Answered By: Gretchen Scronce
Last Updated: May 21, 2019     Views: 457

Here's an excerpt from the entry "culture" in the Collins Dictionary of Sociology:

The human creation and use of symbols and artefacts. Culture may be taken as constituting the ‘way of life’ of an entire society, and this will include codes of manners, dress, language, rituals, norms of behaviour and systems of belief Sociologists stress that human behaviour is primarily the result of nurture (social determinants) rather than nature (biological determinants). Indeed, human beings may be distinguished from other animals by their ability to collectively construct and transmit symbolic meanings. Knowledge of a culture is acquired via a complex process which is fundamentally social in origin. Human beings are both acted on by culture and act back, and so generate new cultural forms and meanings. Thus, cultures are characterized by their historical nature, their relativity and their diversity. They undergo change alongside changes in the economic, social and political organization of society. Furthermore, human beings initiate cultural transformation out of their unique capacity to be reflexive.