is a concept used in the social sciences
to draw a contrast between "culture" (which many animals possess) and the distinctively human realm of "symbolic culture".
The concept of symbolic culture draws from semiotics, and emphasises the way in which culture is mediated through signs and concepts. The concept of the symbolic nature of culture was popularised by in anthropology by Clifford Geertz, and now has widespread use across a number of disciplines.
Watts, I., (1999)The Origins of symbolic culture
, in Dunbar, R.I.M., Chris Knight, Camilla
Power, (eds) The Evolution of Culture: An Interdisciplinary View, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0748610766