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CULTURE
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
PAPERS
OF THE
PEABODY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ARCHyEOLOGY
AND ETHNOLOGY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY
VOL. XLVII-ND. 1

CULTURE
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

BY
A. L. KROEBER
AND
CLYDE KLUCKHOHN
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
WAYNE UXTERI^INEK
AND

APPENDICES BY
ALFRED G. 7.1EYER

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A.


PUBUSHED BY THE MUSEUM
1952
5/

vA7
no.

PRINTED BY TlIE HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRINTING OFFICE


CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHVSETTS, U.S.A.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
WE ARE indebted to Professor Robert
Bierstedt for access to his master's thesis,
Cohen & West, Ltd.
Press (American Edition):
(British Edition) and The Free
E. E. Evans-Pritchard's
only a small portion of which has been pub- Social Anthropology (1951).

His extensive Columbia University Press: Abram Kardiner's The


lished. bibliography through
Indiiidual and His Society (1959) and Ralph
^935 greatly lightened our task, and his text
Linton's The Science of Man in the World Crisis
was also suggestive to us at many points. We (1945)-
have also benefited from the memoranda and
E. P. Dufton & Co., Inc.: Alexander Leighton's
records, largely unpublished, of the Commit-
Huniarn Relations in a Changing World (1949).
tee on Conceptual Integration of the American Farrar, Straus, and Young, Inc.: Leslie White's
Sociological Society (Albert Blumenthal, The Science of Culture (1949).
Chairman) of which one of us (C. K.) was a The Free Press: S. F. Nadel's The Foundations of
member in its Dr. Alfred Meyer
later stage. Social Anthropology (ijjo).
was very helpful, especially with the Germ.an Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.: A. L. Krocbcr's
materials. To Professor Leslie White we owe and T. T. Waterman's Source Book in Anthropology
several references that we probably would not (1931), Kroeber's Anthropology (1948), and Lewis
Mumford's The Culture of Cities (1938).
have discovered ourselves. Professor Jerome
D. C. Heath and Company: Franz Boas and others'
Bruner has made clarifying suggestions. Dr.
General Anthropology (1938).
Walter Taylor and Paul Friedrich kindly read The Hogarth Press: Geza Roheim's The Riddle of
the manuscript and made suggestions. the Sphinx (1934).
Wayne Untereiner, Richard Hobson, Clif- A. A. Knopf, Inc.: .M. J. Herskovits' Man and His
ford Geertz, Jr., Charles Griffith, and Ralph Works (1948), and A. A. Goldenweiser's History,
Patrick (all graduate students in anthropology Psychology and Culture (1933).
at Harvard University) have not onlv done The Macmillan Company: G. P. .Murdock's Social
unusually competent work as rcscarca assist- Structure (1949).
ants; each has made significant criticisms of iMcGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.: Ellsworth Faris's
content and style. We
have placed the name The Nature of Hwnan Nature (1937), Talcott
of Mr. Untereiner on the title-page because Parsons' The Structure of Social Action (1937), and

he made major contributions to our theoreti-


W. D. Wallis's Culture and Progress (1930).
Methuen Sc (Dompany: R. R. Alarctt's Psychology and
cal formulations. ^Vc are also grateful for Folklore (1920).
the scrupulously careful work of Hermia Kap-
Oxford University Press: Meyer Fortes' The Web
lan,Mildred Geiger, Lois Walk, Muriel Levin, Among
of Kinship the Tallensi (1949).
Kathryn Gore, and Carol Trosch in typing Routlcdgc and Kcgan Paul, Ltd.: Raymond Firth's
various versions of the manuscript, and to the Primitive Polynesian Economy (1939).
four first-named in collating bibliographical University' of California Press: Edward Sapir'j
references and editorial checking and to Cor- Selected Writings of Edv:ard Sapir in Language,
Gait and Natalie Stoddard
delia who edited the Culture, and Personality (edited by D. G. Mandel-
monograph. baum) (1949).
Wc thank the following publishers for per- The Viking Press, Inc.: W'. F. Ogburn's Social Change
mission to quote from copyrighted materials: (1950)-
Watts & Company: Raymond Firth's Elements of
Addison-Wesley Press, Inc.: G. K. Zipfs Human Social Organization (1951).
Behrvior and the Principle of Least Effort
(1949), Yale University Press: C. S. Ford's "A Simple (Com-
Applcton-Cenmry-Crofts, Inc.: A. A. Goldenweiser's parative Analysis of Material Culture," and G. P.
Anthropology (1937). Murdock's Editorial Preface, both of which appear
The Century Co.: C. A. EUwood's Cultural Evolution
in Studies in the Science of Society Presented to
(1917)'
Albert Galloway Keller (1937).
1 .

CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS v GROUP E: STRUCrURAL 61
INTRODUCnON 3 Emphasis on the patterning or organization
PART I: GENERAL HISTORY OF THE of culture 61

WORD CULTURE 9
Comment 61

I. Brief sxiTvey 9
GROUP F: GENETIC 64
I. GTilizadon 1
F-I. Emphasis on culture as a product or
artifact 64
3. Relation of civilization and culnire 13

4. The distinction of civilization from culture Comment 65


in American sociology 13
F-II. Emphasis on ideas 66

5. The attempted distinction in Germany ... 15


Comment 67
6. Phases in die history of the concept of cul- F-III. Emphasis on symbols 69
ture in Germany 18 Comment 70
7. Culture as a concept of eighteenth-century F-IV. Residual category definitions 70
general history 18 Conunent 71
8. Kant to Hegel 23 GROUP G: INCOMPLETE DEFINITIONS 72

9. Analysis of Klemm's use of the word "Cul- Comment -ji

tur" 24 INDEXES TO DEFINITIONS 73


10. The concept of culture in Germany since A: Authors 73
1850 26 B: Conceptual elements in definitions 74
It. "Kultur" and "Schrecklichkeit" 28 Words not included in Index B 78
12. Danilevsky 29 PART III: SOME STATEMENTS ABOUT
13. "Culture" in the humanities in England and CULTURE 83
ebicwhere 29
INTRODUCTION 83
Dictionary definitions
14. 33 GROUP a: THE NATLTIE OF CULTURE 84
15.General discussion 35 Comment 92
Addendum: Febvre on civilisation 37
GROUP b: THE COMPONENTS OF CUL-
PART DEFINITIONS
II : 41 TURE 95
INTRODUCTION 41 Comment 97
GROUP A: DESCRIPTIVE 43 GROUT c: DISTINCTIVE PROPERTIES OF
Broad definitions with emphasL* on enumera- CULTURE 99
tion of content: usually influenced by Tylor 43 Comment 100
Comment 44 Summary of properties 101
GROUP B: HISTORICAL 47 GROUP d: CLT.TURE AND PSYCHOLOGY 102
Emphasis on social heritage or tradition ..;... 47 a,» Comment 109
Comment 48
GROUP e: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE 115
GROUP C: NORMATIVE 50
Comment 123
C-I. Emphasis on rule or way 50
Comment
GROUP RELATION OF CUTTURE TO
f:
51
SOCIETY, INDIVIDUALS, ENVIRON-
C-II. Emphasis on ideals or values plus be-
havior
MENT, AND ARTIFACTS 125
52
Comment 131
Comment 53
GROUP D: PSYCHOLOGICAL ADDENDA 139
55
D-I. Emphasis on adjustment, on culture as a
INT)EX TO AUTHORS IN PART III 141

problem-solving device 55
-*- PART IV: SUMMARY AND CONCLU-
Comment 56 SIONS 145
D-II. Elmphasis on learning 58 A: SUMMARY 145
Comment 59 Word and concept 145
D-III. Elmphasis on habit 60 Philosophy of history 145
Comment 60 Use of culture in Germany 146
D-IV. Purely psychological definitions 60 Spread of the concept and resistances 146
Comment 60 Culture and civilization 147

ii
VUl

Culture as an emergent or level 148 Significance and values 171


Definitions of cultxire 149 Values and relativity 174
Before and after 1920 149 C: CONCLUSION 180
The place of Tylor and Wissler 1 50 A final review of the conceptual problem 180
The course of post-1910 definitions 152 Review of aspects of our own position 184
Rank order of elements entering into post- REFERENCES 193
1930 definitions 153 APPENT)ICES 207
Number of elements entering into single defi- APPENDLX A: HISTORICAL NOTES ON
nitions 1 54 IDEOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE
Final comments on definitions 154 CONCEPT OF CULTURE IN GER-
Statements about culture 157 MANY ANT) RUSSL^, by Alfred G.
B: GENERAL FEATURES OF CULTURE .
159
Meyer 207
Integration 159
APPENDIX B: THE USE Or THE TERM
Historicity 1 59
CLTLTURE IN THE SOVIET UNION
Uniformities 162 by Alfred G. Meyer 213
Causality 165 INDEX OF NAMES OF PERSONS 221
CULTURE
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
INTRODUCTION
THE "culture concept of the anthropologists demn as deserving punishment." find the We
and coming to be regarded
sociologists is notion in more refined form in Descartes' Dis-
as the foundation stone of the social sciences." course on Method:
This recent statement by Stuart Chase ^ will . . While traveling, having realized that all those
.

not be agreed to, at least not \/ithout reserva- who have attitudes very diiferent from our own are
tion, by all social scientists,^ but few intellec- not for that reason barbarians or savages but are as
tuals will challenge the statement that the idea rational or mor: so than ourselves, and having con-
of culture, in the technical anthropological sidered how greatly the self-same person with the
sense, is one of the key notions of contem- self -same mind who had grown up from infancy

porary American thought. In explanatory im- among the French or Germans would become
different from what he would have been if he had
portance and in generality of application it is
always lived amonjj the Chinese or the cannibals . . .
comparable to such categories as gravity in
I found myself forced to try myself to sec things
physics, disease in medicine, evolution in biol-
from their point of view.
ogy. Psychiatrists and psychologists, and, more
recently, even some economists and lawyers, In Pico della Mirandola, Pascal, and Montes-
have come to tack on the qualifying phrase quieu one can point to some nice approxima-
"in our culture" to their generalizations, even tions of modem anthropological thinking.
though one suspects it is often done mechani- Pascal, for example, wrote:
cally in the same way that mediaeval men added
a precautionary "God Willing" to their utter- I am
very much afraid that this so-called nature

ances. Philosophers are increasingly concerned may be no more than an early custom, just as
itself

custom is second nature Undoubtedly nature is


. . .

with the cultural dimension to :heir studies of


not altogether uniform. It is custom that produces
logic, values, and aestl^etics, and indeed with the
this, for it constrains nature. But sometimes nature
ontology and epistemology of the concept it- overcomes it, and confines man to his instinct, despite
self. The
notion has become part of the stock every custom, good or bad.
in trade of social workers and of all those occu-
pied with the practical problems of minority Voltaire's ^ "Essai sur les moeurs et i'esprit des
groups and dependent peoples. Important re- nations" is also to the point. To press these
search in medicine and in nutrition is orieiired adumbrations too far, however, is like insisting
in cultural terms. Literary men are writing that Plato anticipated Freud's crucial concept
and little boo!^ about culture.
essav's of the unconscious because he made an in-
The broad underlying idea is not new, of sightfulremark about the relation between
course. The Bible, Homer, Hippocrates, He- dreams and suppressed desire.
rodotus, Chinese scholars of the Han dynasty By the nineteenth century the basic notion
— to take only some of the more obvious was ready to crystallize in an explicit, general-
examples — showed an interest in the distinc- ized form. The emergence
or the Gentian
tive fife-ways of different peoples. Boethius' word, Kultur, reviewed in the next section.
is

Consolations of Philosophy contains a crude Part I. In developing the notion of the "super-
statement of the principle of cultural rela- organic," Spencer presaged one of the primary
tivity: "The customs and laws of diverse na- anthropological conceptions of culture, al-
tions do so much differ that the same thing though he himself used the word "culture"
which some commend as laudable, others con- only occasionally and casually.* The publica-

* Chase, 1948, 59. * In a secondary source we have seen the following

•Malinowski has referred to culture as "the most definition of culture anributcd to Spencer: "Culture
central problem of all social science" (1939, 588). is the sum total of human achievement." citation No
Curiously enough, this claim has also been made by a of book or page is made, and we have been unable to
number of sociologists — in fact, by more sociologists locate this definition in Spencer's writings. Usually,
ttian anthropologists, so far as our evidence goes. certainly, he treats culture in roughly the sense em-
•Cf. Honigsheim, 1945. ployed by Manhew Arnold and other Elnglish human-
CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
tion dates of E. B, Tylor's Primitive Culture dentally the richness of such a concept. Concern

and of Walter Bagehot's Physics and Politics was rife over the birth of culture, its growth and
wanderings and contacts, its matings and fertiliza-
arc 1 87 1 and 1872. Bagehot's "cake of custom"
tions, its maturity and decay. In direct propondoi
is, in essence, very similar to Tylor's "culture."
to their impatience with the classical tradition an-
The latter slowly became established as the thropologists became the anatomists and biographers
technical term because of the historical asso- of culture.
ciations of the word and because Tylor de-
fined its generic implications both more sharply
To follow the histor\' of a concept, its dif-
and more absuactly. fusion between countries and academic disci-
Even in this century after "culture" was under the impact of
plines, its modifications
fairly well established in intellectual circles as
broader intellectual movements, is a charac-
a technical term, certain well-known thinkers teristically anthropological undertaking. Our
have not used the word though employing purpose is several-fold. First, we wish to make
highly similar concepts. Graham Wallas, while available in one place for purposes of refer-
familiar with anthropological literature, avoids
ence a collection of definitions by anthropolo-
the term "culture" (he occasionally uses "civi- sociologists, psychologists, philosophers,
gists,
lization" —
without definition) in his books, and others. The collection is not exhaustive,
The Great Society (19 14) and Our Social but it perhaps approaches exhaustiveness for
Heritage (192 1). However, his concept of
English and American social scientists of the
"social heritage" is equivalent to certain defi-
past generation. We
present, thus, some
nitions of cvilture:
sources for a case study in one aspect of re-
Our social heritage consists of that part of our cent intellectual histor\'. Second, we are docu-
"nurture" which we acquire by the social process of menting the gradual emergence and refinement
teaching and learning. (192 1, 7) of a concept we believe to be of great actual
and still greater potential significance. Third,
The anthropologist, M. F. Ashley-iMontagu,
we hope to assist other investigators in reach-
has recently asscxted that Alfred Korzybski's
ing agreement and greater precision in defi-
concept of time-binding (in Manhood of Hu-
nition bv Dointing out and commenting upon
manity \<)i\) "is virtually identical with the
,
agreements and disagreements in the definitions
anthropolotrist's concept of culture." (1951,
thus far propounded. Considering that the
251) concept has had a name for less than eighty
The editorial staff of the Encyclopedia of
years and that until very recently only a hand-
the Social Sciences (vol. I, p. 202) in their
ful of scholars were interested in the idea, it
articleon "War and Reorientation" correctly isnot surprising thai; full agreement and preci-
describes the position reached by the anthro-
sion has not yet been attained. Possibly it is
pological profession at about 1930:
inevitable and even desirable that representa-
The principal positive theoretical position of the tives of different disciplines should emphasize
early decades of the loth century was the glorification different criteria and utilize varying shades of
of culture. The word loomed more important than meaning. But one thing is clear to us from
any other in the literature and in the consciousness our survey: it is time for a stock-taking, for a
of anthropologists. Culture traits, culture complexes,
comparing of notes, for conscious awareness
culture types, culture centers, culture areas, culture
of the range of variation. Otherwise the no-
circles, culture patterns, culture migrations, cultural
— tion that is conveyed to the wider company of
convergences, cultural diffusion these segments
and variants point to an attempt to grapple rigorously educated men will be so loose, so diffuse as to
with an elusive and fluid concept and suggest inci- promote confusion rather than clarity."^ More-

ists. For example, "uken in its widest sense culture over the proper pathwav of inquiry and knowledge."
means preparation for complete living" (1895, 514). •One sometimes feels that A. Lawrence LowelFs
Cf. George Eliot's Silas Mamer, Chapter I: ". Silas . . remarks about the humanistic concept of culture is
was both sane and honest, though, as with many almost equally applicable to the anthropological:
I have been entrusted with the
difficult task of
honest fervent men, culture had not defined any chan-
'•.
. .

nels for his sense of mystery, and it [tic] spread itself speaking about culture. But there is nothing in the
INTRODUCTION

over, as Opler has pointed out, the sense given too tinged with valuations. The German so-
the concept matter of considerable prac-
is a ciologist, Leopold von VViese, says ". . . the
tical importance now that culture theor)' un- word should be avoided entirely in descriptive
derlies much psychiatric therapy as well as the sociolog)' .
(1939, pp. 593-94). Lundberg
.
."

handling of minority problems, dependent characterizes the concept as "vague" (1939,


peoples, and even some approaches in the p. 179). In the glossary of technical terms in
fiela of international relations: '
Chappie and Coon's Principles of Anthropol-
ogy the word "culture" is conspicuous by its
The discovery and popularization of the concept
deliberate absence.' RadclifTe-Brown and cer-
of culture has led to a many-sided analysis of it and
tain British social anthropologists influenced
to the elaboration of a number of diverse theories.
by him tend word.
to avoid the
Since aberrants and the psychologically disturbed are
often at loggerheads with their cultures, the attitude
We begin in Part with a semantic history
I

toward them and toward their treatment is bound to of the word "culture" and some remarks on
be influenced by the view of culture which is the related concept "civilization." In Part II
accepted ... it obvious that the reactions which
is we then list definitions, grouped according to
stem from different conceptions of culture may principal conceptual emphasis, though this
range all the way from condemnation of the unhappy arrangement tends to have a rough chrono-
individual and confidence in the righteousness of the
logical order as well. Comments follow each
demanding
cultural dictate, to sharp criticism of the
category of definitions, and Part II concludes
societyand great compassion for the person who has
with various analytical indices. Part III con-
not been able to come to terms with it. (1947, 14)
tains statements about culture longer or more
Indeed a few sociologists and even anthro- discursive than definitions. These arc classi-
pologists have already, either implicitly or ex- fied, and each class is followed by comment by
plictly, rejected the concept of culture as so ourselves. Part IV consists of our general con-
Dfoad as to be useless in scientific discourse or clusions.

world more elusive. One cannot analyze it, for its


components are infinite. One cannot describe it, for it within one's grasp." (1934, iij)
is a Protean in sb^.pe. An attempt to encompass its Except that on p. 695 two possible deletions were

meaning in words is like trying to seize the air in overlooked, and on p. 580 the adjective cultural sur-
the hand, when one finds that it is everywhere except vived editing.
PaktI

GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE
I. BRIEF SURVEY

As A preliminary to our review of the


various definitions which have been given
tempo of
literate
their influence on even the avowedly
segment of their society. Tylor, after
of cultvu"e as a basic concept in modem an- some hesitation as against "civilization," bor-
thropology, sociology, and psychology, we rowed the word culture from Genuan, where
submit some facts on the general semantic by his time it had become well recognized
history of the word culture and its near- — with the meaning here under discussion, by a
synonym civilization —
period when
in the growth out of the older meaning of cultiva-
they were gradually acquiring their present- tion. In French the modem anthropological
day, technical social-science meaning. meaning of culture ^ has not yet been generally
Briefly, the word culture with its modem accepted as standard, or is admitted only with
technical or anthropological meaning was reluctance, in scientific and scholarly circles,
established in English by Tylor in 187 1, though the adjective cultural is sometimes so
though it seems not to have penetrated to any used.- .Most other Western lancruacjes, includ-
general or "complete" British or American dic- ing Spanish, as well as Russian, follow the
tionary until more than fifty years later a — usaije of Gennan and of American Enjjlish in
'
piece of cultural lag that may help to keep employing culture.^
anthropologists humble in estimating the Jan Huizinga says: *
What do we mean by Culture? The word has

^Tonnelat Le Mot et PlJee, p. 61.


(Civilisation: emanated from Germany. It has long since been
See Addendum, pp. 37-8, of this monograph) says accepted by the Dutch, the Scandinavian and the
of the development of the more general sense of Slavonic languages, while in Spain, Italy, and America
culture in French: ". . il fauJrait distinguer entre
. it has also achieved full standing. Only in French
I'cmploi du xviie sicc!e et cclui du x:\'iii«: au xvii« and Elnglish does it still n.cet with a cenain resistance
si^cle, le mot 'culture' —
pris dans son s<;nse abstrait
in spite of its currency in some well-defined and tra-
— aurait toujours ete accompagne d'un complement
ditional meanings. At least it is not unconditionally
grammatical designant la matiere cultivee: de meme
interchangeable with in these two lan-
civilization
3ue Ton disait 'la culture du ble,' on disait 'la culture
guages. This is no accident. Because of the old and
es lettres, la culture des rciences.' Au contrnire, des
^crivains du xviiie siccle, comme Vauvenv^ues et
abundant d^ivelopment of their scientific vocabulary,
Voltaire, auraient ete les premiers a employer le mot French and Engliih had far less need to rely on the
d'une fa9on en quelque ^orte absolue, en lui donnant German example for their modem scientific nomencla-
le sense de 'formation de I'esprit.* Voltaire, par ex- ture than most other European langu.iges, wliich
emple, ecrit dans la Henriade, en parlant de Charles throughout the nineteenth century fed in increasing
DC:
degree on the rich table of Gennan phraseology.
Des premiers ans du roi la funeste culture
N'avait que trop en lui combattu la nature."
Febvre (1930, discussion on Tonnelat, p. 74) remarks: "certainement un caique direct du fran^ais culture."
"La notion allemande de Kultiir enrichit et complete Febvre (1930, pp. 38-39) takes a similar view, citing
la notion fran9aise de civilisation." In the same dis- especially the parallels between the 176: definition of
cussion Saen adds: "Le mot cuhirre, dans I'acception the Academy's dictionary and that in Adclung's
de Herder, a passe en France par Tintermediaire (1793 edition). The present authors agree that both
dTdgar Quinet. Cependant Condorcet a deja propage civilization and culture were probably used in French
en France des idees analogues a celles de Herder." before they were used in either English or German.
"The French Academy's Eighth or 1932 edition of Our main point here is that for the generalized con-
its Dictionary gives "I'application qu'on met a per- cept —sometimes called the ethnographic or anthro-
fectionner. . . ."; then: "culture general e, ensemble pological sense, which did not emerge until the nine-
de coTtnaissances. . ."; and finally: "par extension de
. teenth centiiry —
the French came to use the v/ord
ces deux dernier sens. Culture est quelqucfois main- Qvilization, the Germans Cultur and later Kultur,
tenant synonyme de Gvilisation. Culture ereco- and that English usage divided, the British unani-
ladne. . ."
. Today many of the younger French mously employing Civilization until Tylor, and in part
anthropologists use the word as freely as do English thereafter to Toynbee, but Americans accepting Cul-
and American. ture without reluctance.
•Tonnelat (Civilisation: Le Mot et Vldee, p. 61. * Huizinga,
1936, pp. 39-40. Huizinga docs not pro-
See Addendum to our Part I) says that Kultur is ceed to a systemaric definirion of his own.
lO CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
According to German Arciniegas, Paul works is history of Culture, the latter a
a
Hazard observes that the German word Kultur science of The first sentence of the 1843
it.

does not occur in 1774 in the first edition of work says that his purpose is to represent the
the German dictionary, but appears only in the gradual development of mankind as an entity
1793 one.' For some reason, Grimm's Deut- — "die allmahliche Entwickelung der Mensch-
sches Worterbuch ' does not give the word heit als eines Individuums." On page 18 of the
either under "C" or *'K" in the volumes that same volume Klemm says that "it was Voltaire
appeared respectively in i860 and 1873, al- who put aside dynasties, king lists, and
first

though such obvious loan words as Creatur battles, ana sought what is essential in history,
and cujoniren are included, and although the namely culture, as it is manifest in customs, in
word had been in wide use by classic German beliefs, and in forms of government." Klemm's
authors for nearly a century before, Kant, for understanding and use of the word "culture"
instance, like most of his contemporaries, still are examined in detail in § 9 of Part I.
spells the word Cultur, but uses it repeatedly, That Klemm ^ influenced Tylor is un-
always with the meaning of cultivating or questionable. In his Researches, 1865, at the
becoming cultured —
which, as we shall see, end of Chapter I on page 13, Tylor's refer-

was also the older meaning of civilization. ences include


"the invaluable collection of
The earlier usages of the word culture in facts bearing on the historv' of civilization in
German are examined in detail below. the 'Allgemeine Cultur-geschichte der
The ethnographic and modem scientific Menschheit,' and 'Allgemeine Culrurwissen-
sense of the word culture, which no longer schaft,'of the late Dr. Gustav Klemm, of
refers primarily to the process of cultivation Dresden." In his Researches Tylor uses the
or the degree to which it has been carried, word culture at least twice (on pages 4 and
but to a state or condition, sometimes des- 369) as if trying it out, or feeling his way,
cribed as e.xtraorganic or superorganic, in though his usual term still is civilization (pp.
which all human societies share even though I, 2, 3, 4, etc. . . . 361).
their particular cultures may show very great The tenth volume (1920) of Wundt's
qualitative differences — this modern sense we Volker psychologic * is entitled "Kultur und
have been able to trace back to Klemm in Geschichte," and pages 3-36 are devoted to
1843, from whom Tylor appears to have in- The Concept of Culture. Wundt gives no
troduced the meaning into Fnglish. formal definition, but discusses the origin of
Gustav E, Klcrimi, 180: 67, p-.'blished in the term and the development of the concept.
1843 the first volume of his A!lgc7iicine Cnltur- The word is from colere, whence cultas, as

geschichte der Menschheit, which was com- in cultus deorum and cultus agri, which latter
pleted in ten volumes in 1852. In 1854 and became also cultura agri. From this there de-
1855 he published Allgenieine Cultur"j;issen~ veloped the mediaeval cultura mentis; ' from
schaft in two volumes. The first of these which grew the dual concepts of geistige and

•Arciniegas, 1947, p. 146. "Le mot 'Kultur' qui, — •Not to be confused, of course, with his one-vol-
en allemand, correspond en principe a 'civilisa- ume Elejnente der Volkerpsychologie, 191 2, which on
tion' .
." The 1774 and 1793 dictionaries are pre-
. account of its briefer compass and translation into
sumably Adclung's. He spells Cultur, not /Cultur. English isoften mis-cited for the larger work. This
His definition is given below. latter is described in its subtitle as: An Inquiry into
•Grimm, i860, contains curios as well as Creatur. Laws of Development; the shoner work as: Outline
In the lengthy introduction by J. Grimm there is of a Psychological History of the Development of
nothing said about deliberate omission of words of Mankind. The one-volume work is actually an evolu-
foreign origin (as indeed all with initial are "C tionistic quasi-history in the frame of four stages —
foreign). There is some condemnation of former the ages of primidveness, totemism, heroes and gods,
unnecessary borrowings, but equal condemnation of and development to humanity'.
attempts at indiscriminate throwing out of the lan- * A.ctually, Cicero (Tusculan Disputations,
2, 5, 13)
guage of well-established and useful words of foreign wrote "cultura animi philosophia est." Cultxis meant
origin. "care directed to the refinement of life" and was also
* An evaluation of Klemm's work is given by R. H. used for "style of dress," "external appearance and
Lowie, 1937, pp. 11-16. the like."
GHSfERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE II

materielle Kultur. VVundt also discusses the ing to their intellectual performance which —
eighteenth-centur)' nature-culture polaritv last seems a bit crudely stated for 1920; how-

(rhomme naturel, Naturmensch); and he finds ever, it is clear that in actually dealing with

that the historian and the culture historian cultural phenomena in his ten volumes, Wundt
differ in evaluating men's deeds resoectivelv conceived of culture in the modem way."
according to their power or might and accord-

2. CIVILIZATION
is an older word than culture
Civilization If Kant stuck by this distinction, his culti-

in both French and English, and for that vated refers to intrinsic improvement of the
matter in German. Thus, Wundt " has Latin person, his civilized to improvements of social
civis, citizen, giving rise to civitas, city-state, interrelations (interpersonal relations). He is
and civilitas, citizenship; whence Medixval perhaps here remaining close to the original
civitabilis [in the sense of entitled to citizen- sense of French civiliser with its emphasis on
ship, urbanizable], and Romance language pleasant manners (cf. poli, politesse) and the
words based on civilisatio.^^ According to English core of meaning which made Samuel
Wundt, Jean Bodin, 1530-96, first used civiliza- Johnson prefer "civility" to civilization.
tion in its modem sense. In English, civiliza- The French verb civiliser was in use by
tion was associated with the notion of the 1694, according to Havelock Ellis,^' with the
task of civilizing others. In eighteenth-century sense of polishing manners, rendering sociable,
German," the word civilization still empha- or becoming urbane as a result of city life.

sized relation to the state, somewhat as in the According to Arciniegas, the Encyclopedic
English verb to civilize, viz., to spread political Frangaise says: "Civiliser une nation, c'est la
[sic] ** development to other peoples. So far faire passer de I'etat primitif, naturel, a un ctat
Wundt. plus evolue de culture '' morale, intellectuelle,
Grimm's Wdrtcrtiich gives: civilisieren: sociale . . , [car] le mot civiliser s'opposc ^

erudire, adhumanitatem informare, and cites barbaric." " As to the noun civilisation^

Kant (4:304): "Wir sind durch Kunst und


. . . Arciniegas says that the dictionary of the
Wissenschaft cultiviert, wir sind civilisiert . . . French Academy first admitted it in the 1835
zu allcrlei gescllschaftlichcr Aitigkeic und edition. C. Funck-Brcntano makes the date
Anstandigkeit ..." (We become cultivated 1838 for French "dictionaries," but adds that
through art and science, we become civilized there is one pre-nineteenth-ccntury use known,
[by attaining] to a variety of social graces and Turgot's: '
Au commencement de la civilisa-
**
refinements [or decencies]). tion."

''In the remainder of the section on The Con- "However, we find that the 1733 Universal-Lexi-
cept of Culture, Wundt discusses nationality, human- con alter Wisseruchaften und Kunste, Halle und
ity, and civilization. Here he makes one distinction Leipzig, has no articles on either civilization or cul-
which is sometimes implicit as a nuance in the English ture.
as well as the German usage of the words. Culture, " Governmental control as a means to Christianity,
Wundt says, tends to isolate or segregate itself on morality, trade?
national lines, civilization to spread its content to "Ellis, 1923, p. 288.
other nations; hence cultures which have developed '•
In the sense of cultivation, cultivating.
out of civilizations, which derive from them, remain "Arciniegas, 1947, pp. 145-46. He docs not state
dependent on other cultures. Wundt means that, for under what head this quotation is to be found, and
instance, Polish culture which in the main is derivative —
we have not found it see next paragraph.
from European civilization, thereby is also more "Funck-Brentano, 1947, p. 64. Both Arciniegas and
specifically derivative from ("dependent on") the Funck-Brentano arc in error as to the date it was —
French, Italian, and German cultures. the 1798 edition; Turgot did not use the word; and
"Wundt, 1910-20, vol. 10, ch. I, S I. there was not only one instance but many of prc-
"To which Huizinga, adds that the
1945, p. 20, nineteenth century French usage of civilisation.
French verb preceded the noun civilisation
civiliser The history of the French word has been most
— that is, a word for the act of becorning civilized exhaustively reviewed by Lucien Fcbvrc in his essay
preceded one for the condition of being civilized. "Civilisation: Evolution d'un Mot ct d'un Groupe
12 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
We find in the Encyclopedie *• only a juristic biguous in implication, but Lubbock's (Ave-
meaning for Civiliser, namely co change a bury's) The Origin of Civilization, 1870,
criminal legal action into a civil one. The fol- which dealt with savages and not with refine-
lowing article is on civilite, politesse, affa- ment, means approximately what a modem
BiLFTE. Incidentally, culture appears as a anthropologist would mean by the phrase.^^
heading only in culture des terres, 20 pages Neither of these titles is referred to by the
long. In the French of the nineteenth century-, Oxford Dictionar)', though phrases from both
civilisation is ordinarily used where GeoTian Buckle and Lubbock are cited —
with context
would use Kultur. One can point to a few of Eg)-pt and ants! It must be remembered
examples of the use of culture like Lavisse's: that Tylor's Researches into the Early History
"leur culture etait toute livresaue et scolaire;" -'^ and Development of Mankind was five years
but it is evident that the meanmg here is educa- old when Lubbock published. The Oxford
tion, German Bildung, not culture in the an- Dictionar\''s own effort in 1933! —comes —
thropological sense. to no more than this: "A developed or ad-
Tne English language lagged a bit behind vanced state of humin societ\'; a particular
French. In 1773, Samuel Johnson still ex- stage or type of this."
cluded civilization from his dictionary Bos- Huizinga-' gives a learned and illuminating

well had urged its inclasion, but Johnson discussion of the Dutch term, beschaving,
preferred civility. Boswell -^ notes for Mon- literally shaving or polishing, and of its rela-
day, March 23, 1772: tions to civilization and culture. Beschaviiig
came up in the late eighteenth centur\' with
I found him busy, preparing a fourth edition of
his folio Dictionary. He would not admit "civiliza-
the sense of cultivation, came to denote also

tion," but only "civility." With great deference to the condition of being cultivated, blocked the
him, I thought "civilization" from "to civilize," better spread of civilisatie by acquiring the sense of
in the sense opposed to "barbarit)'," than "civility." culture, but in the twentieth century was in-
creasingly displaced by cultiiur.
This seems indicative of where the center of Huizinga also points out that Dante, in an
gravity of meaning of the word then lay. early work, "II Convivio," introduced into
John Ash, in his 1775 dictionar)% defines Italian civiltd from the Latin civilitas, adding
civilization as "the state of beiiiLj ..viiizcd, the a new connotation to the Latin original which
Buckle's use of the noun
act of civilizing." made it, in Huizinga's opinion, a "specific and
in the title History of Civilization in
of his clear" term for the concept of culture.
England, 1857, might still be somewhat am-

d'ldees," forming pages 1-55 of the volume Civilisa- borrowed from the French.
tion: Le Mot et riJee, which constitutes the
1930, "We had available the 1780-82 edition published
Deuxi^me Fascicule of the Premiere Semaine of in Lausanne and Berne. Civiliser is in vol. 8. Accord-
Centre International de Synthcse, and which presents ing to Berr's discussion on Febvre, 1930 (as just cited in
the best-documented discussion we have seen. W^e full in our note 18), p. 59, the participle from this verb
summarize this in an .\ddendum to the present Part is used already by Descartes (Discourse on Method,

I. On pages 3-7 Febvre concludes that Turgot himself Part II).


did not use the word, that it was introduced into the "Lavisse, 1900-11, vol. VII, I, p. 30, cited by
published text by Turgot's pupil, Dupont de Nemours. Huizinga, 1945, p. 24. The reference is to the seven-
The first publication of the word chilisation in teenth-century "noblesse de robe."
French, according to Febvre, was in Amsterdam in "Quoted in Huizinga, 1945, p. 21; also in New
1766 in a volume entitled V
Antiquite Devoilee par ses Elnglish (Oxford) Dictionary, vol. 2, 1893, "Civiliza-
Usages. Febvre also establifhes by a number of cita- tion," under "1772 —
Bos^vel], Johnson, XX\''."
tions that by 1798 the word was fairly well established " For instance, Goldenweiser, Early Civilization,
in French scholarly literature. Finally (pp. 8-9), he 1922.
makes a case for the view that the English word w.is "Huizinga, 1945, pp. 18-33. Dante's Civilta, p. 22.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE »3

J. RELATION OF CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE


Theusage of "culture" and "civilization" writers repeatedly use the locutions "culture,
in languages has been confusing.-*
various or civilization," "civilization, or culture."
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines both Sumner and Keller follow this practice, but in
"culture" and "civilization" in terms of the at least one place make it plain that there is

other. "Culture" is said to be a particular state still a shade of difference in their conception:
or stage of advancement in civilization. The adjustments of society which we call civiliza-
"Qvilization" is called an advancement or a tion fomi a much more complex aggregation than
state of social culture. In both popular and does the culture that went before . . . (1917, 11 89)
literary English the tendency has been to treat
them as near synonyms,^^ though "civiliza- Occasional writers incline to regard civiliza-
tion" has sometimes been restricted to "ad- tion as the culture of societies characterized by
vanced" or "high" cultures. On the whole, cities —
that is, they attempt or imply an
this tendency is also reflected in the literature operational definition based upon etymology.
of social science. Goldenweiser's 1922 intro- Sometimes there is a tendency to use the term
duction to anthropology is called Early Civil- civilization chiefly for hterate cultures:
ization and all index references to "culture" Chinese civilization but Eskimo culture yet —
are subsumed under "civilization." Some without rigor or insistence of demarcation.

THE DISTINCTION OF CIVILIZATION FROM CULTURE


IN AMERICAN SOCIOLOGY
Certain sociologists have attempted a sharp utilization of the materials and forces of nature.
opposition between the two terms. These (1903. 18)

seem to have derived from German thought.


In a book published two years later, Albion
Lester Ward writes:
Small expresses himself along not dissimilar
We have not in the English language the same dis- lines:
tinction between civilization and cultxire that exists
in the German language. Certain ethnologists affect What, then, is "culture" (Kultur) in the German
to make this distinction, but they are not understood sense? To
be sure, the Germans themselves are not
by the public. TIic Gcniun crcprcs^; ..n K Iturge- wholly consistent in their u; c of the term, but it has
schichte is nearly equivalent to the English expression a technical sense which it is necessary to define. In
Yet they are not s^'nonymous,
history of civilization. the first place, "culture" is a condition or achievement
since the German term is confined to the material possessed by society. It is not individual. Our
conditions [«V!], while the English expression may phrase "a cultured person" does not employ the
and usually does include psychic, moral, and spiritual term in the German sense. For that, German usage
phenomena. To translate the German Kultur we are has another word, gebildet, and the peculiar possession
obliged to say material civilization [«V!]. Culture in of the gebil deter Mann is not "culture," but Bildung.
English has come to mean something en" rely different, If we should accept the German term "culture" in its

corresponding to the humanities [«V]. But Kultiir also technical sense, we


should have no better equivalent
relates to the arts of savages and barbaric peoples, for Bildung, etc., than "education" and "educated,"
which are not included in any use of civilization which convey too much of the association of school
term in itself denotes a stage of advance-
since that discipline to render the German conception in its
ment higher than savagery or barbarism. These entire scope. At all events, whatever names we adopt,
stages are even popularly known as stages of culture, there is such social possession, different from the
where the word culture becomes clearly synonymous individual state, which consists of adaptation in
with the German Ktdtttr. thought and action to the conditions of life.
To repeat again the definition that I formulated Again, the Germans distinguish between "culture"
twenty years ago: material civilization coruists in the and "civilization." Thus "civilization is the ennobling.

**For a thoughtful discussion, see Dennes, 1942.


"This statement, of course, does not apply to "culture" witli "refinement," "sophisticadon," "learn-
one popular usage, namely that which identifies ing" in some individuals as opposed to others.
«4 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
the increased control of the elementary Irutnan im- butes to civilization and culture. The civilizational
pulses by society. Culture, on the other hand, is the aspects tend to be more accumulative, more readily
control of nature by science and art." That is, more susceptible of agreement in evaluation
diifused,
civilizationis one side of what we call politics; and more continuous in development than the cul-
culture our whole body of technical equipment,
is tural aspect Again, both avoid a narrow de-
. . .

in the way of knowledge, process, and skill for terminism and indicate that substantial interaction
subduing and employing natural resources, and it occurs between the two realms.
docs not necessarily imply a high degree of socializa- This last point is especially significant. For insofar
tion. (1905, 59-<5o) as he ignores the full significance of the concrete
effects of such interdependence, Weber virtually
Another American sociologist, writing some reverts to a theory of progress. The fact which must
twenty-five years later, seizes upon an almost be borne in mind is that accumulation is but an
opposite German conception, that developed abstractlyimmanent characteristic of civilization.
Hence, concrete movements which always involve
primarily by Alfred Weber in his Prinzipielles
the interaction with other spheres need not embody
zur Kultursoziologie. Maclver thus equates
such a development. The rate of accumulation is
"civilization" with means, and "culture" with influenced by social and cultiiral elements so that
ends: in societies where cultxiral values are inimical to the
cultivation of civilization, the rate of development
. . . The contrast between means and between
ends,
may be negligible . . .
the apparatus of living and the expressions of our
The basis for the accumulative nature of civilization
life. The former we call civilization, the latter culture.
is readily apparent. Once given a cultural animus
By civilization, then, we mean the whole mechanism
which positively evaluates civilizational activity, ac-
and organization which- man has devised in his
cumulation is inevitable. This tendency is rooted
endeavor to control the conditions of life Cultiore . . .
deep in the very nature of civilization as contrasted
on the other hand is the expression of our nature in
with culture. It is a peculiarity of civilizational activi-
our modes of living and thinking, in our everyday
ties that a set
of operations can be so specifically de-
intercourse, in art, in literature, in religion, in recrea-
fined that the criteria of the attainment of the various
tion and enjoyment
realm of culrure ... is . . . Th5
ends are clearly evident. Moreover, and this is a
the realm of values, of stylco, of emotional attach-
further consideration which Weber overlooks en-
ments, of intellectual adventures. Culture then is the
" tirely, the "ends" which civilization serves are em-
antithesis of civilization. (1931, 126)
pirically attainable". . .

