technology and art, our behavior and language,… and our identity

Basic elements in the tylor s definition
Basic Elements in the Tylor’s definition

Culture is:

  • Holistic

  • Social norms/rules

  • Acquired, learned

  • Shared norms from participating in a society

  • Symbolic behavior

Definition of culture1
Definition of Culture

3.Clifford Geertz in his book The Interpretation of Cultures (1973) p. 89: Culture is "a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life"

Definition of Culture:

4.Clyde Kluckhohn: a culture to be inclusive of every aspect of a human being's life.Therefore culture can be defined as follows:

1. "the total way of life of a people“

2."the social legacy the individual acquires from his group“

3."a way of thinking, feeling, and believing“

4."an abstraction from behavior“

5.a theory about the way in which a group of people in fact behave

6.a "storehouse of pooled learning“

Definition of culture2
Definition of Culture:

7. "a set of standardized orientations to recurrent problems“

8. "learned behavior“

9. a mechanism for the normative regulation of behavior

10."a set of techniques for adjusting both to the external environment and to othermen“

11."a precipitate of history“

12. a human behavioral map.

Definition of culture3
Definition of CULTURE

5. Gary Ferraro(2004): “everything that people have, think, and do as members of a society.”

6. Culture is a system that enables individuals and groups to deal with each other and the outside world.

B characteristics of culture
B. Characteristics of culture

  • Culture is not inherent, but learned

    2. Culture is the basis for self-identity and community

    3. Cultures are rooted in deep seated beliefs

B. Characteristics of culture

4. Culture is built on symbolic systems (language)

B characteristics of culture1
B. Characteristics of culture

5. Cultures are dynamic, changing, adaptive.

Basic characteristics of culture
Basic characteristics of culture

6. Culture is a collective activity, local and global

7. Shared

8. Integrated