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What is meant by the term "culture?"

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Quick Answer

"Culture" refers to the collective belief systems, values, attitudes, meanings and attitudes expressed by a group of people. Human nature is determined, to a large extent, by culture and the ideals that are expressed through cultural norms.

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Full Answer

Culture defines how groups and individuals relate to people within the same culture and people of different cultures. It appears in the form of language, religion, biases and behaviors of communities. Culture is passed down from generation to generation through shared knowledge and communication. It is through culture that individuals understand their role within their society and develop a mindset that conforms with the values and behaviors of other members of their culture.

Subcultures are another form of culture. They are most common in environments where there are a lot of people from a wide range of cultures who all live together. For instance, in the United States, subcultures of the predominant American culture include African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Mexican-Americans. Each subculture has its own set of standards, values and attitudes that share similarities and differences with the predominant culture. Often, people conform to the norms of subcultures in order to align themselves with people that come from their common ancestral background and experience.

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