The word culture tends to identify all practices succeeding nature. In humans, culture evolves over time and forms of exchange. It is in distinct ways of being, thinking, acting and communicating. Thus, for an international institution like UNESCO: "In its broadest sense, culture may now be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or group social. It includes, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, fundamental rights of human beings, value systems, traditions and beliefs.

The concept of culture is at the heart of an essential human challenge: to say what the species (Homo sapiens sapiens) through what it does. That is why there is both a tendency to cover - to spread - activities increasingly diverse and distant from each other (culture, religious culture, traditional culture, technical culture, culture of business, cultural industries, ministry of culture, animal culture, etc..) and a propensity to lose all meaning philosophical comprehensive, accurate or trench.

There is also a sense of the word "culture" depends strongly on the strategy of the institution or the social actor who uses it, as opposed (more or less explicitly) with others. For example, for those who wish to defend the arts and letters, the word "culture" could be opposed to the word "technoscience", just as they could oppose the "soul" and "reason." On the contrary, for those who want to defend the creative side of the research or innovation, as a culture must be applied without discrimination. In the educational institutional, "culture" can designate a set of knowledge, knowledge and know-how developed.

For those who, by profession or interest, focus on the characteristics of a community (linguistic, national, etc..), Culture is all its territorial structures, its social, religious, political, , etc.

In order not to betray too the differences between concepts of culture, one can draw a "cultural field" where they meet and are confronted by major types of activity:

* The practice of the exercise of the floor is a permanent and universal achievement, although carried out between concrete persons in humans. Associated with thoughts and acts, it represents the culture in its specific and human activity.

* The artistic practices are most often emerge from the singular points of view that are then shared and exchanged.

* The practice of organizing thoughts and feelings (philosophical or religious) seek instead to gather large groups by the conviction and seduction (the true and the beautiful according to Plato).

* The practices regulation (grammatical, legal, economic, technical, etc..) Organize human beings according to reports predetermined, measurable and predictable.

It is perhaps difficult - if not impossible - to ensure that each of these areas claim against its own concept of culture to others.

In addition, each society has its own culture, seeks to distinguish it from others and more or less admits in its midst, the existence of different cultures. Multiculturalism is an approach that emphasizes the existence, in a flexible and open to a multitude of cultures that meet, oppose, mix, and finally changing and evolving. One of the questions in this direction, in line with the phenomenon of globalization is that we can not say whether this trend is towards more diversity, to further diversity, or rather to standardize impoverishment.

Human culture is, according to the Quebec sociologist Guy Rocher, "a set of related ways of thinking, feeling and acting more or less formal, which is learned and shared by a plurality of persons, used in a manner to both objective and symbolic form to these people in a particular and distinct. " (Guy Rocher, 1969, 88).

The etymology of the word culture, from the Latin word colere ( "live", "grow" or "honor") suggests that culture refers generally to human activity. The word meanings significantly different, even contradictory, depending on its uses.

The term (Latin cultura) suggests the action of cultivation in agriculture in particular, growing flowers ... The word culture is also used in ethology. Cicero was the first to apply the word culture to human beings: a fertile field or if it can not be productive without culture, and the same is true for humans without teaching. (Tusculanes, II, 13).

In history, the word has gradually extended to human beings. The term cult has a similar etymology (Latin cultus), and is used for the tribute to a deity.

Several definitions
Different definitions of culture reflect different theories for understanding or evaluating human activity. In 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn wrote a list of over 200 different definitions of the word culture in their book.

The definition may make the government when setting its mission to the Ministry of Culture is different from the one given in the humanities or the one that corresponds to the general culture of all of us.

There are powerful political and economic issues to define and support the culture. When entrepreneurs try to validate the concept of "corporate culture" or the engineers of "technical culture", they help to broaden the range of meanings, but at the cost of diluting some specific characteristics, as opposed more traditional styles more spontaneous, artistic, religious based, as Hegel said, the "feeling" and more types of actions based on the calculation, cognition, the rule. Although often the two worlds intersect, must be provided confusing, contributing then to favor an totalizing conception of culture?

