Millie Ni
University of Victoria
Psyc 386
What is Culture?
Culture is generally described as the features and knowledge associated with a particular
group of people that surround issues like religion, social habits, language, and many others.
Different social groups and professionals have a unique view and perception of how certain
groups or communities make their own culture and the way their younger generations adopt and
appreciate it. It must be noted how other studies, such as a psychologist, cognitive psychologist,
and anthropologist, think about the culture. Culture might take multiple definitions and
perceptions but what remains always is the fact that it represents the norms and features of a
particular group of people. The understanding of the definition and concepts of culture is crucial
because it helps an individual to understand why particular groups of people differ or share their
ways of life. The objective of the paper is to identify the difference between definitions of
cultures and the viewpoints of different studies and assure that these definitions possess complete
information or not.
Cultural psychologists consider culture as specific facts and figures that people learn
from a certain community and adopt it in their daily life. (Heine, S. J., 2020) A community that
portrays a strong culture has its younger generation embracing it and those that violate the
existing cultural guidelines are considered a rebel and always advised to toe the line. It is the
part of social learning, and every individual has positive or negative effects on the actions and
behaviors of the other individual. Since we are social beings, then we are subjected to learn by
observing each other actions. So in this way, we can say that culture consists of faith, a sense of
motives, and advancement in science, and those actions that people learn from the other behavior
of other people (Jahoda, 2012).
Besides, culture is described as an aspect that recognizes the actions of a specific group
of individual. (Heine, S. J., 2020) Based on the aspect that humans’ are social beings, culture is
associated with people living in a given area where they share norms, beliefs, and values. The
consideration of factors like religious beliefs, way of communication, and the people’s perception
about life in a particular community make a culture of that area. When we see culture in a global
view, we include those parts of the world vastly in an area. For example, when we say Asian
countries, it means we are talking about the people of Asia that live there and share similar
behaviors and customs that make its culture as a whole (Jahoda, 2012). There are multiple
immigrants in Canada and the majority of them have adopted the Canadian culture abandoning
their culture of origin due to influence, social interaction, and also the struggle to learn and fit in
the community. Walter Lipmann stated that “Culture is the name for what people are interested
in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read, and the speeches they hear”.
Sociologists states that culture can be divided into two parts: one is material, and the
other is non-material. (University of Minnesota Libraries, 2019) Material culture includes all
those things that are tangible that people easily share these things. For example, book tickets, use
public transportation, and go to the same grocery stores to buy something. Non-material culture
consists of all ideas, beliefs, non-tangible things, and people cannot touch them (Rohner, 1984).
Heine (2020) stated that culture is mostly seen in a community dressing style and also
daily food. Moreover, additional factors included in culture are moral values, recognition of
people in a particular area, and the roles of male and female (gender role) in our society. Every
region of the world has different thinking about giving honor to adults and elders, sex before
marriage, homosexuality, and heterosexuality. Locke says that when an infant is born, his/her
mind is a black slate. As they grow, they learn of doing behaviors from the surroundings, such as
respecting the elders and not lying (Gauvain

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