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Culture

  • By: Diana Elena Popa
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Culture is an essential element for understanding the complex nature of the humor phenomenon. Today, the term culture is generally identified with the sum total of knowledge, attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society. Culture is represented both verbally and nonverbally. While the former pertains to language, the latter may be further divided into mental, behavior, and material culture. After providing a brief diachronic and synchronic overview of the concept of culture, this entry distinguishes between “culture” and “a culture.” “A culture,” as an abstraction created for analytical simplification, is further examined in relation to humor and group identity.

Etymologically, the English word culture comes from French culture or directly from Latin cultūra, the act or practice ...

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