According to Geert Hofstede: culture is a collective mental programming specific to a group of individuals.

In particular, ethology, culture refers to any animal behavior, habit, namely, a system of meaning (in anthropology) taught by an individual biological, socially transmitted and not by genetic inheritance of the species to which this individual. Culture is defined as meaning a body of knowledge transmitted by belief systems, by reasoning or experimentation, which develop within the human behavior in relation with nature and the surrounding world. It comprises everything that is considered as an acquisition of the species, regardless of his heritage instinctive considered natural and innate. This word was given different definitions depending on the context in which it refers.

But culture is not reducible to its scientific sense, because, as the definition of UNESCO, it has the values through which we choose as our report science. In this sense, it is more of the political community of human beings as "the species' as an object of science.

Individual culture and collective culture
In French, the word culture means first of all general knowledge of an individual. This is the only definition given in 1862 the Dictionary of National Bescherelle. Scientific knowledge is presented as part of the foreground. That is what we call today the "general culture".

After the mid-twentieth century, the term takes on a second meaning. For example, the Petit Larousse 1980 provides, in addition to the individual design, a design collective: all social, religious, etc.., Demonstrations intellectual, artistic, etc.. That characterize a society. The term may be one or the other direction, but the proximity of areas of use of each in fact a source of ambiguity.

It is in German, the definition of culture or individual general Bildung is the word and there is another word, Kultur, which corresponds to a social heritage, artistic, Ethics from a set of individuals with an identity. Thus, the term homophone, which is in french instead at one of the meanings of civilization, and the exchange of ideas between France and Germany, has gradually merged with the original meaning of the word culture french. This second definition is in the process of supplanting the former, corresponding to the individual culture. However, current dictionaries cite two definitions, as much as the individual culture first.

There is therefore now in french two different meanings for the word culture:

* Culture of each individual, personal construction of knowledge giving the general culture;

* Culture of a people, the cultural identity of this people, the collective culture to which one belongs.

These two meanings differ primarily by their dynamic component:

* The individual culture has a dimension of development, construction (the term Bildung is usually translated in education), and thus by definition evolutionary and individual;

* The collective culture is a single fixing identities, and a reference value related to a story, an art perfectly inserted in the community and the collective culture evolves only very slowly, the value is contrary to the static stability in the past the point in history.

It is from this dichotomy that the two meanings may object:

The collective culture is a component of rigidity can oppose the development of individual cultures, or may lead to counter, a concept that is inconceivable with the individual sense, knowledge can only be positive.

Science, still in development, is therefore not dropped the concept of individual culture, in popular acceptance, then it is a key component in the initial content of the term.

But it is through art and history that the two concepts come together. The individual culture includes the knowledge of the arts and cultures, of different cultures, but obviously that is affiliated to the culture (collective) in which the individual is similar.

This is the confusion between the two senses: culture (individual) is understood as knowledge of the culture (collective) which we depend. Merging two different meanings, the term culture is currently in France to a compromise in its current, where it refers primarily knowledge related to art and history, more or less related to ethnic identity.

Both directions must be analyzed separately: the collective culture and individual culture intersect in reality, not only by their namesake, but also by the descent of the species and the individual to a cultural entity.

The popular use of the word culture in many Western societies, allows for a classification of its character as a function of belief, consumption of goods or the exercise of activities regarded as elitist: cooking, art, and music for example.

Types of components
A representation of the culture is to look as composed of four elements that are "passed down from generation to generation by learning" :

- Values;
- Standards;
- Institutions;
- Artifacts.

Julian Huxley gives a slightly different division, in mentifacts, socifacts and artifacts, for sub-systems ideological, sociological, and technological respectively. Socialization, in Huxley, depends on the sub-belief system. The sociological subsystem directs the interaction between people. Material objects and their use form the sub-system technology.