Thus civilization
"impersonal" and "objective."
is
Merton Maclver's position, has criticized
A law
scientific can
be verified by determinincr
provided a restatement of Wcbcr, and sup- whether the specified relations uniformly e^ist. The
plied some refinements of his own: same operations will occasion the same results, no
matter who performs them
. . . The essential difficulty with such a disrinctipn . . .

Culrure, on the other hand, is thoroughly personal


[as Maclver's] is that it is ultimately based upon
and subjective, simply because no fixed and clearly
differences in motivation. But different motives may
defined set of operations is available for determining
be basic to the same social activity or cultural activity
the desired result ... It is this basic difference be-
. . . Obviously, a set of categories as flexible as this
tween the two fields which accounts for the cumula-
is inadequate, for social products tend to have the
tive nature of civilization and the unique (noncumula-
same social significance whatever the motivation of
tive) character of culture. (1936, 109-12)
those responsible for them.
Weber avoids this difficulty. Civilization is simply
Among others, Howard Odum, the well-
a body of and intellectual knowledge and
practical
means for controlling nature.
a collection of technical
known regional sociologist, makes much the
Culture comprises configurations of values, of norma- same distinction as Merton (cf. e.g., Odum,

tive principles and ideals, which are historically 1947, esp. pp. 123, 281, 285). To him also
unique . . . civilization is impersonal, artificial, often des-
Both these authors (Maclver and A. Weber] agree tructive of the values of the folk. was Odum
in ascribing a series of sociologically relevant attri- heavily influenced by Toennies.

"This conception is followed also in The Modem


State and in articles by Maclver, and is modified and " [Merton's footnote] This fundamental point is
developed in his Social Causation 1942, which we implied by Maclver but is not discussed by him within
have discussed in Part III, Group b. the same context.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE «5

However, the anthropological conception, Lowie's book. Culture and Ethnology


little

stemming back to Tylor, has prevailed with (1917), and VVissler's Man and Culture (1923),
the vast majority of American sociologists as seems to have made a good deal of difference.
opposed to such special contrasts between At any rate, the numerous articles ^ on culture
"culture" and "civilization." Talcott Parsons and "cultural sociology" which make their
— also under the influence of Alfred and Max appearance in sociological journals in the ne.xt

Weber —
still employs the concept of "cul- ten years cit&- these books more frequently
ture" is a sense far more restricted than the than other anthropological sources, although
anthropological usage, bur, as will be seen in there is also evidence of interest in Boas and
Part II, almost all of the numerous definitions in VVissler's culture area concept.

in recent writings by sociologists clearly re- To summarize the history of the relations
volve about the anthropological concept of of the concepts of culture and civilization in
culture. This trend dates only to the nineteen- American sociology, there was first a phase in
twenties. Previously, culture was little used as which the rwo were contrasted, with culture
a systematic concept by American soci- referring to material products and technology;
ologists.-* If it appeared in their books at all, then a phase in which the contrast was main-
it was as a casual synonym for "civilization" or tained but the meanings reversed, technology
in contradistinction to this term. and science being now called civilization; and,
Ogbum's Social Change: With Respect to beginning more or less concurrently with this
Culture and Original Nature (1922) seems to second phase, there uas also a swing to the
have been the first major work by an American now prevalent non-differentiation of the two
sociologist in which the anthropological con- temis, as in most anthropological writing,
cept of culture was prominently employed. culture being the more usual term, and civiliza-
Ogburn studied with Boas and was influenced tion a synonym or near-synonym of it. In
by him. He appears also to have been cog- anthropology, whether in the United States
nizant of Kroeber's The Superorganic, 191 7. or in Europe, there has apparently never
He cites Kroeber's The Possibility of a Social existed any serious impulse to use culture and
Psychology (19 18). The appearance of civilization as contrastive terms.

J. THE ATTEMPTED DISTINCTION IN GERMANY


This American sociological history is a of before we examine the main thcuK and
reflection of what went on in Germany, with development of usage in Germany.
the difference that there the equation of culture The last significant representative known to
and civilization had been made before their us of the usage of thenoun culture to denote
distinction was attempted, and that the equat- the material or technological component is
ing usage went on as a separate current even Barth.^" He credits Wilhelm von Humboldt,
while the distinction was being fought over. in his KavAsprache, 1836,^^ with being the first

The evidence for this history will now be to delimit the "excessive breadth" which the
presented. We
shall begin with the contrast concept of culture had assumed. Humboldt,
of the two concepts, as being a relatively minor he says, construed culture as the control of
incident which it will be expedient to dispose nature by science and by "Kunst" (evidently

Chugerman (1939) in his biography of Lester concept of culture as he knows it.


Ward states that Pure Sociology (1903) marks Ward's "See Bernard (1926, 1930, 1931); Case (i9Z4b,
transition from a naturalistic to a cultural approach. 1917); Chapin (1925); Ellwood (1927a, 1917b); Frank
C. A. Ellwood and H. E. Jensen in their introduction (1931); Krout (1932); Price (1930); Smith (1929);
to this volume also comment "In effect. Ward holds in Stem (1929); Wallis (1929); VVillcy (1927a, 1927b,
Pure Sociology that sociology is a science of civiliza- 1931). Abel (1930) views this trend with alarm as
tion or 'culture'which is built up at first accidentally does Gary in her chapter in the 1929 volume Trends
and unconsciously by the desires and purposes of in American Sociology. Gary cites Tylor's definition
men, but is capable of being transformed by intelli- and one of VVissler's.
gent social purposes" (p. 4). But the anthropologist "Banh, 1922.
who reads Pure Sociology will hardly recognize the " Banh, 1922, vol. I, p. xxxvii.
i6 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
in the sense of useful arts, viz., technology); izations as opposed to the factual, the con-
whereas civilization is a qualitative improve- crete,and the mechanical arts.
ment, a "Veredelung," the increased control Barth also reckons on the same side Lippert
of elementary human impulses (Triebe) by — whose Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit,
society. As not too sharp;
a distinction, this is 1886, influenced Sumner and Keller on the —
and Humboldt's own words obscure it further. ground that he postulates "Lebensfiirsorge" as
He speaks of civilization as "die Vermensch- "Grundantrieb" (subsistence provision con-
lichung der Volker in ihren ausseren Ein- stituting the basal drive), and then derives
richtungen und Gebrauchen und der darauf from this primary impulse tools, skills, ideas
Bezug nabenden Gesinnung." This might be [sic], and social institutions.^^
Englished as "the humanization of peoples in Barth's own resume of the situation is that
their outer [manifest, visible, tangible, overt? ] "most often" culture refers to the sway of
arrangements [institutions] and customs and in man over nature, civilization to his sway over
their [sc. inner, spiritual] disposition relating himself; though he admits that there is con-
to these [institutions]." trary usage as well as the non-differentiating,
Next, Barth cites A. Schaeffle, 1875-78,^- inclusive meaning given to culture. It is clear
who gives the name of "Gesittung" to what that in the sway-over-nature antithesis with
eventuates from human social development. sway-over-himself, the spirit of man is still
There is more connotation than denotation in being preserved as something intact and inde-
this German word, so that we find it impossi- pendent of nature.
ble to translate it exactly. However, a "gesitte- It was into this current of nomenclature that
tcr'^ man is one who conducts himself accord- Ward and Small dipped.
ing to Sitte, custom (or mores), and is there- Now for the contrary stream, which, al-
fore thoroughlyhuman, non-brutish. The though overlapping in time, began and per-
word Gesittung thus seems essentially an en- haps continued somewhat later, and to which
deavored substitution for the older one of Maclver and Merton are related. Here it is
culture. Schaeffle then divides Gesittung into civilization that is tcchnolo'^zical, culture that

culture and civilization, culture beinij, in his contains the spiritualities like religion and art.
own words, the "sachliche Gchalt aller Gesit- Toennies, in his Gemeinschaft und Gesell-
tung." "Sachlich" varies in English sense from schaft, first published in 1887,^'' makes his
material to factuil to relevant; "sachliche primary dichotomy between community' and
Gehalt" probably means something close to the which there corresponds a progress
society, to
"concrete content" of "Gesittung." Schaeffle's from what is socially "organic" to what is
"civilization,", according to Barrh, refers to "mechanical," a transition from the culture
the interior of man, "das Inncrc dcs Mcn- of folk society (Volkstum) to the civilization
schen"; it is the "attainment and preser\^ation of state organization (Staatstum). Culture
of the [cultural] sachliche Gehalt in the nobler comprises custom (Sitte), religion, and art:
forms of the struggle for existence." This is civilization comprises law and science. Just as
as nebulous as Humboldt; and if we cire pass- psychological development is seen as the step
ages of such indefiniteness from forgotten from Gemiit to Verstand and political de-
German authors, it is because it seems worth- velopment that from Gemeinschaft to Gcsell-
while to show that the culture-civilization dis- schaft, so Kultur is what precedes and begets
tinction is essentially a hang-over, on both Zivilisation. There is some similarity to
sides of the argument, of the spirit-nature Irwing's distinction between Kultur des Wil-
dichotomy —Geist und Natur which so — lens and Kultur des Verstandes. While
deeply penetrated German thought from the Toennies' culture-civilization contrast is for-
eighteenth to the twentieth century. Hence mally secondary to the Gemeinschaft-Gesell-
the ennoblements, the inwardnesses, the human- schaft polarity in Toennies' thought, it is

"Bau und Leben des sozialen Korpers. mastery respectively over nature and over himself.
"Bcmheim's Lehrbuch (6th edition, 1914, p. 60) **
Later editions in 191 2, 1910 — Barth's summary
also has culture and civilization refer to man's in 1921, pp. 441-44.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE «7

implicit in this from the begimiing. His frame Oppenheimer in 1922,^' reverting to
of distinction is social in terms, but the loading Schaeffle's "Gesittung," makes civilization to
of the frame is largely cultural (in the anthro- be the material, culture the spiritual content
pological sense of the word). (geistige Gehalt) of "Gesittung." To art and
Alfred Weber's address "Der Soziologische religion, as expressions of culture, Oppen-
Kulturbegriff," first read at the second Ger- heimer adds science.*'^
man "Soziologentag" in 1912,^' views the pro- Meanwhile, the Alfred Weber distinction,
cess of civilization as a developmental continua- with civilization viewed as the technological,
tion of biological processes in that it meets subsistential, and material facies, and culture as
necessities and serves the utilitarian objective the spiritual, emotional, and idealistic one,
of man's control over nature. It is intellectual maintained itself in Germany. See Menghin,
and rational; it can be delayed, but not per- 193 1, and Tessmann in 1930, as cited and
manently prevented from unfolding. By con- discussed in Part III, b. Thurnwald, who
trast, culture is superstructural, produced from always believed in progress in the sense of
feeling; it works toward no immanent end; accumulation on physically predetermined
its products are unique, plural, non-additive. stages, determined the locus or this as being
Eight years later Weber reworked this thesis situate in technology and allied activities, and
in Prinzipielles zur Kultursoziologie ^'^ in lan- set this off as civilization. In his most recent
guage that is equally difficult, but in a form work (1950) the contrast bervveen this
that is clearer than his first attempt, perhaps sphere of "civilization" and the contrasting one
both because of more thorough thinking of residual "culture" is the main theme, as the
through and because of a less cramping limita- subtitle of the booklet shows: man's "ascent
tion of space. In this philosophical essay between reason and illusion." See especially
Weber distinguishes three components: social our tabulation at the end of Part III, b.*^
process, civilizational process, and cultural Nevertheless, it is evident that the con-
movement (or flow: Bewegung). It is this trasting of culture and civilization, within the
work to which Maclver and Merton refer in scope of a larger entit\', was mainly an episode
the passages already cited.^' It should be in German thought. Basically it reflects, as
added that Weber's 1920 essay contains evident we have said, the old spirit-nature or spirit-
reactions — generally negative — to Spengler^s matter dualism carried over into the field of
Untergang that had appeared two years before. the growing recognition of culture. That it
Spengler in 19 18 ^'^ made civilization merely was essentially an incident is shown by the
a stage of culture — the final phase of sterile fact that the number of writers who made
crystallization and repetition of what earlier culture the material or technological aspect
was creative. Spengler's basic view of culture is about as great as the number or those who

is discussed below (in § 10). called that same aspect civilization. More

"Published, he says in "Verhandlungen i Serie


n." It is reprinted in his Ideen zur Staats- und "Thurnwald, 1950, p. 38: "The sequence of
Kultursoziologie, 1927, pp. 31-47. civilizational horizons represents progress." Page
"Weber, 1920, vol. 47, pp. 1-49. Primarily histori- 107: "Civilization is to be construed as the equip-
cal in treatment is Weber's book Kiilturgeschichte ah ment of dexterities and skills through which the
Kultursoziologie, 1935. accumulation of technology and knowledge takes
" A comment by Kroeber is being published under place. Culture operates with civilization as a means."
the title Reality Culture and Value Culture, No. 18 Legend facing plate 1 "Civilization is to be under-
1 :

of The Nature of Culture, University of Chicago stood as the variation, elaboration, and perfection of
Press, 1952. devices, tools, utensils, skills, knowledge, and in-
"Untergang des Abendlandes. The standard formation. Civilization thu:; refers to an essentially
translation by C. F. Atkinson as The Decline of the temporal chain of variable but accumulative progress
West was published in 1926 (vol. i), 1928 (vol. 2), — an irreversible process The same [civilizational 1
. . .

'939 (j vols, in i). object, when viewed as component of an associational


" Oppenheimer, 1922, vol. 1. unity at a given rinie, that is, in synchronic section of
"For Wundt's distinction, see 5 i, especially its a consociation of particular human beings, appears
footnote 8. as a component in a culture."
i8 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
significant yet is the fact that probably a this major current, especially as this is the
still greater number of Germans than both one that ultimately prevailed in Nonh America
the foregoing together used culture in the and Latin America, in Russia and Italy, in
which we are using it in
inclusive sense in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, partially so
this book. in England, and is beginning to be felt in
We therefore return to consideration of long-resistive France.

6. PHASES IN THE HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT


OF CULTURE IN GERMANY
At least three stages may be recognized in specific technical senses. After mentioning
the main stream of use of the term culture in "pure cultures of bacilli," the Dictionary says
Germany. that the original meaning was easily trans-
First, it toward the end of the
appears ferred to the evocation or finishing (Aus-
eighteenth century in a group of universal bildung) and the refining of the capabilities
histories of which Herder's is most famous. (Krafte) of man's spirit and body —
in other
In these, the idea of progress is well tempered words, the sense attained by the word by
by an intrinsic interest in the variety of forms 1780. No later meaning is mentioned, although
that culture has assumed. The slant is there- the compound "culture history" is mentioned.
fore comparative, sometimes even ethno- H. Schulz, Deutsches Fremdivorterbuch,
graphic, and inclined toward relativism. 191 3, says that the word Kultur was taken
Culture still means progress in cultivation, into German toward the end of the seventeenth
toward enlightenment; but the context is one century to denote spiritual culture, on the
from which it was only a step to the climate model of Cicero's cultura animi, or the
of opinion in which Klemm wrote and the development or evocation (Ausbildung) of
wora culture began to take on its modem man's intellectual and moral capacities. In
meaning. the eighteenth century, he says, this concept
Second, beginning contemporaneously with was broadened by transfer from individuals
the first stage but persisting somewhat longer, to peoples or mankind. Thus it attained its
is a formal philosophic current, from Kant to modem sense of the totality (as E. Bernheim,
Hegel, in which culture was of decreasing 1889, Lehrbtich, p. 47, puts it) "of the forms
interest. This was part of the last florescence and processes of social life, of the means and
of the concept of spirit. results of work, spiritual as well as material."
The third phase, since about 1850, is that in This seems a fair summary of the historv of
which culture came increasingly to iiave its the meanings of the word in German; as Bern-
modern meaning, in general intellectual as heim's definition k the fair equivalent, for a
well as technical circles. "Among its initiators German and a historian, of Tylor's of eighteen
were Klemm the ethnographer and Burck- years earlier.
hardt the culture historian; and in its develop- The appearance of the term "culture
earliest
ment there participated figures as distinct as the history," according to Sehultz,is in Adelung's

neo-Kantian Rickert and Spengler. Geschichte der Cultur, 1782 and, (discussed in
M. Hcyne's Daitsches Worterbuch, 1890- § 7 and note 49), in the reversed order of
95, illustrates the lag of dictionary makers in words, in D. H. Hegewisch, Allgemeine Ueber-
all languages in seizing the modern broad s'wht der taitschen Culturgeschichte, 1788.
meaning of culture as compared with its

7. CULTURE AS A CONCEPT OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY


GENERAL HISTORY
In its later course, the activity of eighteenth- best-known. This movement was particularly
century enlightenment found expression in strong in Germany and tended to make con-
attempts at universal histories of the develop- siderable use of the term culture. It was allied
ment of mankind of which Herder's is the to thinking about the "philosophy of history,"
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE «9

but not quite the same. The latter term was culture in his Philosophy and
of History,
established in 1765 by Voltaire when he used civilization only once and incidentally.*^ This
it as the title of on essay that in 1769
became fact is the more remarkable in that Hegel died

the introduction of the definitive edition of only twelve years ** before Klemm began to
his Essai sur les Moems et FEsprit des publish. He could not have been ignorant of

Nations.''* Voltaire and the Encyclopedists the word culture, after Herder and Kant had
were incisive, reflective, inclined to comment used it: it was his thinking and interests that
philosophically. Their German counterparts were oriented away from it.
or successors tended rather to write systematic It must accordingly be concluded that the

and sometimes lengthy histories detailing how course of "philosophy of history" forked in
man developed through time in all the conti- Germany. One branch, the earlier, was in-
nents, and generally with more emphasis on his terested in the actual stor)' of what appeared
stages of development than on particular or to have happened to mankind. It therefore
personal events.Such stages of development bore heavily on customs and institutions, be-
would be traceable through subsistence, arts, came what we today should call culture-con-
beliefs, religion of various successive peoples: scious, and finally resulted in a somewhat
in short, through their customs, what we today diffuse ethnographic interest. From
the very
would call their culture. The word culture beginning, however, mankind was viewed as
was in fact used by most of this group of an array or series of particular peoples. The
writers of universal history'. To be sure, a other branch of philosophy of history became
close reading reveals that its precise meaning less interested in history and more in its
was that of "degree to which cultivation has supreme principle. It dealt increasingly with
progressed." But that meaning in turn grades mankind instead of peoples, it aimed at clari-
very easily and almost imperceptibly into the fying basic schemes, and it operated with the
modem sense of culture. In any event, these concept of "spirit" instead or that of culture.
histories undoubtedly helped establish the word This second movement is of little further
in wide German usage; the shift in meaning concern to us here. But it will be profitable
then followed, until by the time of Klemm, in to examine the first current, in which com-
1843, the present-day sense had been mainly parative, cultural, and ethnographic slants are
attained and was ready-made for Tylor, for visible from the beginning.
the Russians, and others. The principal figures to be reviewed are
In the present connection, the significant Irwing, Adclung, Herder, Meiners, and Jcnisch;
feature of these histories of. mankind is that their work falls into the period from 1779
they were actual histories. They were per- to 1 80 1. First, however, let us note briefly a
meated by, or aimed at, large ideas; but they somewhat earlier figure.
also contained masses of concrete fact, pre- Isaac Iselin, a Swiss, published in Zurich in
sented in historical organization. It was a 1768 a History of Mankind*^ which seems not
different stream of thought from that which to contain the words culture or civilization.
resulted in true "philosophies of history," that The first of eight "books" is given over to a

is, about history, of which


philosophizings Psychological ("psychologische") Considera-
Hegel became the most eminent representative. tion of Man, the second to the Condition
By comparison, this latter was a deductive, (Stand) of Nature (of Man in — Rousseau's
transcendental movement; and it is significant sense, but not in agreement with him), the
that Hegel seems never to have used the word third to the Condition of Savagery, the fourth

*•
As usually stated; e.g., in E. '^Tn\\t\r[\,-LehTbuch, systemadsche Ausfiihrun? des Verstandes [in gebilde-
6th edition, 1914. But dates and titles are given vari- ter Sprache] sich abschlcift und die Sprache hieran
ously, due no doubt in part to alterations, inclusions, armer und ungebildeter wird." (1920, 147; Allgem.
and reissues by Voltaire himself. Febvre, 1930, sum- Einleirjng, III, 2.)
marized in Addendum to our Part I, credits the " His Philosophy of History is a posthumous work,
Pbilosophie de PHistoire to 1736. based on his lecture notes and those of his students
* "Ejs ist femer cin Faktum, dass mit fortschreiten- It was first published in 1837.
der Zivilisadoa der Gesellschaft und des Staats diese "Iselin, 1768 (Preface dated 1764, in Basel).
20 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
to the Beginnings of Good Breeding (Gesit- ing phrase. Again: The more the capacities
tune, i.e., civilization). Books five to eight of man are worked upon ("bearbeitet wer-
deal with the Progress of Society (Gesellig- den") by culture ("dutch die Kultur") the
kcit —
sociability, association?) toward Civil more does man depart from the neutral con-
(biirgerlich, civilized?) Condition, the dition ("Sinnesart") of animals. Here the
Oriental peoples, the Greeks and Romans, the near-reification of culture into a seemintrly
Nations of Europe. The implicit idea of pro- autonomous instrument is of interest. Culture
gress is evident. The polar catchwords are is a matter and degree of human perfection
Wildheit and Barbarey (Savagery and Bar- (Vollkommenheit) that is properly attribut-
barism), on the one hand; on the other, able only to the human race or entire peoples:
Milderung der Sitten, Policirung, Erleuchtung, individuals given
only an education
are
Vcrbesserung, that is. Amelioration of Man- (Erziehung), and through this that they
it is

ners, Polishing (rather than Policing), Illum- are brought to the degree (Grade) of culture
ination (i.e.. Enlightenment), Improvement. of their nation.***
The vocabulary is typical mid-eighteenth- Johann Christoph Adelung, 1 732-1 806, al-
ccntury French or English Enlightenment ready mentioned as the author of the diction-
language put into German —
quite different aries of 1774 and 1793, published anonymously
from the vocabulary of Adelung and Herder in 1782 an Essay on the History of Culture
only twenty-five to thirty years later: Cultur, of the Human Species.*^ This is genuine if
Humanitat, Tradition are all lacking. While highly summarized history, and it is con-
Europe was everywhere groping toward con- cerned primarily with culture, though political
cepts like those of progress and culture, these events are not wholly disregarded. The presen-
cftorts were already segregating into fairly tation is in eight periods, each of which is
diverse streams, largely along national speech designated by a stage of individual human age,
lines. so that the idea of growth progress is not
K. F. von Irwing, 1725-1801, an Ober- only fundamental but explicit. The compari-
consistorialrat in Berlin, who introduces the son of stages of culture with stages of individ-
main Gentian series, attempted, strictly speak- ual development was of course revived by
ing, not so much a history of mankind as an Spengler, though Spengler also used the meta-
inquiry into man,^' especially his individual phor of the seasons.'*^ Adelung's periods with
and social springs or impulses ("Triebfedcm" their metaphorical designations are the follow-
or "Triebwerke"). He is of interest in the ing:
present connection on account of a long sec-
tion, his fourteenth, devoted to an essay on the I. From origins to the flood. Mankind an embrj'o.
culture of mankind.*^ Culture is cultivation, :. From the flood to Moses. The human race a
child in its culture.
improvement, to Irwing. Thus: The improve-
3. From Moses to 683 b.c. The human race a boy.
ments and increases of human capacities and
4. 683 B.C. to A.D. I. Rapid blooming of youth of the
energies, or the sum of the perfectings (Volk-
human race.
kommenheitcn) to which man can be raised A.D. to 400 (Migrations). Mankind an enlightened
from his original rudest condition these con-— 5.

man
I

(aufgeklaerter Mann).
stitute "den allgemeinen BegrifF der ganzen 6. 400-1096 (Crusades). A man's heavy bodily labors.
Kultur ueberhaupt" —
a very Kantian-sound- 7. 1096-1520 (1520, full enlightenment reached). A
* Irwing, 1777-85.
"Vol. 3, 9 pp. 88-372 (1779). This
184-207, "Adelung, 1782. Sickel, 1933, contains on pp. 145-
Abtheilung is "Von der allgemeinen
entided: 209 a well-considered analysis of "Adelungs Kultur-
Veranlassung zu Begriffen, oder von den Triebwerken, theorie." Sickel credits Adelung with being the first
wodurch die Mcnschen zum richdgen Gebrauch inquirer to attribute cultural advance to increased
ihrer Geisteskraefte gebracht werden. Ein Versuch population density (pp. 151-55).
aeber die Kulmr der Menschheit ueberhaupt." The " fundamental difference is that Spengler applies
A
word is spelt with K —
Kultur. the metaphor only to stages ivithin particular cultures,
"The three passages rendered are from pp. 122-23, never to human culture as a whole; but Adelung
127 of S 188, "Von der Kultur ueberhaupt. applies it to the totality seen as one grand unit.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE II

man occupied in installation and improvement of The word "sum" here brings this definition
his economy (Hauswesen). close to modem ones as discussed in our Part
8. 1510- (1782). A man in enlightened enjoyment (im II; it suggests that Adelung now and then was
aufgeklaerten Genusse)." slipping into the way of thinking of culture
as the product of cultivation as well as the act
Adelung is completely enlightened re-
of cultivatinsj.
ligiously. In § I he does not treat of the crea-
tion of man
but of the origins of the human Die Cultur des Geistes bestehet in eincr imnicr
race ("Ursprung seines Geschlechts"). Moses zunehmenden Summe von welche
Erkenntnisscn,
assures us, he says, that all humanity' is des- nothwendig wachsen muss . .(Spiritual culture con-
. .

cended from a single pair, which is reasonable; sists in an ever increasing and necessarily growing

but the question of how this pair originated sum of understandings.)

cannot be answered satisfactorily, unless one


And finally:
accepts, along with Moses, their immediate
creation by God. But man was created merely Gerne hactte ich fiir das Wort Cultur einen deut-
with the disposition and capacity ("Anlage") schen Ausdruck gewiihiet; allein ich wciss kcincn,
of what he was to become (§ 3). Language der dessen Begriff erschocpfte. Ver^einerun^,
was invented by man; it is the first step toward Aufklaenmg, EntTinckelimg der Faebigkeiten, sagcn
alle etwas, aber nicht allcs. (I should have liked to
culture (§5 foil.). The fall of man is evaded
choose a German expression instead of the word
(§ 13); but as early as Cain a simultaneous re-
culture; but I know none that exhausts its meaning.
finement and corruption of customs ("Ver-
Refinement, enlighteTDiient, development of capacities
derben der Sitten") began (§ 24). The Flood all convey something, but not the whole sense.)
and the Tower of Babel are minimized (Ch. 2,
§ 1-4), not because the author is anticlerical Again we seem on the verge of the present-
but because he is seeking a natural explanation day meaning of culture.
for the growth of culture. Throughout, he sees Adelung's definition of Cultur in his 1793
population increase as a primary cause of German dictionary confirms that to him and
cultural progress.'^ his contemporaries the word meant improve-
While there are innumerable passages in ment, rather than a state or condition of human
Adelung in which his "Cultur" could be read social behavior, as it docs now. It reads:
with its modern meaning, it is evident that he
did not intend this meaning — though he was Cultur —
die Veredlung oJcr V'crfcinerung dcf

unconsciously on the wav to gesammten Geistes- and LcibcsKracftc ci:ics Mcn-


it. This is clear
schen odcr eines Volkcs, so dass dieses Wort so wohl
from his formal definitions in his Preface.
die Aufklaerung, die Veredlung des Verstandcs dutch
These are worth quoting.
Befreyiing von Vorurthcilen, abcr auch die PoUtnr,
Cultur mir der Ucbergang aus dem mehr
ist die Veredlung und Verfcinerung der Sitten untcr sich
sinnlichen und thierischen Zustande in enger ver- begrcift. (Culture- the improvement [cnnoblementl
schlungene Verbindungen des gesellschaftlichen Le- or refining of the total mental and bodily forces of
bens. (Culture is the transition from a more sensual a person or a people; so that the word includes not
and animal condition to the more closely knit in- only the enlightening or improving of understanding
terrelations of social life.) through liberation from prejudices, but also polishing,
Die Cultur bestehet ... in der Summe deutlichcr namely [incrcasedl improvement and refinement, of
Begriffe, und ... in der Milderung und Ver-
. . .
customs and manners.)
feinerung des Koerpers und der Sitten. (Culture
consists of the sum of defined concepts and of the Veredlung, literally ennoblement, seems to
amelioration and refinement of the body and of be a metaphor taken from the improvement
manners.) of breeds of domesticated plants and animals.

"The metaphorical subtitles appear in the Table


of CTontents, but not in the chapter headings. For the "man" denotes both "Mensch" and "Mann."
first five periods, reference is to "mankind" (der "Preface: "Die Cultur wird durch Volksmcnge
Mensch) or to "the human race" (das menschliche . bewirkt"; "Volksmcnge im eingeshraenktcn
. .

Geschlecht); for the last three, directly to "a man" Raume erzeuget Cultur"; and passim to Chapter 8, { i,
(der Mann), which is awkward in English where
p. 41J.
22 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
It is significant that the application of the his work with an indubitable quality of great-
term culture still is individual as well as social. ness. He sought to discover the peculiar values
Adclung's definition is of interest as being of all peoples and cultures, where his great
perhaps the first formal one made that in- contemporary Gibbon amused himself by
cludes, however dimly, the modem scientific castigating with mordant polish the moral
concept of culture. However, basically it is defects of the personages and the cormption
still late eighteenth centurv', revolving around and superstition of the ages which he por-
polish, refining, enlightenment, individual im- trayed.
provement, and social progress. Herder construes Cultur as a
Basically,
Johann Gottfried Herder's (i 744-1 803) progressive or development of
cultivation
Ideas on the Philosophy of History of Man- faculties. Not infrequently he uses Humanitat
kind '' is the best-known and most influential in about the same sense. Enlightenment,
of these early histories of culture. The title Aufkliirung, he employs less often; but Tra-
reverts to the "Philosophy of History" which dition frequently, both in its strict sense and
Voltaire had introduced twenty years before; coupled with Cultur. This approach to the
but the work itself deals as consistentlv as concepts of culture and tradition has a modem
Adelung's with the development of culture. ring: compare our Part II.
The setting, to be sure, is broader. The first
section of Book I has the heading: "Our Earth WoUen wir diese zweite Genesis des Menschen die
sein ganzes Leben durchgeht, von der Bearbeitung
is a Star Among Books II and III deal
Stars."
des Ackers Cultur, oder vom Bilde des Lichtes
with plants and animals; and when man is
AufkLirung nennen: so stehet uns der Name frei;
reached in Book IV', it is to describe his struc-
die Kette der Culrur und Aufkliirung reicht aber
ture, what functions he is organized and sodann ans Ende der Exde. (13: 348; IX, i)
shaped to exercise. Book V deals with ener- Setzen wir gar noch willkiihrliche Unterschiede
gies, organs, progress,and prospects. In Books zwischen Cultur und Aufkliirung fest, deren keine
VI and VII racial physiques and geographical doch, wenn sie rechter Art ist, ohne die andere sein
influences arc discussed. A sort of theory of kann ... (13: 348; IX, i)
culture, variously called Culrur, Humanitat, Die Philosophic der Geschichte also, die die Kette
Tradition, is developed in VTII and IX; X is der Tradition verfolgt, ist eigentlich die wahre
Menschengeschichte. (13: 352; IX, i)
devoted to the historic origin of man in Asia,
Die ganze Geschichte der Menschheit mit alien . . .

as evidenced by "the course of culture and


Schatzen ihrer Tradition und Cultur (13: 355;
history" in its § 3. Books XI to XX then settle
IX, 2)
. . .

down to an actual universal history of peoples Zum gesunden Gebrauch unsres Lebens, kurz zur
— of their cultures, as we would say, rather Bildung der Humanitat in uns (13: 361; IX, 2)
. . .

than of their politics or events. These final ten Die Tradition der Traditioncn, die Schrift. (13:
books deal successively '* with East Asia, 366; IX. 2)
West Asia, the Greeks, Rome, humanization Tradition ist [also auch hier] die fortplanzende
as the purpose of human nature, marginal Mutter, wie ihrer Sprache und wenigen Cultur, so
auch ihrer Religion und heiligen Gebrauche (13:
peoples of Europe, origin and early develop-
388; IX 3)
ment of Christianity, Germanic peoples,
Der religiosen Tradition in Schrift und Sprache
Githolicism and Islam, modem Europe since
ist die Erde ihre Samenkomer aller hoheren Cultur
Amalfi and the Crusades. schuldig. (13: 391; IX, 5)
Herder's scope, his curiosity/ and knowledge, Das gewisseste Zeichen der Cultur einer Sprache
his sj'mpathy, imagination, and ver\'e, his en- ist ihre Schrift. 408; X, 3) (13:
thusiasm for the most foreign and remote of Wenn .Regierungsformen die schwerste
. . die
human achievements, his extraordinary free- Kunst der Cultur sind ... (13: 411; X, 3)
dom from bias and ethnocentricit)', endow Auch hiite man sich, alien diesen V'olkem gleiche

"Herder, 1744-1803, 4 vols., 1784, 1785, 1787, 1791.


These constitute vols. 13 and 14 of Herder's We cite the Suphan paging.
that of the original work.
Sinmnliche Werke edited by Bemhard Suphan, **The books are without titles as such; we are
1887, reprinted 1909, pagination- double to preserve roughly summarizing their contents.
GEhfERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE *^

Sittcn odcr gleiche Cultur zuzueignen. (14: 175; cultivated ones. This cones, as Meiners him-
self admits, close to being a "Volkerkunde"
"
XVI, 3)
Von sclbst hat rich kein Volk in Europa zur or ethnography.'^ Like most of his contem-
Culnir crhoben. (14: 289; XVI, 6) poraries, Aleiners saw culture as graded in com-
Die Stadte sind in Europe gleichsam stehende pleteness, but since he rejected the prevalent
Hecrlager der Cultur. (14: 486; XX, 5) three-stage theor\^ (hunting, herding, farming)
Kein Thier hat Sprache, wie der Mensch sie hat,
he wa^ at least not a unilinear devclopmentalist.
noch 'weniger Schrift, Tradition, Religion, will-
D. Jenisch, 1762-1804, published in 1801 a
kijhrliche Gesetze und Rechte. Kein Tier endlich
work called Universal-historical Review of
hat auch nur die Bildung, die Kleidung, die Wohnung,
the Development of Mankind viewed as a
die Kunste, die unbesrimmte Lebensart, die un-
Progressing Whole.^^ This book also we have
gebundenen Triebe, die flatterhaften Meinungen,
not seen, and know of it through Stoltenbcrg's
womit sich beinahe jedes Individuum der Menschheit
109; III, 6)
summary.^" It appears to bear a subtitle "Phil-
auszeichnet. (13:
osophie der Kulturgeschichte." "' Stoltenberg
The enumeration in this last citation is a quotes Jenisch's recognition of the immeasur-
good enough description of culture as we use able gap between the actual history of culture
the word. If it had had the modem meaning and a rationally ideal history of human culture
in his day. Herder would probably have marked bv progressive perfection. He also
clinched his point by adding "culture" to sum cites Jenisch's discussion of the "develop-
up the passage. mental history of political and civilizing
C. Ateiners, 1747-1810, published in 1785 a culture." It would seem that Jenisch, like
Gntp.driss der Geschichte der Menschheit. his Germancontemporaries, was concerned
We have not seen this work and know of it with culture as a development which could be
through Stoltenberg,^^ Aluehlniann, and traced historically, but still weighted on the
Lowie.^^ It aims to present the bodily forma- side of the act of rational refining or cultiva-
tion, the "Anlagcn" of the "spirit and heart," tion rather than being viewed as a product or
the various grades of culture of all peoples, condition which itself ser\'es as a basic in-
especially of the unenlightened and half- fluence on men.

8. KANT^' TO HEGEL
The great German philosophy of the the eighteenth century; but its general course
decades before and after 1800 began with was away from Cultur to Gcist. This is evi-
some recognition of enlightenment culture and dent in the passage from Kant to Hcgcl.
improvement culture, as part of its rooting in Kant says in his Anthropologie: "
"As cited, 1937, vol, I, 199-201.
"Muhlmann, 1948, pp. 63-66; Lowie, 1937, pp. 5, who introduced anthropology as a branch of study
lO-II. in German and who lectured on it
universities
"The word Volkerkunde had been previously regularly for decades.' ... It should be notrd, how-
used by R. Forster, Beitrdge zur Volker- und
J. ever, that by anthropology Kant meant something
Landerktmde, 1781 (according to Stoltenberg, vol. different from the study of human culture or com-
I, 200). parative anatomy of peoples. For him the term com-
"According to Muehlmann, just cited, p. 46, the prised empirical ethics (folkways), introspective psy-
word ethnography was first used in Latin by Johann cholog\', and 'physiology.' Empirical ethics, as dis-
Olorinus in his "Ethnographia .Mundi," Magdeburg, tinct from ethics, was called 'practical an-
rational
1608. thropology.' , Kant reduced natural philosophy or
. .

" Unhersalhirtorischer Ueberlick der Envwicklung theoretical science to anthropology. Just as Kant
des Menschengeschlechts, als eines sich fortbildcTiden began his critique of scientific knowledge by accept-
Ganzen, 2 vols., 1801. ing the fact of mathematical science, so he ocgan nis
"Stoltenberg, 1937, vol. pp. 289-92. i, ethics and his Anthropologie by accepting the fact of
" The original may have been "Culrur," Stoltenberg civilization." Kant's view, as defined by Bidney, seems
modernizes spellings except in titles of works. very similar to the contemporary "philosophical an-
"Kant's position as an "anthropologist" is relevant thropology" of Wein (1948) and the "phcnomeno-
to consideration of his treatment of "Cultur." Bidney logical anthrojX)logy" of Binswangcr (1947).
('949' PP- 484, 485, 486) remarks: "It is most signifi- "References are to Kant's Werke, Rcimcr 1907
cant, as Cassircr observes, that Kant was 'the man edition: the Anthropologie of 1798 is in vol. 7.
H CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
AUe
Fortschrittc in der Culnir haben das Ziel
. . .
Fichte deals with Cultur and "Vemunftcul-
dieseerworbenen Kentnlsse und Geschickiichkeiten tur" largely from the angle of its purpose:
zum Gebrauch fiir die VVclt anzuwenden. freedom. Cultur is "die Uebung aller.Kraefte
Die pragmadsche Anlage der Civilisirung durch
auf den Zweck der voelUgen Freiheit, der
Cultur. (p. 323)
voelligen Unabhaengigkeit von allem, was
"Kiinste der Cultur" are contrasted with nicht wir selbst, unset reines Selbst ist." ^'
the "Rohigkeit" of man's "Natur." (p. 324) Hegel's transcendental philosophy of his-
With reference to Rousseau, Kant mentions tory, viewed with reference only to "spirit," a
the "Ausgang aus der Natur in die Culrur," generation after a group of his fellow country-
"die Civilisirung," "die vermeinte iVIoral- men had written general histories which were
isirung." (p. 326) de facto histories of culture,^^ has already
The national peculiarities of the French and been mentioned.
English are derivable largely "aus der Art Schiller also saw culture unhistorically,
ihrer verschiedenen Cultur," those of other added to a certain disappointment in the en-
nations "vielmehr aus der Anlage ihrer Natur lightenment of reason.^^ "Culture, far from
dutch Vermischung ihrer urspriinglich ver- freeing us, only develops a new need with
schiedenen Stamme." (p. 315) every power it develops in us. It was cul- . . .

In this last passage Cultur might possibly ture itself which inflicted on modem humanity
seem to have been used in its modern sense, the wound [of lessened individual perfection,
except that on page 3 1 1 Kant calls the French compared with ancient times]" (1883, 4: 566,
and English "die zvvei civilisirtestcn Volker 568). He takes refuge in "the culture of
auf Erden," which brings the word back to beauty," or "fine [schoene] culture," evidently
the sense of cultivation. on the analogy of fine arts or belles lettres.
In Critique of Pure Reason, 178 1, Kant says, Lessing does not appear to use the word.
"metaphysics is the completion of the whole Goethe uses it loosely in opposition to "Bar-
culture of reason." *'' Here again, culture barei."
must mean simply cultivr-tion.

