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Worldview, or Weltanschauung in German, is the basic cognitive or mental orientation of a culture. Early appearance of the term occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries in the work of philosophers like Immanuel Kant and social scientists like Wilhelm Dilthey. By the 20th century, the expression gained currency in English and among anthropologists such as Robert Redfield. It is a composite concept applied to a designated culture group, but it is textured with the numerous individual expressions of those involved in research, work, and travels. A simple definition of worldview suggests that group beliefs, values, and norms constitute a culture and that this culture constructs a framework for dealing with the information and experiences an individual encounters. This entry examines the elements that form ...

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