In general, archaeologists focus on material culture, while cultural anthropology focuses on the symbolic culture, although ultimately both groups are interested in the relationship between these two dimensions. Moreover, anthropologists understand the term "culture" to refer not only to consumption goods, but the general process that produces such goods and give them a meaning, and relationships and social practices in which such objects and processes are intertwined.

Value systems include ideas and materials which is important in life. They guide the beliefs that make up the culture in part

It is possible to recognize associated value systems rather than civilizations. Thus, in this so-called West, it seems that the cultural conversation is very much concerned about the issue of the rule, the extent of the social or physical law, while in the Far East, the case the most important identity in the world. The values of the village societies (such as Africa or Latin America) focus more on the balance between man and nature, as guaranteed by the intercession of medicine men. The values of the nomadic societies are more committed to solving the problems of the inevitable antagonism between groups on the territory. Within the Western sphere, the point of view the Anglo-Saxon insisted further on the law (cultivation of the common law and the rule of law). This reflects a religiosity based on Protestantism concern of rational use of personal time (as evidenced by Max Weber), which allows self-releasing a liberal economy and is a control by the collective authority .

In France, the most "secular" Western countries - a tradition that could be traced back to Gallicanism by Philippe le Bel, the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, or the positions of Bossuet - we rather deal with a renewed national administrative of the former Catholic authority, where is preserved a principle of divine and royal arbitration, now deposited in the secular state. The French Revolution introduced a civilian equivalent for all citizens regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations, but do not reject with long-Napoleon - the principle of transcendent power and paternalistic. It remains today in the cultural fabric of this country that remains from that point of view of Catholic tradition. However, as elsewhere in Europe, there are discussions with the two religions and cultures of the "Book" (the Bible), which form the other two variants of Western culture at large: the Judaic tradition, which emphasizes the 'covenant between God and his people, through a law to interpret, and the Muslim tradition, which wants to restore the principle of absolute freedom of God. We see here how the world of values does not develop at random, but as logical differences assumed. There is also that this conversation between the values is most often unconscious, hidden by the intransigence of their respective supporters.

Standards are established by the expectations about how people should behave in various situations. Each culture has methods, called sanctions, to impose its standards. Sanctions vary with the size of the standard norms that society imposes formally have the status of laws.

It should be noted that in France, the French language has the status of official language, and as such is the language of administration and civil law.

In the United States, there is a very important normative tradition in industrial and financial. Accounting standards in Europe are now largely based on U.S. standards.

Institutions are the structures of society in and through which values and norms are transmitted.

We saw that in the case of France, the defense of the language was taken very early by the sovereign, Francis I for the official language of french (1539), Richelieu to the French Academy. From there was born in France and in much of Europe, a tradition that binds the culture with public institutions.

In the United States, there is no way as important to the public on the culture itself. Thus, many large companies have art collections as open private museums. Businessmen and billionaires do not hesitate to make patronage and philanthropy feed their major foundations (which are often their names) which have developed actions in the field of culture, arts and art education (the great museums like the Metropolitan or the Guggenheim in New York, Foundations like Ford, Carnegie, etc..)). Cultural industries, implementing the basis of a genuine cultural management, were developed from the outset on a model with private companies over the decades a movement of high concentration of financial major American groups in the sector the main protagonists an oligopoly of global industries of entertainment and media (Time Warner, Disney, Fox, ...). Thus, since the 1950s, the American film industry, concentrated in Hollywood, dominates not only economically but also symbolically, the distribution of films with great success and the consecration of the great stars.

