© 2005 David Koeller.  All rights reserved.

Society and Culture


  • Def: all the accepted and patterned ways of behavior of a given people.
  • Cultures tend to be integrated wholes.
    • On the most basic level, a culture includes techniques
      found useful for survival.
      • It is, therefore, shaped by the environment.
      • But it also means techniques useful for surviving in the society.
        • Individualist Eskimo
        • Sedentary nomad
    • On a higher level, they provide a means of group identification.
      • Culture facilitates group interaction.
        • language
        • "How to behave" questions.
  • Culture tends to provide a "view of Life" or to answer certain basic questions.
  • Culture distinguishes one Society from another.


  • Def: Society is a group of people sharing a common culture.
  • The society is a group of people; the culture is the way they behave.
  • Society and culture distinguish those who are members of a group from those who are not members of the group.
  • Every society has a word for "insider" and "outsider.

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