culture essay

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The Progress of Culture

As the debate about culture spread throughout the late years of the Victorian Age, more and more ideas emerged and the notion of culture began to assume his first definitions. Culture has always been generally identified as something that emphasise “patterns of behaviour, thought, feeling … that are passed on extra-somatically from individual to individual” (Brown 52), therefore this explanation, that can be judged as simplistic, aligns itself with the widespread concept of the term in the world: it easily illustrates for what reason most of people tend to draw the line between culture and nature and organise them in two distinct semantic areas. However, I would rather agree with those definitions that perceive culture as the final result of the mutual influence with nature over human behaviours. Donald E. Brown brought several examples as facts to prove how the constants of human nature can be reconciled with the variable manifestations of human behaviours: he suggests that “some mental mechanisms involve calibration to environing conditions” and, at the same time, that “the set of mental mechanisms of human mind … may have side effects”, thus “the resulting [human] behaviours are variable”, and these changes “may well appear to be cultural”. For all these reasons I would support the idea which erects culture as an entity strictly dependent on the surrounding environment: what defines human behaviour is the combination of human universals, which structure our minds, and the exterior culture, which differ from individual to another. Consequently, we must consider how various cultures, “regarded as the set of distinctive … features of society or a social group” (UNESCO), that are likely different from population to another, can coexist in the same place. Multiculturalism could be seen as the crucial point, the pragmatic feature of cultural diversity in our normal daily existence: the uncounted complexities of social integration for...
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