The line of demarcation amidst society and culture, is very thin and blurred, causing people to think that they are synonymous. But, the fact is, neither they are synonymous, nor they are used interchangeably. Society is nothing but an organised group of people, whereas culture defined as their way of living. Every society has its culture, but they are not the same thing. Although, they cannot exist without each other. This article attempts to clear the difference between culture and society in detail. Have a look.
Content: Culture Vs Society
|Basis for Comparison||Culture||Society|
|Meaning||Culture refers to the set of beliefs, practices, learned behavior and moral values that are passed on, from one generation to another.||Society means an interdependent group of people who live together in a particular region and are associated with one another.|
|What is it?||It is a community of people, residing in a specific area, sharing common culture over time.||It is something that differentiates one society from the other.|
|What it does?||It shapes the social framework through pressure.||It unites the social framework through influence.|
|Represents||Structure that provides the way people organize themselves.||Rules that guide the way people live.|
|Includes||People who share common beliefs and practices.||Beliefs, values and practices of a group.|
|Examples||Fashion, lifestyle, tastes & preferences, music, art, etc.||Economy, village, city etc.|
Definition of Culture
The term culture refers to a system of beliefs, customs, knowledge, behaviour, religion, practices, etc., which is commonly shared by a group of people. It is described as the people’s way to live such as their learned behaviour, values, morals, art, law, symbols, lifestyle which they accept completely without any second thought in mind. In general, culture is handed down through the generations, by communication, teaching and imitation. It is considered as the social heritage of the organised group.
Culture is a pattern of responses (thinking, feeling, behaving) developed by the Society for solving problems arising due to the interaction of the group members and the environment.
Definition of Society
We define the term ‘society’ as a group of people who share a common lifestyle, territory, behaviour pattern and organisation. It refers to an ordered community, engaged in a continuous social interaction with the members.
In simple terms, society implies the bunch of people who organise themselves and lives together in a particular geographical area and come in contact with each other. The members of the society share common attributes like values, traditions and customs. They also share similar cultures and religion. Each and every member is important to the society, as its existence depends on the members only.
Key Differences Between Culture and Society
The difference between culture and society can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Culture refers to the set of beliefs, practices, learned behaviour and moral values that are passed on, from one generation to another. Society means an interdependent group of people who live together in a particular region and are associated to one another.
- Culture is something that helps us to differentiate one society from the other. On the other hand, society is a community of people, residing in a specific area, sharing common culture over time.
- Culture unites the social structure, whereas society constructs it.
- Culture provides guidelines to people on how to live. Conversely, society is a structure that provides the way people organise themselves.
- Culture comprise of beliefs, values and practices of a group. In contrast, society comprises of individuals who share common beliefs, practices, customs, etc.
- Culture is reflected in the fashion, lifestyle, tastes & preferences, music, art, etc. As opposed to society, which is reflected in an economy.
As a way to greet people in different countries, the different cultural trait is followed. For instance, in the United States people used to shake hands when they meet someone, in India people join their hands, in Japan and China people bow down from the waist, in Belgium kiss on one cheek is a way to greet someone irrespective of the gender. This is how culture of one society differs from that of another. So it is true to say that different societies have different cultures.