Saturday, March 12, 2011

Culture and Society

The distinction between a culture and society can be confusing but both terms are slightly similar. Both terms are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. In definition, culture is the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Not to mention, the stage of civilization that is highly backed by the arts, manners, and styles of that generation. On the other hand, a society is a community or organization of people that share similar beliefs, class rank, and so on. Both terms are distinct yet similar in various ways and in respect to the reasoning of the formation of such groups.
In the concept of similarity, culture is similar to the meaning of a society in the respect to being adapted and original to a specific group of people. The purpose of both terms is to separate or divide groups of people in accordance to many things which thus leads to confusion. Aside from just associating with defining a group of people, these societal and cultural groups can enforce a set of ideals that people follow. Premarital sex is taboo in some cultures and societies and for example if one performs such a taboo, society/culture will frown upon them or disassociate themselves with them or in extreme cases, punish them. Societies and cultures are made up of many ideals that not everyone follows regularly and normally opposes, but are a part of associating oneself with those groups. 
A culture and society mean two different things in respect to a community. A culture cannot be easily manipulated or changed with time. An integrated pattern of style and lingo, a culture, for example, the American culture, consists of many types of food, slang, and ways of life. A burger and fries to an American is fast food or finger food whereas in other cultures it is not. In ordinary language, a culture is associated with a nationality, language, and ethnic background and all its traditions. In that aspect it has no association to the concept of a society. A society is a group of people despite their ethnicity or background, which are united due to ideals, class rank, and/or religious beliefs. The Christian society is a prime example of a society for its formation is due to a belief in God. Other examples of societies are tribes, chiefdoms, and state societies that have originated due to political power and depend on the cultural geographical and historical environments that these societies must contend with.
Our world is full of different cultures that are fascinating, like the Egyptian culture of mummies and pharaohs, the French culture of Napoleon and escargot, and so forth. Some of the most famous societies have formed for a greater cause for example the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and the freemasons. Geographically or politically, societies and cultures vary with time and will continue to shape our lives.

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