(f.
ANALYSIS OF KLEMiXrS USE OF THE WORD "CULTUR"
It seems worth citing examples of Klcmm's stages, higher stages, an early stage, our stage,
use of the word Cultiir, because of his a certain degree of culture (i: 2, 184, 185,
period being intermediate betvveen the late 186, 199, 207, 209, 211, 220, 227, etc.).
eighteenth-century usage by Herder, Adelung, Similar are combinations which include
etc., in the sense of "cultivation," and the step or progress of culture: erste Sclvritt,

modem or post-Tylorian usage. have We fortschreitende, zuschreitet, Fortschritt zur


therefore gone over the first volume, 1843, of Cultur (i: 185, 206, 209, 210). These are
his Culmr-geschichte, and selected from the also ambiguous.
hundreds of occurrences of the word some Also not certain are true culture (i: 204),
that seem fairly to represent its range of purpose of culture (i: 205), yardstick of
meaning. culture (i: 214), spiritual culture (i: 221),
Very common are references to stages sittliche Cultur (i: 221), resting places
(Stufen) of culture. These can generally be (Anhaltepuncte) of culture (i: 224).
read as referring to conditions of culture, as The following are typical passages in which
we still speak of stages; but they may refer culture is used as if in the modem sense:
only to steps in the act of becoming culti-
vated. We
have: very low stage of culture, My effort is to investigate and determine the

up to the stage of European culture, middle gradual development of mankind from its rudest . . .

"Mullcr's translation. New York, 1896, p. 730. "We have found one use of Zivilisadon in Hegel
The original (Kritik, ind ed., Riga, 1787, p. 879) as cited in foomote 43 above.
reads: "Ebcn deswegen ist Metaphysik auch die
" Brief e ueber die aesthetiscbe Erziehung des
Vollcndung aller Cultur der Mcnschlichen Vemunft." Menschen, 1795. Citations are from Saennritliche
•Cited from Eucken, 1878, p. 186. Werke, vol. 4.
:

GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE 25

first begixinings to their organization into organic wampum, peace pipes, models of assemblies . . . 12)

nationalities Volkskorper)
( all respects, that is m War . . . 13) Religious objects ... 14) Cultxirc [sic].
and Musical instruments, decorative ornament, petro-
to say with reference to customs, arts (Kentnisse)
skills (Fertigkeiten), domestic and public life in glyphs, maps, drawings; illustrations (Sammlungen)
peace or war, religion, science (Wissen) and art . . . of speech, poetical and oratorical products of the
ii) [While the passage begins with mention of
various nations, (i: 357-58)
(i:
development, the Ust of activities with which it
concludes is very similar to that in which Tylor's
Most of these ten cited passages read as if

famous definition ends.] culture were being used in its modem an-
We regard chronolog)' as part of culture itself. ( i thropological sense as indeed Klcmm is de —
facto doing an ethnography, even though with
The means (or mechanisms, Mittel) of culture reminiscences of Herder and Adclung as
rooted first in private life and originally in the regards general plan. Whenever he adds or
family, (i: 205)
or summatcs, as in the first, fifth, and last
lists
We show
shall that possessions are the be-
. . .

of these citations, the ring is quite con-


ginning of all human culture, (i: 206)
temporary. Moreover, the "enlightenment,"
[With reference to colonies and spread of the
"active race,"] the emigrants brought with them to
"tradition," "humanity" of Herder and his
their new homes the sum (Summe) of the culture contemporaries have pretty well dropped
which they had hitherto achieved (erstrebt) and out.^^ It is difficult to be sure that Klemm's
used it as foundation of their newly florescent life, concept of culture was ever fully the same as
(i: 210) that of modem anthropologists. On the other
Among nations of the "passive race," custom hand, it would be hard to believe that he is
(Sitte) is the tyrant of culture, (i: 220)
never to be so construed. Most likely he was
South American Indians . . . readily assiime a
in an in-between staije, sometimes usinjj the
varnish (FLmiss) of culture. . . . But nations of the
grow from inside outward term with its connotations of 1780, sometimes
active race
.... Their culture
(bilden sich)
consequently takes a slower with those of 1920 —
and perhaps never fully
course but is surer and more effective, (i: 288) conscious of its range, and, so far as wc know,
A blueprint (Fantasie) of a Museum of the culture never formally defining it."'
history of mankind, (i: 352) In that case, the more credit goes to Tylor
The last section of the natural history collection for his sharp and successful conceptualization
[of the Museum] would be constituted by [physical]
of culture, and for beginning his greatest book
anthropology . . . [and] . . . [materials illustrating]
with a definition of culture. He found Klemm
the rudest cultural beginnings of the passive race,
doing etlinography much as it is being pre-
(i: 356-57)
sented today, and using for his data a general
The next section comprises the savage hunting
and fishing tribes of South and North America. . . .
term that was free of the implication of ad-
A system could now be put into effect which would vancement that clunfT to English civilization.
be retained in all the following sections . . . about as So Tylor substituted Klemm's "cultur" for the
follows: i) Bodily constitution ... 2) Dress , . .
"civilization" he had himself used before, gave
3) Ornament ... 4) Hunting gear ... 5) Vehicles it formal definition, and nailed the idea to his

on land and water ... 6) Dwellings ... 7) Household masthead by putting the word into the title
utensils ... 8) Receptacles ... 9) Tools ... lo) of his book. Bv his conscious evplicitness,
Objects relating to disposal of the dead ... 11) Insig- Tylor set a landmark, which Klcmm with all
nia of public life . . . batons of command, crowns. his ten volumes had not done.

"Wedo not find civilization, and only one passing


use of "civilisirt": "in the rest of civilized Europe" kind as an individual" (i: i): "I consider mankind
1: 221) as an individual which . has its childhood,
. . . . .

"What Klemm does make clear is that he pro- youth, maturity." (i: 21) But he docs very linlc
poses to treat of the "gradual development of man- to follow out this Adelung idea.
1

26 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

10. THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE IN GERMANY SINCE iS^o

By
mid-nineteenth century, the Hegelian Kulturw issenschaf t and that it is the latter and
active preference for dealing with Geist in not Geisteswissenschaft that should be con-
preference to Cultur was essentially over, and trasted with Naturu'issenschaft —
this thesis
the latter concept became increasingly, almost proves that Rickert's concept of kultur is as
universally, dominant in its own field. The broad as the most inclusive anthropologist or
term Zivilisation languished in Germany, much "cukurologist" might make claim for. Rick-
as Culture did in Encrland, as denotation of the ert's VV^issenschaft of culture takes in the whole
inclusive concept. It had some vogue, as we of the social sciences plus the humanities, in
have seen, in tuo attempts —
diametrically contemporary American educational parlance.
opposite ones, characteristically to set it — Spengler's somewhat special position in the
up as a rival to Culture by splitting off one or culture-civilizationdichotomy has already
the other part of this as contrastive. But the been touched on. For Spengler, civilization is
prevailing trend was toward an inclusive term; the stage to which culture attains when it has
and this became Cultur, later generally written become unproductive, torpid, frozen, crystal-
Kultur. In this movement, philosophers,'^*' lized. A culture as such is organismic and
historians, and literary men were more active creative; it becomes. Civilization merely is;

and influential than anthropologists. it is Spengler's distinction


finished. won wide
The following list of book titles suggests though not universal acceptance in Germany
the course of the trend. at least for a time,and is included in the 193
1843, Klcmm, Allgenteine Cultur-geschichte edition of Brockhaus' Konversationlexicon.'^
1854, Klemm, Allgenieine Cultum^issenschait In spite of the formal dichotomy of the
i860, Burckhardt, Die Cultur der Renaissance in words, Spengler's basic concept, the one with
Ittdien which his philosophy consistently operates, is
1875, HcUwald, Kultnr in ihrer Naturlichen Ent- that of culture. The monadal entities which
uickelung bis Zur Gegenv^art he is forever trying to characterize and com-
1878, Jodl, Die Kultur geschichtschreibung
pare are the Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Arabic-
1886, Lipptrt, Kiiltttr der Menschheit
Magian, Classic, and Occidental cultures, as
1898, Rickert, Kultumissenschaft und Naturivissen-
schaft
an anthropologist would conceive and call
1899, Frobcnius, Problcme der Kultur them. Civilization is ^o him merely a stage
1900, Laniprcclit, Die Kultnrhist. riscbe Mcthode which every culture reaches: its final phase
1908, Vicrkandr, Stetigkeit im Kultunvandel of spent creativity and wintry senescence, with
1908, Mucller-Lyer, Pbasen der Kultur fellaheen-t^'pe population. Cultures are deeply
1910, Frobe'Mus, Ktdturtypen atts dctn Weststidan different, all civilization is fundamentally alike:
191 4, Prcuss, Die Geistige Ktdtur der Naturvolker it is the death of the culture on which it
1913, Lederer, Atifgaben einer Ktiltursoziologie
settles. Spengler's theory concerns culture,
19Z3, Die Kidtur der Gegenivjrt: Pan III, Section
culture in at once the most inclusive and ex-
"Anthropolog'e," Eds., Schwalbe and Fischer
5,
clusive sense, and nothing else. He sees culture
1913, Simmel, Zwr Philosophie der Ktdtur
Schmidt and Koppers, Vdlker und Kulturen, manifesting itself in a series almost of theo-
1924,
vol. I
phanies, of wholly distinct, uncaused, un-
1930, Bonn, Die Kultur der Vereinigten Staaten explainable realizations, each with an immanent
193 1, Buehler, Die Kultur des Mittelalters quality and predestined career and destiny
1933, Frobenius, Kulturgeschichte Afrikas (Schicksal). Spengler's view is certainly
1935, Thumwald, Werden, Wandel, und Gestaltung mystic, but it is so because in trying to seize
von Staat ttnd Kidtur
the peculiar nature of culture he helps his
Ricken's basic thesis, to the effect that what sharpness of grasp by not only differentiating
has been called Geisteswissenschaft really is but insulatinjj culture from the remainder of

(1918) and the critique of Kroner's system by Marck


"There an extensive literature in this century
is (1929)-
on Kulcurphilosophie. See, for example, Kroner " Huizinga, 1945, p. 28.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE
the cosmos: in occasional realiza-
each of its Ausdrucksform (expression), is Kultur. In
tions, it is self-determining and
self-sufficient, its intent, therefore, Kultursoziologie is much
uncaused, hardly even apperceivable. In fact, the same as cultural anthropology. The irra-
no culture really is wholly intelligible to mem- tionalist trend inherent in German Kultur
bers of other cultures. Culture in short is ideas perhaps perpetuated in the sharp stand
is

something wholly irreducible and unrelatable, Weber takes against all materialist concep-
for Spengler. This is an extreme view, un- tions of histor\' which make cultural phe-
questionably. But it can also be construed as nomena into mere superstructure.''*
an exaggeration of the view of some modem We close this section by commenting on
anthropologists that culture constitutes a dis- the core of a definition by a philosopher in a
tinctive aspect, dimension, or level with which German philosophical dictionary:
''^

for certain purposes it is most profitable to


Kultur die Dascinsweise der Menschheit (wic
ist
operate in terms of inter-cultural relations,
Leben die Dascinsweise des Protoplasmas und Kraft
even though ultimately the relations of cultural
die Dascinsweise der Materie) sowie das Rcsultat
to non-cultural phenomena can never be dis- dieser Dascinsweise, der Kulturbcsitz odor die
regarded. Pushed to the limit, this concept Kulturerrungenschaften. (Culture is the mode of
of the operational distinctiveness of culture, being of mankind —
as life is the mode of being of
which is still relative, becomes the concept of protoplasm and energy the mode of being of matter
its absolute distinctness and complete self- — as well as the result of this mode of being, namely,
sufficiencv. Spengler does not feel this dis- the stock of culture possessed or cultural anainments.)

tinctness and self-sufficiencv as merely mark-


ing the limit of the concept of culture but as With culture construed as the characteristic

constituting the ultimate essence of its quality. mode of human existence or manifestation, as
Spengler acknowledges his indebtedness to life isof organisms and energy of matter, we
Nietzsche who wrote, "Kultur ist Einheit des are close to the recent theory of integrative
kijnstlerischen Stils in alien Lebensiiusserungen levels of organization,each level, in the words
eines Volkes." ^- This accent on stv'e recurs of Xovikotl,'" "posscssiPij, unique properties
in Spengler. of structure and behavior, which, though de-
We have already dealt (§4) v/ith Alfred pendent on the properties of the constituent
Weber's attempted distinction between "cul- elements, appear only when these elements are
ture" and "civilization." A few words must combined in the new system. The laws . . .

be said here of Weber's "cultural sociology," describing the unique properties of each level
particularly as set forth in his article in the are qualitatively distinct,and their discovery
193 1 "Sociological Dictionary."'^ Sociology, requires methods of research and analysis ap-
Weber writes, can be the science of social propriate to the particular level," This view,
stnicuires. But, he continues, as soon as you sometimes spoken of as a theory of emergent
try to write sociology of religion, art, or levels, seems to have been developed largely

knowledge, structural sociology must be by biologists, first Lloyd Morgan, then


transcended. And the Wesengehalt (reality' Needham, Emerson, Novikoff, Herrick, etc.,
content), of which social structure is only one for the phenomena of life; though it was ex-

"Geburt der Tragodie (Band I, Gesammelte


Werke, Grossoktav-Ausgabe: Leipzig, 1924, p. 183. pp. 284-94. Article "Kultursoziologie."
The identical sentence is repeated on p. 314 of the Hans Freyer in his article
'*
(pp. 194-308) of the
same work. Nietzsche (i 844-1900) falls in the period same Handworterbuch offers a sociological concept
when culture had acquired its modem meaning. At of culture as opposed to Alfred Weber's cultural con-
any rate, it is clear that Nietzsche is wholly out of cept of sociology. He says, for example, "Das
the Kant-to-Hegel su'ing away from cognizance of Problem Typcn und Srufen der Kultur verwandcic
culture. The Nietzsche-Register by Richard Oehler sich... in die Frage nach den Strukrur- und
(Leipzig: Alfred Kroner V'erlag, 1926) lists hundreds Enrwicklungsgescrzen des gesellschaftlichen Lcbcns."
of references to Kultur (pp. 182-87). Cf. also N. von (p. 307)
BubnofT, Friedrich Nietzsches Kulturphilosophie und "Schmidt, 1922, p. 170.
Unrwertungslehre, 1924, pp. 38-82. "Novikoff, 1945, pp. 209-15. Compare also, Her-
""
Handworterbuch der Soziologie, Stuttgart, 1931, rick, 1949, pp. 222-42.
28 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
plicitly extended to the phenomena of society haps even more important. Almost certainly
by W. M. Wheeler, also a biologist, but their priority connected with the fact that
is

specially interested in social insects. For cul- in the decades following 1770 Germans for
ture as a distinct level of organization, the the first time began to contribute creatively
most avowed proponents in American anthro- to general European civilization abreast of
pology have probably been Kroeber and France and England, and in certain fields even
White. In Germany, culture as a level has more productively; but at the same time they
been explicitly recognized chiefly by non- remained a nationality instead of an organized
anthropologists such as Rickert and Spengler or unified nation. Being politically in arrears,
— by the latter with the unnecessary ex- their nationalism not only took solace in Ger-
aggerations mentioned. man cultural achievement, but was led to
Just when, by what German, and in what appraise culture as a whole above politics as a
context Cultur was first unequivocally used portion thereof; whence there would derive
in this fundamental and inclusive sense, as dis- an interest in what constituted culture.
tinct from the previous meanings in which Some further suggestions are made bv us
nurture or cultivation or progressive enlighten- below (§ II, and by Dr. Meyer in Appendix
ment are dominant, is interesting, but can be A). But to follow out our hints fully, or try
most securely worked out by a German well to discover
other possible factors, would
read in the generic intellectual literature of his more intimate and pervasive acquaint-
require a
people." ance with the whole of German thought be-
Why it was the Germans who first at- tween about 1770 and 1870 than we possess.
tained,however implicitly, to this fundamental We therefore relinquish the problem at this
and inclusive concept and attached it to the point.
vocable Cultur, is equally interesting and per-

//. "KULTUR" AND ""SCHRECKLICHKEIT'


Just before, during, and after World War mannered boasting about it. The other differ-
I, the Germans became notorious among the ence was that in both the French and English
Allied nations for alleged insistence on their languages the ordinar)' word referring to the
having discovered something superior ^nd totalityof social attainments, achievements,
uniquely original which they called Kultur. and values was civilization, whereas in German
Thirty y.ars later it is clear what underlay ithad come to be Kultur. Here accordingly
this passionate and propagandist quarrel. The was a fine chance, in war time, to believe that
Germans, having come to their modern civiliza- the enemy claimed to have invented some-
tion belatedly and self-consciously, believed thing wholly new and original which how-
that this civilizationwas more "advanced," of ever was only a crude barbarism. Had the
greater value, than that of other Western customary German word been civilization,
nations. French, British, and Americans be- we Allies would no doubt have argued back
lieved the same for their national versions of that our brand of it was superior, but we
the common Western civilization; but the could hardly have got as indignant as we did
French and British having had an integrated, become over the bogey meanings which
standardized, and effective civilization longer seemed to us to crystallize around the wholly
than the Germans, took their position more strange term Kultur.
for granted, were more secure in it, had spread This episode is touched on here because it
much more of their civilization to other socie- confirms that in the Germany of 1914 the word
ties, and on the whole were enough in a culture had a popular meaning essentially
status of superiority' to have to do no ill- identical to that with which anthropologists

"Barth, after discussing cultura animi in Cicero, nicht als Ackerbau wie bei den Alten, sondem im
Thomas More, Bacon, gives it up too: "Aber wo heutigen Sinne. habe ich nicht finden konnen." (1922,
Cultura absolut, ohne Gcnitiv, zuerst gebraucht wird. I, 599, fn. i)
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE »9

it, whereas in spite of Tylor,


the British, ignorant of this sense of the word, for which
use
American, and French people, including even they then generally used civilization instead.'*
most of their upper educated level, were

t2. DANILEVSKY
Russians apparently took over the word of cultures or civilizations.
***
The t>'pes instead

and the concept of culture from the Germans They are supernational, and while ethnically
(see Appendix A). This was pre-.Marxian, limited, they differ culturally in their qualitv.

about mid-nineteenth century. In the late ^Ve whether Danilevsky u as


are not certain
eighteen-sixties Danilevsky published
N. I. the Russian to employ culture in the sense
first

first a series of anicles and then a book, Russia


which it had acquired in German, but it has
and Europe,''^ which was frankly Slavophile come into general usage since his day. The
but has also attracted attention as a forerunner noun is kul'tura; ^- the adjective kul'tumvi
of Spengler.^" He deals with the greater seems to mean cultural as well as cultured or
civilizations much in the manner of Spengler cultivated. Kul'tumost' is used for level or
or Toynbee, but calls them culture-historical stage of culture as well as for high level.

?5. "CULTURE" IN THE HUMANITIES IN ENGLAND AND ELSEWHERE


Curiously enough, "culture" became pop- and that of perfection as pursued by culture, beauty
word in England "^ in a and intelligence, or, in other words, sweetness and
ularized as a literary
light, are the main characters. [culture consists in]
book which appeared just two years before
. . .

... an inward condition of mind and spirit, not in


Tylor's. Matthew Arnold's familiar remarks
an outward set of circumstances . . .

in Culture and Anarchy ( 869) were an answer


1

to John Bright who had said in one of his Arnold's words were not unknown to social
speeches, "People who
about culture
talk . . .
scientists.Sumner, in an essay probably
by which they mean a smattering of the two written in the eighties, ma!:cs these acid
."
dead languages of Greek and Latin . .
comments:
Arnold's own definition is primarily in terms
Culture is a word which offers us an illustration of
of an activity on the part of an individiral:
the degeneracy of language. If I may define culture,
... a pursuit of total perfection by means of getting Ihave no objection to produce it; but since the word
to know, on all the matters which most concern us, came into fashion, it has been stolen by the dilettanti
the best which has been thought and said in the and made to stand for their own favorite foni.s and
world. ... I have been trying to show that culture is, amounts of attainments. Mr. Arnold, the great
or ought to be, the study and pursuit of perfection; apostle, if not the discoverer, of culture, tried ro

"That this was the situation is shown also by the


fact that the 191 7 paper of Kroeber, The Super- hoheren menschlichen Anlage ausspricht. ..." p. iii.
organic, uses this term, supcrorganic, synonymously Rueckert also uses the terms "Culturkrcis," "Cultur-
with "the social," when
it is obvious that it is essen- reihe," "Culturindividuum" (a panicular culture), and
tially culture thatbeing referred to throughout.
is "Cult\irtypu5," pp. 92-97 and elsewhere. The last
h is not that Kroeber was ignorant of culture in appears to be the origin of Danilevsky's "cultur-
1917 but that he feared to be misunderstood outside historical types."
of anthropology if he used the word. " Kul'tumo-istoricheskie tipy.
"Rossiia i Evropa, 1869 in the journal Zaria; 1871 "This is the standard method of transcription
in book form. Sorokin, 1950, pp. 49-71, summarizes adopted by the Library of Congress. In it, the apos-
Danilevsky's work, and on pp. 205-4} he critically trophe following a consonant indicates the palataliza-
examines the theory along with those of Spengler tion of that consonant. It is hence a direct transcrip-
and Toynbee. tion of the Tniagkii znak (soft sign) in the Russian
"Danilevsky acknowledges a debt to Heinrich alphabet.
RiJckert'sLehrbuch der Weltgeschichte in organise her **So deeply entrjenched is this usage that as late
Darstellung (Leipzig, 1857). Ruckert defines Cultur as 1946 a distinguished anthropologist. Sir An'.mr
as "die Totalitat der Erscheinungen ... in welcher Keith, used "culture" in this humanistic sense ( 1946,
sich die Selbstandigkeit und Eligenthiimlichkeit der 117-18).
3° CULTURE: A CRITICAL REV^IEVV OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
analyze ic and he found it to consist of sweetness in the Cyclopaedia of Education (1911) does
and light. To my mind, that is like saying that not cite Tylor or any other anthropologist,
coffee is milk and sugar. The stuff of culture is all
though he had been in contact with Boas at
left out of it. So, in the practice of those who accept
Columbia and later evidenced considerable
this notion, culture comes to represent only an
familiarity with anthropological literature.
external smoothness and roundness of outline with-
out regard to intrinsic qualities. (Sumner, Here Dewey says (239): "From the broader
1934,
12-23.) point of view culture may be defined as the
habit of mind which perceives and estimates
Since Arnold's day a considerable literature allmatters with reference to their bearing on
on culture as humanistically conceived has social values and aims." The Hastings En-
accumulated. John Cowper Powys '^ in The cyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (191 2)
Meaning of Culture lays less stress on formal contains articles by anthropologists and a good
education and more on spontaeity, play in — deal of material on primitive religion, but C. G.
brief, on the expression of individual person- Shaw, a philosopher who wrote the article,
ality rather than the supine following of "Culture," makes no reference to the anthro-
CTistom: pological concept and comes only as close as
Wundt to citing an anthropologist. Shaw,
and self-control are synonymous terms.
Cultxjre . . .
incidentally, attributes the introduction of
What culture ought to do for us is to enable us to the term "culture" into England to Bacon,
find somehow or other a mental substitute for the
citing his Advancement of Learning, 1605, 11,
traditional restraints of morality and religion. . . .

xix 2F.®'
It is the application of intelligence to the difficult
imbroglio of not being able to live alone upon the
The Spanish philosopher, Ortega y Gasset,
earth. (1929, 235)
operates within the humanistic tradition (in
What has been suggested in this book is a view of its German form) but gives a vitalistic twist:

culture, by no means the only possible one, wherein


education plays a much smaller part than does a
We now
give the word, culture, its exact sig-
can
mental and imaginative effort of one's
nificance. There are vital functions which obey
cenain secret,
objective laws, though they are, inasmuch as they are
own, continued . . . until it becomes a permanent
vital, subjective facts, within the organism; they
habit belonging to that psyche of inner nucleus of
exist, on condition of complying with the dic-
too,
personality which used to be called the soul. (19:9,
tates of a regime independent of life itself. These
J75)
are culture. The term should not, therefore, bo
allowed to retain any vagueness of content. Culture
Robert Biersttdt sums up as follout
consists of certain biological activities, neither more
nor less biological than digestion or locomotion.
John Cowper Powys understands by culture that
. . .

Culture is merely a special direction which we give


ineffable qualitywhich ma^cs a man at case with his
to the cultivation of our animal potencies. (1933, 41,
environment, that which is left over after he has for-
gotten everything he deliberately set out to Icam, and 76)

by a cultured person one with a sort of intellectual


who has the aesthete's deep feeling for beauty,
finesse,
He tends to oppose culture to spontaeity:
who can find quiet joy in a rock-banked stream, a
.
. . culture cannot be exclusively directed by its
pecwee's call, a tenuous wisp of smoke, the
objective laws, or laws independent of life, but is at
warmth of a book format, or the serene felicity of
friendship. (Bierstedt,
the same time subject to the laws of life. We are
1936, 93)
governed by two contrasted imperatives. Man as a
living being must be good, orders the one, the cultural
The humanistic or philosophical meanings imperative: what is good must be human, must be
of culture tended to be the only ones treated lived and so compatible with and necessary to life,
in standard reference works for a long period. savs the other imperative, the vital one. Giving a
For example, John Dewey's article, "Culture," more generic expression to both, we shall reach the

"For other representative recent treatments from


the point of view of the humanities, see Bums (19:9), georgica animi" and gives the reference as De Augm.
Patten (1916), Lowell (1934). Scienc, VII, j. Neither citation conforms to the
"Siebert (1905, p. 579) cites Bacon "cultura sive editions available to us.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE 3«

of the double mandate, life must be involved in reflection about cultural phenomena . . .
conception
cultured, but culture is bound to be vital. . . . Un- The progress of knowledge about culture demon-
barbarism, devitalized culture is strates more and more concretely the historical
cultured life is

byzantinism. (193 J. 45-4^)


relativity of all human values, including science itself.

To oppose life to culture and demand for the former The image of the world which we construct is a
the latter and a different
historical value, relative like all others,
the full exercise of its rights in the face of
profession of anticultural faith. one will take its place in the future, even as it has
is not to make a
. . .

itself taken the place of another image .... The


The values of culture remain intact; all that is denied
is their exclusive character. For centuries we have theories of the old type of idealism are in disaccord-

gone on talking exclusively of the need that life has ance with experience, for they conceive mind, in-
depriving dividual consciousness or super-individual reason, as
of culture. Without in the slightest degree
maintain absolute ^nd changeless, whereas history shows it
this need of any of its cogency, I wish to
relative and changing. (1919, 15-16)
here and no%v that culture has no less need of life
Modem tradition presents us with a choice
between two opposed methods of dealing with the The German Ernst Cassirer,
philosopher,
antinomy between life and culture. One of them
— states (p. 52) that the objective of his Essay
rationalism — in its design to prescr\-e culture denies on Man is a '^phenomenology of hmrian cul-
all significance to life. The other — relativism — at- ture.'^ But, though he was familiar with mod-
rid of the
tempts the inverse operation: it gets
em anthropology, particularly the writings of
objective value of culture altogether in order to
Malinowski, his conception remains more
leave room for life. (1933, 86)
philosophical than anthropological:

In Other passages he makes points which are Human culture taken as a whole may be described
essentialaspecis of the anthropological con-
as the process of man's progressive self-liberation.
ception of culture: Language, art, religion, science are various phases in
this process. In all of them man discovers and proves
the generations are bom one of another in
. . .

such a way that the new generation is immediately


a new power — the power to build up a world of his
own, an "ideal" world. (1944, 228)
faced with the forms which the previous generation
gave to existence. Life, then, for each generation is
At the moment many of the younger American
a task in two dimensions, one of which consists in the
philosophers are accepting one of the various
reception, through the agency of the previous gen-
anthropological definitions of culture. For
eration, what has had life already, e.g.,
of ideas,

values, ia^tutions, and so on (1933. 16) . . .


example, the anthropologist finds himself com-
The selection of a point of view is the initial action pletely at home reading Richard AlcKcon's
of culture. (1933, 60) treatment of culture in two recent articles in
. . . Culture is the sysfcm of vital ideas which each the "Journal of Philosophy" and "Ethics."
age possesses; better yet, it is the system of ideas by One may instance a passage from Philosophy
which each age lives. (1944, 81) and the Diversity of Cultures:
F. Znaniecki's Cultural Reality (1919), If polirical problems have cultural and ideological
though written in English by a Polish sociolo- dimensions, philosophies must treat not only ethical
gist, is essentially a philosop'ucal treatise. The and esthetic judgments but must also examine the
basic point of view and argument can be indi- form which those judgments must take in terms of
cated by brief quotations: the operation of political power and relevant to
actions accessible to the rule of law and their possible
For a general view of the world the fundamental influence on the social expectations which make con-
points are that the concrete empirical world is a world ventional morality. The study of cultures must present
in evolution in which nothing absolutely permanent not merely the historically derived systems of
can be found, and that as a world in evolurion it is designs for living in their dynamic interactions and
first of all a world of culture, not of nature, a his- interrelations in which political and ideological
torical, not a physical reality. Idealism and naturalism characteristics are given their place, but must also
both deal, not with the concrete empirical world, but provide a translation of those designs of living into
with abstractly isolated aspects of it. (191 9, 21) the conditions and conventional understandings which
We shall use the term "culturalism" for the view are the necessiues and material bases of political
of the world which should be constructed on the action relative to common ends and an abstraction
ground of the implicit or explicit presuppositions from them of the values of art, science, religion and
3* CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
philosophy which are the ends of human life and the what is "lower." The
anthropological attitude
explanations of cultures. (1950b, 239-40)
is place of beginning with
relativistic, in that in
an inherited hierarchy of values, it assumes
Wcmcr Jaeger, the classicist, reflects both
that every society through its culture seeks
the dissatisfaction of most Western humanists
and in some measure finds values, and that the
with the anthropological habit of extending
business of anthropology includes the deter-
"culture" to encompass the material, humble,
mination of the range, variety, constancy, and
and even trivial, and also the tendency of one
interrelations of these innumerable values.
strain of German scholarship to restrict culture
Incidentally, we believe that when the ultra-
to the realm of ideals and values. equates He
montane among the humanists renounce the
culture with the classical Greek concept of
claim that their subject matter is superior or
paideia and is quick to contrast the anthro-
privileged,and adopt the more catholic and
pological notion unfavorably:
humble human attitude —
that from that day
We are accustomed to use the word culture not the humanities will cease being on the defen-
to describe the ideal which only the Hcilcnocentric sive in the modem
world.
world much more trivial and
possesses, but in a The most recent humanistic statement on
general sense, to denote something inherent in every culture is that of T. S. Eliot *^ who attempts to
nation of the world, even the most primitive. We
bridge the gap between the conception of the
use it for the entire complex of all the ways and ex-
social sciences and that of literary men and phi-
pressions of life which characterize any one nation.
losophers. He quotes Tylor on the one hand
Thus the word has sunk to mean a simple anthropo-
logical concept, not a concept of value, a con-
and Matthew Arnold on the other. In rather a
sciously pursued ideal. (1945, xviii)
schoolmasterish way he reviews the meanings
. • . the distinction . . . between culture in the of "culture": (i) the conscious self-cultiva-
sense of a merely anthropological concept, which tion of the individual, his attempt to raise
means the way of life or character of a particular himself out of the average mass to the level of
nation,and culture as the conscious ideal of human the elite; ways of believing, thinking,
(2) the
perfection. in this latter, humanistic sense that
It is
and feeling of the particular group within
^^
the word is used in the following passage. The "ideal
society to which an individual belongs; and
of culture" (in Greek arete and paideia) is a specific
(3) the still less conscious ways of life of a
creation of the Greek mind. The anthropological
total society. At times Eliot speaks of culture
concept of culture is a modem extension of this
original concept; but of a concept of
it has made out in the quite concrete denotation of certain

value mere descriptive category which can be


a anthropologists:
applied to any nation, even to "the culture of the
It includes all the characteristic activities and in-
primitive" because it has entirely lost its true obliga-
terests of a Derby Day, Henley Regatta,
people:
tory sense. Even in Matthew Arnold's definition of
culture . . paidcutic sense of the
. the original
Cowes, the twelfth of August, a cup final, the dog
word man's perfection) is obscured.
(as the ideal of races, the pin table, the dart board, Wensleydale

It tends to make culture a kind of museum, i.e., cheese, boiled cabbage cut into sections, beetroot in
paideia in the sense of the Alexandrian period when vinegar, nineteenth-century Gothic churches and the
it came to designate lejrnhtg (1945, 416) music of Elgar. (1948, 31)

The Amold-Powys-Jaeger concept of cul- He also accepts the contemporary' anthro-


ture not only ethnocentric, often avowedly
is pological notion that culture has organization
Hellenocentric; it is absolutistic. It knows as well as content: "... culture is not merely
perfection, or at least what is most perfect the sum of several activities, but a way of
in human achievement, and resolutely directs life." (p. 40) On the other hand, he says
its "obligatory" gaze thereto, disdainful of "Culture may even be described as that which

"Eliot, 1948. Vogt (1951) has linked both the that one unity of culture is that of the people who
personal and "societal" conceptions of culture to the live together and speak the same language: because
cult or cultus idea. speaking the same language means thinking, and
"Cf. ". . . culture —
a peculiar way of thinking, feeling, and having emotions rather differently from
feeling, and behaving." (p. 56) "Now it is obvious people who use a different language." (pp. 120-21)
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE 33

makes life worth living." (p. 26) Finally, he happy with Eliot's emphasis on an elite and
seems to be saying that, viewed concretely, his reconciliation of the humanistic and social
religion is the way of life of a people and in science views, and the literary reviews**
this sense with the people's culture.
is identical have tended to criticize the looseness and lack
Anthropologists are not likely to be very of rigor of his argument.

14. DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS


The anthropological meaning of "culture" which Tylor had deliberately established in
had more difficulty breaking through into 1 87 1 of his most famous book,
with the title

wider public consciousness than did the word and had defined in the first
Prirnitive Culture,
"civilization." This is attested by the history paragraph thereof. This meaning finally was
of "culture" in standard dictionaries of English. accorded recognition sixty-two years after
We summarize here what the Oxford diction- the fact, in the supplement®- of 1933. The
ary has to say about the history of the word.^® entry reads:
Culture is derived from Latin cultura, from 5b. spec. The civilization of a people (especially at
the verb colere, with the meaning of tending a certain stage of its development in history).
or cultivation. [It may also mean an honoring 1871, E. B. Tylor (title), Primitive Culture.
or flattering; husbandry Short's Latin dic- — [1903, C. Lumholtz, Unknown Mexico is also cited.]
tionary.] In Christian authors, ciiltiira has the
meaning of worship. The Old French form Webster's New International Dictionary in
was coumre, later replaced by culture. In 1929 seems the first to recognize the anthro-
English, the following uses are established: pological and scientific meaning which the
1420, husbandry, tilling; 1483, worship; *•* word had acquired:
1 5 10,
training of the mind, faculties, manners.
7. A particular state or stage of advancement in
More (also, 165 1, Hobbs; 1752, Johnson; 1848, civilization; the characteristic attainments of a people
Macaulay); 1628 training of the humr-n body, or social order: as, Greek culture; primitive culture
Hobbes. Meaning 5 is: "The training, de- [Examples from Tylor and Ripley follow; but that
velopment, and refinement of mind, tastes, from Tylor is not his famous fundamental defini-
"
and manners; the condition of being thus tion.]

trained and refined; the intellectual side of


civilization." This is illustrated by citations
In the 1936 Webster, there appear three
from Wordswoith, 1805, and Matthew Ar-
separate attempts to give the scientific mean-
nold.®^ "A particular form of intellectual ing of the word culture, numbered 5a, 5b, 6.

development," evidently referring to a pairing


Of these, 5a is the 7 of 1929, with minor
of language and culture, is illustrated from
revisions of phrasing. The two others follow:

Freeman, 1867. Then there are the applica- 5b. The complex of distinctive attainments, belicfj,
tions to special industries or technologies, with traditions, etc., constituting the background of a

culture meaning simply "the growing racial, religious, or social group; as, a nation with
of."
Such are silk culture, 1796; oyster culture, many cultures. Phrases in this sen.se are culture area,
culture center, culture complex, culture mixing,
1862; bee culture, 1886; bacterial cultures,
culture pattern, culture phenomenon, culture se-
1884.
quence, culture stage, culture trait.
There is no reference in the original Oxford 6. Anthropol. The trait complex manifested by a
Dictionary of 1893 to the meaning of culture tribe or a separate unit of mankind.

" Irwin Edman in New York Times Book Review, another (rare) meaning of 1483: "The setting of
March 6, 1949; W. H. Audcn in The New Yorker, bounds; limitation."
April 23, 1949; John L. Myers in Man, July, 1949; " Culture is "the study and pursuit of perfection;"
William Barrett in Kenyon Review, summer, 1949. and, of perfection, "sweetness and light" are the main
"A New English Dictionary on Historical Princi- characters.
ples, ed. by J. A. H. Murray, vol. II, 1893. *"
"Introduction,. Supplement, and Bibliography."
"Elliot (1948) cites from the Oxford Dictionary "Which we cite as Al in Part II.
34
CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
These statements certainly at last recognize leave out altogether, as long as they can, the
the fact that the word long since
culture professional meaning which a word has
acquired a meaning which is of fundamental acquired, or they hedge between its differences
import in the more generalizing segments of in meaning even at the risk of conveying very
the social sciences. Yet as definitions they little that makes useful sense. Yet, primarily,
arc surely fumbling. "Particular state or stage the lag perhaps due to students in social
is

of advancement"; "characteristic attaimnejits fields, who have gradually pumped new wine
of a social order"; "distinctive attainments
. . . into skins still not empty of the old, in their
. constituting the backgrcnind of a
. . . . , habit of tr\'ing to operate without jargon in
group"; "the trait co^nplex manifested by a common-language terminology even while
tribe ' —
what have these to do with one an- theirconcepts become increasingly refined.
other? What do they really mean or refer to — However, each side could undoubtedly profit
especially the vague terms here italicized? And from the other by more cooperation.
what do they all build up to that a groping It will be of comparative interest to cite a
reader could carry away? compared for in- — definition of culture in a work which
both is

stance with Tylor's old dictum that culture is a dictionar\' and yet professionally oriented.
civilization, especially if supplemented by a This is the Dictionary of Sociology edited by
statement of the implications or nuances bv H. P. Fairchild, 1944. The definition of culture
which the two differ m
import in some of their was written by Charles A. Ellwood.
usages. It is true that anthropologists and soci-
Cikufe: a collecrive name for all behavior patterns
ologists also have differed widely in their defi-
socially acquired and socially transmitted by means of
nitions: if they had not, our Part II would have
symbols; hence a name for all the distinctive achieve-
been much briefer than it is. But these profes-
ments of human groups, including not only such
sionals were generally trying to find defi^nitions items as language, tool making, industry, art, science,
that would be both full and exclusive, not law, government, morals, and religion, but also the
merely adumbrative; and they often differ de- material instruments or artifacts in which cultural
liberately in their distribution of emphasis of archievi Mcnts are embodied and by which intellectual
meaning, where the dictionar\' makers seem to cultural features are given practical effect, such as
be tr>ang to avoid distinctive commitment.®* buildings, tools, machines, communication devices,
art objects, etc.
Yet the main moral is the half-centur\' of
lag between the comnion-lancjua^e meaninijs
. . . The essential part of culture is to be found
in the patterns embodied in the social traditions of
of words and the meanings which the same
the group, thatis, in knowledge, ideas, beliefs, values,
words acquire when they begin to be used in
standards,and sentiments prevalent in the group.
specific senses in profesisonal disciplines like
The overt part of culture is to be found in the actual
the social makers of
sciences. Dictionar\'
behavior of the group, usually in its usages, customs,
course are acute, and when it is a matter of
and institutions .... The essential part of culture
something technical or technological, like a seems to be an appreciation of values with reference
culture in a test tube or an oyster culture, or to life conditions. The purely behavioristic definition
probably ergs or mesons, thcv are both prompt of culture is Complete defini-
therefore inadequate.
and accurate in recognizing the term or mean- tion must include the subjective and objective aspects
ing. When it comes to broader concepts, of culture. Practically, the culture of the human
especially of "intangibles," they appear to be- group is summed up in its traditions and customs; but
come disconcerted by the seeming differences tradition, as the subjective side of culture, is the
in professional opinion, and hence either essential core.

