CULTURE AND SOCIETY
The classic definition of culture, framed by Sir Edward Taylor (1871, vol. 1, p. 1], reads, “Culture … 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.Stated more simply, is every tiling which is socially learned and shared by tile members of It society. The individual receives culture as part of a social heritage and, in turn, may reshape (Eug A. Nida, ” ‘Why Are rs So Queer?’ Antisocial logical Approach to Cultural aims International B feint of Missionary Research, 5:102. July 1981.) the culture and introduce changes which then become part of the heritage of succeeding generations.
Culture may be divided into marinate and non material culture. Non material culture consists of the, words people use, the ideas customs, and beliefs they hold, and the habits they follow. Material culture consists of manufactured objects such as tools furniture, automobiles, buildings, irrigation ditches, cultivated farms, roads, bridges, and, in fact, any physical substance which has been changed and used by people. Such manufactured objects are called Artifacts. In the game of baseball, for instance, the gloves, bats,uniforms, and grandstands are a few elements of material culture. The non material culture would include the rules of the game, the skills of the players, the concepts of strategy, and the traditional behavior of players and spectators. The material culture is always the outgrowth of the non material culture and is meaningless without it. If the game of baseball is forgotten, a ball becomes just a stick of wood. Since the most important part of culture is the heritage of ideas, this non material culture will be the major emphasis of this book Culture is often confused with society, but the two words have different meanings. Whereas a culture is a system of norms and values, a society is a relatively independent, self perpetuating human roll which occupies a territory shares It culture, and has most of its concussions within this group. A society is an organization of people whose associations are with one another. A culture is an organized system o.f norms and values which people hold. Thus, the Plains Indians included a number of societies (which we call “tribes”), yet to a considerable extent they shared. a similar culture. Adjoining societies fury have quite different cultures, as with the United States and Mexico, or they may have quite similar cultures, as with the United States and-Canada. With both concepts-society and culture the boundaries are indistinct. Most societies have some contact with neighboring societies. Many times in history two societies became so interwoven that they became one. Thus” many societies were absorbed into Roman society. Also, a single society may include groups of people who differ in culture, such as the French, German and Italian-speaking segments of the Swiss population or the French and English speaking segments of the Canadian population.