Culture

the concept of shared perception, understanding and awareness

Culture is an aspect of perception and interaction which is based in language and the development of language and how it is used. Therefore culture heavily influences thinking and communication through the use of words, phrases, symbols, imagery, gestures, non verbal communication and behaviour.

Culture exists throughout nature because while not able to verbalize and use language plants, trees and animals are capable of interacting autonomously with their environment and other life forms including other members of their species. Culture relates mainly to that culture which exists within a species and influences communication, behaviour and interaction. However as species can also interact with other species and form symbiotic relationships culture and cultural awareness can exist between species. This is something that pet owners are aware of.

The culture which exists between a human and their dog, for example, is separate and distinct from human culture and also dog culture. I'm sure you wouldn't yell out "Walkies!" when inviting your friends to go out for a walk or bark out commands such as "Sit!" or "Fetch!" Likewise the dog will behave towards you differently than it behaves towards other dogs.

Culture exists wherever there is opportunity for interaction and communication and as such can exist in any relationship between two or more people. Culture exists on many different levels, you can have national culture, regional culture, urban culture, rural culture, local culture, because an important aspect of culture is how language is used.

Cultural awareness is also important and your level of cultural awareness influences your ability to use a language and how your behaviour is perceived or understood by users of a particular language and also your ability to interact with others in that language. Cultural beliefs often form the basis for social beliefs.

Culture also plays a vitally important role in the creation of opportunities because it is through language and interaction that new ideas and beliefs can be shared between people and thus culture is the interface between individual human dreativity and social progress, which motivates human evolution.

Epiculture and epicultural influences

There are certain epicultural influences which come from epiculture. 'Epi' means 'above' or 'over' so epiculture relates to things which influence culture and the way people think, communicate and interact with one another. Epicultural influences include authority and belief systems such as politics and religion, the media, popular culture, and mass marketing and advertising.

Subcultures

A subculture is any aspect of culture which has additional references or uses language differently and is not considered part of mainstream culture. Members of a subculture may use language in a different way, may hold central beliefs, may behave or express themselves differently or make use of symbols.

See also

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