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English Culture Essay

The definition of culture can defined as, the behaviour patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought especially as expressed in a particular community or period. Culture in anthropology (the scientific study of the origin, culture and development of humans) defines the meaning of culture as the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from others.

A persons culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. Culture is the most important concept in anthropology. Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways. Likewise, any group of people who share a common cultureand in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organizationconstitutes a society.

The characteristics of culture, People are not born with culture; they have to learn it. For instance, people must learn to speak and understand a language and to abide by the rules of a society. In many societies, all people must learn to produce and prepare food and to construct shelters. In other societies, people must learn a skill to earn money, which they then use to provide for themselves. In all human societies, children learn culture from adults.

Anthropologists call this process enculturation, or cultural transmission. People living together in a society share culture. For example, almost all people living in the United States share the English language, dress in similar styles, eat many of the same foods, and celebrate many of the same holidays. Members of a society who share culture often also share some feelings of ethnocentrism, the notion that ones culture is more sensible than or superior to that of other societies.

Ethnocentrism contributes to the integrity of culture because it affirms peoples shared beliefs and values in the face of other, often contradictory, beliefs and values held by people of other cultural backgrounds. At its worst, ethnocentrism has led people to commit ethnocide, the destruction of cultures, and genocide, and the destruction of entire populations. This happened, for example, to Jews living in Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

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