Culture and Education (Perspectives in Education)

A contrast term for culture is nature. Culture refers to patterning that is the result of human activity shaping nature, as in “agriculture” or “aquaculture.” The term culture developed initially in U.S. anthropology as an alternative to race as an explanation for the diversity of patterned ways of being human that were observable at that time, and across past time in history and prehistory. In the late 19th century, it was generally believed that differences in human lifeways were the result of genetic inheritance and that this explained the inherent superiority of those groups of people who practiced more “advanced” lifeways (Northern Europeans and North Americans) over those who practiced more “primitive” ways (Africans, Asians, Latino Americans). Racial difference, in other words, justified racial dominance ...

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