••
For instance. Funk and Wagnall's New Standard
Dictionary, 1947, under Culture: "3. The training, does give a specific and modem definition: "7. Social^
development, or strengthening of the powers, mental the sum total of ways of Uving built up by a group of
or physical or the condition thus produced; improve- human beings, which is transmitted from one genera-
ment or refinement of mind, morals, or txste; en- tion to another ..." There are also definitions of
lightenment or civilization." By contrast, the Random culture area, change, complex, diffusion, factor, lag,
House American College Dictionary of the same year pancm, trait.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE 35
core of culture consists of traditional = historically
While this is somewhat proUx, it is enumera- (

derived and selected] ideas and especially their at-


tively specific. In condensation, it might dis-
tached values.
till to something like this:

Culture consists of partems of and for behavior It will be shown that this is close to the
acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting approximate consensus with which we emerge
the distinctive achievements of human groups, in- from our review that follows in Part II.
cluding their embodiments in anifacts; the essential

ij. GENERAL DISCUSSION


The most generic sense of the word "cul- come fairly familiar to educated Englishmen.
ture" — and in all the languages which
in Latin The contemporary influence of learning
have borrowed the Latin root —
retains the theory and personality psychology has per-
primary notion of cultivation ^' or becoming haps brought the anthropological idea back
cultured. This was also the older meaning of closer to the Kantian usage of the individual's
"civilization." The basic idea was first ap- becoming cultured, with expressions like "en-
plied to individuals, and this usage still culturation" and "the culturalization of the
strongly persists in popular and literary English person." Perhaps instead of "brought back"
to the present time.*"xA. second concept to we should say that psychological interest, in
emerge was that of German Kiiltur, roughly tning better to fund the idea of culture, and
the distinctive "higher" values or enlighten- to understand and explain its basic process,
ment of a society.^^ has reintroduced the individual into culture.
The specificallyanthropological concept The history of the word "culture" presents
crystallized first around the idea of "custom." many interesting problems in the application
Then — to anticipate a little —
custom was of culture theory' itself. Why did the concept
given a time backbone in the form of "tradi- "Kultur" evolve and play such an important
tion" or "social heritage." However, the part in the German intellectual setting? Why
English anthropologists were very slow to has the concept of "culture" had such dim-
substitute the word "culture" for "custom." cult\' in breaking through into public con-
On March loth, 1885, Sir James G. Frnzcr sciousness in France and England? Whv has
presented his first anthropological research it rather suddenly become popular in the
to a meeting of the Roval Anthropological L'nited States, to the point that such phrases
Society. In the discussion following the paper, as "Eskimo culture" appear even in the comic
he stated that he owed his interest in anthro- strips?
pology to Tylor and had been much influenced We venture some tentative hypotheses, in
by Tylor's ideas. Nevertheless, he ^^ speaks addition to the suggestion already made as to
only of "custom" and "customs" and indeed the imbalance in Germany
of 1800 of cultural
to the end of his professional life avoided the advancement and political retardation. In the
concept of culture in his writings. R. R. German was first
case, there for whatever —
Marett's Home University Librarv' Anthro- reasons —
penchant for large abstractions in
a
pology also uses only the word custom. Rad- eighteenth- and nineteenth-century thought.
cliffe-Brown writing in 19:3 does not use Second, German culture was less internally
"custom" but is careful to say rather con- homogeneous —
at least less centralized in a
sistently "culture or civilization." In 1940 dominant capital city —
than the French and
he no longer bothers to add "or civilization." English cultures during the comparable period.
The implication is that by roughly 1940 France and England, as colonial powers, were
"culture" in its anthropological sense had be- aware, of course, of other ways of life, but

"A philosophy of history published in 1949 by an


(H. B. Stevens) bears the tide The
agriculturalist "This is reflected even in anthropological litera-
Recovery of Culture. ture of the first quarter of this century in the dis-
"One may book bv Herbert
instance the little tinction ^e.g., by Vierkandt and by Schmidt and
Read (1941) To Hell vAth Culture: Democratic Koppcrs) bet\veen "N'atunolker" and "Kulturvolker."
Values are Nev3 Values. "Frazer, 1885.
3< CULTURE. A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
— perhaps precisely because of imperialism — at explicitness and rigor in some recent socio-
the English and French were characteristicallv logical and psychological works.
indifferent to the intellectual significance of The lack of clarity and precision is largely
cultural differences — perhaps resistant
to the responsibility- of anthropology. Anthro-
them. Similarly, the heterogeneous cultural pologists have been preoccupied with gather-
backgrounds of Americans — plus the fact ing, ordering, and classifying data. Apart from
that new speed of communication and
the some nineteenth- and early twentieth-century
politicalevents forced a recognition of the "armchair" speculations which were largely
variety of social traditions in the world gen- of the order of pseudo-historical reconstruc-
erally —
quite possibly have helped create a rions, anthropology has only very' recently
climate of opinion in the United States un- become conscious of problems of theory and
usually congenial to the cultural idea. of the logic of science. A
fully systematic
Not that a precise anthropological concept scientific theory' of man, society, and culture
of culture is now a firm part of the thinking has yet to be created. While there has been
of educated citizens.^^ If it were, there would greater readiness to theorize in psychology and
be no need for this monograph. No, even in sociology than in anthropology, the results as
intellectual and semi-intellectua! circles the yet show neither any marked agreement nor
distinction between the general idea of culture outstanding applicability to the solution of
and a specific culture is seldom made. "Cul- problems. The lack of mooring of the con-
ture" is loosely used as a synon\m for "so- cept of culture in a body of systematic theory
ciety." In social science literature itself the is doubtless one of the reasons for the shyness

penetration of the concept is far from com- of the dictionary' makers. They have not only
plete, though rapidly increasing. Mr. Un- been puzzled by the factoring out of various
tcreiner surveyed the tables of contents and sub-notions and exclusive emphasis upon one
indices in about six hundrd volumes in the of these, but they have probably sensed that
Department of Social Relations
libraries of the the concept has been approached from
and the Peabody .Museum of Harvard Univer- different methodological assumptions — which
sity. Anthropology, sociology, social psy- were seldom made explicit.
chology, and clinical psychology were repre- We have made our taxonomy of definitions
sented in about that order, and dates of publi- in the next section as lengthy as it is because
cation ranged back as far as 1900 but with culture is the central concept of anthropology'
heavy concentration on the past t\yo decades. and inevitably a major concept in a p03:.-ible
In more than half of these books "culture" was eventual unified science of human behavior.
not even mentioned. In the remainder sur- VV^e think it is important to discuss the past,
prisingly few explicit definitions were given. the present, and the prospects of this crucial
Usage was rather consistently vague, and concept. Its status in terms of refinements of
denotation varied from very narrow to very the basic idea, and the organization of such
broad. Mr. Untereiner's impression (and ours) refinements into a corpus or theory, may serve
is that the neig'iboring social science disciplines as a gauge of the development of explicit con-
have assimilated, on the whole, little more ceptual instruments in cultural anthropology.
than the notion of variation of customs. There Definitions of culture can be conceived as a
arc important individual exceptions, of course, "telescoping" or "focussing" upon these con-
and there does seem to be a much greater effort ceptual instruments.

"An example of confusion is the interpretation


of "Ethical Culture" as stemming from anthropology. and is still, flourishing in New York. Other societies
The Ethical Culture movement has nothing to do were established in several American cities, and in
with culture in the anthropological sense. It refers Germany; until Hitler abolished them there. The
to cultivation of ethics: the meaning being the older term "Eihische Kulrur" was so out of step with the
one that gave rise to terms like horticulture, pearl by then general use of Kultur in Germany that the
culture, bee culture, test-tube culture. The move- movement was sometimes misunderstood there as
ment was founded and long led by Feli.x Adler as a having reference to a special kind of proposed
8ort of deistic or agnostic religion, with emphasis on civilizacion-cult\ire, instead of the mere fostering of
ethics in place of the deity. The parent society was. ethical behavior.
GENfERAL HISTORY OF THE WORD CULTURE 37

ADDENDUM: FEBV RE ON CIVILISATION


published as far back as 1930 which a becoming, not to a state of being civilized.
A work The second recorded usage is by Baudcau,
attempts for civilization much the sort of
though somewhat more briefly, which 1767, Ephemerides du Citoyen, p. 82. After
inquiry,
that, occurrences are, 1770, Raynal, VHistoire
we are instituting as regards culture, eluded
us (as it did certain writers in
French see — Fhilosophique dans les detix Indes; 1773,
. . .

until after our text was in d'Holbach, Systhne Social; 1773-74, Diderot,
§ 2, notes 15, 16, 17)
press — partly because few copies of the work Refutation; 1793, Billaud-Varennes; June 30,
and 1798, Bonaparte ("une conquete dont les effets
seem to have reached American libraries

partly because of certain bibliographical am-


sur la commerces du monde
civilisation et les
sont incalculable," where the meaning seems
biguities of its title. It has a pretitle: Civilisa-
to have passed from that of "becoming" to
tion: le Mot et ridee, without mention of
"a condition of activit\' in," as in the coupled
author or editor; and then a long full title:
"Fondation Pour la Science: Centre Inter- "commerces"). Finally, in 1798, the work also
"forces the gates" of the Acadcniy's Diction-
national de Synthese. Premiere Semaine Inter-
national de Synthese. Deuxieme Fascicule. ary, Littre being in error when he says that

Civilisation: Le Mot Exposes par


et I'ldee. this was not until 1835.
Voltaire, Rousseau, Turgot, Hclvetius, de
Lucien Febvre, Emile Tonnelat, Marcel Mauss,
Chastellux in 1772, Buffon in Epoqiics de la
Alfredo Niceforo, Louis Weber. Discussions.
[Publ. by] La Renaissance du Livre. Paris.
Nature in \-j-j:\~i% do not use the noun, al-
1930." The Director of the Centre, active par- though the verb or participle occurs in Vol-
ticipant in the discussions, and editor of the
taire in 1740 and Rousseau in 1762 in fact —
volume of 144 pages was Henri Bcrr. The long before them in Montaigne and Descartes.
contained article of special relevance to our A near-synoym in the mid-eighteenth ccnniry
inquiry is the first one by Lucien Febvre, en- was police, policed, favored by Rousseau, and
titled ""Civilisation: Evolution d'un Mot et used by Voltaire in 1736 in his Philosophie de
FHistoire,^^^ though in his Chapters 9 and 19
d'un groupe d'Idees," covering pages 1-55,
including full documentation in 1:4 notes. "civilise" occasionally replaces it. Allied

In the following paragraphs we summarize seventeenth century,


qualities, since at least tl^

this important and definitive study, which


has were expressed by "civilitc" — sometimes as

already been referred to several timcs.^'^" being arbitrary or a nicrc varnish, while
Febvre, after distinguishing the "ethno- .Montesquieu rates it above "politcssc." All
graphic" concept of civilization from the idea three words, however, were ultimately dis-
of higher civilization loaded with values of placed by "civilisation" as regards the broadest
prestige and eminence, searches for historic meaning.
evidences of first use of the word as a noun — The first use of the plural "civilisations" —
to civilize and civilized are earlier in both a significant step — which Febvre has been
French and English. A 1752 occurrence attri- able to find is in 18 19, by Ballanchc in Le
buted to Turgot is spurious, being due to the Veillard et le Jeu7ie Ho?mnc (p. 102 of i86«

insertion by an editor, probably Dupont de edition). The idea of a plurality of civiliza-


Nemours (Ed. 1884, II, p. 674).' The earliest tions is already implicit when Volney in his

printed occurrence discovered by Febvre is Eclaircissenients sur les Etats-Unis (before


by Boulanger, who died in 1759, in his 18 14, p. 718 of the 1868 edition) speaks almost

VAntiquite Devoilee par ses Usages, printed ethnographically of "la civilisation des
in Amsterdam in 1766 (vol. Ill, pp. 404-05), in sauvages."
a sentence which contains the phrases "mettre While Febvre leaves the question open,
fina I'acte de civilisation" and "une civilisation seems to follow on French, Murray
British use
continuee." In both cases the reference is to traces the English verb and participle back

*" As to the date see footnote 42 in S above.


'In footnotes i, 3, 18, 41 above. 7t
38 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
only to 1631-41, as against sixteenth-century French, the noun "culture" is always accom-
use by Montaigne. The Boswell reference of plished by the object of action — culture of
1772 about Johnson excluding civilization in wheat or letters or what not. In the eighteenth,
favor of civility (our § 2, rn. 21) is cited. it is used by itself, to denote "formation de

Two apparent occurrences in the 1771 French I'esprit."In German, Tonnelat cites the 1793
translation of Robertson's History of Charles dictionary definition by Adelung which we
V have "refinement" in the English original have discussed, and the 1807-13 one by Campe,
of 1769. The first use of the noun, in English who equates Cultur with Bildung, geistige
as in French, is in its legal procedural sense Entwickelung, and proposes Anbau, Geistesan-
of turning a criminal into a civil suit, as we bau as a German equivalent. Tonnelat then
too have noted in § 2. briefly discusses usage in Herder, Kant,
So far, Febvre's precise and illuminating Schiller, Goethe, and the growing emphasis
account of the word civilization. This extends on relation of Cultur to Staat in the romantics
our comments in § 2, which were incidental Novalis, Fichte, and Schlegel.
to the histor\' of the word culture and its The remaining essays in the volume, by
meanings. Mauss on elements and forms of civilization,
The second essay in the volume, by E. by Niceforo on cultural values and the possi-
Tonnelat, on Kultur: Histoire du Mot, bility of an objective scale for measuring
du Sens, is much briefer (pp. 61-73)
involution these, by Weber on technology, discuss aspects
and somewhat sketchy. He regards the of civilization itself rather than the history of
German usage as a direct caique or copy of the concept and word as such.
the French. In the seventeenth century, in
Part II

DEFINITIONS
GROUPS OF SOOAL SQENCE DEFINTTIONS IN ENGLISH ^ '

Group A. Enumeratively descriptive

Group B. Historical
Group C Normative
C-I. Emphasis on Rule or Way
C-II. Elmphasis on Ideals or Values Plus Behavior
Group D. Psychological
D-I. Emphasis on Adjustment, on Culture as a Problem-Solving Device
D-II. Elmphasis on Learning
D-III. Emphasis on Habit
D-IV. Purely Ps\'chological Definitions
Group E. Structural
Group F. Genetic
F-1. Emphasis on Culture as a Product or Artifact
F-II. Emphasis on Ideas
F-III. Emphasis on Symbols
F-IV^. Residual Catcgorv' Definitions

Group G. Incomplete Definitions

^The definers (in addition to anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists,


psychiatrists, one chemist, one biologist, one economist, one geographer, and one
political scientist) include several philosophers. The latter, however, are operating
within the social-science area of the concept.
"Only four definitions not in the English language are included.
INTRODUCTION
impossible, without an enormous number out the convergences and divergences in vari-
ITofIScategories and great to group
artificialit)', ous definitions. In our classification and our
definitions of culture with complete con- critical comments we realize that we are takin
sistency. We think, however, that some order- brief statements out of the larger context o
ing both reflects meaningful historical fact the authors' thinking. But our purpose is not
and makes for a measure of conceptual en- to make an over-all critique of certain writers.
lightenment. As the physiologist, L. J. It is up the important and use-
rather to point
Henderson, used to say to his students, "In ful from which the central idea has
angles
science any classification than no is better been approached. This can, in part, be
classification — provided you don't take
it too achieved by grouping together those state-
seriously." We
recognize that an clement of ments which seem to stress one or more of
arbitrariness has entered into many of our the same fundamental criteria.
assignments, and we are quite aware that an In the operation of definition one may see in
excellent case could be made for a radical microcosm the essence of the cultural process:
shifting of some mixed or borderline defini- the imposition of a conventional form upon
tions. In certain (but not all) cases we have the flux of experience. And, as I. A. Richards
indicated possible alternative assignments. has remarked, some words must bear a much
We have tried to categorize on the basis of heavier weitrht of meaning than others. It is
principal emphasis rather than by, as were, it the basic concepts like "value," "idea," and
averaging the total content of the definition. "culture" that are the hardest to circumscribe.
This emphasis, in some instances, we have There is and con-
a scattering of denotations
judged in a broader context than that supplied notations might be compared to the
that
by the quotation given. Yet this does not clustering of steel filings around a magnet.
mean that a given emphasis is constant for a This analogy might be pursued further: as a
particular author throughout his professional magnet is a point of reference, so are the key
life. Indeed we present examples of definitions concepts centers of symbolic crystallization
from the same publication which differ im- in each culture. Charged with affect, almost
portantly in emphasis. The fact of the matter impossible to delimit and hence susceptible to
is that many of the definitions we cite are only considerable projection, these fundamental
very crudely comparable. Some were con- concepts are the ultimate conscious and un-
structed for the purpose of making one kind conscious references in a culture. Accepted as
of legitimate point or for dealing with highly a currency for explanation, they may be
specialized materials; others for very different viewed as the boundar\' lines of symbolic
points and materials. Some definitions are from development in a culture. Scientific definition
books, some from articles in professional jour- represents a sharpening of the same process
nals, a few from monographs or pop -ilar that occurs more slowly and less rationally in
essays or literary pieces. Some were hardly culture generally.
intended as formal definitions at all but rather We do not think it profitable in this study
as convenient encapsulations of what was to haggle over the logical and metaphysical
taken as generally agreed upon. Nevertheless, aspects of a "definition of definition." The
it seemed important to us to document fully
(1941) statement of the Committee on Con-
the range and variety of nuclear ideas and their ceptual Integration does not seem very helpful
possible combinations. We
hope the reader for our purposes:
will remember that we do not take our classi-
A definition is a statement of a definiendum (the
fication at all insistently in its details, and that thing defined) which indicates its genus (next most
we consider it useful for heuristic purposes inclusive class), indicates its species (the class in
only. which the definiendum lies), differentiates it (the
The objective of our taxonomy is to illus- definiendum) from all other phenomena in the same
trate developments of the concept and to bring species and which indicates no more than these


4» CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

things about the definiendum — the


choice of genus,
stantive or descriptive. Nor is explanatory the
species, and intra-species differentiae being determined
only other alternative. Some of the definitions
by and adequate to fulfill the purposes for which the of culture which we shall present have been
statement was devised. "functional" in intent. Others may be char-
acterized as epistemological —
that is, they
We prefer the view expressed by Freud: have been intended to point to the phenomena
The fundamental concepts or most general ideas and process by which we gain our knowledge
in any of the disciplines of science arc always left of culture. Some definitions look towards
indeterminate at first and are only explained to begin the actions of the individual as the starting
with by reference to the realm of phenomena from point of all generalizations, whereas others,
which they were derived; it is only by means of a while perhaps admitting individual acts as
progressive analysis of the material of obscr\'ation ultimate depart from abstractions
referents,
that they can be made clear and can find a significant posited for groups.
and consistent meaning. It is plain that a science
Our own procedure may be stated simplv\
based upon observation has no alternative but to
One of the reasons "culture" has been so hard
work out its findings piecemeal and to solve its prob-
lems step by step. ..." (1946, 106-07)
to delimit is that its abstractness makes any
single concrete referent out of the question,
Indeed scientists reject more and more the
and, up to this time, the notions that have
old recipe "define your tenns" in favor of the
accreted around the concept have not been
prescription "state explicitly and clearly your
well enough organized to cross-relate them.
undefined terms." For, as VVoodger has re-
Our hope is that by grouping and dissecting
marked:
the varying notions that have been subsumed
It is clear that we cannot
define all our terms. If under this label we can show the interconnec-
we our terms, we must by necessity
start to define all tions of the related abstractions. As L. L.
soon come to a set of terms which we cannot define
Bernard (1941a, p. 501, Definition of Defini-
any more because we will have no terms with which
tion) has remarked: "Definition becomes . . .
to define them. (1937, 159)
at one and the same time a process of conden-
Moreover, all "definitions" are constructed sation and simplification on the one hand and
from a point of view —
which is all too often of precision and formulation on the other
left unstated. Not all definitions are sub- hand."
GROUP A: DESCRIPTIVE
BROAD DEFINITIONS WITH EMPHASIS ON ENUMERATION OF CONTENT:
USUALLY INFLUENCED BY' TYLOR
I. Tylor, iSji: i. 7. Boas, 1930: 7i>.

Culture, or civilization, ... is that com- Culture embraces all the manifestations of
plex whole which includes knowledge, belief, social habits of a conmiunity, the reactions of
art, any other capa-
law, morals, custom, and the individual as affected by the habits of the
bilities and habits acquired bv man as a member group in which he lives,and the products of
of societ)'. human activities as determined bv these habits.*

2. Wissler, 1920: 5. 8. Hiller, 1933: 5.


... all social activities in the broadest sense, The systems of thought, practical
beliefs,
such as language, marriage, property system, arts, manner of living, customs, traditions, and
etiquette, industries, art, etc. . . .
all ways of acting are also
socially regularized
called culture. So defined, culture includes all
3. Dixon, 1^28: 5. the activities which develop in the association
(a) The sum of all [a people's] activities, between persons or which are learned from a
customs, and beliefs. social group, but excludes those specific forms
(b) That totality of a people's products and of behavior which are predetermined by in-
activities, social and religious order, customs herited nature.
and beliefs which . . . we have been accustomed
to call their civilization.
9. Winston, 1933: 2^.
may be considered as the totality of
Culture
4. Benedict, {1929) ^ 1931: 806. material and non-material traits, together with
. . . that complex whole which includes all their associated behavior patterns, plus the
the habits acquired by man as a member of language uses which a society possesses.
societj\

10. Linton, 1936: 28 S.


5. Burkitt, 1929: 231. .the sum total of ideas, conditioned emo-
. .

. . . the sum of the activities of a people as


tional responses, and patterns of habitual be-
shown by their industries and other discover-
havior which the members of that society have
able characteristics.
acquired through instruction or imitation and
which they share to a greater or less degree.
6. Bose, 1929: 23.
We can now define Culture as the
crystallized phase of man's Hfe activities. It loa. Loivie, 193"]: 3.

includes certain forms of action closely as- By culture we understand the sum total of

sociated with particular objects and institu- what an individual acquires from his society

tions; habitual attitudes of mind transferable — those beliefs, customs, artistic norms, food-
from one person to another with the aid of habits, and crafts which come to him not by
mental images conveyed by speech-symbols his own creative activity but as a legacy from
. • . Culture also includes certain material the past, conveyed by formal or informal edu-
objects and techniques . . . cation.

*An
expansion of this definition by Boas in 1938
•The year in parentheses represents date of first is cited by
us in a footnote to his quoted statement
pablicadon, the second year the date of source cited. on culture in Part III, ^-4.

4J
44 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
11. Panunzio, 1939: 106. (could also justifi- 17 Kroeber, 1948a: 8-9.
ably be assigned to D-I) . the mass of learned and transmitted
. .

It the complex whole of the


[culture] is motor reactions, habits, techniques, ideas, and
system of concepts and usages, organizations, values —
and the behavior they induce is —
skUIs, and instruments by means of which what constitutes culture. Culture is the special
mankind deals with physical, biological, and and exclusive product of men, and is their
human nature in satisfaction of its needs. distinctive quality in the cosmos .... Culture
... is at one and the same time the totality of
products of social men, and a tremendous
12. Murray, 1943: 346.
force affecting all human beings, socially and
The various industries of a people, as well ^
individually.
as art, burial customs, etc., which throw light
upon their life and thought.
18. Herskovits, 1948: 154.
Culture ' refers to that part of the total
. . .

13. MalirKywskl^. 194^1: 36.


setting [of human existence] which includes
It [culture] obviously is the integral whole
the material objects of human manufacture,
consisting of implements and consumers'
techniques, social orientations, points of view,
goods, of constitutional charters for the various and sanctioned ends that are the immediate
social groupings, of human ideas and crafts, conditioning factors underlying behavior.
beliefs and customs.

19. Herskovits, 1948: 625.


14. Kluckhohn and Kelly, 1945a: 82. . culture is essentially a construct that
. ,

Culture is that complex whole which in-


describes the total body of belief, behavior,
cludes artifacts, beliefs, art, all the other habits knowledge, sanctions, values, and goals that
acquired by man as a member of societ>% and mark the way of life of any people. That is,

all products of human activity as determined though a culture may be treated by the student
by these habits. as capable of objective description, in the final
analysis it comprises the things that people

15. ^uckhohn and Kelly, i94sa: 96. have, the things they do, and what they think.
. . . culture in general as a descriptive con-
cept means the accuinulateil trciisurv of human ;o. ThtirnziMld, 1950: 104.
creation: books, paintings, buildings, and che [Culture:] The totality of usages and ad-
like; the knowledge of ways of adjusting to justments which relate to family, political
our surroundings, both human and physical; formation, economy, labor, moralit\', custom,
hnguage, customs, and systems of etiquette, law, and ways of thought. These are bound
ethics, religion, and morals that have been to the life 0/ the social entities in which they
built up through the ages. are practiced and perish with these; whereas
civilizational horizons are not lost.

16. Bidncy, 194-: 3-] 6.

. . . functionally and secondarily, culture COMMENT


refers to the acquired forms of technique,
The distinctive criteria of this group are (a)
behavior, feeling and thoaght of individuals culture as a comprehensive totality,® (b)
within societ)' and to the social institutions in enumeration of aspects of culture content.
which they cooperate for the attainment of All of these definitions, save two, use one or
common ends. more of the following words explicitly: com-

•This is now almost universal. Odum (1947),


•When a single word or words in a definition are though distinguishing culture from civilization some-
by the author, this is reproduced, but where
italicized what as Merton docs, nevenheless says ", culture is . .

the whole definition is italicized we present it in the sum total of the characteristics of a society . .
."
ordinary type. (p. .3)
DEFINITIONS: GROUP A: DESCRIPTIVE 45

plcx whole, totality, sum, sum total, all. A- 12 1933), with Linton (1936), Mead (1937,
speaks merely of "various." The phrase "ac- B-io), and Thomas (1937, C-II-2). Activity is
cumulated treasury" in A- 15 clearly implies mentioned by Wissler (1920) and Dixon
"totality." Every definition except A-4 is (1928). It is certainly contained in Boas' "reac-
enumerative. tions of the individual'^ and implied in Bene-
Tylor's definition appears at the very be- dict's (and of course Tylor's) "habits ac-

ginning of his Primitive Culture. It has been, quired by man." Tylor's term "capabilities"
and continues to be, quoted numberless times is perhaps to be construed in the sense of

— and not only by anthropologists and sociolo- "capabilities as realized in achievements." But
gists. Klineberg uses it in his Social Psychology the enumeration —
"knowledge, belief, art,
(1940, p. 62). Another important recent
text- morals, customs" —seems today curiously
book in psychology (Gardner Murphy's Per- ambiguous as between products of activity
sonality, 1948) gives Tylor's as the sole defini- and activities as such. It is probable that
tion in the glossary under "culture" (p. 983). Tylor would have said that the products im-
Boas expanded and refined Tylor's defini- plied activities, and the activities resulted in
tion, but without breaking away from it. He products. This is the position implicit in the
had met Tylor and was evidently impressed two definitions in this group by archxologists
bv him; and if direct influencing is not trace- (A-5,A-i2).
able, that tends to be true of Boas generally. Boas' definition, which is careful, is also

Wissler, Benedict, Dbcon, Linton, and Kroeber unusually comprehensive and explicit. He
were all students of Boas. The influence of takes in, separately: (i) customs and their
Tylor —
often through Boas —
appears also in manifestations; (2) individual behavior ("re-
the phrasing of definitions not included in this actions") as determined by customs; (3) the
group (cf. B-i, B-7, B-8, B-io, B-ii, C-I-i, products of activity as so detcnnincd. We
C-I-4, C-I-5, C-II-2, C-II-4, D-II-8, etc.). have not been able to find an earlier explicit
Customs (group referent), habits (individual definition by Boas, nor in his long teaching at
referent), customs and habits, or habitual Columbia does he seem to have entered into
behavior enter into the majority of the a systematic discussion of the concept. In the
definitions in this group. This was probably first edition of The Mind of Primitive Man
inevitable for a conception emanating from (191 1 ) he uses the word frequently, some-
ethnologists, for customs are the obvious times as interchangeable with "civilizacion."
phenomena presented by history-less and non- Occasionally he slips into popular terminology
literate peoples. Learning and tradition were as in "highly cultured families," "most cul-
no doubt implicit in the idea of custom, but tured- class." On the whole, his usage reveals
learning is made explicit in only one definition a conception substantially identical with the
by an anthropologist prior to 1930 (Wissler, formal definition quoted above, though his
1916; D-II-i). Linton (1936, A-io) says quasi-definition on page 139 is archaic or at
"acquired through instruction or imitation." least incomplete.
After the formal "learning theor)'" of psy- Linton's definition, which is only one of
chologists began to reach anthropologists, several by him, does not use "customs;"
"learning" as consciously distinct from "tradi- "habits" have become "habitual behavior;"
tion" besrins to enter into an increasing num- and "conditioned responses" enter as further
ber of definitions (Mead, 1937, B-io; Miller indication of influencing by social psychology.
and Dollard, 1941, D-II-3; Linton, 1945a, There may be a remnant of Tylor-Boas type
C-I-8; Opler, 1947, D-II-8; Ford, 1942, D-I- of definition, but the orientation is away
10; Benedict, 1947, D-II-6; Davis, 1948, from it.
D-II-9; etc. Symbolism was formally injected Malinowski (A- 13) takes Tylor's notions of
by sociologists,though one anthropologist, comprehensive totality and enumeration of
Leslie White, has emphasized it in his defini- content and adds a dash of economic jargon
tions. Behavior as such enters the scene long and Jiis own favorite locution "constitutional
after behaviorism was launched in psychology: charters" which implies "rule or way" (sec
with the sociologists Hiller and Winston (both C-I). Kluckhohn and Kelly (A-15) link
46 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
1 enumerarion with social heritage (B) and ad- e.xplicitlymentioned tends to get left out
justment (D-I). Kroeber (A-17) is enumera- of consideration. Culture is an abstraction and
tive but theoretically his is one of the more in- the listing of any relatively concrete phe-
clusive of the statements in this group, for nomena confuses this issue. As Bernard (1941a,
learning, transmission, behavior, and the sig- Definition of Definition, p. 501) says:
nificance for human life are all included.
The precision of a definition does not usually con-
Thumwald'srecent definition (20) is still
sist in the accuracy of a detailed description, but
cnumcrative. differs from the others in this
It
rather in that of a representative conceptualized in-
group in that Thurnwald restricts culture bv
clusive formula which serves as a base for control
excluding which he sees as an
civilization,
operations. That is, the precision resides in a synthetic
irreversible, human-wide accumulation of conceptualized norm which is always in some degree
technology and knowledge which proceeds (in artificial and projective and may be and frequently
the Alfred Weberian not the Spenglerian is in large measure hypothetical and ideal formation.
sense of civilization — Part I, § 5, Part III, b),
independently of the more transient and per- Certain abstract and (today) generally agreed-
ishable cultures and their societies. upon properties of culture e.g., the fact —
The principal logical objection to the defini- that it has organization as well as content —
tions in this group is bv enum-
that definitions do not enter into any of the definitions in this
eration can never be exhaustive and what is not group.
GROUP B: HISTORICAL
EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL HERITAGE OR TRADITION
I. Park and Burgess, ipji: 7^. 7. Winstojj, i9^S' 4-
The culture of a group is the sum and total ... we may
regard culture as the sum total
organi2:ation of the social heritages which have of the possessions and the patterned ways of
acquired a social meaning because of racial behavior which have become part oi the
temperament and of the historical life of the heritage of a group.
group.

8. Lcm'ie, 19^4: 5.
:. Sapir, 1^21: 221. The whole of social tradition. It includes,
. . . culture, that is, . . . the socially inherited as Tylor put it, "capabilities and habits
. . .

assemblage of practices and beliefs that deter- acquired by man as a member of society'". . .

mines the texture of our lives ....

9. Linton, 1936: "jS.


3. Sapir, 192^: 402.
{1949: ^oS-09.) . the social herediry is called culture.
. .

[Culture is technically used by the ethnolo- As a general term, culture means the total social
gist and culture historian to embody] any heredit\- of mankind, while as a specific term
socially inherited element in the life of man. J culture means a particular strain of social
material and spiritual. heredity.

4. Tozzer, 192^: 6. 10. Mead, 1931: I


J.
. . . the cultural, that which we inherit by Culture means the whole complex of tra-
social contact. . , . ditional behavior which has been developed
by the human race and is successively learned
by each generation. A czilture is less precise.
4a. My res, i-^2j: 16.
It can mean the forms of traditional behavior
. . . "culture" is not a state or condition
which are characteristic of a given society, or
only, but a process; as in agricu}rnre or horti-
of a group of societies, or of a certain race, or
culture we mean not the condition of the l.md
of a certain area, or of a certain period of time.
but the whole round of the farmer's year, and
all that he does in it; "culture," then, is what

remains of men's past, working on their 11. Sutherland and Woodicard, 1940: 19.
present, to shape their future.
Culture includes everything that can be
coTmrmnicated from one generation to an-
Base, 1929: other. The culture of a people is their social
5. 14.
heritage, a "complex whole' which includes
. . . we may describe culture as including
such behaviour as is common among a group knowledge, belief^ art, morals, law, techniques
of men and which
capable of transmission is
of tool fabrication and use, and method of
from generation to generation or from one communication.
country to another.
12. Davis and Dollar d, 1940: 4.
6. Malincm'ski, i9)i: 621. . . . the difference between groups is in their
This social heritage is the key concept of cultures, their social heritage. Men behave
cultural anthropology. It is usually called differently as adults because their cultures arc
culture. Culture comprises inherited arti-
. . . born into different habitual
different; they are
facts, gODds, technical processes, ideas, habits, ways of and these they must follow be-
life,

and values. cause they have no choice.

47
48 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
13. Graves and Moore, 1940: 14. 20. Kluckhohn, 1949^: /y.
Culture is thus the social heritage, the fund By "culture" anthropology means the total
of accumulated knowledge and customs life way of a people, the social legacy the
through which the person "inherits" most of individual acquires from his group.
his behavior and ideao.
21. Henry, 1949: 218.
14. Angyal, 1941: iS-j. I would define culture
as the individiiaFs or
an organized bodv
Culture can be defined as group's acquired response systems. the . . .

of behavior patterns which is transmitted bv conception of culture as response systems ac-


social inheritance, that is, by tradition, and quired through the process of domestica-
which is characteristic of a given area or tion . . .

group of people.
22. RadcUffe-Bro^j:n, 1949: ^lo-ii.
15. Kluckhohn, 1942: 2. As a sociologist the realin,' to which I regard
Culture consists in those abstracted elements the word "culture" as applying is the process
of action and reaction which mav be traced to of cultural tradition, the process by which in
the influence of one or more strains of social a given social group or social class language,
heredity. knowledge, skills
beliefs, ideas, aesthetic tastes,
and usages of many kinds are handed on ("tra-
1 6. Jacobs and Stern, 194-;: 2.
dition" means "handing on") from person to
Humans, as distinct from other animals have person and from one generation to another.
a culture — that is, a social heritage — trans-
mitted not biologically through the germ cells
but independently of genetic inheritance.
COMMENT
These definitions seleciL one feature of
17. Dietschy, 1947: 121. culture, social heritage or social tradition,
Cest cette perpetuation des donnees de rather th?.n trying to define culture substan-
Thistoire qui n^jo sont transmiscs d'abord par lively. Linton's "social hcrodit^•" obviously
la generation qui nous precede que nous means the same and is et}'moIogically equally
nommons civilisation. valid, but is open to the tactical objection that
"hereditv'" has acquired in biology the tech-
18. Kroeber, tofSa: 2^^. nical denotation of an organic process which
. . . culture might defined a^ all the activi-
b;' is not involved in culture trans-
distinctly
tie"; jnd .non-physiological products of human mission. "Heritage" connotes rather what is
personalities that arc not automaticallv reflex received, the product; "tradition" refers pri-
or instinctive. That in turn means, in biological marily to the process by which receipt takes
and physiological parlance, that culture con- place, but also to what is given and accepted.
sists of conditioned or learned activities (plus Both terms view culture statically, or at least
the manufactured results of these); and the as more or less fixed, though the word "tra-
idea of learning brings us back again to what is dition" denotes dynamic activiry as well as end
socially transmitted, what is received from product.
tradition,what "is acquired bv man as a mem- Several of the statements de\'iate somewhat.
ber of societies." So perhaps hcrj; it comes to Sapir speaks of culture embodying elements
be is really more distinctive of culture than that are socially inherited: elements "in the
what it is. life of man, material and spiritual" phrases —
that have a curiously old-fashioned or Ger-
19. Parsons, 1949: 8. manic ring uncharacteristic of the later Sapir.
Culture consists in those patterns relative
. . . .Margaret .Mead's statement looks both forward
to behavior and the products of human action and back. Its "complex whole" is a rem-
which may be inherited, that is, passed on from iniscence from Tylor, perhaps via Benedict.
generation to generation independently of the "Traditional" is what connects the definition
biological genes. with the others in the group; "behavior" and
DEFUSflTlONS: GROUP B: HISTORICAL 49
"learned," which differentiate it from the 10) appear to be the first to make an explicit
others, represent formal or conscious psycho- distinction between "culture" and "a culture."
logical influencing. This point is simple but of great theoretical
There arc six definitions fro.Ti sociologists
importance.

in this group (i, 7, 11, 12, 13, 19). The first


The definitions in thisgroup have been of
utility in drawing attention to the fact that
is perhaps the neatest and most interesting.
human beings have a social as well as a bio-
"Historical life of the group" is a component
logical heritage, an increment or inheritance
which anthropologists long implied rather
that springs from membership in a group with
than formulated. "Racial temperament" is a
a history of its own. The principal drawbacks
factor that anthropologists have tended to shv
to this conception of culture are that it implies
away from since they became conscious of too great stabilit\' and too passive a role on the
culture. "Social meaning" and ^^social heritage" part of man. It tends to make us think of the
are understandable emphases. This definition human being as what Dollard (1939) has
by Park and Burgess is one of the first to state called "the passive porter of a cultural tra-
that culture has organization as well as content. dition." Men are, as Simmons (1942) has
This note is also struck by Winston's reminded us, not only the carriers and
"patterned ways of behavior" (7), Parsons' creatures of culture —
they are also creators
"patterns" (19), by the
and psychiatrist and manipulators of culture. "Social heredity"
Angy^Vs "organized hody" (14). suggests too much of the dead weight of tra-
Linton's and Mead's definitions (9 and dition.
GROUP C: NORMATIVT
C-/. EMPHASIS ON RULE OR WAV
1. Wissler, ip2p:i^, ^^i. habiting a common geographical area do, the
The mode followed by the communirv'
of life ways they do things and the wavs they think
or the tribe is regarded as a culture [It] . . . and feel about things, their material tools and
includes all standardized social procedures their values and symbols.
... a tribal culture is the aggregate of . . .

standardized beliefs and procedures followed 6. and GiUin, 1 9^: 20.


Gillin
by the tribe. Thecustoms, traditions, attitudes, ideas, and
symbols which govern social behavior show
2. Bogardus, 19^0: 336 (second sentence a wide varien,'. Each group, each socierv has
would justify assignment to B). a set of behavior patterns (overt and covert)
Culture is the sum total of the ways of doing which are more or less common to the mem-
and thinking, past and present, of a social bers, which are passed down from generation
group. It is the sum of the traditions, or to generation, and taught to the children, and
handed-down beliefs, and of customs, or which are constantly liable to change. These
handed-down procedures. common patterns we call the ctiltttre . . .

3. Young, i^^^xiii (or F-i, second sentence; 7. SbTTmons, 1942: 5^7.


B, third sentence). . . the culture or the
. commonlv recognized
The general term for these common and mores . . .

accepted ways of thinking and acting is


culture. This term covers all the folkways 8. Linton, i94^b: 203.
which men have developed from living to- The culture of a society is the way of life
gether in groups. Furthermore, culture comes of members; the collection of ideas and
its

down to us from the past. habits which they learn, share, and transmit
from generation to generation.
4. Klijiebcrg, 193s-' 2J5 (or A, second sen-
tence). 9. Linton, i94^a: _jo.

