1.1 Collective reflection: What is culture?

What is culture for you?

Picture of Luana Ferreira
What is culture for you?
by Luana Ferreira - Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 1:24 PM
Please, tell us below what culture is for you
Picture of Victor Figueiredo
Re: What is culture for you?
by Victor Figueiredo - Friday, 25 May 2018, 4:58 AM
Well... I'll try to escape the obvious definition from the dictionary... In my opinion, culture is not only the set of information and background an individual gathers throughout life, but how they manage to take forward by inserting their own characteristics and adjustments. I do believe difference in culture might be a problem for getting someone else to understand my manners and customs may cause some stress. I might be wrong but, the way I see it, culture is something to be either learned or respected, never questioned.  
Picture of Luana Ferreira
Re: What is culture for you?
by Luana Ferreira - Monday, 4 June 2018, 4:54 PM

Hi Victor! Great reflection!

I especially would like to comment on two specific issues that you mentioned:

1. yes, an individual always keeps a dialogue with his/her own culture. So culture makes who you are but you also make culture. It's a very dialectic process. Also, we are going to see ahead in this module (when we talk about the relation btw culture and identity) that an individual is not made only by national culture. There are other levels of culture which compose who you are (e.g. organizational culture, community culture, regional cultures...etc).

2. yes, cultural differences cause conflicts very often. Still, there is a lot of potential in diversity. So it is very nice to look at differences but also to reflect on how many cultures have a common ground and on how such differences might complement each other when having to work together.

So that's it! See u in the next assignment. :)

Picture of Pamella Teixeira
Re: What is culture for you?
by Pamella Teixeira - Saturday, 2 June 2018, 2:15 AM

From my perspective, culture can be define as a set of things like values, beliefs customs, behavior and so on that a group of people (society) live, share and interpreted together and pass it from generation to generation somehow. No human community, group or society are excluded from it, since any people are embedded in its culture, even when some of them deny some concepts or behavior. Like me, for example, I do not like rice and beans every day, but it is the main dish in Brazil.

Also, I would say that culture is a entire of behavior that a group (tribe/society) produce and reproduce its relations with the sense of the world. Culture is something cultivaded, inhabited and collaborated in a positive or negative way, it depends on the point of view. Something practiced in another country might be strange according to my customs, but common or normal to another society. 

It may be a cliche way to explain what culture is, but I hope it can contribute to the topic.

Picture of Luana Ferreira
Re: What is culture for you?
by Luana Ferreira - Monday, 4 June 2018, 4:57 PM

Hi Pam! 

Great answer! I would like to comment on two specific points that you mentioned:

1. Yes, culture is something really hard to run away from. We are inserted in culture from the moment we are born and it gets under our skin. So even when we are not aware, it is probably having some influence on us.

2. Check my comment 2 to Victor's answer above regarding cultural differences being a source of clashes.

Keep up witht he hard work!

Picture of Elena Ghidoni
Re: What is culture for you?
by Elena Ghidoni - Tuesday, 5 June 2018, 12:20 AM

Hi everybody!

I definitely agree with you on all the observations that emerged. First thing that comes into my mind, is that culture is strictly related to the idea of being part of a community, it is about social relationships and shared values, practices, meanings, ways of seeing the world, as Pam was saying. 

Of course, being part of a community doesn't imply being perfectly identical one to another, so I also agree on the fact that each person, who grows up in a specific cultural context, then can develop her or his own perceptions and share or not some features of her/his own culture,in a relation of mutual influence.

In fact, I was recently reflecting about the culture that I am living and learning in my everyday life right now. I actually live in the Basque country, which is a very particular region in Spain, with a well defined identity, history, mithology and a set of specific cultural features. I was wondering to what extent I am sharing some aspects of this culture, that sometimes I see so distant from my original one.

By the way, do we identify culture in relation to territory (region, State), language, any other element? (simple brainstorming, I am not making any conclusion ;)  

Picture of Rodrigo Almuna
Re: What is culture for you?
by Rodrigo Almuna - Tuesday, 14 August 2018, 3:14 PM
For me, culture is composed of codes by which groups of people live. This can comprehend codes of communication, types of food, sports, family, etc.
Picture of Thiago F. Ramos
Re: What is culture for you?
by Thiago F. Ramos - Monday, 12 October 2020, 6:18 AM

Culture is a set of customs, norms and values ​​that a group/society has.

The idea of ​​culture is commonly associated with erudition or intellectuality. To say that someone "has no culture" is generally the same as saying that the person is ignorant or does not have knowledge that is considered to be of greater refinement.