What are the Nature and Meaning of Culture?
Some think that the one who knows many languages is very much cultures. According to some a cultured person is he who spends his leisure hours in a luxurious manner. For some others a cultured man is he who is deeply rooted in the sphere of art, literature and music.
Thus we find a great deal of difference about the meanings of the word ‘culture’. In the present chapter by the term culture we shall imply all those things which man has made for his physical, mental and spiritual advancements.
Evidently, in this context we shall exclude the things pertaining to nature in its original form. Thus within the ‘culture’ come all those things which man has made or has thought of in terms of ideas and knowledge.
Quite evidently, the term ‘culture’ refers to all those things of the past and present which man has forged out in the process of his development Thus, in a way, the word ‘culture’ stands for the history of man.
A person in a group or by himself devises various methods for doing his work, in the words, for adjusting himself in the environment he forges various ways.
For this purpose, man in the various part of the world has devised different methods for his adjustment in the environment from this feature, another meaning of culture may be derived, and that is, culture may be regarded as the living ways of man at a particular time and place.
Thus within culture may be included beliefs values, traditions, activities and material things relating to the people concerned. This is a narrow concept of culture and it relates to the culture of a particular land. This type of culture is regarded as sub-culture. Needless to say that many types of subcultures are formed at various places.
The universal nature of culture:
Some aspects of culture may be regarded as universal, because they (i.e., the aspects) are found in all societies, although some difference may be noticed in their ‘content’ meaning, function and form. For example, language is the basis of human association, and for any culture its preservation is necessary.
Generally, we all have a family life and catch pattern of life has its own outlook. All worship some form of supernatural powers. All societies have some economic system, and all possess some means of control. All people have love for some material things of the society. All have some cherished values, traditions, attitudes and customs. All these are treated as universal elements of culture.