(culture] whole "way of


applies to that [Culture] refers to the t0t.1l way of life of
life" which is determined by the social en- any societv' . . .

vironment. To paraphrase Tylor it includes


all the capabilities and habits acquired by an 10. Kluckhohn and Kelly,'' i94)a: 84.
individual as a member of a particular society. . . . those historically created selective pro-
cesses which channel men's reactions both to
5. Firth, 19^9: 18. internal and to external stimuli.
They [anthropologists] consider the acts of
individuals not in isolation but as member^ of 11. Kluckhohn and Kelly, i94^a: 9-].

society and call the sum total of these modes By culture we mean all those historically
of behavior "culture." created designs for living, explicit and implicit,
rational, irrational, and nonrational, which

5a. Lynd, 1940: 19. exist atany given time as potential guides for
... all the things that a group of people in- the behavior of men.

*Thcmulriplicity of definitions from the Kluck-


hohn and Kelly anicle is due to the fact that this was authors, there is an attempt to state various positions
also, in part, a sun'cy of current thinking about the reflecting different t^'pes of anthropological emphasis.
concept of culture. In addition to the explanatory Of these (12) is an example, and others will follow
(10) and descriptive (11) definitions proposed by the in later sections.

50
DEFINITIONS: GROUP C: NORMATIVE 5«

12. Kluckhohn and Kelly, 194511: 91. 19. Kluckhohn, I9sia: 86.
Culture is ... a set of ready-made defini- "A
culture" refers to the distinctive wav of
tions of the situation which each participant life of a group of people, their complete
only slightly retailors in his own idiomatic way. "design for living."

Kluckhohn and Leighton,


Addendum: When this monograph was
13.
A
1946: xviii.
culture is any given people's way of life,
already in press — and hence too for late in-
clusion in tabulations — we encountered the
as distinct from the life-ways of other peoples.
following definition belonging to this group,
by the biologist, Paul Sears:
14. Herskovits, 194S: 29. The way in which the people in any group do things,
A culture is the way of life of a people; make and use tools, get along with one another and
while a society' is the organized aggregate of with other groups, the words they use and the way
individuals who follow a given way of life. they use them to express thoughts, and the thoughts
In still simpler terms a society' is composed of they think — all of these we call the group's culture.

people; the way they behave is their culture. ('939. 78-79)

Lasswell, 1948: 2C^.


COMMENT
15.
"Culture" is the term used to refer to the Wissler's 19:9 statement, "the mode of life
way that the members of a group act in rela- followed by the community," sets the pattern.
tion to one another and to other groups. It is the old "customs" concept (cf. Group

A), raised from its pluralistic connotations


16. Bennett and Tuniin, 1 949: 209. into a totalizing generalization. The word
Culture: the behavior patterns of all groups,
"mode" or "way" can imply (a) common or
called the "way of life": an observable feature
shared patterns; (b) sanctions for failure to
human groups; the fact of "culture" follow the rules; (c) a manner, a "how" of
of all is

common to all; the particular pattern of behaving; (d) social "blueprints" for action.
culture differs among all. "A culture": the One or more of these implications is made per-
of behavior which
pattern distin- fectly explicit in many of these definitions.
specific
guishes any society from all others. There are probably few contemporary
anthropologists who would reject completely
the proposition "A culture is the distmctivc
17. Frank, 1948: i-ji.
way of life of a people," though many would
... a term or concept for the totality' of
regard it as incomplete. Radcliffe-Brown has
these patterned ways or thinking and acting
only recently committed himself to a defini-
which are specific modes and acts of conduct
tion of culture (B-22). Earlier in his pro-
of discrete individuals who, under the guid-
fessional appeared to accept the
career he
ance of parents and teachers and the associa-
Tylorian conception but increasingly he has
tions of their fellows, have developed a way
belittled "culture" as opposed to "social struc-
of life expressing those beliefs and those
ture" (see p. 132). Even Radcliffe-Brown,
actions.
however, in conversation and in his final
seminar at Chicago in 1937 spoke of culture
18. Titiev, 1949: 4S- as a set of rules for behavior. If there is a
. the term includes those objects or tools,
. .
difference with Wissler's position it is in
attitudes, and forms of behavior whose use is Radcliffe-Brown's implication that there is
sanctioned under given conditions by the something artificial in rules. This is an under-
members of a particular society. standable enough attitude for an anti-cul-
turalist of his day and generation. Wissler's
1 8a. Maquet, 1949: 324. "mode of life followed" is more neutral; or if
La culture, c'est la mani^re de vivre du it has a connotation, it is rather that of a nat-
groupe. ural phenomenon.
CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
The idea of artificiality or arbitrariness be- adjustment. It is clear, however, that the
comes explicit in Redfield's "conventional "design for living" theme is, to greater or
understandings manifest in act and artifact" lesser extent, a feature common to Groups
(E-4). This emphasis seems to pull the defini- C-I, D-I, D-II, and E.
tion well off to one side —
almost as if it were A few more specific comments are now in
an echo of the Contrat Social. The "arbitrari- order.
ness" of a cultural phenomenon is a function of Bogardus' definition (2) combines an echo
its particular historical determination. "Arti- of Tylor with the social heritage notion but
ficiality" is related to a different set of prob- stresses "the ways." Young (3) likewise in-
lems hinging on the role of culture in human cludes the theme of tradition with a stress upon
life. Is It a thwarting or fulfilling or both? "ways" but combines these with Sumner's
Is man's "culturalncss" just a thin film, an term "folkways." The Gillin and Gillin defini-
epiphenomenon, capping his naturalness? Or tion (6) seems to be the first r speak of the >

are cultural features in man's life so important overt and covert aspects of culture, though
that culture becomes the capstone to human it is probable that the younger Gillin drew

personality'? Perhaps, however, there is no this distinction from the lectures of his teacher,
influence of either Rousseau or RadclifFc- Linton.
Brown involved in Redfield's definition; it may Linton, in r^vo books in 1945, drifts into
be only a degree of st^-lization of phrase. three or four definitions or subdefinitions of
In any case there tends to be a close relation- culture. Most in accord with Wissler is
ship between the definitions in this group and "the total way of life of any society," though
the group (E) to which Redfield's definition he says only that this is what culture "refers
is assigned —
those which emphasize the or- to." An amplified version (8) adds the "ideas
ganization of culture. From Tvlor's "complex and habits" which the members of the society
whole" to VVissler's "mode of life" is one step. "learn, share, and transmit." Two other state-
It is a next natural step to a "system" or "or- ments in 1945 (E-5) completely leave out the
ganization" (Redfield's word) of the conmion way of living, and emphasize the psychological
patterns, for the notion of stylization sug- factors or organized repetitive responses and
gested by "mode" or "way" is easily extended configurations of learned behavior — as is
to the totality of a culture. natural enough in a book professedly dealinor
There is also sdhic linkage to the definitions with personality'.
in the D
groups, particularly D-I, "Emphasis Herskovits (A-19) includes the phrase "wav
Upon Culture as a Problem-Solving Device." of life" in his definition, but we have placed
Ford (D-I-8) speaks of "regulations govern- this in the Tylor group rather than here be-
ing human behavior" (the "blueprints" idea) cause it is specifically enumerative. An alter-
but emphasizes the fact that these rules con- native definition from the same book of
stitute a set of solutions for perennial human Herskovits belongs in F-I.
problems. iVIorris (D-I- 14) starts from "a In general, the definitions in this group
scheme for living" but stresses the role of this imply an "organicism" which becomes explicit
in the adjustment process. Miller and Dollard in the "structural" definitions of Group E.
(D-II-3) use the phrase "design of the human Here is foreshadowed the notion of a network
maze" but emphasize primarily the learning of rules, the totality rather than the parts (the
theory angle and secondarily the conception of discrete rules) being stressed.

C-//. EMPHASIS ON IDEALS OR VALUES PLUS BEHAVIOR


1. Carver, t^^y. 28^. of any group of people, whether savage or
Culture is the dissipation of surplus human civilized (their institutions, customs, attitudes,
energy in the exuberant exercise or the higher behavior reactions) . . .

human faculties.

3. Bidney, 1^42: 4^2.


2. Thomas, /pjy: 8. A
culture consists of the acquired or culti-
[Culture is] the material and social values vated behavior and thought of individuals
DEFINITIONS: GROUP C: NORMATIVE 53

within a society, as well as of the intellectual, haps most of all for his contribution of the

artistic,and social ideals which the members "definition of the situation;" but this docs not
enter into his definition of culture. Basically
of the society profess and to which they strive
conform. this is: "material and social values" of a group;
to
further elaborated by specification of "institu-
tions, customs, attitudes, behavior reactions."
4. Bidney, 19^6: S3S-
An integral or holistic concept of culture As artifacts are not mentioned in the enumera-
tion, the word "material" in the core of the
comprises the acquired or cultivated behavior,
feeling, and thought of individuals within a
definition perhaps refers to expression in
physical form, whether in terms of tangible
society as well as the patterns or forms of in-
tellectual, social, and artistic ideals which
objects or of bodily actions. This core of the

human societies have professed historically. definition, as usual with Thomas, is trenchant:
the essence of culture is values.
Sorokin's 1947 statement is elaborate be-
5. Bidney, 194-]: 376.
genetically, integral culture refers to the
cause it is really part of a philosophical system.
. . .

education or cultivation of the whole man con-


Thus he begins by separating the social aspect
sidered as an organism and not merely to the
from the cultural aspect of the superorganic
or sociocultural empirical universe. Within
mental aspect of his nature or behavior.
this universe, culture, or "the cultural aspect,"
consists first of all of "meanings, values,
6. Sorokin, 1947: _j/j.
[The social aspect of the superorganic uni-
norms." The three together obviously equate
more or with Thomas's "values." How-
less
verse is made up of the interacting individuals,
ever, only the beginning. With the
that is
of the forms of interaction, of unorganized and
meanings, values, and norms there arc also
organized groups, and of the interindividual
The cultural included by Sorokin: ( ) their interactions
and intergroup relationships .] . .
i

and relationships; (2) their respectively more


aspect of the superorganic universe consists
or less integrated grouping into systems versus
of meanings, values, norms, their interaction
congeries; and (3) these systems and con-
and relationships, their integrated and uninte-
geries "as they are objectified through overt
grated groups (systems and congeries) as they
actions and other vehicles." This lands us in
are objectified through overt actions and
the midst of a systematic terminology that
other vehicles in the empirical sociocultural
Sorokin has coined but which it would be
universe.
beyond the scope of this comparative review to
examine or appraise in detail. It is however
COMMENT clear that "overt actions" means behavior; that
These definitions come from an economist, "other vehicles" are or include artifacts or
two sociologists, and a philosopher concerned objects of material culture; and that "objecti-
with the concept of culture. The definition fied through" means that both behavior and
by the economist (Carver) is probably of the artifacts are expressions of the primary mean-
"Geist" or "Kultur" t\'pe ("higher faculties"); ings, values, and norms in their variably inte-
we have included it only because of some slight grated groupings. Values, in short, are pri-
historical interest. It may also be argued that mary. Sorokin's thought system is therefore
Sidney's 1947 definition (5) has no genuine idealistic. Nevertheless, both behavior and
place in this group. artifacts have room made for them as "objccti-
The remaining four definitions all name fications" — that is, expressions or derivations
"behavior" or "overt actions" together with — just as recognized that values may occur
it is

"ideals" or "values." However, the relation either integrated into systems or merely
of behavior to ideals or values in these defi- collocated in congeries. That is, the world of
nitions appears to be not conceptually intrinsic, phenomena is fully recognized, though the
but to be historical —
a function of the period thinking is idealistic. This is how we constnie
when the definitions were framed ( 1937- 1947). Sorokin's definition. It aims at being broader
Thomas is notable among sociologists per- than most, and is more avowedly idealistic.
54 CULTURE. A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
but otherwise is less off-center in meaning sought, relate to the patterns or forms of the
than in the terminology chosen. social and other ideals —
presumably partly
Of Sidney's three definitions, the 1946 one shaping the ideals, partly being again in-
is an expansion of that of 1942 by the addition fluenced by them. Sorokin connects the same
of "feelings" to "behavior and thought"; of two elements by having behavior "objectify"
"patterns or forms of to the "ideals" of ideals —
express it or derive from it. Perhaps
various kinds; of "historically" to "profess": one may compare the expression of the
and by the omission of "to which they strive "themes" of a personality in TAT stories.
to conform," which presumably is already im- Thomas apparently was not conscious of a
plied in the profession of ideals. need We problem of he simply redefines his
relation:
therefore consider only the later definition. values as being customs, attitudes, and be-
Sidney avows himself as in the humanist tra- havior.
dition. This fact no doubt accounts for his Such unity as exists in this group consists
"acquired or cultivated" where most other in the premise of the dynamic force of certain
definitions stress only acquisition itself, or its normative ideas on behavior in the cultural
empirical method by social inheritance, learn- process. This conception is one to which an-
ing, symbolism. To Bidney culture retains an thropologists have openly given their allegiance
element of its older sense of "cultivation" * only quite recently. In definitions of culture
— especially self-cultivation; culture is some- by anthropologists one must wait until Kroe-
thing sought.* It is no doubt this inclination ber's 1948 definition (A-17) before the word
that makes him specify "individuals within a "values" appears. On the other hand, the
society," where most other writers merely treatment given to religious and other ideas
refer to the society or group. Seemingly also constitutes an implicit admission of the sig-
it is this same orientation that allows Bidney nificance of such norms. And anthropologists
to couple behavior and values. The behavior, have long recognized such concepts as Sum-
feelings, and thought being acquired or culti- ner's "mores" which clearly contain value
vated, in other words, being purposive or implications.

•This is clear from his 1947 d 'fininon of "integral ' Ortega y Gassct has somewhere said, "culture is

culture." that which is sought" (quoted by Frank, 1948).


GROUP D: PSYCHOLOGICAL
D-I. EMPHASIS ON ADJUSTMENT, ON CULTURE
AS A PROBLEM-SOLVING DEVICE
1. Small, ipoj: 344-45- and technologies as well as their non-symbolic
is the total equipment of tech-
"Culture" ... counterparts concrete tools and instruments,
in
nique, mechanical, mental, and moral, by use man's experience and his adjustment technique
of which the people of a given period try to become cumulative. This societal behavior, to-
attain their ends . . . "culture" consists of the gether with its man-made products, in their
means by which men promote their individual interaction with other aspects of human en-
or social ends. vironment, creates a constantly chanjjins scries
of phenomena and situations to which man
2. SuTftner '" and Keller, I ^^i: 46-41. must continually adjust through the develop-
The sum of men's adjustments to their life- ment of further habits achieved by the same
conditions is their culture, or civilization. process. The concrete manifestations of these
These adjustments are attained only
. . . processes are usually described by the vague
through the combined action of variation, se- word culture.
lection, and transmission.
7. Panunzio, 1939: 106.
3. Dawson, 1928: xiii-xiv (could also be as- . . . culture is a man-made or superorganic
signed to C-I). order, self-generating and dynamic in its op-
A
culture is a common way of life a par- — eration, a pattern-creating order, objective,
ticular adjustment of man to his natural sur- humanly useful, cumulative, and self-perpetu-
roundings and his economic needs. ating. It is the con^.plex whole of the systems
of concepts and usages, organizations, skills,
4. Keller, 1^31: 26. and instruments by means of which mankind
No civilization (sum or synthesis of niencal deals with physical, biological, and human na-
adjustments) of any importance can be de- ture in the satisfaction of its needs.
veloped by the individual or by the limited
group in isolation. Culture '^ is developed
. . .
8. Ford, 1939: (could justifiably be as-
13"]
when the pressure of numbers on land reaches signed to C-I).
a degree at which life exerts stress on man.
Culture, in the form of regulations govern-

Young, 1934: 18-19.


ing human behavior, provides solutions to so-
5.
cietal problems.
These folkways, these continuous methods
of handling problems and social situations, we
9. Blumenthal, 1941: 9.
call Culture consists of the whole
culture.
mass of learned behavior or patterns of any Culture consists of all results (products) of
group as they are received from a previous human learned effort at adjustment.
group or generation and as they are added to
by this group, and then passed on to other 10. Ford, 1942: 555, jjy.
groups or to the next generation. Culture consists of traditional ways of solv-
ing problems. Culture ... is composed
. . .

6. Lundberg, 1939: ijp. of^responses which have been accepted because


Through this process of inventing and they have met with success; in brief, culture
transmitting symbols and symbolic systems consists of learned problem-solutions.

"The 1915 edition of this same book defines


"Sumner's Folkways (1906) uses the term "civiliza- culture as "the sum or synthesis of mental adapta-
rion" but not "culture," tions." (11)

ss
56 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

n. Young, 19^: 35. 16. Gorer, 1949: 2.

Culture consists of common and more or less ...a culture, in the anthropological sense
standardized ideas, attitudes, and habits which of the word: that is to say, shared patterns of
have developed with respect to man's recur- learned behaviour by means of which their
rent and continuous needs. fundamental biological drives are transformed
into social needs and gratified through the ap-
propriate institutions, which also define the
12. Kluckhohn and Leighton, 1946: xviii-xix.
permitted and the forbidden.
There are certain recurrent and inevitable
human problems, and the ways in which man
Fiddington, 19^0: 3-4.
can meet them are limited by his biological 17.

equipment and by certain facts of the external The culture of a people may be defined as
world. But to most problems there are a vari- the sum total of the material and intellectual

ety of possible solutions. Any culture consists


equipment whereby they satisfy their biolo-
gicaland social needs and adapt themselves to
ot the set of habitual and traditional ways of
their environment.
thinking, feeling, and reacting that are charac-
teristic of the ways a particular society' meets
its problems at a particular point in time. COMMENT
Although only four of the definitions in this
13. Morris, 1946: 20^. group (2, 4, 8, 10) are directly traceable to
The culture of a society may be said to con- William Graham Sumner, it seems likely that
sist of the characteristic ways in which basic most of them show at least an indirect influence
needs of individuals are satisfied in that so- from him. Young (5), for example, uses Sum-
ciety (that is, to consist of the particular re- ner's favorite word "folkways." It is notable
sponse sequences of various behavior-families that of the seventeen definitions ten come from
which occur in the society). . .
sociologists,*- two from a philosopher (13,
14), two from English general scholars who
14. Morris, 1948: 43. are hard to classify in academic terms (3, 16),

A
culture is a scheme for living by which one from an anthropologist ^^ and psychiatrist
a number of interacting persons favor certain (12), and but two from conventional an-
motivations more than others and favor cer- thropologists (15, 17).
ways rather than others for satisfying At any rate, it is a fact that Sumner, once
tain
these motivations. The word to be under- a dominating figure in American sociology,
"favor." For preference an essen- consistently stressed the point of adjustment.
lined
tial
is

of living things. . . . To live at all


is

is to act In defining his major concept which is —


preferentially — to prefer some goals rather very close to anthropological "culture" but
than others and some ways of reaching prefer- narrower, for "culture" embraces both "folk-
red goals rather than other ways. A culture ways" and "mores" he says: —
is such a pattern of preferences held by a folkways are habits of the individual and
. . .

group of persons and Transmitted in time. customs of the society which arise from efforts to
satisfy needs; they are intertwined with goblinism
and demonism and primitive notions of luck and . . .

15. Tumey-High, 1949: j.


so they win traditional authority. Then they become
In its broadest sense, culture is coterminous
a social force. They arise no one knows whence or
with everything that is artificial, useful, and
how. They grow only to a limited extent by the
social employed by man to maintain his equili- purposeful efforts of men. In time they lose power,
brium as a biopsychological organism. decline, and die, or are transformed. While they

"Kluckhohn has been deeply influenced by his


Although C. S. Ford is considered an anthropolo- contacts with the Yale Institute of Human Relations
his degree was in "The Science of Society" at group in anthropology and psychology, and their
thinking stems, in part, from Sumner.
DEFINITIONS: GROUP D: PSYCHOLOGICAL 57

are in vigor they very largely control individual and This is a principal distinction between a num-
social undertakings, and they produce and nourish ber of definitions in group and some
this
ideas of world philosophy and life policy. Yet they definitions (e.g., Opler, D-II-8; Kluckhohn
are not organic or material. They belong to a super-
and Kelly, E-<5) which have certain points of
organic system of relations, conventions, and in-
similarit)'.
stitutional arrangements. The study of them is called
by virtue of which they
It is any culture is, among other
true that
for by their social character,
are leading factors in the science of society. (1906, iv)
things, a set of techniques for adjusting both
to the external environment and to other
The number of elements found in earlier, con- men. Insofar as these definitions point to this
temporary, and later definitions of culture fact, they are helpful; however, they are both

present also in the above statement is remark- incomplete and inaccurate as synoptic defini-
able. We
have: customs, habits, tradition, tions. For cultures create problems as well as
values ("ideas of world phiic)sophv and life solving them. If the lore of a people states that
policy"), the superorganic, the social, the frogs are dangerous creatures, or that it is not
cyclical nature or culture. safe to go about at night because of wcrc-
This group has an evident conceptual rela- aoimals or ghosts, threats are posed which do
tionship to the "rule or way" group (C-I) not arise out of the inexorable facts of the
on the one hand, and to the succeeding "learn- external world. This is why all "functional"
ing" group (D-II), on the other. The Yale definitions of culture tend to be unsatisfactory':
atmosphere was peculiarly congenial to the they disregard the fact that cultures create
attempted synthesis of anthropology, soci- needs as well as provide means of fulfilling
ology, and learning theor\- because of the them.
Sumner tradition, as Dollard, Neal .Miller. Moreover, we must not continue so glibly
Murdock, Ford, Whiting, and others have to posit "needs" on the basis of observed
testified. This position is also close to .Malin- habits. We
must, with Durkheim, take ac-
owski's ^* assumption that culture is solely the count of the possibility that even some "func-
result of response to physiological drives and tional" necessities of societies are referable
needs as modified by acquired drives. Indeed primarily to the collectivity rather than to
Malinowski apparently found himself intel- the biologically derived needs of the com-
lectual'y at home in Yale during the last years ponent individuals. We
require a way of
of his life. Gorer was also at Yale for some thinking which takes account of the pull of
time. expectancies as v.cll as the push of tensions,
Clellan Ford's definitions express the mod- which emphasizes perjuring values as well as
ern central tendency of this group without in:mediatc situation. As Dorothy Lee (194H,
deviation or His "traditional
qualification. Are Basic Xceds Ultl/nate}) has noted: "Cul-
ways of solving problems" and "learned ture is not ... 'a response to the total needs
problem solutions" stem from Sumner, from of a society' but rather a system which stems
Dollard, and from a specific psychological from and expresses something had, the basic
orientation. "Problem solutions" are the ex- values of the society." Only in part is culture
plicit waywhich one strain of contempor-
in an adaptive and adjustivc instrument.
ary academic psychology (and some theo- Another weakness of most of this cluster of
retical sociology) would approach the field propositions is that in concern at why culture
of design, aim, or business of living. The exists, and how it is achieved, they forget to
"learned" also comes from a branch of psy- tell what culture is. In short, they aim to find

chology, learning theory. In fact ever\'thing an explanatory definition without even troub-
characteristically cultural has been dissolved ling to find a descriptive one.
out of Ford's definitions, except for the hang- Finally, though these definitions attempt to
over of alternative "traditional." The drift is relate the scientific idea of culture to the in-
to resolve or reduce culture into psychology. dividual, culture often tends to disappear in

" Piddington's definition would seem to stem "Yale" framework than any actual definition by
directly from Malinowski, though cast more in the Malinowski.
.

58 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS


the work of the proponents of this "school": individuals and why they retain or change
culture is "reduced" to psychology. What is habits. Then this analysis is projected into
actually stressed is the acquisition of habits bv culture.

D-Il. EMPHASIS ON LEARNING


1. Wissler, igi6: ig$. newborn child from his elders or by others as
Cultural phenomena are conceived of as in- he grow s up.
cluding all the activities of man acquired by
learning. . . . Cultural phenomena may, there- 8. Oplcr,
194-;: 8 (could justifiably be as-
fore, be defined as the acquired activit)- com- signed to D-I).
plexes of human groups. A culture can be thought of as the sum
total of learned techniques, ideas, and activities
2. Hart and Pantzer, 192$: 70 j, 70 j. which a group uses in the business of living.

Culture consists in behavior patterns trans-


mitted by imitation or tuition. Culture in- . . .
9. A. Davis, 1948: J5).

cludes ail behavior patterns socially acquired . . . culture. defined as all be-
. . may be
and socially transmitted. havior learned by the individual in conformity
imth a group. . . .

3. Miller and Dollard, 1941: j (could justifi-


10. Hoebel, 1949: 5, 4.
ably be assigned to C-I).
Culture is the sum total of learned behavior
Culture, as conceived by social scientists, is
patterns which are characteristic of the mem-
a statement of the design of the human maze.
bers of a society' and which are, therefore, not
of the type of reward involved, and of what
the result of biological inheritance.
responses are to be rewarded.

1 1. Haring, 1949: 29.


4. Kluckhohn, 1942: 2.
Cultural behavior denotes all human func-
Culture consists in all transmitted social
tioning that conforms to patterns learned from
learning.
other persons.

5. LaPiere, i$-f6: 68. 1 2 Wilsoji a?td Kolb, 1 949: J7.


A
culture is the embodiment in customs, Culture consists of the patterns and products
traditions, institutions, etc., of the learning of of learned behavior etiquette, language, —
a sociah group over the generations. It is the food habits, religious beliefs, the use of arti-
sum of what the group has learned about liv- facts, systems of knowledge, and so on.
ing together under the particular circum-
stances, physical and biological, in which it
13. Hockett, 19^0: 113.
has found itself. Culture is those habits which humans have
because they have been learned (not necessari-
6. Benedict, /p^7: iS- '

ly without modification) from other humans.


... culture is the sociological term for
learned behavior, behavior which in man is 14. Steivard, 19 so: 98.
not given at birth, which is not determined by generally understood to mean
Culture
is

his germ cells as is the behavior of wasps or learned modes of behavior which are socially
the social ants, but must be learned anew from transmitted from one generation to another
grown people by each new generation. within particular societies and which may be
diffused from one society to another.
7. Young, 194-;: 7.
The tenn refers to the more or less organ- !5. Slotkin, 1950: ']6.

ized and persistent patterns of habits, ideas, at- By definition, customs are categories of ac-
titudes, and values which are passed on to the tions learned from others. ... A culture is
DEFINITIONS: GROUP D: PSYCHOLOGICAL 59
the body of customs found in a societ)% and to the body of actions learned from others in
anyone who acts according to these customs a societv'. Culture is also the means by which a
is a participant in the culture. From a biolo- society "adjusts" (see our preceding sub-
gical viewpoint, its culture is the means by group D-I) to its environment; but this is
which a society' adjusts to its environment. . . . "from the biological viewpoint," that is, in non-
Artifacts are not included in culture. sociocultural aspect. While artifacts are spe-
cifically excluded from culture by Slotkin, he

1 Aberle, et al, i^jo: 102.


6. does not state whether he includes in culture
Culture is socially transmitted behavior con- or excludes from it other "products" of human
ceived as an abstraction from concrete social behavior such as ideas and values (our groups
groups. F-I and C-II).
Most of these definitions stress the element
COMMENT of inter-human learning, of non-genetic trans-
It is interesting that Wissier appears to have mission, at the expense of other features of
pioneered both the "rule or way" and the culture. That the learning element is import-
"learning" though it was many
definitions, ant would not be questioned by contemporary
years before the latter caught on among his anthropologists; it is mentioned in many other
anthropological colleagues. Wissier was definitions without such preponderant em-
trained as a psychologist. The
recent fashion phasis. In the broad sense, of course, this was
of emphasizing learning in dpfinitions of cul- realized as long ago as 187 1, for Tylor says,
turedemonstrably comes from psychology, "acquired by man as a member of society." All
more especially from "learning theory," most human beings of whatever "races" seem to
especially from the Institute of Human Rela- have about the same nervous systems and bio-
tionsbrand of learning theory. logical equipment generally; fience the basic
LaPiere is of interest because he represents processes of learning are very similar if not
an attempt to combine the content of the old identical among groups. Anthropologists
all

Tylor-type group A definitions with the re- look to the psychologists to discover these
cent psychological emphasis on learning. Cul- general laws of learning. On the other hand,
ture becomes the sum or embodiment in cus- anthropologists can show that that which is
toms of what a socierv^ has learned in its his- learned, from whom learning takes place, and
tory about how to live. Not everything that when the learning of certain skills usually oc-
might be mentioned is here; but what there is curs, varies according to culture. However,
seems unex'ceptionable, provided one is ready while cultural behavior is always learned be-
to put its acquisition by learning into the fore- havior, not all learned behavior is cultural;
front of consideration over what culture may conversely, !,;rning is only one of a numl)cr
be. of diflferentia of culture.
Opler's definition seems perhaps influenced A number of the definitions in the group,
by the substantive one of Kluckhohn and Kel- while emphasizing learning, do combine this
ly. "Uses in the business of livinfj" is at least with other features, LaPiere (5), Young (7),
equally telic or functional in its emphasis. and Wilson and Kolb (12) are enumerative in
However, this is or purified
a less selective Tylorian fashion. Others (i, 2, 3, 5, 9, 11)
definition. The "group" "learning" is in,
is in, echo the "rule or way" theme by the use of
so are "ideas," "activities" include behavior. words like "groups," "social," "conformity,"
There is even a new element "techniques," and the like. Oplcr (8) combines "learning"
which may have been meant to refer specifi- with a suggestion of adjustment. Slotkin (15)
cally to technologies, but also slants ahead to has learning, customs, and adjustment —
"use in the business of living." with an implication of rule or way. Steward
Slotkin mentions action, learning, and ad- (14) joins learning to social transmission with
justment, and his psychological accent is thus a characteristically anthropological emphasis
clear. His basic definition of a culture reduces on diffusion which he mentions explicitly.
6o CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AXD DEFINITIONS

D-IIL EMPHASIS ON HABIT


1. Tozzer, n.d. {but pre-ip^o). of Murdock *' will serve at least as a con-
Culture is the rationalization of habit. scious reminder that, in the last analysis, the
social scientist's description of a culture must
2. Young, 1934: ^92 {Glossary) rest upon observation of the behavior of in-
Culture: Forms of habitual behavior common dividuals and studv of the products of indi-
to a group, community, or societ\'. It is made vidual behavior. The word "habits," however,
up of material and non-material traits. is too neutral; a group never affectively in-
is

different to its culture.


"Socially valued
3. Murdoch, 1941: 141. habits" would seem minimal and again, like
. . . culture, the traditional patterns of ac- "learning," this is only part of the picture.
tion which constitute a major portion of the Anthropologists would agree, though, that so-
established habits with which an individual en- cial habits and the alterations brought about in
ters any social situation. the non-human environment through social
habits constitute the raw data of the student
COMMENT of culture.
These three belong with the
definitions It may legitimately be questioned whether
other psychological groups because, whereas Young's definition (2) belongs here or in C-I
"custom" refers to a group, "habit" puts the ("rule or way"). The second sentence is also
locus in the individual. Perhap the definition the beginning of an enumerative definition.

D-IV. PURELY PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFINITIONS


1. Rohe'mi, 193^: 216. COMMENT
Dy~culture we
understand the sum of
shall These rwo definitions not only stress the
all sublimations, all substitutes, or reaction psychological angle; they are couched in terms
formations, in short, everything in society' that entirely outside the main stream of anthropo-
inhibits impulses or permits their distorted logical and sociological thought. The first is
satisfaction. psychoanalytic; the second is from social psy-
chology, as evidenced by the key word "at-
titudinal."
2. Katz and Schanck, 193S: 5-5-/.
Roheim appears to be the only psychoanal-
Society refers to the common objective re-
yst who
has attempted a formal definition in
lationships (non-attitudinal) bervveen man and
psychoanalytic terms. Freud occasionally used
man and between men and their material
the word "Kultur" in its non-anthropolog[ical
world. It is often confused with culture, the
sense. In general, he seems to have had little
attitudinal relationshipbetween men. Cul- . . .
sense of the significance of cultural diversity.
ture is what pcrsonalit\' is to the
to society His eye was upon the universal. The "Neo-
organism. Cultiire sums up the particular insti- Freudians" (Horncy, Kardiner, Alexander,
tutional content of a society. Culture is what and Fromm) use the term "culture" freely
happens to individuals within the context of a enough but with little precision. Homey at
particular society, and these happenings are
. . .
least uses "cultural" as synonymous with "so-
personal changes. cial."

"Roberts, a pupil of Murdock, says (1951, pp. 3, that the culture of a group could be defined in terms
6): "It [the stuay] is based on the major hypothesis of shared habits. On analysis, it was found that,
its

that every small group, like groups of other sizes, although important because it implies common learn-
defines an independent and unique culture the . . . ing, understanding, and action, the shared habit rela-
description of any culture is a statement of ordered tionship was not the only one which was sigrnificant."
habit relationships. . . . Roberts also (p. 3) speaks of a habit as "a way of be-
"The data in the field were collected on the theory having." There is thus a link to the C-I group.
GROUP E: STRUCTURAL
EMPHASIS ON THE PATTERNING OR ORGANIZATION OF CULTURE
1. Willey, 1929: 2o-[. 7. Gillin, 1948: 191.
A
culture is a system of interrelated and in- Culture consists of patterned and function-
terdependent habit patterns of response. ally interrelated customs common to specifiable
human beings composing specifiable social
2. Dollard^ t9W- $0. groups or categories.
Culture is the name given to [the] abstracted
[from men] inter-correlated customs of a so- 8. Coutu, J949: 3s8-
cial group. Culture is one of the most inclusive of all

the configurations we call interactional fields


3. Ogbitm and Nimkoff, 1940: 6^. — the way of life of a whole people like that
A culture consists of inventions, or culture of China, western Europe, and the United
traits, integrated into a system, with varying States. Culture is to a population aggregate
degrees of correlation between the parts. . . .
what personality is to the individual; and the
Both material and non-material traits, organized ethos is to the culture what self is to a per-
around the satisfaction of the basic human sonality, the core of most probable behaviors.
needs, give us our social institutions, which are
the heart of culture. The institutions of a 9. Turney-High, 1949: j.

culture are interlinked to form a pattern which Culture is the working and integrated sum-
is unique for each society, mation of the non-instinctive activities of hu-
man beings. It is the functioning, patterned
4. Redfield, 1940: quoted in Ogbtirn and totality of group-accepted and -transmitted
Nimkoff, 1940: 2 J. .
inventions, material and non-material.
An organization of conventional under-
standings manifest in act and artifact, which, COMMENT
persisting through tradition, characterizes a
Five of these nine definitions have been pub-
human group,^' lished within the past six years; only one ante-
dates 1939. This may reflect only an intel-
5. Linton, '94J^' T» 52,
lectual fashion of the past decade or may in-
a) and cultures are, in the last analysis,
. . .

dicate a deeper level of sophistication. The es-


nothing more than the organized repetitive
sential points are two. First, there is the dis-
responses of a society's members.
tinction between the enumerative "sum" or
b) A
culture is the configuration of learned
"total" of Group A and the organized interrela-
behavior and results of behavior whose com-
tion of the isolable aspects of culture. Second,
ponent elements are shared and transmitted by
the members of a particular society.
most of the definitions in this group make it
clear that a culture is inevitably an abstraction.
6. Kluckhohn and Kelly, 194^^: 9S. Dollard (2) first explicitly separates "customs"
A culture is a historically derived system of from their concrete carriers or agents. Cul-
explicit and implicit designs for living, which ture becomes a conceptual model that must be
tends to be shared by all or specially designa- based on and interpret behavior but which is
ted members of a group. not behavior itself. The definitions in this

"Almost the same definition, but less complerc A culture is then an abstraction .... Wc
may as well
and, in our opinion, a little less precise, is given in identify 'culture' with the extent to which the con-
Redfield, 1941, p. 133. This work also amplifies as ventionalized behavior of members of the society is
follows: "The 'understandings' are the meanings for all the same. Still more concretely wc speak of
attached to acts and obiects. The mcanintrs arc con- culture, as did Tylor, as knowledge, belief, art, law,
ventional, and therefore cultural, in so far as they custom , .
. The quality of organization ... is
.

have become typical for the members of that society probably a universal feature of culture and may be
by reasoa of intercommunication among the members. added to the definition."

61
62 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AXD DEFINITIONS
group tend to be remote from the overt, ob- The definition by Coutu (8), a social psy-
servable uniformities of behavior. Culture is chologist, is interesting and original. He links
a design or system of designs for living; it is a organization to "way of life" and to the con-
{)lan,not the living itself; it is that which se- cepts of the culture and personality field.
cctively channels men's reactions, it is not the Kluckhohn and Kelly (6) mention historical
reactions themselves. The importance of this creation or derivation — as a more conscious
is that it extricates culture as such from be- variant of the older tradition or heritage fac-
havior, abstracts it from human activirv; the tor. This new variant is less explicit as to pro-
concept is itself selective. cess, but is more inclusive in range of connota-
These concepts mav be considered "ad- tion and perhaps more specific as to effect. A
vanced" also in the sense of inclusiveness new element "system of
is designs for liv-
. . .

and absence of one-sided weighting. While ing." This expresses purpose or end. So far
there is always a key word ("sv~stem," "or- as we know, this is the first injection of consid-
ganization," "configuration") justifying inclu- eration of aim or end into formal definitions of
sion in this group, the concept never rests on culture, though of course the concept was not
this sole feature to the extent that some defi- new in considerationsof culture. The "ex-
on "tradition," "learning." "adjust-
nitions rest plicitor implicit" is a modification of Linton's
ment," and the like. Each of these definitions "overt and covert culture."
includes at least two of the emphases noted The analysis of a culture must encompass
for previous groups. both the explicit and the implicit. The explicit
The definition of Ogburn and NinikofF (3) culture consists in those regularities in word
is tent-like and loose. Redfield (4) is tight and and deed which may
be generalized straight
unusually thoughtful. He gets in: ( i
) the sys- from the evidence of the ear or eye. The im-
tematic property ("organization"); (2) the plicit culture, however, is an abstraction of the
selective or arbitrary aspect of culture ("con- second order. Here the anthropologist infers
ventional understandings"); (3) the empirical least common denominators which seem, as it
basis ("manifest in act and artifact"); (4) so- were, to underlie a multiplicity of cultural con-
cial heritage ("tradition"); (5) distinctive way tents. Only in the most sophisticated and self-
of life; and (6) hnrrnan group reference ("char- conscious of cultures will his attention be called
acterizes a human group"). The whole is directly to these by carriers of the culture, and
tightly bound Linton (5) cements
together. then only in part. probablv\ One m.iy in-
organization, habit, group, learning, heritage. stance Radclifle-Bro". n's well-known paper
But the content or kind of behavior, its idea "The Position of the Mother's Brother in
or way, are not gone into as in Linton's earlier South Africa."
definitions. As Ernst Cassirer and Kurt Lewin, among
Gillin (7) is reminiscent, perhaps accident- others, have pointed out, scientific progress
ally,of Willey (i) 1929, ana also suggests in- frequently depends upon changes in what is
fluence of Kluckhohn and Kelly (6). Gillin regarded as real and amenable to objective
uses "customs" as the noun in the predicate of study. The development of the social sciences
his definition. The customs are qualified as has been impeded by a confusion between the
"patterned" and as "functionally interrelated"; "real" and the concrete. Psychologists, typical-
and the larger half of the definidon refers to ly, are reluctant to concede reality in the so-
the specifiable individuals and specifiable cial world to anything but individuals. The
groups or social categories to whom the cus- greatest advance in contemporar)' anthropolo-
toms are common. This quantitative weight- gical theory is probably the increasing recog-
ing reflects Gillin's psychological and sociolo- nition that there is something more to culture

gical interests. The "specifiable" carriers sug- than artifacts, linguistic texts, and lists of
gest emphasis on cultural variabilit\' due to a atomized traits.
viewing of it from the angle of personality Structural relations are characterized by rela-
rather than collectively. "Customs," though tively fixed relations bet^veen parts rather than
formally the key word, seems residual rather by the parts or elements themselves. That re-
than pivotal in the definition. lations are as "real" as things is conceded by
DEFINITIONS: GROUP E: STRUCTURAL 6}

most philosophers. It is also clear from ordi- tern." Positivistic biologists have observed:
nary experience that an exhaustive analvsis of "These resultsappear to demonstrate that sta-
reality cannot be made within the limitations of tistical features or orgjnizJtio7i can be herita-
an atomistic or narrowly positivistic scheme. ble. . .
." *''
The behavioristic psychologist,
Take a brick wall. Its "reality" would be Clark PIull, finds that behavior sequences are
granted by all save those who follow an ideal- "strictly patterned" and that it is the pattern
ism of Berkeley's sort —
thev would deny it which often determinative of adaptive or
is

even to the bricks. Then let us take each non-adaptive behavior.


brick out of the wall. A radical, analytic em- That organization and equilibrium seem to
piricist would be in all consistency obliged to prevail in nature generallydoubtless a mat- is

say that we have destroyed nothing. Vet it ter of balance, economy, or least action of
is clear that while nothing concrete has been energy. Assuming that those aspects of be-
annihilated, a form has been eliminated. havior which we call cultural are part of a
Similarly, the student of culture change is natural and not of a supernatural order, it is

forced to admit that forms may persist while to be expected that exactness of relationship,
content changes or that content remains rela- irrespective of dimensions, must be discovered
tively unaltered but is organized into new and described in the cultural realm. One of the
structures. most original of anthropological linguists, B.
An analogy used by Freud for personality L. Whorf, "^ has put well the approach most
is equally applicable to cultural disintegration. suited to cultural studies:
If we throw a cr\'stal to the ground, it breaks;
... In place of apparatus, linguistics uses and
however, its dissolution is not haphazard. The
develops techniques. Experimental docs not mean
frasrmentation accords with lines of cleavacje
quantitative. Measuring, weighing, and pointer-read-
predetermined by the particular structure of ing devices are seldom needed in linguistics, for
the crystal, invisible though it was to the naked quantity and number play little part in the realm of
eye. So, in culture, the mode in which the pattern, where there are no variables but, instead,
parts stand to each other cannot be indifferent abrupt alternations from one configuration to an-
from the standpoint of understanding and pre- other. The
mathematical sciences require exact
diction. If a form ceases to exist, the resultant measurement, but what linguistics requires is, rather,
change is different from that of a purely sub- exact "pattcmment" — an exactness of relation
irrespective of dimensions. Quantity, dimension,
tractive operation. Each culture is, among
magnitude ar; metaphors since they do not properly
other things, a complex of relations, a multi-
belong in this spaceless, relational world. I might
verse of ordered and interrelated parts. Parts
use this simile: Exact measurement of lines and
do not cause a whole but they comprise a angles will be needed to draw exact squares or other
whole, not necessarily in the sense of being regular polygons, but measurement, however pre-
perfectly integrated but in the sense of being cise, will not help us to draw an exact circle. Yet it

separable only by abstraction. is necessary only to discover the principle of the

All nature consists of materials. But the compass to reach by a leap the ability to draw perfect
circles. Similarly, linguistics has developed tech-
manner in which matter organized into
is
niques which, like compasses, enable it without any
entities is as significant as the substance or the
true measurement at all to specify exactly the patterns
function serviced within a given system. Re- with which it is concerned. Or I might perhaps
cent organic chemistry has documented this liken the case to the state of affairs within the atom,
fact. The self-same atoms present in exactly where also entities appear to alternate from con-
the same number may constitute either a figuration to configxiration rather than to move in

medicine or a poison, depending solely upon terms of measurable positions. As alternants, quantum

the fashion in which they are arranged. Con-


phenomena must be treated by a method of analysis
that substitutes a point in a pattern under a set of
temporary genetics and biology have come to
conditions for a point in a pattern under another set
the same conclusion. A famous geneticist has —
of conditions a method similar to that used in
written, "All that matters in heredity is its pat- analysis of linguistic phenomena.