In France, the majority of cultural institutions are government organizations and voluntary organizations and others but with a strong dependence on local public academies, museums, libraries, libraries, conservatories, concert halls and theaters, orchestras, operas , youth and culture. France was one of the first modern democracies to establish a Ministry of Culture in 1959, what Mario Angelo called a politico-administrative entity (an administrative structure under the authority of a politician) . It was followed by many other countries in Europe, but in forms adapted to their respective contexts. The "small" (small in size) as the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Portugal, in their respective government ministry larger (eg Education) which is attached a Secretariat of State responsible for Culture. Federal countries have equivalents in their regions (in fact of the federated states) who practice cultural competency. Thus, in Germany, each Land are found in the government leadership of Culture and the Arts, usually attached to the Education, Research and Training (which is explained by the large number of institutions arts education). Spain has about it with a Ministry of Culture in 1978, when the page was Francoism tour. The UK is an example of the most interesting in the consideration of state action in favor of culture. Since it was first for the government to intervene and support the art institutions and in particular the performing arts (theater, dance, music) such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, large London orchestras, and so on.

There are a pattern in neighboring European countries. In the case of classical music for example, Mario Angelo notes that all musical institutions (apart from some notable exceptions) are supported by public authorities (state, regions, cities). The United Kingdom, however, differs from the rest of Europe because the music institutions are more autonomous. they are rarely public. However in the field of museums, a large proportion of the institutions are public. From this perspective, the United Kingdom is the United States, the cultural traditions of both countries are quite distinct.

In France, there are also some private institutions (private castles, museum of Alsace, the Puy du Fou) are mostly from regional initiatives, even if their influence is often nationally. For thirty years the local authorities (municipalities, departments and regions) will have their own cultural policy and play a key role in the coordination and regulation of local cultural life. These policies, often in partnership with government departments, participate more logical: easy access to the culture of the majority, support the creation and artists contribute to economic development and enhance the image of communities local.

Since the Maastricht Treaty aspects of culture are now part of the responsibilities of the European Union, under the principles of subsidiarity. In particular, the European Union must ensure the implementation of language policy, which raises some difficulties in implementation.

It has two quite distinct models: the American model, characterized by a strong alliance between public and private (where the private sector plays an important role in purely cultural), and the European model, mainly public.

Culture and art
Culture is also inseparable from the artistic heritage, in that it is an attachment to traditional values. This aspect of culture is much stronger in Europe and Asia, America and especially the United States, for obvious historical reasons.

Nevertheless, the United States admire the European cultural heritage, because it is their cultural roots: It happened in the acquisition of works of art, in their presence at Artistic Works (Paris, Bruges, Venice, Egypt ... ) in the American patronage for the restoration of a few symbolic elements of European heritage (Palace of Versailles ...) in trade music (conductors ...) and so on. Compliance with the Americans to the history of monarchy in France seems surprising at first, but it reveals that commitment to a heritage that they have not, and acknowledging the role played by France in the History and defend freedom in the United States.

When we speak of heritage, we think most often in architecture, but also sculpture, painting, stained glass, music, literature, folklore, language ...

In Asia and North Africa are extraordinarily rich heritage, civilizations in Chinese, Indian, Arabic and Berber, for example. The heritage of Africa is also rediscovered (first arts).

Culture and language

See also: Language & Culture Category
Language is likely, in human societies, which can best convey a culture, both oral and written. Thus, the French culture has developed in Europe of the Enlightenment, in fact, mainly because it was spoken in several princely courts. This rule of french was due to the cultural influence of France in the eighteenth century, and the admiration of foreign sovereigns (in Prussia, Russia ...) were, rightly or wrongly, the sovereign french.

This rule had in fact been prepared by the Edict of Villers-Cotterêts, signed by Francis I in 1539, which established the french as official language, ie as the language of administration and law (written) . Then, in the seventeenth century, great writers gave the classic french letters of nobility. France is probably [ref. desired] the only country in the world where the language spoken (and official) is supported by a system of academies, which control the proper use. The French Academy was founded in this way by Richelieu in 1635.

Today, the English language became a lingua franca, carrying a large amount of information in areas such as military, finance, science, and especially information technology, most computer languages are historically trained on words of the English language. Standards, particularly accounting (computer after being led to the general accounting), tend to impose a cultural model.

