What Do All Cultures Have in Common?

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What cultures share in common is they all have and are defined by a set of thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, values and artifacts that they pass on to future generations. It is commonly held that culture addresses the same needs from one society to the next but in different ways.

Nancy Jervis, Ph.D., co-director of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, identifies culture as what binds us as humans but separates us into communities. Every culture provides a means to communicate, determine status, regulate the family, establish rules, form systems of control and pass significant lessons on to posterity.

On a more abstract level, cultures define temporal concepts and the relationships people form with their natural surroundings. What ultimately makes all cultures similar is the problems they solve rather than the way they solve them.