This essay examines the meaning of culture and provides several possible titles and topics that may be used as starting points for developing a paper on culture. It discusses the definition of culture, how culture is developed, and how cultures change. It shows how cultural identity and cultural differences are formed and how culture diversity is a fact of life. It also explains why in spite of diverse cultures commonly existing in one group there is usually a dominant culture that comes to the fore and is promoted by the leaders of the group. The essay closes with recommendations for other ways in which a paper on culture can be written.
Culture is the heart and soul of a society, group or organization: it is the manifestation of what a particular set of people thinks, feels, believes in, and holds as ideal. It is the communication of what a people view as good and bad, right and wrong. Throughout history, various cultures have come into existence, shaped by politics, religion, philosophy, technology, and myriad other factors that influence people and perspectives.
Cultures can be creative. They can also be self-destructive. For instance, some businesses have exhibited a dangerous workplace culture that ultimately brought the company to its knees. Case in point is the now notorious object lesson that was Enron: a company whose leaders fostered a culture of hubris and get-rich-quick scheming that inevitably led to the corporation’s spectacular blow-up (Mclean & Elkind, 2004). This essay will define culture, discuss culture identity, culture diversity, cultural differences, and explain why culture is important.
Table of Contents
a. Brief definition of culture
b. Brief overview of how cultures have developed to bring us to the present day
c. Thesis: As culture is the expression of what is in men’s hearts, minds and souls, taking the measure of a given culture at any point in time will allow show the health of the hearts, minds and souls of those who effect that culture.
II. What is Culture?
a. Culture shows the heart, mind and soul
b. Culture changes over time because life is not static
III. Culture Identity
a. That which defines the group
b. Can be more than one factor
c. Factors can be complementary
d. Factors can be contradictory
IV. Culture Diversity
a. Diversity is a fact of reality
b. Diversity of culture is celebrated in the modern era
c. However, multiculturalism is not an ideal that has been historically pursued
d. In most societies or organizations, there is one dominant culture that people are expected to conform to
V. Cultural Differences
a. How cultures vary
b. Why it is important to understand cultural differences
VI. Why is Culture Important?
a. It shows the inner life of the group
b. It provides motivation for the group
c. It leads to mindfulness
When you think of music, what you eat throughout the week, where you work, how you work, what you worship, what you value, how you talk, how you think, how you act, what you do—you are meditating to some degree on your culture.
Culture is the sum of all parts of a society, group or organization. It is the complex arrangement of beliefs, values, ethics, communications, and actions of a people, group, organization or society. Cultures have changed throughout time because of various influences—money, power, sex, philosophy, ideas, tools, revelation: all of these factors have played a part in shaping cultures in history. Whether one is looking at the culture of China in 1000 AD or the culture of Athens during the Peloponnesian Wars, one can gauge the mindset of the people by examining how the groups within these places responded to these variables. To understand humankind at any one point in time at any one place, one need only examine the culture of that place in that time.
As culture is the expression of what is in men’s hearts, minds and souls (Mahatma Gandhi Quote, n.d.), taking the measure of a given culture at any point in time will allow show the health of the hearts, minds and souls of those who effect that culture.
As character is that which describes a person, culture is that which describes a group. Culture is collective. It is that which emanates from society, from people coming together as one. But just as every individual is unique, with his or her own personal thoughts and feelings, every culture is bound to have its internal conflicts, tensions, and issues, especially as more and more different people join the group or interact with the group. Life is not static but is full of transitions and changes. Perspectives alter, thoughts transform. Depending on how the group deals with these issues will determine whether the culture thrives, changes, or dies.
Culture identity is that which gives definition to a group and to the individual members of that group. Culture identity also indicates the foremost variable or factor that an individual or group views as being most important in defining who the person is or what the group is all about. For instance, a Catholic might identify his or her Catholicism as the basis of his or her culture identity. An American might view his nationality as the most important aspect of who and what he is. A Jew might view being a Jew as the main factor in determining his culture identity. A hardened criminal might view the underworld as the biggest attribute……