'Crozier and Wolf, 1939, p. 178. "•Whorf, 1949, p. II.


GROUP F: GENETIC
F-l. EMPHASIS ON CULTURE AS A PRODUCT OR ARTIFACT
1. Groves, 1928: 2^. 6. Warden, ip^^: 22-2^.
A produce of human association. Those patterns of group Hfe which exist
only by virtue of the operation of the three-
a. Willey, ip2jb: ^00. fold mechanism —
invention, communication,
I

. . . that part of the environment which man and social habituation — belong to the cul-

has himself created and to which he must ad- tural order. . . . The cultural order
super- is

just himself. organic and possesses its own modes of opera-


tion and its own t\pes of paneming. It can-
not be reduced to bodily mechanisms or to the
2. Folsom, ip28: /j.
biosocial complex upon which it rests. The
Culture is the sum total of all that is arti-
conception of culture as a unique type of so-
ficial. It is the complete outfit of tools, and
cial organization seems to be most readily ex-
habits of living, which are invented bv man
plicable in terms of the current doctrine of
and then passed on from one generation to an-
emergent evolution.
other.

3. Folsorri, 1931: 41S-T,. 7. S.orokin, 193^: I: 3.


Culture is not any part of man or his inborn In the broadest sense [culture] may mean
equipment. It is the sum total of all that man the sum everything which is created
total of
has produced: tools, symbols, most organiza- or modified by the conscious or unconscious
tions, common activities, attitudes, and beliefs. activity of two or more individuals interact-
It includes both ph\ jicil products and imma- incT with one another or conditioning; one an-

terial products. It is ever\'thing of a relatively other's behavior.


permanent character^' that we call artificial,

everything which is passed down from one


generation to the next rather than acquired 8. Renter, 1939: 191.

by each generation for itself: it is, in short, The term culture is used to signify the sum-
civilization. total of human creations, the organized result
of human experience up to the present time.

Winston, 19^3: 209. Culture includes all that man has made in the
4.
Culture in a vital sense is the product of so- form of tools, weapons, shelter, and other ma-
Human
behavior is cul- terial goods and processes, all that he has
cial interaction. . . .

tural behavior to the degree that individual elaborated in the way of attitudes and beliefs,
habit patterns arc built up in adjustment to pat- ideas and judgments, codes, and institutions,
terns already existing as an integral part of the arts and sciences, philosophy and social or-

culture into which the individual is born. ganization. Culture also includes the interre-
lations amongthese and other aspects of hu-

5. Menghin, 1934: 68. man as distinct from animal life. Everything,


Kultur ist das Ergebnis der geistigen Beta- material and immaterial, created by man, in
tigung des Menschcn, objectivierter, stoffge- the process of living, comes within the con-
-^ cept of culture.
bundener Geist.

^Ci. Folsom, 19JI, p. 474: ". those relatively . .


Menghin, has a doubtful place in this group. Any-
constant features of social life are called ailtttre." P. thing in terms of "Geist" really belongs at another
475: "Culture as the more constant features of social level and does not fit prof>erly within our scheme.
lifer We have put the definition here only because Elrgebnis
"This definition by the archaeologist, Oswald means product, result, outcome.

<54
DEFINITIONS: GROUP F: GENETIC 65

9. Bernard^ 194.1: 8. 17. Herskovits, 1948: ij.

Culture consists of all products (results) of A short and useful definition is: "Culture is

organismic nongenetic efforts at adjustment. the man-made part of the environment."

18. Kluckhohn, 194 9a: i-j.


ID. Dodd, 1941: 8 (could be assigned to
. culture may be regarded as that part of
. .
D-II).
the environment that is the creation of man.
Culture consists of all products (results) of
interhuman learning.
19. Murdoch, 1949a: 57^.
The interaction of learning and society thus
11. Hart^ 1941-' 6. produces in every human group a body of
Culture consists of all phenomena that have socially transmitted adaptive behavior which
been directly or indirectly caused (produced) appears super-individual because it is shared,
by both nongenetic and nonmechanical com- because it is perpetuated beyond the individ-
munication of phenomena from one individual ual life span, and because its quantit\' and
to other. quality so vastly exceeds the capacit)^ of any
single person to achieve by his own unaided
12. Bernard, '94^' ^99- effort. The term
"culture" is applied to such
The term culture is employed in this book systems of acquired and transmitted behavior.
in the sociological sense, signifying anything
that is man-made, whether a material object, 20. Kluckhohn, i9Sia: 86.
overt behavior, symbolic behavior, or social Culture designates those aspects of the total
organization. human environment, tangible and intangible,
that have been created by men.

13. Young, 1942: 36.


A precipitate of man's social life.
COMMENT
F-I, F-II, and F-III are lumped together as
14. Huntington, 194s- 1-8. "genetic" because all focus upon the ques-
By culture we mean every object, habit, idea, tion: how has culture come to be? what are

institution, and mode of thought or action the factors that have made culture possible or
which man produces or creates and then passes caused it to come into existence? Other
on to others, especially to the next generation. properties of culture are often mentioned,
but the stress is upon the genetic side.
Carr, ip4^: 757.
This group of definitions (F-I) is Ln effect
15.

The accumulated transmissible results of


close to the B group that centers on tradition
or heritage, but it emphasizes the result or
past behavior in association.
product instead of the transmitting process.
Groves says in 1928, "a product of human
16. Bidney, 194J: 5^7. association"; Kimball Young fourteen years
. . . human culture in general may be under- later: "a precipitate of man's social life."
stood as the dynamic process and product of Sorokin —
in a definition which he savs is
the self-cultivation of human nature as well the broadest possible —
also regards culture
as of the natural environment, and involves the as the product of human interaction. This is
development of selected potentialities of nature a distinctively sociological emphasis, and
for the attainment of individual and social twelve of the twenty definitions in this group
ends of living. come from sociologists,^* Carr packs a tre-

nous appellons culture au sens Ic plus large possible."


"Another Leopold von Wiese (1932),
sociologist, (24)
while not defining culture, formally associates him- "Dans la structure des cultures, nous reconnaissons
self with the "product" criterion: ane accumulation et unc continuite inintcrrompus
"De la relation interhumaine resulte tout ce que de scries de processus sociaux." (28)
66 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
mendous lot into his nine words. The basing agreeing upon culture as "product," the twist
in society is there; the history and the ac- they give is quite different from that of the
cumulation; the products and their transmissi- sociologists: while the environment influences

bility. the "way of life" which is culture, the most


The single definition by a psychologist. humanly relevant part of this envLromrient is
itself the product of cultural groups.
Warden (6), is perhaps more concerned to
make the point of culture as an emergent than Some of these definitions, while quite vague,
point up an important problem: the locus of
of culture as a product, but both notions are
abstraction. Certain definitions emphasize the
there. The geographer, Huntington (14), has
effect aspect of culture; others localize the
cnumerative and heritage aspects to his defini-
effects in the human mind; still others suggest
tion.The philosopher, Bidnev (16), recurs to
the possibility^' of putting the effects out in the
his favorite theme of "self-cultivation," men-
environment. This is a recurrent problem in
tions "process" as well as "product," and in-
the thinking of our culture; the Ogden and
cludes the properties of selection and "ends of Richards' distinction between reference and
living."
referent hinges on it. Another example is the
The four anthropological definitions in this shifting of value from "inside" ("attitude")
group alldate from the last four years. While to outside the person.

F-II. EMPHASIS ON IDEAS


1. Ward, 190^: 255-, in the cosmos to the[Note: This includes
last.

A culture is a social structure, a social ideas htcman minds, but now


once resident in
organism, if any one prefers, and ideas are its no longer held bv living minds, though their
germs. former existence is ascertainable from surviving
^-
material symbols.]
2. Wissler, 1916: i^-j.

... a culture is a definite association com- 5. Osgood, 1940: 2$.

plex of ideas. Culture consists of all ideas concerning


human beings which have been communicated
to one's mind and of which one is conscious.
3. Schmidt, 19^7: 131.
Die Kultur bcsteht ihrem tiefstcn Wcscn 6. Khickhohn a :l Kelly, i94^a: ^7.
nach in der inncren Formung dcs menschlichcn summation of all the ideas for standard-
... a
Geistes; in der aussem Forn\ung dcs Korpers
ized tvpes of behavior.
and der Narur insofern, als diese durch den
Geisc gelenkt ist. Somit ist Kulmr, wie alles 7. Feiblenian, 1946: 75, ]6.
Geistige, ervvas Tmmanentes, etwas durchaus Tentative definition.) Culture may be
(a.
Innerliches und als soches der aussem Beobach- said tobe the common use and application of
tung direkt nicht zuganglich. complex objective ideas bv the members of
a social group.
4. Blumenthal, 193J: s, 12. (b. Final definition.) A culture is the
a) Culture is the world sum-total of past actual selection ofsome part of the whole of
and present cultural ideas. [Note: As cultural human behavior considered in its effect upon
ideas are said to be "those whose possessors are materials, made according to the demands of
able to communicate them bv means of s\'m- an implicit dominant ontology and modified
bols,** symbolically-communicable should be bv the total environment. [Implicit dominant
substituted for cultural above.] ontologv is elsewhere said to be the common
b) Culture consists of the entire stream of sense of a cultural group, or the eidos of a
inactive and active cultural ideas from the first cultTire.]

"These two definitions are somewhat mov..fied Also, contrast his two definitions of 1941 which we
and commented upon in Blumenthal, 1938a and .938b. cite as D-I-9 and F-IV-3.
DEFINITIONS: GROUP F: GENETIC 67

8. Taylor, 1948: lo^io. the outward and visible manifestation of a


By [holistic] culture as a descriptive con- cultural idea."
cept, I mean all those mental constructs or In this emphasis, as in rwo others, VVissler
ideas which have been learned or created after was first— or first among anthropologists.
birth by an individual .... The term idea in- However, appears to be
this another trial
cludes such categories as attitudes, meanings, balloon — derived again from his psychological
sentiments, feelings, values, goals, purposes, — which he threw out
trainini^ in passing but

interests, knowledge, beliefs, relationships, did not develop systematically in his later

assodiations, [but] not . . . Kluckhohn's and writings.


Kelly's factor of "designs." Schmidt's somewhat cryptic definition has
Byl an explanatory con-
[holistic] culture as an echo of nineteenth-century German Gc'tst.
cept,.|;I mean all those mental constructs which It does tic in with a consistent strain in his

are used to understand, and to react to, the writiniT emphasizing internaliry and the de-
experiential world of internal and external pendence of culture upon the individual
stimuli .... Culture itself consists of ideas, not psyche. The note of "immanence" links with
processes. Sorokin's thinking.
By a culture, i.e., by culture as a partitive Blumenthal, in a special and condensed
concept, I mean a historically derived system paper on the subject in 1937, gives altcK-native

of culture traits which is a more or less definitions. Combined would


into one, these
separable and cohesive segment of the whole- read: "The entire stream world sum-
(or:
that-is-culture and whose separate traits tend total) of past and present {or: inactive and
to be shared by all or by specially designated active) symbolically-communicable ideas."
individuals of a group or "society." •The historic weighting is obvious. Ideas alone,
in the strict sense, seem a narrow concept for
embracing the whole of culture. Yet, if
9. Ford, 1949: s8.
there is to be limitation to a single clement or
. . . mav
be brieflv defined as a
culture
term, ideas is perhaps as good as could be
stream of from individual
ideas,*^ that passes
found. Blumenthal's definition further in-
to individual by means of symbolic action,
cludes the feature of the method of communi-
verbal instruction, or imitation.
cation or transmission ("symbolically com-
municable) which so characteristically scrs o.T
10. Becker, 19^0: 2^1. culture from other organically based aspects.
A culture is the relatively constant non- What is lacking from the Blumenthal definition
material content transmitted in a society by is, first, consideration of behavior, activity, or

means of processes of sociation. practice; second, that of design or mode or


way, whether teleological-functional or em-
COMMENT pirically descriptive; and third, the element of
ideal, norm, or value —
unless this was in-
While concept seems unnecessarily
this tended to be comprised in "ideas." While the
restricted, it does aim at what certain authors present definition by Blumenthal is perhaps
have thought cardinal. The underlying point anthropological in its slant, and certainly is
is often expressed in conversation somewhat historically oriented, his redefinition of four
as follows: "Strictly speaking, there is no years later (D-I-9) is psycho-sociological
such thing as 'material culture.' A pot is not (learned efforts at adjustment).
culture — what is culture is the idea behind Osgood's statement —"all ideas which . . .

the artifact. A prayer or a ceremony is merely have been communicated . for are] con-
. .

[Ford's footnote.] Webster's definition of "idea" seems to have no place in science. Individuals receive
does not quite serve here, yet the writer does not wish ideas from other humans, sometimes combine them,
to use an obscure word or coin a new one. For the less frequently discover them in the natural world
purposes of this paper, it is understood that indivrduals about them, and almost always pass them along to
do not "create" ideas. The concept of "free will" others.
68 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
scious" — seems to belong here. But
it con- differs from Kluckhohn and Kelly on the
tains features whose relevance isnot evident fundamental point that to him culture con-
("ideas concerning human beings^'l) or which sists of ideas or mental constructs; to them, of
are unclear (do "one," "one's mind" refer to designs or selective channeling processes. It
members of the society having the culture or would appear to us that while Taylor has
to the student of culture?). There appear to been influenced by Kluckhohn and Kelly, he
be elements belonging in the definition which has emerged with something different, and
have not been stated. that his definitions clearly belong in the present
Feiblcinan is a philosopher. Neither his class where we have put them. This is pri-
tentative nor his final definition fits well into marily because Taylor restricts himself to
the classification we have made of the opinions cognitive or conscious processes ("mental
of sociologists and anthropologists. We
have constructs"), whereas "design" allows for
put them here because the first one stresses feelings, unconscious processes, "implicit cul-
ideas and the second one ontology. How these ture."
elements integrate with other elements in the The distinction between culture holistically
same definitions is not wholly clear. Does conceived and partitively conceived is of
"common use and application" refer to be- course not new. Linton explicitly makes the
havior.' What are "comple.x objective" ideas? distinction (in our B-9) in the same book
As to "the actual selection of some part of the (1936: 78) in which Taylor sees him shifting
whole of human behavior" — does this mean from one level to another (1936: 274) on this
that a particular culture is a selection out of point. There is probably little danger of con-
the total of possible human culture viewed as fusion bet\veen the two aspects, the holistic
behavior, or is it intended merely to exclude and the partitive, becoming consequential in
non-cultural physiology like scratching an concrete situations; but theoretically, failure
itch or digesting? "Behavior considered in to observe the distinction might be serious.
its effects upon mircrials" would seem to be Taylor revolves the distinction largely around
oriented away from ideas, but is obscure, un- individual peculiarities, emergent or surviving.
less the reference is to artifacts. However, an These he argues are cultural when culture is
"implicit dominant ontology" is an integrating conceived holistically, but not cultural when
ideology, and the "selection," being "made it is conceived partitivelv —
in that event only
according to [its] demands," would render shared traits arc cultural.
this ontology formative. Taylor gives to the holistic concept of
We welcome the patticipation of philoso- culture an emergent qunlit)^ and says that it

phers in the problem of what culture is. Better "hinges . . . against concepts of the same [sic\
trained in abstract terminologv, thev will not level such as the organic" and inorganic. By
however be of much help to working social "same level" he does not of course mean that
scientists until they either conform to the the cultural, the organic, and the inorganic
established terminologv of these or reform represent phenomena of the same order, but
it by explicit revision or substitution. that they are on the same "first level of ab-
By contrast, Taylor comes from archxologv, straction" resulting from "the primary break-
that branch of social studies most directly con- down of data" (p. 99). The other or partitive
cerned with tangibles, and presents a set of concept of "a" culture he credits to "a second-
definitions which are both clear and readily ary' level of abstraction." This distinction by
applicable to specific situations. His defini- Taylor of course holds true only on deductive
tions number three because he makes a point of procedure, from universals to particulars. His-
distinguishing bervveen holistic culture and torically it is obvious that the procedure has
Mrticular cultures, and then defines the first been the reverse. Even savages know particular
Doth descriptively and explanatorily, follow- customs and culture traits, whereas culture
ing Kluckhohn and Kelly. He also states that as a defined holistic concept arose in the nine-
he essentially follows them in his definition of teenth century and is still being resisted in
particular cultures. Nevertheless, Taylor spots within the social sciences and ignored
.

DEFINITIONS: GROUP F: GENETIC 69

in considerable areas without. would We factors involving culture traits. They do not
rather say that the first "level" or step in constitute culture but comprise the relation-
between culture (This would ex-
abstraction was represented by the mild com- ship traits.

mon-sense generalization of customs from sen- clude formal and structural relationships and
sorily observed instances of behavior; that then
recognize only dynamic relationship.] Culture,
the customs of particular societies were gen- consisting of mental constructs, is not directly

eralized into the cultures of those societies; observable; it can be studied solely through
and that culture conceived holistically, as an the objectifications in behavior and results of
order of phenomena and an emergent in evo- behavior. Culture traits are ascertainable only
lution, represented the to-date final "level" or bv inference and only as approximations (p.

step of abstraction, the one farthest removed III). for this reason that context is of
It is

from the raw data of experience. such tremendous importance in all culture
In short, Taylor seems to us to have studies. — Thus Taylor.
blurred two differentmeanings of the term Ford's definition (9) suggests influence from
"level" as currently used. One meaning is both Blumenthal and Taylor, but is original
levels of abstraction, which are really steps and carefully thought through. Ford, it is
in the process of abstracting. The other mean- worth remarking, is also an archxologist.
ing refers to a hierarchy of orders of organiza- These definitions emphasizing ideas form
tion of the phenomenal world (like inorganic, an interesting group, whatever specific defects
organic, superorganic or sociocultural). These may be felt to attach to any given definition.
orders are often spoken of as levels, but do not Perhaps this group and Group E are farthest
differ one from the other in their degree of out on the frontier of culture theory. Certain
abstractness. And in any empirical context issues are raised (for instance Osgood's sug-

they obviously all represent the last and highest gestion that culture must be restricted to
level of abstraction, as compared with more phenomena above the level of consciousness)
restricted concepts or categories such as par- which anthropology must face up to. .Many
ticular cultures, behaviors, organisms, species. of these definitions deal explicitly with the
Taylor^s summary (p. no) seems worth problem of weighting. An attempt is made to
resummarizing, in supplement of his definition. extract what is central from looser concep-
Culture consists of the increm.ents [of mental tions of "custom," "form," "plan," and the

constructs] v.hich have accrued to individual like. The important distinction between par-

minds after birth. When the increments of ticipant and scientific observer is introduced.

enough minds are sufficiently alike, we speak There are points of linkage with the analyses of
of a culture. Culture traits are manifested by the "premises" and "logics" of cultures
cultural agents through the medium of recently developed by Dorothy Lee, B. L.
vehicles, as in Sorokin's terms. These agents Whorf, Laura Thompson, and others. In
are human beings; the vehicles are "objectifica- some of these definitions make
short, at least
tions of culture" — observable behavior and its genuine progress toward refinement of some
results. Culture processes are the dynamic hitherto crude notions.

F-III. EMPHASIS ON SYMBOLS


1. Bain, 1942: 81 3, White, 1949b: /J.
Culture is all behavior mediated by symbols. The cultural category, or order, of phenom-
ena is made up of events that are dependent
2. White, 1943: 33S- upon a faculty peculiar to the human species,

is an organization of phenomena
Culture — namely, the ability to use symbols. These
material objects, bodily acts, ideas, and senti- events are the ideas, beliefs, languages, tools,
ments —
which consists of or is dependent utensils, customs, sentiments, and institutions
upon the use of symbols. that make up the civilization — or culture, to
.

70 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

use the anthropological term of any people — we have found only two sociologists (Bain
regardless of time, place, or degree of develop- and Davis) and one anthropologist (White) "
ment. who have built their definitions around this
idea.

White, 1949a: ^63. Bain's definition is admirably compact. Its


4.
. . . "culture" is the name of a distinct order, "behavior" suggests the adjustment efforts of
or class, of phenomena, namely, those things the definitions in D-I. Its "mediation by sym-
and events that are dependent upon the exer- bols" implies inter-human learning and non-
cise of a mental abilirv, peculiar to the human genetic communication. But the reader must
species, that wc have termed
"symbolling." project even these meanings into the definition.
To be more specific, culture consists of m.a- That which is characteristic of culture and is
terial objects tools, —
utensils, ornaments, specific to it is not gone into by Bain. The

amulets, etc. — acts, beliefs, and attitudes that larger class to \\hich culture belongs is said

function in contexts characterized by s\'m- to be behavior, and within this it consists of

bolling. It is an elaborate mechanism, an that part which is "mediated" by symbols —


organization of exosomatic wavs and means that acquired through them or dependent
is, is

employed by a particular animal species, man, on them for its existence; but w hat this part is
in the struggle ror existence or survival. like is not told.
White's statements all include enumerations.
5. K. Davis, 1949: 3-4 (could be assigned to One (4) includes the words "organization"
D-II). and "function," but the emphasis remains upon
s\"mbols.
... embraces all modes of
it [culture]
thought and behavior that are handed down by A good case could be made for assig;nincr

communicative interaction i.e., by symbolic — Davis' definition to D-II ("learning"), but the

transmission — rather than bv generic in- explicit use of "s\'mbol" or "symbolic" is so


heritance.
rare that we put it in this group. Ford (F-II-p)
does include the word "symbolic" —
but very
COMMENT casually.
This group has some affiliation with C-II
It has been held by some, including Leslie ("values") because "symbol" implies the at-
White, that the true differcntiam of man is tachment of meaning or value to the externally
neither that heis -.rion;!! animal nor a culturc-
•,
given. There is also a connection with the
buildinj animal, but rather that he is a svmbol- group F-II ("ideas"), though "symbol" like
asing animal. If this position be correct, there "design" has connotations of the aff"ective
is much to he said for making reference to and the unconscious —
in contradistinction to
symbols in a definition of culture. However, "idea."

F-IV. RESIDUAL CATEGORY DEFINITIONS


I. Ostivald, 190J: ^10. 3. Blumenthal, 1941: 9.
That which distinguishes men from animals Culture consists of all nongenetically pro-
we call culture. duced means of adjustment.

2. Ostn^ald, igi^: 192. 4. Roheim, 1943: v.


These specifically human
which peculiarities Civilizationor culture should be under-
diflFercntiate the race of the Hmno sapieiis from stood here in the sense of a possible minimum
all other species of animals is comprehended definition, that is, it includes whatever is above
in the name culture . . the animal level in mankind.

••Three years earlier than his first formal definition


we find that White wrote "A culture, or civili/ntion, biologic, life-pcrpetuating activities of a particular
is but a particular kind of form (symbolic) which the animal, man, assume." (1940: 463)
DEFINITIONS: GROUP F: GENETIC 7«
5. Kluckhohn and Kelly, 19451: 8-j. for the purposes of formal definition, though
.. culture includes all
. those ways of feeling, they may be useful as additional expository-
thinking, and acting which are not inevitable statements.
as a result of human biological equipment and Ostwald, the chemist, whose contributions
process and (or) objective external situations. to culture theory have been recently re-dis-
covered bv Leslie White, is an odd and in-
COMMENT teresting figure in the intellectual history of
This group "genetic" in the sense that it
is this centur)'.
explains the origin of culture by stating what Roheim's phrase "minimum definition" may-
culture is not. Most logicians agree that resi- be a conscious echo of Tylor's famous mini-
dual category definitions are unsatisfactorv mum definition of religion.
GROUP G: INCOMPLETE DEFINITIONS
1. Sapir^ 1^21: 2^^. COMMENT
Culture may be defined as ivhat a society
These are on-the-side stabs in passing or
does and thinks.
metaphors. They should not be judged in com-
2.Marett, 1^28: ^4. parison with more systematic definitions.
Culture ... is communicable intelligence Sapir's phrase, for instance, is most felicitious

.... In its material no less than in its oral in an untechnical way, but never comes to par-
form culture is, thca, as it were, the language of ticulars and hence not to involvements. These

social life, the sole medium for expressing the statements are included precisely because of
consciousness of our common humanity. some striking phrase or possible germinal
idea.
3. Benedict, 1934: 16. Osgood's sentence which on its face has
What really binds men together is their shifted from ideas (cf. F-II-5) to artifacts
culture — the ideas and the standards they as central core (inan archaeological mono-
have in common. graph) seems to be incomplete. Perhaps it
was not intended as a general definition but
4. Rouse, 1939: I -J {chart). as a picture of the culture remnant available
Elements of culture or standards of behavior. to the archaeologist. The definition of culture
obviously presents a problem to the arch-
Osgood, 1942: 22.
5.
aeologist. We have listed six definitions pro-
Culture will be conceived of as comprising
the actual artifacts, plus any ideas or behavior
pounded by men who were —
or are pri- —
marily archaeologists (or concerned with "ma-
of the people who made them which can be
terial culture"). Two (A-5, A-12) fall in the
inferred from these specimens.
Tylorian group. Two (F-II-8, F-II-9) into
6. Morris, 1946: 20^. the "ideas" bracket; for this Taylor has made
Culture is largely a sign configuration . . .
agood case. Two (4, 5) fall in this incomplete
group and were probably not intended as
7. Bryson, i94j: -^4. formal definitions.
. . . culture is human energy organized in The intent of Morris' remark (6) clearly
patterns of repetitive behavior. places it within E, "structural."


INDEXES TO DEFINITIONS
A: AUTHORS
Angyal, B-14 (1941). Jacobs, B-16 (with Stem, 1947).

Bain, F-ITI-i (1942).


Katz, D-IV-2 (with Schanck, 1938).
Keller, D-I-2 (with Sumner, 1927), D-I-4 (1931).
Becker, F-II-io (1950).
Benedict, A-4 (1929), D-IIh5 (1947), Kelly, A-14, A-15, OI-io, Ol-ii, C-I-12. E-6,
G-3 (1934)-
Bennett, C-I-16 (with Tumin, 1949). F-II-6, F-IV-s (all in collaboration with Kluck-

Bernard, F-I-9 (1941b), F-I-12 (1942). hohn, 1945a).


Bidney, A-16 (1947), C-II-3 (1942), C-II-4 (1946),
Klineberg, OI-4 (1935).

C-II-5 (1947), F-I-16 (1947).


Kluckhohn, A-14 (with Kelly, 1945a), A-15 (with
Kelly, 1945a), B-15 (1942), B-20 (1949a), C-I-io
Blumenthal, D-I-9 (1941), F-II-4 (1937), F-IV-3
(with Kelly, 1945a), C-I-ii (with Kelly, 1945a),
(194').
C-I-12 (with Kelly, 1945a), C-I-I3 (with Lcighton,
Boas, A-7 (1930).
1946), C-I-19, (1951a), D-I-12 (with Leighton,
Bogardus, C-I-z (1930).
1946), D-II-4 (1942), E-6 (with Kelly, 1945a),
Bose, A-6 (1929), B-5 (1929).
F-I-18 (1949a), F-I-20 (i9sc), F-II-6 (with Kelly,
Bryson, G-7 (1947).
1945a), F-IV-5 (with Kelly, 19453).
Burgess, B-i (with Park, 192 1).
Kolb, D-II-I2 (with Wilson, 1949).
Burkitt, A-5 (1929).
Kroeber, A-17 (1948a), B-18 (1948a).

Carr, F-I-15 (1945). LaPiere, D-II-5 (1946).


Carver, C-II-I (1935). LassweU, Cr-l-i$ (1948).
Coutu, E-8 (1949). Lcighton, C-I-t3 (with Kluckhohn, 1946), D-I-ii
(with Kluckhohn, 1946).
Davis, Allison, B-12 (with Dollard, 1940), D-II-9
Linton, A-io (1936), B-9 (1936), C-I-8 (1945b),
(1948)-
C-I-9 (1945a), E-5 (1945a).
Davis, Kingsley, F-nT-5 (1949).
Lowie, A-ioa (1937), B-8 ((934).
Dawson, D-I-3 (1928).
Lundberg, D-I-6 (1939).
Dietschy, B-17 (1947).
Lynd, C-I-5a (1940).
Dixon, A-3 (1928).
Dodd, F-I-io (1941). Malinowski, A-13 (19.14), B-6 (1931).
Dollard, B-12 (with Davis, 1940), D-II-3 (with Marett, G-2 (19:8).
Miller, 1941), E-i (1939). Mead, B-io (1937).
Menghin, F-I-5 (1934).
Feiblcman, F-II-7 (1946), Miller, D-II-3 (with Dollard, 1941).
Firth,C-I-5 (1939). Morris, D-I-13 (1946), D-l-14 (1948), G-6 (1946).
Folsom, F-I-2 (1928), F-I-3 (1931). Murdock, D-III-3 (1941), F-I-19 (1949a).
Ford, Qellan S^ D-I-8 (1939), D-I-io (1942). Murray, A-12 (1943).
Ford, James A^ F-II-9 (1949). Myres, B-4a (1929).
Frank, C-I-17 (1948).
Nimkoff, E-3 (with Ogbum, 1940).
Gillin, John P^ 0-1-6 (with Gillin, 1942), E-7 (1948).
Gorer, D-I-16 (1949).
Ogbum, E-3 (with Nimkoff, 1940).
Opler, D-II-8 (1947).
Groves, B-13 (with Moore, 1940), F-I-i (1928).
Osgood, F-II-5 (1940), G-5 (1942).

Haring, D-II-ii (1949). Ostwald, F-IV-i (1907), F-IV-2 (1915).


Hart, D-II-i (with Pantzer, 1925), F-I-ii (1941). Pantzer, D-II-2 (with Hart, 1925),
Henry, B-21 (1949). Panunzio, A-ii (1939), D-I-7 (1939).
Herskovits, A-i8 (1948), A-19 (1948), C-I-14 (1948), Park, B-i (with Burgess, 1921).
F-I-17 (1948). Parsons, B-19 (1949).
Hiller,A-« (1933). Piddington, D-I-17 (1950).
Hockett, D-n-13 (1950).
Hoebel, D-II-io (1949}. RadciifTe-Browne, B-22 (1949).
Huntingtoa, F-I-14 (1945). Redfield, E-4 (1940).

73
74 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
Reuter, F-I-8 (1959). Thumwald, A-io (1950).
Roberts, D-III-4 {1951). Titicv, C-I-18 (1949).
Rohcim, D-IV-i (1934), F-IV-4 (1943). Tozzer. B-4 (1925), D-III-£ (n.d.).
Rouse, G-4 (1939). Tumin, C-I-16 <with Bennett, 1949).
Tumey-High, D-I-15 (1949), E-9 (1949).
Sapir, B-2 (1921). B-3 ([9:43), G-i (19:1).
Tylor, A-i (1871).
Schanck, D-IV'-; (with Kacz, 1938).
Schmidt, F-II-3 '1937). Ward, F-II-i (1903).
Sears, C-I-Addendum (1939). Warden, F-1-6 (1936).
Simmons, C-I-7 (r94i). White, F-III-2 (1943), F-III-3 (1949b), F-III-4
Slotkin, D-II-15 (1950). 09493).
Small, D-I-i (1905). Willey, E-i (1929), F-I-ia (1927b).
Sorokin, C-II-6 (1947), F-I-7 (1937). Wilson, D-II-12 (with Kolb, 1949).
Stem, B-16 (with Jacobs, 1947). Winston, A-9 (1933), B-7 (1933), F-I-4 (1933).
Steward, D-II-14 (1950). Wissler A-2 (1920), C-I-i (1929), D-II-i (1916),
Sumner, D-I-2 (with Keller, 19:7). F-II-2 (1916).
Sutherland, B-ii (uith Woodward, 1940). Woodward, B-ii (with Sutherland, 1940).

Taylor, F-II-8 (1948). Young, C-I-3 (1934), I>-I-5 (1934), D-I-ii (1942),
Thomas, C-II-i (1937). I>-lI-7 (1947), D-III-2 (1934), F-I-13 (1942).

B: CONCEPTUAL ELEMENTS IN DEFINITIONS


acquiiition (see leirning) attitudinal relationship, D-rV-2; feeling, A-16, C-I-5a,
C-II-f, D-I-12, F-IV-5; nonrational, C-I-ii; emo-

acts, actions, and activities — act, C-I-15, C-I-17;


tional responses, A-io; irrational. (3-I-ii;
activity, F-I-7; sentiments, F-III-2, F-III-3.
unconscious

act, C-I-5, F-III-4, bodily acts, F-III-2; acting, A-8,


C-I-3, C-I-17, F-IV-5; actions, A-6, B-15, B-19,
behavior — behavior, A-16, A-17, A-18, B-7, B-io,
C-I-17, D-III-3. F-I-14; categories of actions, D-II-14;
C-I-5. C-Ih5, C-I-ii, C-I-18, C-II-2, OII-3, OII-4,
symbolic accion, F-II-9; A-3, A-5, A-8,
activities,
D-I-8, D-II-^, D-III-2, F-I-7, F-I-19, F-IIh5, F-II-7,
B-18, D-II-i, D-II-8, F-I-5; human
activitj-, A-7;
F-III-i, F-III-5, G-4, G-5, G-7; overt behavior,
activity complex, D-II-i; life activities, A-6; con-
F-I-12; societal behavior, D-I-6; learned behavior,
scious and unconscious activities, F-I-7; non- D_I_5, D-I-16, D-II-6, D-II-io, D-II-12, E-5;
instinctive activities, E-9; social activities, A-2; doing,
learned modes of behavior, D-II-14; symbolic be-
C-I-i, C-I-sa.
havior, F-I-12; probable behavior, E-8; adaptive be-
havior, F-19; behavior patterns, A-9, A-io, A- 19,
adjustive-aJjptiie function of culture — societal prob- B-5, B-13. B-14, B-19, C-Ih5, C-I-16, D-II-2, F-I-4;
lems, D-I-8, D-I-io, D-I-ii; problem-solutions, behavior families, D-I-13; behave, B^i2, C-I-14;
D-I-io; solutions, D-I-8, D-I-I2; solving, D-I-io; responses, D-I-io, D-II-3, E-i; emotional responses,
adjustments, D-I-:, D-I-3, D-I-9, F-I-4, F-I-9, A-io; response sj'stem, B-21; response sequences,
F-IV-3; adjusting, A-15; adjust, A-20, D-I-6, D-n-14; D-I- 1 4; repetitive responses, E-5; repetitive behavior,
adjustment techniques, D-I-6; adaptation to environ- G-7; overt actions (behavior), (3-11-6; reactions,

ment, D-I-17, F-I-ia; adaptive behavior, F-I-19; A-7, B-15, C-II-2 ; reacting, D-I-12; motor reactions,
culture is that which is useful, D-I-15; humanly A-17; expressing, C-I-17, G-2; conduct, C-I-17,
useful, D-7; struggle for sur\ival and existence, socially transmitted behavior, D-II-16.
F-ni-4; maintenance of equilibrium, D-I-15; attain-
ment of ends, F-I-16; satisfaction, A-ii, D-I-7, E-3; beliefs —
beliefs, A-i, A-3, A-8, A-ioa, A-13, A-14,

satisfying motivations, D-I- 14; s.itisfied needs of A-19. B-2. B-II. B-22. C-I-I, C-I-2, C-I-17, F-I-3,
individuals, D-I-13, D-I-16, D-I-17, D-IV-i; success F-I-8, F-II-8, F-III-3, F-III-4; religious beliefs, D-n-
of responses, D-l-io. 12; implicit dominant ontology, F-II-7.

biohgicaJ heritage — biological nature, A-ii; biologi-


association between persons (see common or shared
cal equipment, D-I-12; biological circumstances,
patterns)
D-II-5; human biological equipment
and process,
F-IV-5; biopsychological organism, D-I-15; biological
MttitvJes and feWmgj -^ attitudes, A-6, C-I-6, C-I-18, drives (transformation of), D-I-16; biological needs,
C-II-2. I>-I-ii. D-II-7, F-I-3. F-I-8, F-II-8, F-in-4; D-I-17.
nSTDEXES TO DEFINITIONS 75

capabilities (see techniques, skills, and abilities) culdvacion of the whole man, C-II-5-, self-cultivation,
F-I-16.

carriers of ctdtitre —
individuals, A-7, A-16, B-20,
B-21. C-I-4, C-I-5, C-I-17, C-II-j, C-II-4, D-I-13. customs —
customs, A-i, A-3, A-8, A-coa, A-12, A-13,
D-n-9. D-in-3. D-rv^-2, F-1-4, F-1-7, f-i-u, F-1-16. A-15, A-20, B-13, C-I-2, C-I-6, C-II-2, D-II-s,
F-I-19, F-II-8; individuallv, A-17; persons, A-6, A-8, E-2, E-7, F-ni-3; practices, B-2; burial customs, A-12.
B-13, B-22, D-I-.4, D-H-ii, D-III-4, F-I-19;
personalities, B-18; participant, C-I-12, D-II-15; diffusion — D-II-14.
population aggregate, D-8; a people, A-j, A-5. A-ii,
A-19, B-14, B-20, C-I-13, C-I-14. C-I-19, C-II-2, dyna?i:ic structural rcUuions — soci.il structure, F'-II-i;
D-I-i, E-8, F-III-j, G-5; members of a group, C-I-15, relationships, on Y), F-II-8, interrelated patterns, E-i,
E-<5; members of a societ\', A-i, A-4, A-io, A-14, E-7; interrelations, F-I-8; interdependent patterns,
B-8, B-18, C-I-4, C-I-5, C-i-<5, C-I-8, C-II-3, D-II-io, E-i; interaction. €-11-6. D-I-6, F-I-19; interacting,
E-17, F-n-7; social entities, A-20; possessors of ideas, D-I-14; communicative interaction, F-III-5; interac-
F-II-4; generations, B-21, C-I-<S. C-I-8, D-I-s, D-II-5. tional fields. F.-S; interlinked institutions, E-3; correla-
r>-II-6, F-I-2, F-I-3, F-I-14. tion,E-3; intercorrclared customs, E-2; functioning,
E-9; functionally interrelated, E-7.
civilization — civilization, A-i, A-3, B-17, D-I-2,
F-I-3.
elements and their enumeration — elements, B-3,
B-15, E-5, G-4; knowledge, A-i, A-15, A-19, B-ii,
coimnon or shared patterns — common, A-16, B-5,
B-13, B-22, D-II-12, F-II-8; art, A-i, A-12, A-14,
C-I-3, C-I-6, D-I-3, D-I-ii, D-III-2, E-7, F-I-3,
B-ii, E-4; language, A-2, A-15, B-22, D-II-12,
F-II-7, G-3; commonly recognized, C-7; shared, A-io,
F-III-3; language uses, A-9; sciences, F-I-8; com-
C-I-8, D-I-16, E-5, E-6, F-I-19, F-II-8; association
municable intelligence, G-2; philosophy, F-I-8.
between persons, A-8, C-I-17, F-I-i, F-I-15, F-lI-8;
social contact, B-4; social interaction, F-4; interaction
of individuals, F-I-7; living together, D-II-5; attitudi-
emiromnental conditions and situations environ- —
ment, D-I-17, D-II-15, F'-I-i7, F-I-18; area, B-io,
nal relationship, D-IV-2; accepted, C-I-3, D-I-io;
group-accepted, E-9; cooperate, A-16; conventional
B-14; natural surroundings, D-I-3; physical circum-
stances, D-II-5; life-conditions, D-I-2; biological cir-
understandings, E-4; conformity, D-II-9; conforms,
D-II-ii; conform to ideals, C-II-3.
cumstances, D-II-5; external world, D-I-12; man-
made environment, F-I-ia; njtural environment,
conmmnity (see group reference) F-I-16; social environment, (3-1-4; human environ-
ment, D-I-6, F-I-20; physical nature, A-ii; objective
complex 'whole external situations, F-I\'-5; social situation, D-III-};
(see totality, culture as co7nprehensive)
events, F-III-5; internal and external stimuli, F-II-8;
configuration — ^-^, E-8, G-6. (see also patterns, physical, biological, and human nature, .^-11, D-I-7.
systems, and organization)
feelings (see attitudes and feelings)
constancy — relatively constant, F-I-4 (footnote),
F-II-io; relatively permanent, F-I-3; self -generating,
D-I-7; self-perpetuating, D-I-7; persistent patterns,
forbidden, the — (definition by culture) D-I-16.

