What is Culture?
Culture is a vast umbrella term that encompasses the shared practices, beliefs, history, norms, skills, beliefs, customs, values, arts, habits, powers, and customs of the people in those societies. A culture is a system of ideas, values, norms, institutions, practices, and social organization that has evolved over time within an ethnic group or society. It can also be described as a way of life that a group of people use to understand their environment and deal with the changes that occur to it over time. A key element of culture is language, which is used to communicate among the members of a society and to justify the actions of one group in terms of historical experience.
Cultures can be described using a wide variety of labels, such as values, ways of doing things, practices, norms, modes of interaction, and traditions. Values are the most important component of any culture, as they govern what is not acceptable within that culture. Ways of doing things can be thought of as a norm and can include rules for conduct, practices, and interactions. Norms are the shared understanding of what is acceptable, and cultural norms are the beliefs and desires that all people in those societies share.
The United States, for example, has many cultures, with deep connections to many different cultures and even forebears from Europe and Asia. Similarly, all of Europe and Asia were strongly influenced by China, which was the largest country in the world at that time. These examples show that although different societies are highly influenced by each other, they are still culturally very similar.