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             CULTURE What is culture? Culture includes language, ideas, beliefs, customs, codes, institutions, tools, techniques, and works of art, rituals, and ceremonies, among other elements. The existence and use of culture depends upon ability possessed by humans alone. This ability has been called the capacity for rational thought. The term symboling has been proposed as a more suitable name for the mental ability of humans, consisting of assigning things and events certain meanings that cannot be grasped with the senses. Articulate speech is a good example. The meaning of the word dog is not inherent in the sounds themselves; it is assigned, to the sounds by human beings. Holy water, "biting one's thumb" at someone, or fetishes are other examples. The classic definition of culture was provided by the 19th-century English anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor in the first paragraph of his Primitive Culture (1871): Culture . . . is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. In Anthropology (1881) Tylor made it clear that man alone possesses culture. This conception of culture served anthropologists for 50 years. With the increasing maturity of anthropological science, reflections upon the nature of their subject matter and concepts led to a multiplication and diversification of definitions of culture. In Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (1952), U.S. anthropologists A.L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn cited 164 definitions of culture, ranging from "learned behavior" to "ideas in the mind," "a logical construct," "a statistical fiction," "a psychic defense mechanism," and so on. The definition of culture that is preferred by Kroeber and Kluckhohn and also by many other anthropologists is that culture is an abstraction or, more specifically, "an abstraction from behavior.

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