D-II-7; persisting, E-4; perpetuated, F-I-19.


generations (see carriers of culture)
creation and modification — human
creation, A-15,
F-I-8, F-I-18; created, F-I-7, F-I-8, F-II-8; creates, goals, ends, —
goals, A -19, D-I-12;
and orientations
F-I-14; inventing, D-I-6; invented, F-I-2; invention, common A-16, D-I-i; social ends, D-I-i; in-
ends,
F-Ih5; man-made, D-I-7, F-I-12, F-I-17; superorganic dividual ends, D-I-I individual and social ends,
;

order, E)-I-7, F-I-6; modification of learned habits, F-I-16; sanctioned ends, A-18; definitions of the
D-II-ij; modified, F-I-7; modified by environment, situation, C-I-12; designs for living, C-I-io, C-I-19,
F-II-7; retailoredby individual participant, C-I-12; E-<5; design of the human maze, D-II-3; social orien-
personal changes due to culture, D-IV-2; change, tations, A-j8; points of view, A-18; eidos, common
C-I-6; changing, D-I-<5; added to (changed), D-I-5; sense, implicit dominant ontology, F-II-7; ethos, E-8.
transformation of biological drives, D-I-16; not cre-
ated, A-ioa.
group reference — group, A-7, B-i, B-5, B-7, B-ii,
B-14, B-20, B-21. C-I-3, C-I-6, C-I-16. G-I-19,
cultivation, culture of self — cultivated, C-II-3, C-II-4; C-II-2, D-I-5, D-I-14; D-II-i. D-II-8, D-lI-9,
7<5 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
D-in-j, E-i. E-4, E-6, E-9, F-I-6, F-I-19, individuals (see carriers of culture)
F-II-7, F-II-8; social group, A-8, B-22, C-I-z,
0-11-5, E^7; social groupings, A-13; integrated and language — language, A-2, A-i5, B-22, D-II-ii,
tinintegrated groups, C-I-5a, C-II-6; social, A-3, A-8, F-III-3; language uses, A-9.
A-13. A-16. A-18, B-i, B-4, B-6, B-7, B-9. B-n, B-12,
B-13. B-14, B-15. C-I-i. C-I-4. C-Ih5, D-I-15. D-II-4, learning — acquired, A-i, A-4, A-io, A-14, A-16,
D-II-5. D-III-j, E-2. E-3, E-7, F-I-4, F-I-6. F-I-8, B-8. B-18. B-2 1. C-I-4, C-II-3, OII-4, D-II-i, D-II-2,
F-I-12, F-I-ij. F-I-.6. F-II-i, F-II-7, G-i. socially, F-I-19; learning, A-8, A-17, B-io, B-18, (3-1-8,
A-«, A-17, B-2, B-}, D-II-2. F-I-19; society, A-i, D-I-9, D-I-io, D-II-i, D-II-4, D-II-5, D-II-8,
A-4, A-9, A-io. A-ioa, A-14, A-16. B-8, B-io, B-18. D-II-ii, D-II-13, F-I-io, F-I-19, F-II-8; learned
C-I-4, C-I-5. C-I-^, C-I-9, C-I-16, C-I-18,
behavior. D-I-5. D-I-16, D-II-6, D-II-9, D-II-io,
C-II-3, C-II-4, D-I-12. D-I-13, D-II-14, D-II-ij,
D-II-12, D-II-14, D-II-15, E-5; learned panems,
D-III-2, D-IV-i, D-IV-2, E-3. E-5. F-I-19, F-II-8, D-I-5; conditioned, A-io, B-18; conditioning, A-18,
F-II-io; community. A-7, C-I-i, D-III-2; tribe, F-I-7; tuirion, D-II-2; taught, C-l-6; guidance, C-I-17;
C-I-i; group of people inhabiting a common geo-
g\iides for behavior, C-I-ii; education, C-II-5;
graphic area, C-I-5a; social categories, E-7; social domesdcation, B-21; use in the business of living,
class, B-22; societal problems, D-I-8, D-I-io, D-I-12;
D-II-8; instruction, A-io; verbal instruction, F-II-9;
societal behavior, D^I-6.
imitation, A-io, D-II-2, F-II-9; reward, D-II-3;
sanctions, A-19; sanctioned ends, A-18.
habits — habits, A-i. A-4, A-7, A-14, A-17. B-6. B-8.
C-I-4, C-I-8, D-I-6, D-I-ii. D-II-7, D-II-13.
manners and morals — morals, A-i, A-15, B-ii; eti-
D-III-i, F-I-2, F-I-14; habit patterns. E-i. F-I-4;
quette, A-2, A-15, D-n-12; ethics, A-15; codes,
social habits, A-7; food habits, D-II-ii; established F-I-8; standards, G-3, (j-4; standardized, OI-i,
habits, D-III-3; habitual, A-6. A- 10. B-12. D-I-12, D-I-II, F-II-6; A-ii, B-22, D-I-7; regula-
usages,
D-III-2 ; habituation. F-I-6. tions, D-I-8; socially regularized, A-8; morality, A-20;
mores, C-I-7; manner of living, A-8; law, B-ii; con-
holistic vs. partitive culture — culture common to all ventional understandings, E-4.
groups, C-I-16; holistic culture, F-II-8; segment ("a"
cultiire). F-II-8; (a particular) strain (of social material ctdture — material objects, A-6, A-18, F-I-12,
heredity), B-9, B-15. F-III-2, F-III-4; inventions, E-9; material traits, A-9,
D-III-2, E-3; material goods, F-I-8; material processes,
history (see tirne and historical derivation) F-I-8; material element, B-3; material equipment,
D-I-17; material tools, C-I-5a;D- '-15, F-I-2,
artificial,

ideas and cogn'v.he processes —


ideas, A-io. A-i3, F-I-3; tangible aspects of human environment, F-I-20;
physical products, F-I-3; manufactxired results of
A-17, B-6, B-13. B-22, C-I-6. C-1-8, D-I-ii, D-II-7,
I>-II-8. F-I-14, F-II-i. F-II-2. F-II-3. F-II-5, learned activities, B-18; human manufacture, A-18.
F-II-6.F-II-8. F-II^, F-III-2. F-III-3. G-3, G-5;
complex objective ideas. F-II-7; synibolically-com- means (sec proct^sses and means)
municated ideas, F-II-4; inactive and active ideas,
intellectual equipment, D-I-17; concepts. A-ii, D-I-7; members of a group, a society (see carriers of ctdture)
mental images, A-6; mental constructs, F-II-8;
mental technique, D-I-i; consciously held ideas.
modes — mode of
life, C-\~i\ modes of behavior,
F-II-5; thinking. C-I-2, C-I-j. C-I-sa. C-I-17. D-I-12. C-I-5, D-II-14; modes of conduct, C-I-17; modes of
F_IV-5; thought, A-8, A-16, C-II-3, C-II-4. F-I-14, operation, F-I-6; modes of thought, F-I-14, F-III-5;
F-in-5; thought (of a people), A-12; mind. A-6. modes of action, F-I-14 (see also ways and life-^ays).
F-11-5; rational, C-I-ii; rationalization, D-III-i; non-
material content, F-II-io.
modification (see creation and modification)

ideals (see values, ideals, tastes, and preferences)


needs — needs, A-ii, D-I-7, D-I-ii; basic needs,

implicit culture — non-material A-9. D-III-2,


traits, D-I-13, E-3; economic needs, D-I-3; recurrent and
E-9; non-physiological products, continuous needs, D-I-ii; social needs, D-I-16,
E-3; inventions,
B-18; intangible aspects of human environment. D-I-17; motivations, D-I-14; favor (motivations),
F-I-10; immaterial products, F-I-3; implicit. C-I-ri; D-I-14.

implicit dominant ontology, F-II-7; implicit design for


living. D-7; covert behavior patterns, C-I-6. organization (see patterns, systems, and organization)
INDEXES TO DEFINITIONS 77

participams in lemming procwr — children, C-I-6; goods, B-6, F-I-8; implements, A-i3i instruments,
elders, A-II, D-I-6, D-I-7; inventions, E-3, E-9; materials,
child, D-II-7; parents, C-I-17; teachers, C-I-17.
F-II-7; objects, A-6, A-18, C-I-18, F-I-14; orna-
D-II-7; grown people, D-IIhS.
ments, F-III-4; paintings, A-15; shelter, F-I-8; tools,

and organizjtion
patterns, systems, —
patterns, C-I-16.
C-I-5a, C-I-18, D-I-6, F-I-2, F-I-3, F-I-8, F-III-3.
F-III-4; utensils, F-III-3, F-III-4; weapons, F-I-8.
C-II-4, D-I-I4, D-n-7. D-II-ii, D-II-ii,
D-I-16,
D-III-3, E-j. F-l-6, G-7; patterning, F-I-6; learned
panems, D-I-5, D-II-io; habit panems, E-i, F-I-4; psychoanalytic elements — impulses,
D-IV-i; sub-
behavior A-9, A- 10, B-14, B-19, C-I-^,
patterns, stitutes, D-IV-I ; D-IV-i; reaction-
sublimations,

C-I-16, D-II-io; patterned ways of behavior, B-7,


formations, D-IV^-i; distorted satisfaction, D-IV-i.

C-I-4 7, E-7. E-9; pattern-creating, D-I-7; systems,


A-ii. A-15, B-ii, Cr-U-6, D-I-7, E-'- E-3. E-6, respOTues (sec behavior)
F-I-19, F-II-8; systems of thought, A-8; systems of
knowledge, D-II-ii; organization, A-ii, B-i, D-I-7,
organization,
sanction — CI-I-iS.
E-4, F-I-6, F-III-2, F-III-4; social

F-I-8,. F-I-12; organized, B-14, D-II-7, E-3, E-5.


skills (see techniques, skills, and abilities)
F-I-8, G-7; forms, A-6, B-io, C-II-4, D-III-i; con-
figuration, E-5, E-8, G-6, channel, C-I-io; integrated,
E-3, E-9. social — social, A-3, A-8, A-13, A-16, A-18, B-i,
B-4, B-6, B-7, B-9, B-n. B-12, B-13. B-14, B-15,
C-I-i, OI-4, G-I-6, D-I-15, D-I-16, D-I-17. D-II-4,
people, a (see carriers of culture)
D-II-5, D-III-3, E-2, E-3, E-7, F-I-4, F-I-<5, F-1 8,

F-I-12, F-I-13, F-I-16, F-II-i, F-lI-7, G-2; social


permitted, the — (definition of by culture) D-I-16.
group, A-8, B-22, Cr-\~z, D-II-5, E-7; social groupings,
A-13; socially, A-8, A-17, B-2, B-3, D-II-2, F-I-19;
persons (see carriers of culture) social categories, E-7; social class, B-22 (see also
group references).
press of culture on its agents — permits, D-IV-i;
inhibits, D-IV-i; influence, B-15; force, A-17, govern,
social heritage or tradition — social heritage, B-i,
C-I.^5. B-6, B-7, B-I I, B-12, B-13, B-"5; social heredity,
B-9, B-15; socially inherited, B-2, B-3, B-^; social
process '!s and means — process, B-ii, B-:2, D-I-<5, inheritance, B-14; inherits, B-4, B-13, B-19; tradition,
F-I-16; technical processes, B-6, F-I-8; selective pro- A-8, B-14, B-18, C-1-2, G-I-^, D-II-5; traditional,
cesses, C-I-io; social procedures, C-I-i, C-I-2; means, B-io, D-I-io, D-I-13, D-III-3; cultural tradition, B-22,
D-I-i, D-I-7; means of adjustment, D-I-i7; P'-I\' •..
E-4; social tradition, B-8; racial temperament, B-i;
exosomatic ways and means, F-III-4; vehicles, Cr-ll-6, social legacy, A-ioa, B-20; ready-made, C-I-12; re-
dynamic, D-I-7; dynamic process, F-I-16; mental ceived, C-I-5; experience, D-I-6; cumulative, D-I-^;
adaptations, D-I-4 (1915); variation, D-I-2; s.'.ction accumulated treasury, A-15, B-13, F-I-15.
(of part of human behavior), F-II-7; selection,

D-I-2 ; common application of ideas, F-II-7; sociation,


F-II-io.
social institutions — institutions, A-6, \~i6, C-II-2,
D-I-16, D-II-5, E-3, F-I-8, F-I-14, F-ni-3i institu-
tional,D-IV-2; constitutional charters, A-13; religion,
product, mechanism, medium, culture as — product, A-15; religious order, A-3; property system, A-2;
A-12, mechanism, F-III-4; medium, G-2;
F-I-16;
marriage, A-2; social order, A-3.
employed by man, D-I-I5; all that man has pro-
duced, F-I-3, F-I-14.
societal — societal problems, D-1-8, D-I-10, D-I-13;
societal behavior, D-I-6 (see also group reference).
products of human activity — products, A-3, A-7,
A-14, B-18, B-19, D-I-9. D-II-12, F-I-9, F-I-io;
society (see group reference)
immaterial products, F-I-3; physical products, F-I-3;
man-made products, D-I-6; results of human effort,
D-I-9; results of behavior, D-5, F-I-15; results of rum (sec totality, culture as comprehensive)
experience, F-I-8; results (products), F-I-9, F-I-io;
precipitate (product), F-I-13; artifacts, A-14, B-<S, symbols — symbols, C-I-5a, C-I-^, D-I-6, F-I-3,
D-II-12, E-4, G-s; possessions, B-7; amulets, F-III-4; F-II-4, F-III-i, F-III-2, F-III-3; symboling,
books, A-15; buildings, A-15; consumers' goods, A-13; F-III-4; symbolic action, F-II-9; symbolic systems.
. .

78 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS


D-I-6; symbolic behavior, F-I-12; speech-sj'mbols, A-15; body, A-19, B->4^ F-I-19; embodiment, D-II-5;
A-6; sign configuration, G-6. mass, A-17, D-I-5 ; aggregate, C-I-i, E-8; assem-
blage, B-2; outfit, F-I-2 ; texture, B-2; set, C-I-i2;
tyrtems — systems,
A-ii, A-15, B-21, C-II-6, D-I-7, fund, B-I 3; congeries, C-II-6; collection, C-I-8; in-
E-i, E-3, E-6, F-I-19, F-II-S; systems of thought, teractional fields, E-8.
A-8; systems of knowledge, D-II-12 (see also
patterns, syttems, and organization) tradition (see social heritage or tradition)

techniques,skills, and abilities —


techniques, A-6, A- 16,
traits — traits, A-9; D-I-14, E-3, F-II-8; non-material

A-17, A-18, B-ii, D-II-8; mental, moral, and


traits, A-9, D-III-2, E-3; material traits, A-9, D-III-2
mechanical technique, D-I-i; adjustment technique, E-3.

D-I-6; moral technique, D-I-i; mechanical tech-


nique, D-I-i; technical processes, B-6; equipment of
transmission, non-genetic —
transmission, A-17, B-5,
B-14, B-16, B-17, B-.8, C-I-8, D-I-2, D-I-6, D-I-14,'
technique, D-I-i; technologies, D-I-<$; methods of
handling problems, etc., D-I-5; method of communica- D-II-2, D-II-4, E-5, F-I-15; group-transmitted, E-9;
socially transmitted, D-II-14, D-II-16, F-I-19, F-II-io;'
tion, B-ii; skills, A-ii, B-22, D-I-7; capabilities,
transferable, A-6; communication, B-ii, F-I-6, F-I-ii;
A-i, B-8, C-I-4; mental ability, F-III-4; higher
human faculties, C-II-i; use of tools, B-u; use of
communicated, B-u, F-II-4, F-II-5; communicable
intelligence, G-2; communicative interaction, F-III-5;
artifacts, D-II-12; common use, F-II-7; language
uses, A-9; practical arts, A-8, F-I-8; industries, A-2,
pass from individual to individual, F-II-9; passed

A-5, A-12; crafts, A-13; labor, A-20, down (or on), C-I-6, D-I-5, D-II-7, F-I-2, F-I-3
F-I-r4.

thinking (see ideas and cognitive processes)


and preferences
values, ideals, tastes, values, A-17, —
A-19, E-6, C-I-5a, C-II-6, D-II-7; material values,
thought (see ideas and cognitive processes)
C-II-2; social values, C-II-2; intellectual ideals, C-II-3,
C-II-4; social ideals, C-II-3, C-II-4; artistic ideals,
time and historicai derivation — time, D-I-ii, F-I-8; C-n-3, C-II-4; aesthetic tastes, B-22; meanings, C-II-6;
point in time, D-l-ij; period of time, B-io, D-I-i; preference, D-I-i4; norms, A-ioa, C-II-6; judgments,
given time, C-I-ii; present, C-I-2, F-II-4; past, 6-43, F-I-8; spiritual element, B-3.
C-I-2, C-I-3, F-II-4; past behavior, F-I-15; his-
torically, C-I-io, G-I-ii, C-II-4, E-6, F-II-8; his- ivays and life-zaays — wiys,
A-8, A-15, B-7, C-I-2,
torical life, B-i; history, B-17. C-I-3, C-I-15, C-I-17, D-I-io,
D-I-12, D-I-14,
F-lV-y, exosomatic ways and means, F-III-4; scheme
totality, culture as C07n prehensile —
total, A-3, A-io, for living, D-I-14; design of the human maze, D-II-3;
A-19, A-20, B-i, B-7, B-9, B-20, C-I-2, C-I-5, C-I-9, way of life, A-19, B-12, B-20, C-I-4, C-I-8, C-I-9,
D-I-I, D-I-17, D-lI-8. D-Il-io, F-I-2, F-I-3, F-I-7, C-I-I3, C-I-14, C-I-16, C-I-17, 01-19, D-I-3, E-8;
F-I-8, F-I-20, F-II-4, F-II-7 totality-, A-9, A-17,
; ways of thought, A-20; ways of doing, thinking, feel-
C-I-17, E-9; sum, A-3, A-5, A-io, A-ioa, B-i, B-7, ing, C-I-5a; common sense, eidos, implicit dominant
C-I-i, C-I-5, D-I-2, D-I-4 (19.5), D-II-5. D-II-8, ontology, F-II-7; forms of behavior, C-I-18; mode
D-II-to, D-IV-i, D-IV-2, F-I-2, F-I-3, F-I-7, F-I-8, of life, C-I-I ; modes of behavior, C-I-5, D-II-14;
F-II-4; summation, E-9, F-IIh5; synthesis, D-I-4 modes of conduct, C-I-17; modes of operation, F-I-6;
(1915); complex whole, A-i, A-4, A-n, A-14, B-ii, modes of thought, F-I-14, F-III-5; modes of action,
D-I-7; integral whole, A-13; whole complex, B-io; F-I-14; folkways, C-I-3, D-I-5; maniere de vivre,
all (social activities), A-2; accumulated treasury'. C-I-I 8a.

WORDS NOT INCLUDED IN INDEX B


abstraction — D-II-16. httnian — human nature, A-i i

complex — association complex of F-II-2.ideas, 7nan — man, A-i, A-14, B~^, ^^c., etc. (unmeaningful
conscious — conscious activity, F-I-7. element); mankind, men, social men, A-ii, A-17,
effort — effort adjustment, D-I-9.
at
D-I-7.
energy — dissipation of energy, C-II-i surplus human
energy, C-II-i.
;

motor — motor reactions, A-i7.


explicit — C-I-ii; explicit design for
explicit, living, non-automatic — non-automatic, B-18.
E-7. nongenetic — nongenetic F-I-9,
efforts, F-I-ii; non-
feature — feature, C-I-i 6. genetically, F-IV-}.
/ INDEXES TO DEFINH IONS 79
non-instinctive — non-instinctive, B-i 8; non-instinctive overt — overt behavior patterns, C-I-6.
activities, E-9. pi»<utf — crystallized phase, A-6.
mm-m^cAjmVo/- non-mechanical. F-I-.i. .
probable -prohibit behaviors, E-«.
objective —
objective, D-I-7; objective external situa-
— profess •.,«-,, /-

r- ^\T K- ^ J f IT
aons, F-IV-5; objective ideas, F-II-7.
proftfjx
• r C-II-},
ideals,«
j>
,,
C-H-a.
t

ord-onl form of culture, G-i.


rjc* — race, B-io.
organism —
social organism, F-II-i. strive — strive for ideals, C-II-}.

organisvac —
organismic efforts, F-I-9. super-individual — super-individual, F-I-19.
Part III

SOME STATEMENTS ABOUT CULTURE


GROUPING OF STATEMENTS ABOUT CULTURE
Group a. The Nature of Culture
Group b. The Componenrs of Culture
Group c. Properties of Culture
Group d. Culture and Psychology-
Group e. Culture and Language
Group f. Relation of Culture to S<iciety,
Individuals, Environment, and
. Artifacts
INTRODUCTION
THE following excerpts
of the have
ideas that
* will repeat some
already emerged
toward factoring out the notions subsumed
under the label "culture" and relating them to
in the more formal definitions. However, each other. The word "culture," like the pic-
some new and important points will also ap- tures of the Thematic Apperception Test,
pear, and these quotations are placed, for the invites projection. The sheer enthusiasm for
most part, within a fuller context of the such an idea that is "in the air" not only
writer's thinking. and III supplement
Parts II makes projection easier but gives an intensit\'
each other significantly, though the assign- to the development which makes the process
ment of a statement to one part or the other easy to delineate. We shall thereforem Part
was in some cases arbitrary'. This Part will III present primarily passages where writers

also serve the function of a thesaurus of repre- have taken "culture" as a cue to, almost, free
sentative or sisrnificant statements on cultural association and trace the projections of various
theory. interpreters upon the concept.
In Part II we have made some progress
'
We have eliminated authors' footnotes except
where directly germane to the theoretical issues we are concerned with.

«J
GROUP a: THE NATURE OF CULTURE
I. Ogburn, 1^22: 6, /]. specially designed to indicate this particular
. . . The terms, the superorganic, social product of crystallisation ....
heritage, and culture, have all been used There are certain modes of behaviour which
interchangeably .... arefound to be common among groups of
. . . The factor, social heritage,and the men. These modes of behaviour are associated
factor, the biological nature of man, make a with social and political organization, law,
resultant, behavior in culture. From the point with some object like a material object or
of view of analysis, it is a case of a third social institution, etc. These objects and the
variable determined bv the two other variables. associated t\'pes of behaviour, forming distinct
There may of course be other variables, still and isolable units, are called cultural traits.
as for instance, climate, or natural environ- The assemblage of cultural traits is known
ment. But for the present, the analysis, con- as culture. Culture is also to be viewed as an
cerns the two variables, the psychological adaptive measure.
nature of man and culture.
4, Radcliffe-Brcnvn, 19^0: 5, ^-4.
confine myself, then, in this address,
I shall
2. Ellzvood, ig2ia: 9.
to the science called, somewhat ciumsilv.
[Culture includes] on the one hand, the
Social Anthropology, which has for its task
whole of man's material civilization, tools,
phenomena
to formulate the general laws of the
weapons, clothing, shelter, machines, and even
that we include under the term culture or
systems of industry; and, on the other hand all
civilization. It deals with man's life in socier\-,
of non-material or spiritual civilization, such
with social and political organization, law,
as language, literature, art,- religion, ritual,
morals, technology, art, language,
religion,
morality, law, and government.
and in general with all social institutions, cus-
toms, and beliefs in exactly the same way that
3. Bose, 1929: 1-8, 24.
chemistry' dei^'s with chemical phenomena. . . .

But in another branch of the science, em-


The readiest way in which to understand
phasis is laid upon the life-activities of nun
the nature of culture and realize its function
instead of his physical characters. Just ns in
in human life, its biological function we mav
studying an animal species we might pay more
perhaps say. is to consider it as a mode or
attention to its life and habits instead of
process of social integration. By any culture
anatomical characters, so in that branch of
or civilization a certain number, larger or
the science named Cultural Anthropolog\-,
smaller, of human beings are united tosfether
we consider what the ruling forces of man's into a more or less complex system of social
life are, in what way he proceeds to meet them,
groups by which the social relations of indi-
how human behaviour differs from animal be- viduals to one another are determined. In any
haviour, wh^t are the causes of difference, if
given culture we denote this system of group-
they throw any light upon unknown specific
ing as the social structure ....
characters, how such characters have evolved
The function of any element of culture, a
in relation to environment and so on. Much
rule of morality or etiquette, a legal obligation,
of the data of Cultural Anthropology is ac-
a religious belief or ritual can only be dis-
cordingly furnished by human behaviour.
covered by considering what part it plays
We shall presently see that Anthropolog\'
in the social integration of the people in whose
cannot use every aspect of human behaviour
culture it is found.
on account of limiting conditions present in
the data. It is concerned more with the 5. Wallis, 1930: 9, 13, 32, II, 33.
crx-stalHsed products of human behaviour, (P. 9): [Culture] may be defined as the
which can be passed on from one individual artificial obiects, institutions, and modes of
to another. Culture in Anthropology is life or of thought which are not peculiarly

84
STATEMENTS: GROUP A: NATURE OF CULTURE 8S

individual but which characterize a group; different antiquit\-; some are old and mori-
it is "that complex whole [repeating ..." bund, but others as old may be vigorous; some
Tylor]. (P. 13): Culture of a people is the life borrowings or developments of yesterday are
as typified in contacts, institutions, and equip- already almost forgotten, others have become
ment. It includes characteristic concepts and strongly entrenched. To appreciate the quality
behavior, customs and traditions. (P. 32): of a particular culture at a particular time; to
Culture, then, means all those things, institu- understand why one new custom or technique
tions, material objects, typical reactions to is adopted and another rejected, despite per-

situations, which characterize a people and sistent external efforts at introduction; to get
distinguish them from other peoples. (P. 11): behind the general and abstract terms which
A culture is a functioning dynamic unit . . . label such somewhat arbitrarily divided cate-
the traits
. .[of which] are interdepen-
. . . . gories of activity and interest as arts and crafts,
dent. (P. 33): A culture is more laan the sum social organization, religion, and so forth; and
of the things which compose it. to see the culture as a living whole — for all

these purposes it is necessary to inquire


6. Murdock, 1932: 21$. minutely into the relations bet\veen the multi-
Four factors have been advanced ...
. . . as farious activities of a community and to dis-
explanations of the fact that man alone of all cover where and how they buttress or con-
living creatures possesses culture —
namely, flict with one another. Nothing that happens,

habit-forming capacity', social life, intelligence, whether it is the mere whittling of a child's
and language. These factors may be likened toy or the concentration of energy on some
to the four legs of a stool, raising human be- major economy, operates in isolation or fails
havior from the floor, the organic level or to react in some degree on many other activi-
hereditary basis of all behavior, to the super- ties. The careful exploration of what have
organic level, represented by the seat of the been called "functional," or "dynamic," rela-
stool. No other animal is securely seated on tions within a society m.ay disclose much that
such a four-legged stool. was unexpected in the processes of interaction
between one aspect of culture and another.
7. Forde, 1934: 463, 469-^0.
Neither the world distributions of the vari- 8. Schapera, 193$: S'9-
ous economies, nor their development and . . For culture
. not merely a system of
is

relative importance among particular peoples, formal practices and beliefs. It is made up
can be regarded as simple functions of physical essentially of individual reactions to and varia-
conditions and natural resources. Between the tions from a traditionnlly standardized pat-
physical environment and human activity tern; and indeed no culture can ever be under-
there always a middle term, a collection of
is stood unless special attention is paid to this
specific objectives and values, a body of knowl- range of individual manifestations.
edge and belief: in other words, a cultural
pattern. That the culture itself is not static, 9. Paris, 193'j: 23.
that it is adaptable and modifiable in relation Language is communication and is the
to physical conditions, must not be allowed to product of interaction in a society. Grammars
obscure the fact that adaptation proceeds by are not contrived, vocabularies were not in-
discoveries and inventions which are them- vented, and the semantic changes in language
selves in no sease inevitable and which are, in take place without the awareness of those in
any individual community, nearly all of them whose mouths the process is going on. This
acquisitions or impositions from without. . . . is a super-individual phenomenon and so also
. That complex of activities in any human
. . are other characteristic aspects of human life,
society which we call its culture is a going such as changes in fashions or alterations of the
concern. It has its own momentum, its dogmas. mores.
Its habits, its efficiencies and its weaknesses. Herbert Spencer called these collective
The elements which go to make it are of very phenomena superorganic; Durkheim referred
86 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
to them as faits sociaux; Sumner spoke of them 12a. Murdock, 1940: 364-69.
as folkways; while anthropologists usuallv 1. Culture Is Learned. Culture is not in-
employ the word "culture." stinctive, or innate, or transmitted biologically,
but is composed of habits, i.e., learned ten-
ID. Mumford,
1938: 4.92. dencies to react, acquired by each individual
Culture in all its forms: culture as the care through his own life experience after birth.
of the earth: culture as the disciplined seizure This assumption, of course, is shared by all
and use of energy toward the economic satis- anthropologists outside of the totalitarian
faction of man's wants: culture as the nurture stares, but it has a corollary
is not which
of the body, as the begetting and bearing of always so clearly recognized. If culture is
children, as the cultivation of each human learned, it must obey the laws of leaminfj,
being's fullest capacities as a sentient, feeling, which the psychologists have by now worked
thinking, acting personalit\-: culture as the out in considerable detail. The principles of
transmission of power into polit\',of ex- learning are known to be essentially the same,
perience into science and philosoph\-, of life not only for mankind but also for m.ost
all

into the unirv and significance of art: of the mammalian species. Hence, we should expect
whole into the dssvic of values that men are all cultures, being learned, to reveal certain
willing to die for rather than forswear — uniformities reflecting this universal common
religion . . .
factor.
2. Culture Is Inculcated. All animals are
1 1. Firth, 19s 9- 18-19. capable of learning, but man alone seems able,
Most modern authors are agreed, whether in any considerable measure, to pass on his
explicitly or not, upon certain verv general acquired habits to his offspring. can We
assumptions about the nature of the material housebreak a dog, teach him tricks, and im-
thev study. Thev consider the acts of individ- plant in him other germs of culture, but he
uals not in isolation but as members of socierv will not transmit them to his puppies. Thev
and call the sum total of these modes of will receive only the biological inheritance of
behavior "culture." Thev are impressed also
their species, to which thev in turn will add
by the dynamic interrelationship of items of a
habits on the basis of their own experience.
culture, each item tending to varv accordingr
The factor of language presumably accounts
to the nature of the others. Thev recognize
for man's preeminence in this respect. At any
too that in every culture there are certain
rate, many of the habits learned by human
features comir.on to all: groups >uch as tlie
beings are transmitted from parent to child
family, institutions such as marriage, and com-
over successive generations, and, through re-
ple.x forms of practice and belief which can
peated inculcation, acquire that {persistency
be aggregated under the name of religion.
over time, that relative independence of indi-
On the basis of this thev argue for the existence
vidual bearers, which justifies classifying them
of universally comparable factors and pro-
and explanation of which
cesses, the description collectively as "culture." This assumption, too,

can be given in sociological laws or general is generally accepted by anthropologists, but

principles of culture. again there is an underestimated corollar\\ If


culture is inculcated, then all cultures should

12. von Wiese, 1939: SPS-


show certain common effects of the inculca-

Culture above all not "an order of phe-


is tion process. Inculcation involves not only
nomena," and is not to be found in the worlds the imparting of techniques and knowledge
of perceptible or conceived things. It does but also the disciplining of the child's animal

not belong to the world of substance; it is a impulses to adjust him to social life. That there
part of the world of values, of which it is a are regularities in behavior reflecting the ways
formal category Culture is no more a
. . . in which these impulses are thwaKed and re-

thing-concept than "plus," "higher" or directed during the formative years 'Of life,

"better." seems clear from the evidence of psycho-


STATEMENTS: GROUP A: NATURE OF CULTURE 87

analysis, e.g., the apparent universality of intra- cumstances where each considered approp-
is

family incest taboos. riate and the sanctions to be expected for non-

3, Culture Is Social. Habits of the cultural conformity. Within limits, therefore, it is


order are not only inculcated and thus trans- useful to conceive of culture as ideational, and
mitted over time; they are also social, that is, of an element of culture as a traditionally ac-
shared by human beings living in organized cepted idea, held by the members of a group
aggregates or societies and kept relatively uni- or subgroup, that a particular kind of be-
form by social pressure. They are, in short, havior (overt, verbal, or implicit) should con-
group habits. The habits which the members form to an established precedent. These ideal
of a social group share with one another con- norms should not be confused with actual be-
stitute the culture of that group. This assump- havior. In any particular instance, an individual
tion is accepted by most anthropologists, but behaves in response to the state of his organism
not by Lowie, for example, insists that "a
all. (his drives) at the moment, and to his percep-

culture is invariably an artificial unit segregated tion of the total situation in which he finds
for purposes of expediency .... There is himself. In so doing, he nanirally tends to
onlv one natural unit for the ethnologist the — follow his established habits, including his
culture of all humanit)' at all periods and in all culture, but either his impulses or the nature
places .
.".The author finds it quite im-
. of the circumstances may lead him to deviate
possible to accept this statement. To him, therefrom to a greater or lesser degree. Be-
the collective or shared habits of a social havior, therefore, docs not automatically follow
group — no matter whether it be a family, a culture, which is only one of its determinants.
or
villa<Te, a class, — a tribe constitute, not "an There are norms of behavior, of course, as

artificial unit" but a natural unit — a culture well as of culture, but, unlike the latter,they
or subculture. To deny this is, in his opinion, can be established only by statistical means.
to repudiate the most substantial contribution Confusion often arises between anthropologists
which sociology has made to anthropology'. and sociologists on this point. The former,
If culture is social, then the fate of a culture until recently, have been primarily preoccupied
depends on the fate of the society which bears with ideal norms or patterns, whereas sociolo-
it, and all cultures which have survived to be gists, belonging to the same society as both

studied should reveal certain similaritie?; be- their subjects and their audience, assume gen-
cause they have all had to provide for societal eral familiarity with the culture and commonly
survival. Amon» these cultural universals, we report only the statistical norms of actual
can probably list such things as sentiments of behavior. A typical community study like
group cohesion, mechanisms of social control, Middletoivn and an ethnographic monograph,
organization for defense against hostile neigh- though often compared, are thus in reality
bors, and provision for the perpetuation of the poles apart. To the extent that culture is

population. ideational, we may conclude, all cultures


4. Culture Is Ideational. To a considerable should reveal certain similarities, flowing
extent, the group habits of which culture con- from the universal laws governing the sym-
sists are conceptualized (or verbalized) as bolic mental processes, e.g., the world-wide
ideal norms or patterns of behavior. There parallels in the principles of majjic.
are, of course, exceptions; grammatical rules, 5. Culture Is Gratifying;. Culture always,
for example, though they represent collective and necessarily, satisfies basic biological needs
linguistic habits and are thus cultural, are only and secondary needs derived therefrom. Its ele-
in small part consciously formulated. Never- ments are tested habitual techniques for gratify-
theless, as every field ethnographer knows, ing human impulses in man's interaction with
most people show in marked degree an aware- the external world of nature and fellow man.
ness of their own cultural norms, an ability to This a.ssumption is an inescapable conclusion
differentiate them from purely individual from modem stimulus-response psychology.
habits, and a facility in conceptualizing and Culture consists of habits, and psychology has
reporting them in detail, including the cir- demonstrated that habits persist only so long
88 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
as they bring satisfaction. Gratification rein- different problems. It is probable, nevertheless,
forces habits, strenffthens and perpetuates that a certain proportion of the parallels in dif-
them, while lack of gratification inevitably ferent cultures represent independent adjust-
results in their extinction or disappearance. ments to comparable conditions.
Elements of culture, therefore, can continue to The conception of cultural change as an
exist only when they yield to the individuals adaptive process seems to many anthropolo-
of a society a margin of satisfaction, a favor- gists inconsistent with, and contradictory to,
able balance of pleasure over pain. Malinowski the conception of cultural change as an his-
has been insisting on this point for years, but torical process. To the author, there seems
the majority or anthropologists have either nothing inconsistent or antagonistic in the two
rejected the assumption or have paid it but positions — the "functional" and the "histor-
inadequate hp service. To them, the fact ical," as they are commonly labeled. On the
that culture persists has seemed to raise no contrary, he believes that both are correct,
problem; it has been blithely taken for granted. that they supplement one another, and that the
Psychologists, however, have seen the prob- best anthropological work emerges when the
lem, and have given it a definitive answer, two are used in conjunction. Culture history
which anthropologists can ignore at their peril. is a succession of unique events, in which later

If culture is gratifying, widespread similari- events are conditioned by earlier ones. From
ties should exist in all cultures, owing to the the point of view of culture, the events which
fact that human impulses, which are
basic affect later ones in the same historical sequences
universally the same, demand similar forms are often, if not usually, accidental, since they
of satisfaction. The "universal culture pat- have their origin outside the continuum of cul-
tern" propounded by Wissler would seem to ture. They include natural events, like floods
rest on
this foundation. and droughts; biological events, like epidemics
Culture Is Adaptive. Culture changes;
6. and deaths; and psychological events, like emo-
and the process of change appears to be an tional outbursts and inventive intuitions. Such
adaptive one» comparable to evolution in the changes alter a society's life conditions. They
organic realm but of a different order. Cul- create new needs and render old cultural forms
tures tend, through periods of time, to become unsatisfactory, stimulating trial and error be-
adjusted to the geographic environment, as havior and cultural innovations. Perhaps the
the anthropogeographcrs have shown, al- most significant events, however, are historical
though environmental influences are no longer contacts with peoples of differing cultures, for
conceived as determinative of cultural develop- men tend first to ransack the cultural resources
ment. Cultures also adapt, through borrowing of their neighbors for solutions to their prob-
and organization, to the social environment lems of living, and rely only secondarily upon
of neighboring peoples. Finally, cultures un- their own inventive ingenuity. Full recogni-
questionably tend to become adjusted to the tion of the historical character of culture, and
biological and psychological demands of the especially of the role of diffusion, is thus a
human organism. As life conditions change, prime prerequisite if a search for cross-cultur-
traditional forms cease to provide a margin of al generalizations is to have any prospect of
satisfactionand are eliminated; new needs arise success. It is insist, however, that
necessary to
or arc perceived, and new cultural adjustments historical events, likegeographic factors, exert
are made to them. The assumption that cul- only a conditioning rather than a determining
ture is adaptive by no means commits one to influence as the course of culture. Man adjusts
an idea of progress, or to a theory of evolu- to them, and draws selectively upon them to
tionary stages of development, or to a rigid de- solve his problems and satisfy his needs.
terminism of any sort. On the contrary-, one 7. Cultitre Is Integrative. As one product

can agree with Oplcr, who has pointed out on of the adaptive process, the elements of a given
the basis of his Apache material, that different culture tend to form a consistent and integ-
cultural forms may
represent adjustments to rated whole. We
use the word "tend" advisc-
like problems, and similar cultural forms to edly, for we do not accept the position of ccr-
STATEMENTS: GROUP A: NATURE OF CULTURE 89

Material culture.
tain extreme functionalists that cultures actual- 1.