In France, after the Second World War, it tended to react against this form of linguistic imperialism by establishing cultural links with French-speaking countries around the world: La Francophonie. The protection of the French language is now integrated into the french law: Article 2 of the 1958 Constitution, Law Toubon, etc..

It is also established cultural links around the Spanish, between Spain and South America for example.

Arabic is also a good example of cultural links established around the language spoken most often in the Muslim world, which conveys a brilliant civilization between the eighth and fifteenth centuries.

Multilingualism is at least formally recognized in the language policy of the European Union, with a value of cultural diversity.

The language is one means of communication the most important (but not the only one), we see the linguistic models of communication based on the functions of language. In the scheme Jakobson, for example, sees these cultural concepts related to the message itself, particularly in the content code communication.

Culture and technology
Science and technology are in constant interaction, as the technical applications of science in society. Speaking events culture techniques is therefore to address its relationship with science.

There is, for over three centuries, a misunderstanding between the sciences (specifically science "accurate") and culture, even in conflict.

Jacques Ellul has developed the thesis that technology improves itself, imposing its values of efficiency and technical progress, denying the man, his needs, including its culture.

Claude Allegre note in a little science for everyone:

"In a world that shapes the rationality, irrationality tends to take power, as shown by the unprecedented boom astrologers, teller, and cults of all kinds. The main reason for this drift is the name of a specialization and always demanding, scientists have isolated and left aside the science of general culture. However, there is no future for human knowledge, whatsoever, outside of culture, there can be no culture in the world today who take science at a distance. "

The philosopher Hans Jonas shows effect in the Responsibility Principle (1979), that man tends to adopt vis-a-vis science and especially its technological applications, conduct Promethean. It advocates the precautionary principle and is the origin of the philosophical principles of sustainable development.

The astrophysicist Jean Audouze, former director of the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, draws the same conclusion, and calls for reconciliation between science and culture.

Cultural diversity in human communities
We distinguish throughout the world, cultures and written oral cultures.

The language, written or oral, plays an essential role in the development of a form of social knowledge, the thought of common sense, socially developed and shared by members of the same social group or culture. Sometimes this is called common knowledge representation sociale.

In the field of archeology and anthropology, culture is defined as the body of knowledge and behaviors that characterize a society or, more generally, a group of people within a society.

Only a few crops have reached the state of civilization in human history.

Even if there is a dominant culture in society, usually formed around the culture of the elite, it still forms of social groups whose interests, practices, individuals are compared to the dominant culture. There are various forms and cultures, as popular culture, mass culture, youth culture, or what we call the subculture (or intimate culture).

In the definition given by UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage, cultural diversity is emerging as a decisive factor:

"The intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and gives them a sense of identity and continuity, helping to promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. "

Children's culture differs from that of adults, because the systems of representation of a child and an adult are necessarily different.

Do talk of people from different cultures may require mediation. Some people have specialized in cultural mediation.

Culture in relation to the nature
Many people today often identify culture or "civilization" to an advanced state of mankind, who would object, they say, in the wild, "nature" is a wild state in their opinion. Many projects of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, which took place in the context of the industrial revolution, in the sense s'orientèrent precedent.

This was not true of many philosophers of the Enlightenment like John Locke who founded political philosophy on the natural law (law of nature), Robert Boyle, author of books on the experimental method (see philosophy nature), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (musings of a solitary walker), Samuel von Pufendorf (which inspired the constitution of the United States), or multiple streams of paint in the nineteenth century (Barbizon School, Impressionism ...).

In recent decades, many philosophers have troubled relations with nature (Rene Dubos, Hans Jonas ...).

According to modern philosophy, especially in the wake of Claude Lévi-Strauss, we consider that culture is natural to man, as all men have one, and that any "state of nature" (state pre-cultural) that would be pure fiction. For this topic, see the article Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Recent discoveries suggest that the nature, biological, influence culture. For their research, Robert Stoller and his colleagues have shown that in cases of error on the determination of sex at birth resulting from a biological anomaly not apparent, the forces of nature act "on attitudes and behavior of a child through his play, his clothing, his choice of pertenaires game, etc.., in other words, that may influence the innate acquired.

