• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index


An English anthropologist during the 1700s, E. B. Tylor, was credited with the first use of the term culture. He defined culture as that complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, morale, laws, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by humankind as members of society. His contention was that the study of a society is incomplete without an acute understanding of the culture of that society. This entry defines terms related to culture (culture, structure, lifestyle, counterculture, subculture), describes structural and cultural explanations of culture, and discusses cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. It ends with nine characteristics of culture relevant to human communication sciences.

What Is Culture?

Culture includes all that humankind acquires within social action and interaction. Others have defined culture in similar ways: the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles