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Introduction

Celebrations, rituals and patterns of consumption are important aspects of folk culture.

Culture (/ˈkʌlər/) is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; these include expressive forms like art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies like tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing. The concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including practices of political organization and social institutions), mythology, philosophy, literature (both written and oral), and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society.

In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, sciences, education, or manners. The level of cultural sophistication has also sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital. In common parlance, culture is often used to refer specifically to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century. Some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, and such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions.

Selected general articles

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Cultural differences can interact with positive psychology to create great variation, potentially impacting positive psychology interventions. Culture influences how people seek psychological help, their definitions of social structure, and coping strategies. Read more...
  • Cultural contracts refer to the degree that cultural values are exchanged between groups. It extends identity negotiation theory and uncertainty reduction theory by focusing defining the negotiation experience from the perspective of minority groups when dealing with majority cultural norms. Cultural contracts theory was developed in 1999 by Dr. Ronald L. Jackson, an identity scholar and a professor in media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Read more...

  • Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans. It is in contrast to social anthropology, which perceives cultural variation as a subset of the anthropological constant.

    Cultural anthropology has a rich methodology, including participant observation (often called fieldwork because it requires the anthropologist spending an extended period of time at the research location), interviews, and surveys. Read more...
  • Cultural environmentalism is the movement that seeks to protect the public domain. The term was coined by James Boyle, professor at Duke University and contributor to the Financial Times.

    The term stems from Boyle's argument that those who seek to protect the public domain are working towards a similar ends as environmentalists. Boyle's contention is that whereas the environmentalist movement illuminated the effects that social decisions can have upon ecology, cultural environmentalists seek to illuminate the effects that intellectual property laws can have upon culture. Read more...
  • This is a list of subcultures. Read more...
  • Pluriculturalism is an approach to the self and others as complex rich beings which act and react from the perspective of multiple identifications. In this case, identity or identities are the by-products of experiences in different cultures. As an effect, multiple identifications create a unique personality instead of or more than a static identity. It is based on multiple-identity, wherein people have multiple identities who belong to multiple groups with different degrees of identification. The term pluricultural competence is a consequence of the idea of plurilingualism. There is a distinction between pluriculturalism and multiculturalism.

    Spain has been referred to as a pluricultural country, due to its nationalisms and regionalisms. Read more...
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    In the news

    11 April 2019 –
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is arrested in London after Ecuador withdraws asylum. He is later found guilty of breaching bail in 2012 by a British court, however he faces likely extradition to the United States over allegations he conspired with former US military analyst Chelsea Manning to acquire classified U.S. government files. (The Guardian)
    30 March 2019 – 2019 Midwestern U.S. floods
    This month, at least 400,000 hectares (1 million acres) of U.S. farmland were flooded from the early March blizzard storm that affected nine major grain-producing states, according to Israel Cleantech Ventures' Gro Intelligence. (Reuters)
    26 March 2019 –
    U.S.-owned company Uber buys Dubai-based ride-sharing company Careem for $3.1 billion in order to further solidify its Middle Eastern presence. (CNBC) (CNN)
    Mixed martial artist Conor McGregor announces his retirement from the sport on Twitter. The New York Times reports that McGregor was arrested in January for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in Ireland. According to the New York Times, he was released and is under investigation by authorities. (MMA Fighting) (New York Post)
    21 March 2019 – War in Afghanistan
    Six people are killed and 23 others wounded in three bomb explosions during Nowruz celebration in Kabul, Afghanistan. (BBC)
    21 March 2019 – 2019 Mosul ferry sinking
    At least 103 people are killed when a Tigris River ferry, carrying families celebrating the Nowruz new year holiday, sinks near the Iraqi city of Mosul. (Al Jazeera)

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