See also: State of Nature, Philosophy of nature, sustainable development

Although physical culture was originally confined to gyms, the development of modern sports tends to be closer to nature: climbing, skiing (including skiing), cycling, kayaking, canyoning ...

The cultural factor in the globalization
No doubt globalization involves considerable cultural issues. After the end of the Cold War, there is sometimes what is called a clash of civilizations.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), one tends to see a dominant model, the Anglo-Saxon deemed "liberal", but where in fact there is a very strong commitment to the public in the U.S. industry and the armaments industry (see Denece Eric and Claude Revel, the other war the United States, 2005). The American influence is particularly strong on cultural aspects, and plays on the multiple interactions (companies, partnerships with NGOs) from the basic components of culture (values, norms, institutions, artifacts).

The Anglo-Saxon model, based on English as the language tends to impose certain modes of operation in global institutions, including commercial, which according to some observers, may reflect a form of cultural and linguistic imperialism.

The development of mass culture since the 1930s in the wake of the Americanization, fostered patterns of consumption and production that are not necessarily now compatible with the contemporary society.

Faced with this form of domination, some countries are responding by promoting cultural diversity or cultural exception, and are organized accordingly.

In France, the term "cultural exception tends to be a pejorative sense, since the solutions adopted to protect cultural diversity through forms of action concentrated around the state (public aid and subsidies to various forms of media ...) which are not necessarily in the sense of the quality of cultural creation.

General principles of cultural evolution
Cultures on the single human species, and that can be identified in living close links with the symbolic language and the specific forms of organization, techniques and technologies that flow from it, are changing constantly since their emergence, there are several hundreds of thousands of years. They are a continuation of the cultures of primates who were our ancestors, and that looked plausible in part to those who are still those of "our cousins" the great apes. However, between the use of voice (in the aria of gibbon) or the use of simple instrumentation, or even days of complex social relationships (in chimpanzees), and deriving an interposition of a grid of meaningful communication between individuals of the same company and the world, there is a failure. It is difficult to be denied, regardless of the effort-deserving and very useful - to abolish the concept of "own man", yet to explain, particularly for what it has led to an extraordinary divergence between the destiny of our species and those of others, the closer.

It appears two lines of conflicting analysis on this problem: one focuses on the legitimate ownership of humanity to nature, defies religious prejudice (preferring the origin of man in a decision divine), or the widespread reluctance to accept that we are as a species. Second, basing the humanities and social sciences, attempts to resist a "natural" reducer defending their own, irreducible to other levels of reality: the field of anthropology, which finds its territory in the study what man does not share with other animals. Clearly this is beyond the dogmatic forms of this inevitable antagonism to define more precisely the relationship between "natural continuity" between the cultures of primate and human cultures, and the appearance of a specific difference. To do this, you can use to a certain point the analogy between the "long history" (Life) and "very short" (human culture): biologists (as Jean Claude Ameisen) studied history of bacteria, to understand the incredible complexity of life and death of cells in multicellular organisms. They contend the need to reconstitute the "missing times" to interpret the situation, and understanding of key phenomena cancer. Other biologists are more interested in the history of the species themselves: in all cases, the analogy with the human stories is heuristic, even to pay the price of anthropomorphism in that the genes or cells of intentional human traits as "interests" or "strategies". In contrast, social scientists use little use of biological knowledge. They probably wrongly, but their arguments have nothing to do with a variant of "creationism": they seek only to develop analytical tools that are not first imported from other disciplines, while in their own area (including the period of less than 30 000 years for which they have indisputable evidence of culture symbolic funeral rites, representations, systems of signs), the diversity and confluence, in short the movement of crops seems primarily to obey special laws.

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