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What is Culture?

Culture is simply defined as the learned beliefs and/or behaviors of specific people.  This is something that is generally viewed as existing within a specific nation or a specific people that live within close proximity to one another, but could also expand beyond that.

Aspects of culture include music, the arts, social norms, religions, styles of clothing, food, and entertainment.

I’ve been lucky enough in my life to travel all over the world and witness the various cultures of different groups of people.

alternative culture

National culture

National culture is generally what people think of when the word “culture” is mentioned.  This is because, throughout history, this is generally how culture has been defined.

However, simply in travelling across the United States, I have been able to note that the culture of New England certainly isn’t identical to the culture of the Southwestern United States, and the culture of the Southwest isn’t identical to the culture of the Northwest.

One of the great things about living in the U. S. is the fact that being a nation of immigrants that is so geographically large, we have either adopted or developed a number of different cultures.

International culture

International culture is that culture that is shared between different groups or nations.  One good historical example of international culture is the institution of marriage.  No matter where I have gone in my travels, I have noted that marriage is a common way of life everywhere.

International culture has been expanding greatly over the decades, however, and a lot of this has to do with the rise of mass media and the expansion of the internet.  It has never been easier than now for people from different parts of the world to share their cultural norms with one another.

alternative culture

What other aspects of culture are international?

Rock ‘n roll was invented in the United States, but it didn’t take very long for it to travel overseas.  The Beatles are probably the first band that people think about when they think of a rock band that wasn’t from the US.

Music seems to travel pretty fast, but it isn’t the only aspect of culture that seems to reach all over the planet.  Food is very much something that travels all over, and in the United States you can generally get food from all sorts of different cultures.


English establishing itself as a global language

If you are on social media, you are likely to encounter someone from a traditionally non-English speaking country who is a fluent English speaker.  While we probably can’t say that this is strictly due to the rise of the internet, it certainly did play a role.

Whether you are chatting with someone from China on Facebook or watching YouTube videos from content creators from traditionally non-English speaking countries, you will probably notice that more and more people are communicating using our native language.

Although I do have ambitions to learn new languages myself, the fact that people from other countries now often speak English makes communication a whole lot easier.

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