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Aidan Parchelo

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What Does Culture Mean to You?

We've all seen them: those tired, meaninglessly abstract definitions of culture from school textbooks or contrived montages from tourism agencies. What I'm interested in, however, is your subjective experience and understanding of culture, be it your own culture, that of others, or a juxtaposition between the two (or many).

While there technically are "experts" out there in the field, I hold a strong conviction that our interaction with culture as human beings is necessarily personal, subjective, and experiential, not theoretical and abstract.

I'm really not looking for one "right" or "sufficiently universal" answer: as far as I'm concerned, what it means to you is closer to truth than anything published in the literature these days!

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    Feb 20 2012: I define culture in two ways.

    First and foremost I understand culture as a set of values, norms of behaviour, rules, ethics, language etc., within a group of people such as, but not limited to, a population, a team, a class, a tribe or even a family. The setting these people are represented in may or may not have an impact on the culture they form as a group of human beings.

    The second way I understand culture is culture as art, theatre, music, films etc. In other words, leisure activities for people created by people intentionally for others to embrace, enjoy and interpret.

    I know that my definition is closely related to the definitions you have probably read in school text books but aside from that, I do believe that it is a rich definition which makes sense to me.

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