2. Culture, that is, material culture conjoined with


ly arc integrated systems, with their several
parts inperfect equilibrium. Weadhere,
art, ritual, laws.

"Genuine culture" (in Sapir's phrase) —a firm


3.
rather, to the position of Sumner that the folk- development of
integration and mutually reinforcing
ways are "subject to a strain of consistency to all the factors specified as constituting culture in
each other," but that actual integration is never sense 2.

achieved for the obvious reason that historical 4. Civilization as culture (or "genuine culture")
events are constantly exerting a disturbing in- mediated by history and science.
fluence. Integration takes time —
there is al- 5. Civilization as tribal or national culture so medi-

ways what Ogburn has called a "cultural lag" ated by history and science as to lead to the recog-
— and long before one process has been com- nition of the equal humanity of other nations.
pleted, many others have been initiated. In our 6. development of sense
Civilization as that special
5 which is essentially characterized by the employ-
own culture, for example, the changes wrought
ment of intelligence to discern the dominant tenden-
in habits of work, recreation, sex, and religion
cies of change in men's ways of living together, to
through the introduction of the automobile
predict future changes in these respects, and to ac-
are probably still incomplete. If culture is in- commodate men to (and even facilitate) such change.
tegrative, then correspondences or correlations Civilization as values realized, and particular
7.
between similar traits should repeatedly occur civilizations as the patterns of social living more or
in unrelated cultures. Lowie, for example, has less conducive to, or adequate to, the enactment and
pointed out a number of such correlations. experience of values.
8. Civilization as an active process of growth in

Dennes, 1942: 164.-6^. communication and appreciation.


13.
FoUowincr the lead of eminent historians,
anthropologists, psychologists, and philoso- 14. Roheiw, 1943: 81 -82.
phers, I have now directed your attention to When looking at the situation from a
. . .

eight phases or characteristics of group living remote, biological point of view I wrote of
which have been taken by them as definitive of culture as a neurosis, my critics objected. At-
the term culture, or of the term civilization, tempting to reply to this criticism I now de-
when those terms are used descriptively. Some fined culture with greater precision as a
scholars, as we have seen, use the name culture psychic defense system. Since this view has
for the "simpler" phases, civilization for the also been questioncil. I have taken up the
more complex; others exactly reverse this prac- question again in the present book and tried
tice; and still others use the two terms virtually to analyze culture in some of its aspects which
as synonyms. We may observe at this point are most etjo-syntonic, most useful and there-
that none of these eight descriptive notions fore appear to be remote from defense
restricts culture or civilization to any particu- mechanisms. The result of this investigation
lar pattern of organization. For example, a is to confirm me in the view that defence sys-

highly aristocratic or a highly democratic pat- tems against anxiety are the stuff that culttire
tern of social living might, either of them, con- is made
of and that therefore specific cultures
spicuously exemplify —or fail to exemplify are structurally similar to specific neuroses.
— what is meant by culture or civilization in This view of psychoanalytical anthropology
any of the eight senses. We must note, also, was really the starting point of the whole
that there are indefinitely many other types, problem. However other processes must fol-
phases, and products of social living which low the formation of these neurosis-systems to
can be distinguished and studied, and taken as produce sublimations and culture. The psyche
criteria of civilization; —how many (and as we know it, is formed by the intro)ection
which) a man will deal with will be deter- of primary objects (super-ego) and the first
mined by his interests and capacities and by contact with environnient (ego). Societ\' it-
the problems that are felt as pressing at the selfis knitted together by projection of these

time. The eight descriptive notions I have primarily introjected objects or concepts fol-
selected and brought to your attention are, to lowed by a scries of subsequent introjections
resume: and projections.
90 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
15. Kluckhohn and Kelly, i^^s^- 93-94- synonyms or equivalents. Having given a
The philosopher: where is the locus of
. . . sound abstract description of "group habits,"
culture — in society or in the individual? the anthropologist then unthinkingly employs
Third anthropologist: Asking the question this ("x") as an explanatory concept, for-
that way
poses a false dilemma. Remember getting that ".x" must be regarded as the joint
that "culture" is an abstraction. Hence culture product of "d" and three other determiners.
as a concrete, observable entity docs not exist "X" is much closer to observable "realiry"
anywhere — unless you wish to sav that it than "d." "D" is, if you will, only an hypoth-
exists in the "minds" of the men who make esis —
though a highly useful hypothesis'. "X,"
the abstractions, and this is hardly a problem however, is an abstract representation of cen-
which need trouble us as scientists. The tral tendencies in observed facts. Let me trivc
objects and events from which we make our you an example. Some peoples call their
abstractions do have an observable existence. mothers and their mothers' sisters by the same
But culture is like a map. Just as a map isn't kin term, and they tend to make few dis-
the territory but an abstract representation of tinctions in the ways in which they behave
the territory so also a culture is an abstract toward their mothers and toward their
description of trends toward uniformity in mothers' sisters. Other peoples apply different
the words, acts, and artifacts of human groups. terms of address and of reference to these two
The from which wc come to know
data, then, classes of relatives and perhaps also differen-
culture are not derived from an abstraction tiate between the younger and the older sisters
such as "society" but from directly observable of the mother. With such usages, in most
behavior and behavioral products. Note, how- instances, go variations in behavior. Rigorous
ever, that "culture" may be said to be "supra- abstract description of all these patterns does
individual" in at least two non-mystical, per- not require the invocation of hypotheses.
fectly empirical senses: But we do
not know, and perhaps never can
Objects as well as individuals show
know, an ultimate and complete sense, why
in
1. the influence
of culture. these two examples of differing behavior exist.
2. The continuit}' of culture seldom depends upon The concept "culture" does however help
the continued existence of any particular individuals. to understand how it is that at a given point
in time two different peoples, living in the

16. Kluckhokii and Kelly, i^4')b: 33-3). same natural environment, having the same
... there are four variables in the determina- "economic" system, can nevertheless have
tion of human action: nun's biological equip- different usances in this respect.
ment, his social environment, his physical en- In sum, when a culture is described, this is
vironment, and his culture. Let us designate merely the conceptualization —
highly con-
those as a, b, c, and d. But a given system of venient for certain purposes —
of certain
designs for living is clearly the product of trends toward uniformity in the behavior of
avd d. In other words, it is quite clearlv
a, b, c, the people making up a certain group. No
different from "d" alone, so let us c-sll it "x." pretense is made at a total "explanation" of
It would seem, then, that anthropologists have all this behavior. Just to approach such an
used the same term "culture" to cover both understanding would require the collaboration
"d" and "x." This is enough to make a of a variety of specialists in bioIog\% medicine,
logician's hair stand on end. and many other subjects. The primary utilir\'
Third anthropologist: Perhaps, in practice, of "culture" as an explanatory concept is in
the confusion has been mitigated by the ten- illuminating the differences between behavioral
dency to use "culture" for the analytical ab- trends as located in space and time.
straction "d" and "a culture" for the general-
izing abstraction "x." But it is all too true 17. Bidney, 194J: 395-9^-
that anthropologists and other scholars have According to the polaristic position adopted
frequently treated "d" (the explanatory con- here, cvlntre is to be understood primarily as
cept) and "x" (the descriptive concept) as a re^tlative process initiated by vian for the
STATEMENTS: GROUP A: NATURE OF CULTURE 9>

developnent arid organization of his determin- tions; rather we wish to have his methodo-
ate, substantive potentialities. There is no pre- logical remarks clarified.

cultural human nature from which the variety' On level of in-


the scientific (perceptual)

of cultural forms may be deduced a priori, quiry, the matter of cultural an-
subject

since the cultural process is a spontaneous ex- thropology is necessarily parcelled by con-
pression of nature and is coeval with
human fining attention to a (more or less) definite

man's existence. Nevertheless, human nature group of abstractions. We


would insist that
is logically and genetically prior
to culture those anthropologists who have confined at-
since we must postulate human agents with tention to a "realist" set of abstractions, and
psychobiological powers and impulses capable those who have been concerned with an
of initiating the cultural process as a means of "idealist" set of abstractions, have both made

adjusting to their environment and as a form significant and useful contributions to an-

of symbolic expression. In other words, the thropology on the scientific level. The dis-
determinate of man is manifested
nature advantage of exclusive anention to a parcelled
functionally through culture but is not reduci- group of abstractions, however well-founded,
ble to culture. Thus one need not say with is that, by the nature of the subject matter,
Ortega y Gassett, "Man has no nature; he has one has neglected a rcm.ainder of that subject
history." There is no necessit\^ in fact or logic matter. Insofar as the excluded data are im-
for choosing between nature and histor>'. Man portant to the subject matter, this particular
has a substantive ontological nature which may methodolofjv or mode of thought is not fitted
be investigated by the methods of natural to deal, in an adequate way, with the larger
science as well as a cultural history which may problems in question. Since, in practice, the
be studied by the methods of social science working anthropologist cannot proceed with-
and by logical analysis. Adequate self-knowl- out making a classification of his subject
edge requires a comprehension of both nature matter, it is of great importance to pay con-
and history. The theory of the polarity of stant attention to the modes of abstraction.
nature ana culture would do justice to both It here that the philosophy of anthro-
is

factors by allowing for the ontological con- pology finds its role essential to the progress

ditions - of the historical, cultural process. of the subject. And this task, the authors con-
tend, c^n be carried out solely within the
1 8. Hinsh.izi} and Spuhkr, 1948: /y. perceptual or scientific level.
In an attempt to resolve certain conflicting
philosophies of culture, Bidney has suggested 19. Kroeber, ip^Sa: 8-g, 2j^.
that the and "realistic" concep-
"idealistic" Culture, then, is all those things about nun
tions of culture are not in conflict, that they that are more than just biological or organic,
can be unified. In discussing this contention he and are also more than merely psychological.
defines five fallacies. He makes commission It presupposes bodies and personalities, as it
of these fallacies contrary to achievement of presupposes men associated in groups, and it
conceptual unification. While we feci that rests upon them; but culture is something
the definition of such fallacies is an important more than a sum of psychosomatic qualities
methodological service, we believe that Bidney and actions. It is more than these in that its
has not made sufficiently clear what some phenomena cannot be wholly understood in
might call the purposes or what we have terms of biology and psychology. Neither of
called the levels of his analysis. VVe do not these sciences claims to be able to explain why
wish to challenge his substantive contribu- there are axes and property laws and etiquettes
• [Bidnev's footnote] There is an important dis-
tinction to be made between the ontological conditions cultural sj'stems. In this paper, my concern is with
of the
cultural process and the ontological pre- the meta-cultural presuppositions of any system of
suppositions of given systems of culture. Sorokin, for culture u-katsoever. The problem, it seems to me,
example, in his Social and Cultural Dynamics, and was soundly appraised by Dilthey, Ortega y Gassct,
Nonhrop in his The Meeting of East and West have and Cassirer; my disagreerr.ent is solely with their
discussed the views of reality inherent in diverse Neo-Kantian epistcmology.
9* CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
and prayers in the world, why they function of critical thought, first individuals and then
and perpetuate as they do, and least of all whv groups began to question some elements of
these cultural things take the particular and the traditional thoughtways and practices and
highly variable forms or expressions under thereby provided a stimulus for cultural
which they appear. Culture thus is at one and change and development.
the same time the totalirv of products of social
men, and a tremendous force affecting all 21. RadcUlJe-BroiiVJ 1949: ^lo-ii.
human beings, socially and individuallv. And The word "culture" has many different
in this special but broad sense, culture is meanings. As a psychologist I would define
universal for man. . . culture in accordance with its dictionary
The terms "social inheritance" or "tradi- meaning in English, as the process by which a
tion" put the emphasis on how culture is ac- human individual through contact
acquires,
quired rather than on what it consists of. Yet with other individuals, or from such things as
a naming of all the kinds of things that we books and works of art, habits, capabilities,
receive by tradition —
speech, knowledges, ideas, beliefs, knowledge, skills, tastes, and
activities, rules, and the rest —
runs into quite sentiments; and, by an extension common in
an enumeration. We
have already seen . . . the English language, the products of that
that things so diverse as hoeing corn, singing process in the individual. As an Englishman
the blues, wearing a shirr, speaking English, I learned Latin and French and therefore some

and being a Baptist are involved. Perhaps a knowledge of Latin and French are part of
shorter way of designating the content of my culture. The culture process in this sense
culture is the negative way of telling what can be studied by the psychologist, and in
is excluded from it. Put this wav around, fact the theorv of learning is such a study.
culture might be defined as all the activities . The sociologist is obviously obliged to
. .

and non-physical products of human person- study the cultural traditions of all kinds that
alities that are not automatically reflex or in- are found in a society of which he is making
stinctive. turn means, in biological and
That in a study. Cultural tradition is a social process

psycholojjical that culture consists


parlance, of interaction of persons within a social
of conditioned or learned activities (plus the structure.
manufactured results of these); and the idea
of learning brintrs us back again to what is 22. Z/pf, 1949: 2-^6.

socially transmitted, wh.nc is received from Culture is relative to a given social ^ro-ip
tradition, what "is acquired bv man as a at a given time: that is it consists of n different

member of societies." So perhaps kow- it social signals that are correlated with differ- m
comes to be is really more distinctive of ent social responses . . .

culture than what it is. It certainly is more


easily expressed specifically. .
COMMENT
Five of this group of statements attempt to
20. Bidney, 1949: 4~o. Ust the factors that make culture: Ogburn,
Modern ethnology has shown that all his- (i) 1922; Murdock, (6) 1932; iMurdock, (12a)
torical societies have had cultures or traditional 1940; Dennes, (13) 1942; Kluckhohn and
ways of behavior and thought in conformit\- Kelly, (16) 1945a. Dennes stands somewhat
with which they have patterned their lives. apart from the others. He thoughtfully lists
And so valuable have these diverse ways of eight "phases or characteristics" which have
living appeared to the members of early been taken to be definitive of the terms cul-
human society that they have tended to ascribe ture or civilization — eight senses in which
a divine origin to their accepted traditions and they have been used. This is in a way an
have encouraged their children to conform essay similar in goal to our present one in- —
to their folkways and mores as matters of deed, nearer to general outcome than
it in
faith which were above question. With the might be anticipated from a philosopher as
growth of experience and the development against a pair of anthropologists.
STATEMENTS: GROUP A: NATURE OF CULTURE 93

Of the others, Ogburn is earliest and, no assumed) > culture; the three term: culture >
doubt for that reason, simplest. He recognizes persons > culture. Each formula has its proper
nvo factors, social heritage and biological uses, and particular risks. The culture >
nature of man, whose resultant is cultural be- culture formula eliminates the personalities
havior. Murdock, ten years later, admits four that in a long-range historical or mass situa-
little but may rather clog
factors that raise human behavior from the tion can contribute
organic, hereditary level to the super-organic or distract from understanding. The risk in
level. These four are habit-forming capacity, exclusive use of this formula is that it may
social intelligence, and language. Only
life, lead to assumption of culture as a wholly
the fourth would today be generally accepted autonomous system, with immanent, pre-
as one of the pillars on which culture rests. ordained causation. The culture-persons-
Habits, society, and intelligence are now uni- culture formula obviously is most useful in

versally attributed to sub-human as well as to short-term, close-up, fine-view analyses. Its

human beings, in kind at any rate, though often risk is the temptation to escape from circu-
less in degree. It is only by constming "habits" larity of reasoning by short-circuiting into a
as customs, and "intelligence" as symbol-using simplistic rwo-term formula of persons >
imagination, that these two factors would today culture or culture > personalities.
be retained as criteria; and as for "social life" Three British social anthropologists, (7)
— how get around the cultureless ants? It Forde, 1934, ('') Firth, 1939, and (21) Rad-
would appear that .Murdock started out to cliffe-Brown, 1949, stress the dynamic inter-
give "explanations" of the factors that make relations of activities within a culture. In
culture a uniquely human attribute, but that addition, RadclifTe-Brown as usual narrows
in part he substituted faculties which are in- the concept of culture as much as possible:
deed associated in man with culrare but are culture is the process by which language, be-
not differential criteria of it.' In his 1940 state- liefs, usages, etc., are handed on (similar to
ment (12a), however, he on this dis-
is clear statements in [19] Kroeber, 1948!); and, says
tinction, and indeed his position as developed RadclifTe-Brown, cultural tradition is a social
here is quite close to our own. process of interaction of persons within a
Kluckhohn and Kelly also name four factors social structure. This seems to leave culture
("variables") of "human
determinative a mere derivative by-product of s^;cicty, a
action": biological equipment, physical en- position shared with Radcliffe-Brown by some
vironment, social environment, and culture. sociologists, but by few if any anthropologists;

Thev complain, however, or have one of the who, if they insist on deriving culture, now-
characters in their dialogue complain, that adays try to derive it out of personalitv, or at-
anthropologists use the same word culture leastfrom the interaction of personalities as
for the product of these four factors and for opposed to society as such.
the fourth factor —
a procedure logically hair- Radcliffe-Brown's earlier position in (4),
raising. 1930, emphasizes that the nature and function
The oneof the present authors not involved of culture in general are a mode of social
in the 1945 dialogue is less troubled logicallv\ inteQ,ration, and he repeats this for the
It is a given culture that is the product, ante- function of elements of culture. The focus of
cedent culture that always enters into it as a interest here is slightly different from that of
factor. He sees cultural causality as inevitably 1949, but the subordination of culaire to
circular; equally sowhether culture be viewed societ\' is about the same.
impersonally and historically or as something Firth (11), 1939, adduces a second
in
existing only in, through, or by persons. In property of culture: it contains universally
the latter case the persons are inevitably in- comparable factors and processes. These can
fluenced by existing and previous culture. be described and explained in "social laws or
The two-term formula is: culture > (persons general principles of culture."

As regards habits this is explicitly recognized by


Mordock. Cf. Ul-b-j, below.
94 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
In (12) von Wiese, 1939, and (17, 20) Schapera (8), «935. emphasizes the need,
Bidney, 1947, 1949, we feel modern reper- for understanding culture, of attending to the
cussions of the old nature-spirit duality, even range of individual variations from the tra-
though Bidnev expressly criticizes the idealis- ditionally standardized pattern. There is no
ticconcept of culture. Von Wiese holds that quarreling with this. It is much like insisting

culture is not in the world of substance but is that a mean plus variability has more signifi-
part of the world of values, of which it is a cance than the mean alone. At the same time
category. It is not a thing concept, it is not much depends on the focus. If interest lies
even an order of phenomena. Bidney is less primarily in persons, the standardized pattern
vehement. He sees culture as a regulative need only' be defined, and examination can
process initiated by man for the develofnnent concern itself with the range of variation. If
and organization of his determinate, sub- interest is in culturalforms as such and their
stantive potentialities. Wehave italicized the interrelations, individual variability becomes
words in this statement which seem to us as of secondary moment.
construable of idealistic if not teleological im- Bose (3), 1929, strikes a somewhat new note
plications. Again, man is said to have a sub- with his statement that while cultural anthro-
stantive ontological nature open to investiga- pology draws its data from human behavior,
tion by natural science, as well as a culture his- it specializes on those crystallized products of

tory open to investigation by social science and behavior which can be passed on between
logical analysis. To us — subject to correc- individuals. "Crystallized" here appears to
tion —this smacks of the Natur-Geist opposi- mean the same as standardized to Schapera.
tion of Kantian, post-Kantian, and perhaps Roheim (14), 1943, in holding that defense
Neo-Kantian idealism. In an important foot- systems against anxiety are the stuff that cul-
note which we have retained, Bidney says ture is made of, and that therefore specific
that he is speaking of the metaculrural presup- cultures are structurally [whv" structurally?]
positions of anv culture; that the problem was similar to specific neuroses, is virtually adhering
soundly appraised bv Dilthcv, Ortega, and to Freud's Totevi and Taboo theor\' of the
Cassirer; and that his disagreement is only origin of culture in a slightly new dress.

with their Neo-Kantian epistemology. On the we


agree with the dictum
other hand,
Hinshaw and Spuhler, (j8) 1948, seem to of Fails (9), 1957, that Spencer's superorganic,
sense something of the same point we are Diirkheim's faits sociaux, Sumner's folkways,
makincj, when thev rcplv to Bidnev that the and the anthropologists' culture refer to essen-
task of anthropology can be carried out onlv tial!\- the same collective phenomena.

within the perceptual or scientific level. We Wallis (5), 1930. ambles through several
too hold that everything about culm re. includ- points on culture, all of which are unexcep-
ing its values and creativities, is within nature tionable, but which do not add up to a defini-
and interpretable by natural science. tion nor even quite to a condensed theorj'.
A few more isolated statements are worth
mentioninfT.
GROUP b: THE COMPONENTS OF CULTURE

1. Bose, 1929: 2 J. ture that it persists though its individual


The stuff of which culture is composed is bearers are mortal. Culture consists of habits,
capable of analysis inr-o the following cate- to be sure, but they differ from individual
gories: Speech -Material traits - Art - Myth- habits by the fact that they are shared or
ology - Knowledge - Religion - Family and possessed in common by the various members
Social systems - Property - Government and of a society, thus acquiring a certain indepen-
War (Wissler), Any of these components of dence and a measure of immortality. Habits of
culture does not by itself, however, form an the cultural order have been called "group
independent unit, but is closely bound up with habits." To the average man they are known
the rest through many tics of association. as "customs," and anthropologists sometimes
speak of the "science of custom."

2. Menghin, 1931: 614. The process of custom forming (as Chapin . . .

Die Kultur lasst sich noch weiter einteilen, correctly states) is similar to that of habit forming,

natiirlich wiederum nur rein begreiflich, denn and the same psychological laws are involved. When
tatsachlich treten uns, wie schon in der Ein- activities dictatedbv habit are performed by a large
leitung gesagt wurde, die verschiedenen Kul-
number of individuals in company and simultaneously,
the individual habit is converted into mass phenom-
tursachgebiete konkret so gut wie immer in
enon or custom.
vermengtem Zustande entgegen. Die Syste-
marik der Kultur, als der verhalmismassig To the anthropologist, group habits or cus-
reinsten Objektivarion des Geistigen, schliesst toms are commonly known as "culture traits,"
sich am besten den Grundsstrebungen an, die defined by Willcy as "basically, habits carried
an der Menschheit beobachtet werden konnen. in the individual nervous systems." The soci-
Dies sind nach meiner AufTassung das Streben ologists, on the other hand, almost universally
nach Erhaltung, Geltung und Einsicht. Das speak of them as "folkways." General agree-
erste erfiillt die materielle, das zweite die ment prevails, therefore, that the constituent
soziale, das dritte die geistige Kultur. Dabei elements of culture, the proper data of the
ist aber nicht zu iibersehen, dass in der Wurzel
science of culmrc, arc group habits. Only the
jedes dieser Sachgcbiete geistiger Natur ist,
temis employed are at variance.
da es ja einer Strebung entspringt. Der Of the several terms, "folkway" possesses
Unterschied, der die Bezeichnungen recht- certain manifest advantages, "Custom" lacks
fertigt, beruht lediglich in der Art und precision. Moreover, though it represents ade-
Starke der Stoffgebundenheit. Man kann diese quately enough such explicit group habits as
drei Sachgebiete weiter gliedern. Doch soil words, forms of salutation, and burial practices,
hier nur die geistige Kultur niihere Behandlung it scarcely suffices for implicit common re-
erfarhren. Sie zerfallt in Kunst, Wissenschaft, sponses, mental habits, or ideas, such as relig-
und Sitte.
ious and magical concepts, which arc equally
a part of culture. The term "culr\ire trait,"
3. Murdock, 1932: 204-0^. though it covers both of these types of group
Habit alone, however, is far from explaining behavior, is also used to include material
culture. Many cultureless animals possess a objects or artifacts, which are not group habits,
considerable habit-forming capacity, and some indeed not habits at all but facts of a totally
of the mammals are in this respect not radically different order. Artifacts are not themselves
inferior to man. Social scientists agree, there- primary data of culture, as is shown by the
fore, that culture depends on life in societies recognized distinction between their dis-
as well as on habit. Individual habits die with semination by trade and the process of cultural
their owners, but it is a characteristic of cul- diffusion proper.

95
96 CULTURE; A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

4- Boas, 19)8: 4-$.* ideas. Techniques relate the members of a


Aspects of culture: Man and nature. Culture society to the external world of nature. . .

itself is manv-sidcd. It includes the multitude Relationships ... are the interpersonal habit-
of relations between man and nature; the pro- ual responses of the members of a society . .

curing and preservation of food; the securing ideas consist not of habits of overt behavior
of shelter; the wavs in which the objects of but of patterned verbal habits, often subvocal
nature arc used as implements and utensils; and but capable of expression in speech. These
all the various wavs in which man utilizes or include technological and scientific knowledc^e,
controls, or is controlled by, his natural en- beliefs of all kinds, and a conceptual formula-
vironment: animals, plants, the inorganic tion of normal behavior in both techniques
world, the seasons, and. w ind and weather. and relationships and of the sanctions for
Man and msti. A second large group of deviation therefrom.
phenomena relate to the interrelation
cultural
between members of a single societ\' and be- 6. Firth, 1944: 20.
tween those belonging to different societies. Social anthropology is a scientific study of
The bonds of familv, or tribe, and of a variety human culture. Its interest is in the variet\' of
of social groups are included in it, as well as men's rules, conduct, and beliefs in different
the gradation of rank and influence; the rela- types of societ)% and in the uniformity (as for
tion of sexes and of old and young; and in instance in basic family organization) which
more complex societies the whole political and underlies all societies. It is not concerned

religious organization. Here belong also the only with the different forms of customs all
relations of social groups in war and peace. over the world, but also with the meaning
Subjective aspects. A third group consists these customs have for the people who practise
of the subjective reactions of man to all the them. Values are part of its material for exam.-
manifestations of life contained in the first two ination . . .

groups. These are of intellectual and emo-


tional nature and may be expressed in thought 7. White, 1941: 16^.
and feeling as well as in action. Thev include Culture is the name of the means, the equip-
all rational attitudes and those valuations ment, employed by man and by man alone in
which we include under the terms of ethics, this struggle. Concretely and specifically,
esthetics, and religion. culture is made up of tools, utensils, traditional
habits, customs, sentiments, and ideas. The
5. Murdoch, 1941: 143. cultural behavior of man is distingiiished from
The elements of which a culture is com- the non-cultu?al behavior of the lower animals
posed, though all alike are traditional, habiaial and of man himself considered as an ani?nal as
and socially shared, may be conveniently distinguished from man as a human being by —
divided into techniques, relationships, and the use of syrubols. A symbol may be defined

* Boas in The Mind of Priwithe Man, revised aspects of life, however, does not constitute culture.
edition of 1938, opens his Chapter 9 on page 159 with It is more, for its elements are not independent, they
t definition of culture based on his 1930 one (which have a structure.
we have already cited in Pan II-.A-y) but expanded, The activities enumerated here are not by any
and then in a sense effaced by a second paragraph means the sole property of man, for the life of anim.ils
which grants most the components of culture to isalso regulated by their relations to nature, to other
animals other than man. The two paragraphs read: animals and by the interrelation of the individuals
"Culture mav be defined as the totality of the composing the same species or social group."
mental and pliysical reactions and activities that Apart from its non-limitation to man, this statement
characterise the behavior of the individuals com- by Boas is strongly behavioral: culture consists of
posing a social group collectively and individually psychosomatic reactions and activities. Beyond these
in relation to their natural env-ronmcnr, to other activities, culture includes their products (presum-
groups, to members of the group itself and of each ably artifacts, material culture) and possesses structure.
individual to himself. It also includes the products of Not mentioned are the rational aratudes and ethical,
these activities and their role in the life of the aesthetic, and religious valuations mentioned in state-
groups. The mere enumeration of these various ment (4) in the text above.
STATEMENTS: GROUP B: COMPONENTS OF CULTURE 97

as a thing whose meaning is determined by systems of culture. He recognizes five "pure"


those who useit. Only man has the ability' to cultural systems: (i), language; (2), science,

use symbols. The exercise of this facult)' has evidently including technology; (3), religion;
created for this species a kind of environment (4), fine arts; (5), ethics or law and morals.*^
not possessed by any other species: a cultural Of "mixed" or derivative systems, there are
environment. Culture is a traditional organiza- three most notable ones: philosophy, eco-
tion of objects (tools, and things made with nomics, politics. Philosophy, for instance, is
tools), ideas (knowledge, lore, belief), senti- a compound of science, religion, and ethics.
ments (attitude toward milk, homicide, Except for Wissler's one fling at the uni-
mothers-in-law, etc.) and use of symbols. versal pattern of. culture, which was enumera-
The function of culture is to regulate the ad- tive and which he did not follow up, anthro-
justment of man as an animal species to his pologists have fought shy of trying to make
natural habitat. formal classification of the components of
culture.' Being mostly preoccupied with deal-

COMMENT ing with cultures substantively, such classi-


fication has evidently seemed to them a matter

A few statements as to the components of mainly of pragmatic convenience, and they


culture are enumerative, somewhat like Tylor's have dealt with it in an ad hoc manner, in con-
original definition of culture (Part II-A-i), trast with Sorokin, whose logical and syste-
matizing bent is much more developed than
without straining to be absolutely inclusive.
Such is White's 1947 list (7): tools, utensils, theirs — more than that of most sociologists,
traditional habits, customs, sentiments, ideas. in fact.

The context shows that White is concerned There however one tripartite classifica-
is

with the nature and function of culture, and tion of culture which appears several times —
his enumeration is illustrative rather than ex- in substance though not in the same nomen-
haustive. Bose (i), 1929 takes over Wissler's clature — in the foregoing statements: those
universal pattern (\vith one minor change). by Menghin (2), 193 Boas (4), 1938, Mur-
1,

He merely says that culture can be analyzed dock (5), 1941.' Under this viewpoint, the
into these nine categories, and is express that major domains of culture are: (i) the relation
these are not independent units in their own of man to nature, subsistence concerns, tech-
right. V'-Lssler's classificatory attempt with — niques, "material" culture; (2) the morcor
his sub-classes it is about a page long and less fixed interrelations of men due to desire
looks much like a Table of Contents has — for status and resulting in social culture;
never been seriously used, developed, or (3) subjective aspects, ideas, attitudes and
challenged. It is evident that anthropologists values and actions due to them, insight,
have been reluctant to classify culture into its "spiritual" culture. We
have already touched
topical parts. They have
sensed that the cate- on one aspect of ideology in Part I, Section
this
gories are not logically definite, but are sub- 4, 5, in discussing distinctions attempted, in
jectively fluid and serve no end bcvond that Germany and the United States, between
of convenience, and thus would shift accord- "civilization" and "culture." The addition of
ing to interest and context. social relations, process, or culture yields the
Sorokin (1947, ch. 17, 18) calls the divis- ti^ichotomy now being considered.
ions, segments, or categories of culture, such As matter of fact Alfred Weber in 1912
a
as those of Wissler and Bose, "cultural sys- appears to have been the first to make the
tems," which, with cultural congeries, under- dichotomy in the present specific sense, and
lie his Ideational, Idealistic, and Sensate super- to have expanded it to the trichotomy in 1920.

*In Sorokin, 1950, p. 197, philosophy seems to be 'Tessman, 1930, in listing culture items of East
added as a pure system, "applied technology" to have Peruvian tribes, groups them under the headings of
taken its place among the derivative ones. material, social, and spiritual culture, corresponding
• Murdock, 1945, constitutes, in part, a follow-up to Menghin's divisions.
of Wisslcr.
98 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

In America, Maclvcr '94-) ^"d Merton


(193'' have seen that use of the word culture was

been the to see loner respectively resisted and refused.


(1936) seem to have first its

significance. It thus appears that this three- At any rate, this three-fold segmentation of
culture has now suflficient usage to suggest that
way distinction was first made in Germany
anci for a while remained a sociological one,
it possesses a certain utilit\'. We
therefore

anthropologists coming to recognize it later, tabulate the principal instances of its employ-

but a^ain first in Germany and second in the ment as a convenient way of illustrating the
substantial uniformity of authors' concep-
United States. In so far as the trichotomy
tions, underneath considerable difference of
developed out of one of the several culture-
civilization distinctions, it could not well have
terms used, as well as some minor variations of
originated in England or France, where we
what is included in each category-.

lienghin (2: 1931)


Recognition (Geltung) Insight (Einsicht)
Strivings: Subsistence
Social Culttire Geistige Kultur
Fulfilled by: Material Culture

teas (4: 1938)


Aspects of Culture,
Relations of: Man to Nature Man to Man Subjective Aspects of tuo
implements, preceding, intellectual and
Food, shelter,
emotional, including ac-
control of natxire
tions: rational attitudes,
and valuations

rlurdogk (5: 1941)


(Social) Relationships Ideas: patterned verbal and
"Culture composed of: Techniques
Interpersonal habitual sub-vocal habits.
Relating societv' to nature
responses Knowledge (including
technology), beliefs, for-
mulations of normal be-
havior

Veber (1920; Part I, S 5.


Social Process Cultural Movement:
above) Civilizarional
Including economics, Religion, philosophy, arts
Process: Science, •

technology' government

kiaclvcr (1942, Social


Social Order Cultural Order
Causation) Technological Order
Religion, philosophy, arcs,
("Civili/ation" in 193' ) =

traditions, codes, morei,


Technolog>', including
economics, government — play; viz., "Modes of

living"
viz., "Apparatus" of living
(Gesellungsleben) Culture
rhumwald (1950, passim) Civilization
tech- Bound to societies; perish-
Dexterities, slcills,
able. Uses civilization as
nology, knowledge.
means
Accumulative.
Its sequence is progress

(Social Culture) Value cultxire


ICroeber (1951, in press) Reality Culture
Includes pure science

developed a Man's Relation to Nature


F. Kluckhohn" has recently
which in-
Time Dimensions
classification of cultural orientations
Personality
cludes the following categories: Modality of Rebtionship (.Man's Relation to

Innate Predispositions Other Men)

•F. Klackhohn, 1950, csp. pp. 378-8:


GROUP c: DISTINCTIVE PROPERTIES OF CULTURE

1. Case, 192-7: 920. the effort of a group to maintain itself, to


Culture consists essentially in the external secure food, and to rear children ....
storacre, interchange, and transmission of an
accumulating fund of personal and social ex- 5. Goldeniveiscr, 1931: 45-46.
perience by means of tools and symbols . . . In sunmiary it might then be said that culture
Culture is the unique, distinctive, and exclusive is historical or cumulative, that it is communi-
possession of man, explainable thus far only in cated through education, deliberate and non-
terms of itself. deliberate, that its content is encased in pat-
terns (that is, standardized procedures or idea
2. Ellii-ood, 1921b: 75. systems), that it is dogmatic as to its content
The process bv which the spiritual element and resentful of differences, that its contribu-
in man is gradually transforming not only the tion to the individual is absorbed largely un-
material environment, but man himself . . .
consciously, leading to a subsequent develop-
[It is] culture which has made and will make ment of emotional reinforcements, and that
our human world. the raising of these into consciousness is less
likely to lead to insight and objective analysis
3. Bose, 1929: 32-S3- than to explanations ad hoc, either in the light
Beneath the outer framework of culture, of the established status quo, or of a moral
there lies a body of beliefs and sentiments reference more or less subjective, or of an
which are responsible for the particular mani- artificial reasonableness or rationalit)' which is
festation of a culture. They do not form part read into it; also, finally, that culture in its
of any specific trait, but working beneath many application and initial absorption is local
traits, they give to each culture a character of

its own ....


6. Opler, 1944: 4S2.
Such a and sentiments grows
body of ideas
The
capacity for culture is a function of an
out of life's philosophy and is consequently
accent on plasticity, on the development of
conditioned bv the needs and aspirations of
general adaptability instead of specific struc-
each particular age.
tures, on the reduction of the importance of
Paris,
instinct. The inauguration of culture was
4. 1931: 5, 218.
The following ... are presented as postu-
heralded, we may believe, by the invention of
tools and symbols. The crude enough at
tools,
lates . . .

first, were extra-organic means of doing what


The reality of culture. The collective habits
have produced uniformities of speech,
man had been forced to accomplish by the
thought, and conduct which form a body of
power of his own body to that moment. The
symbols understood vocal labels
(generally
phenomena with laws of its own.
for familiar objects and processes) made possi-
The priority of culture. With respect to
ble communication (speech, language) and
the members ofgroup, the cultural habits and
a
the conservation of whatever gains accum-
forms are pre-existing, so that the most im-
ulated from tool-making and experience. Thus
portant aspects of a given person are to be
tools and symbols (or invention and com-
traced back to influences existing in the
munication, to phrase it in terms of process)
culture into which he comes.
The Slow unnoticed can be considered the building blocks of
inertia of culture.
culture.
changes may
be noted but these
in a culture
are relatively unimportant. Culture tends to
produce itself indefinitely. 7. Herskovits, 1948: 62$.
Culture is a phenomenon of nature. Lan- Culture (i) is learned; (2) derives from the
guage, manners, morals, and social organiza- biological, environmental, psychological, and
tion grow up within the ongoing activity in historical components of human existence; (3)

99
lOO CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
is structured; (4) is divided into aspects; (5) . . . Culture consists of all ideas of the manu-
is dynamic; (6)
variable; (7) exhibits regu-
is factures, behavior,and ideas of the aggregate
larities that permit its analysis by the methods of human beings which have been directly ob-
of science; (8) is the instrument whereby the served or communicated to one's mind and of
individual adjusts to his total setting, and which one is conscious.
gains the means for creative expression. . Thus we can say that the manufactures
. .

and behavior of the aggregate of human beings


which have been directly observed are the
8. White, 1949a: ^J4.
percepta of culture, while the ideas of the
. . is the most important
articulate speech
.
aggregate of human beings which have been
and characteristic form of symbolic behavior.
communicated are the concepta of culture.
Man alone is capable of symbolic behavior by
. Material culture consists of all ideas of
. .

virtue of unique properties of his nervous sys-


the manufactures of the aggregate of human
tem, which, however, cannot yet be described
beings which have been directly observed and
except in terms of gross anatomy exception- — of which one is conscious.
ally large forcbrain, both relatively and abso-
. Social culture consists of all ideas of the
. .

lutely; an increase in quantity of brain has


behavior of the aggregate of human beincrs
eventuated in a qualitatively new kind of be-
which have been directly observed and of
havior.
which one
Tradition —
the nonbiological transmission
. . .
is conscious.
Mental culture consists of all ideas (i.e.,
of behavior patterns from one generation to
an ego's) of the ideas (i.e., concepta) of the
the next —
is found to a limited extent in some
aggregate of human beings which have been
of the lower animal species. But in man,
communicated to one's mind and of which
thanks particularly to articulate speech, the
one is conscious. By disregarding episre-
transmission of experience in the form of
mological considerations, one can greatly
material objects, patterns of behavior, ideas,
simplify this definition to read: .Mental culture
and sentiments or attitudes becomes easy,
consists of the ideas of the aggregate of human
varied, and extensive; in short, the culture of
beings.
one generation and age is passed on to the next.
And, in addition to this lineal transmission of
culture, it is traasmitrcd laterally, by diffusion, COMMENT
to contemporary n^^^-hborinj gror.ps. Culture
The statements that seem to fall under this
is cumulative as well as continuous; new ele-
head cover the period 1927-195 1. They tend
ments are added through invention and dis-
to be enumerative. In this qualit\' they re-
coverv. It is also progressive in that m.ore
semble the broad descriptive definitions of
effective means of adjusmient with and con-
II-A, though these attempt to list constituents
trol over environment are achieved from time
of culture rather than its properties. The
to time.
majorit)' of these enumerative descriptions
Culture thus becomes a continuum of extra-
somatic elements. It moves in accordance with
date from before 1934- We
can thus probably
conclude that as definitions became more
its own principles, its own laws; it is a thing
cardinal, enumeration tended to become trans-
mi generis. Its elements interact with one
ferred from definition to less concentrated
another, forming new combinations and syn-
statement about culture.
theses. New elements are introduced into the
As might be expected, the properties men-
stream from time to time, and old elements
tioned run rather miscellaneous, only a few
drop out.
being noted by as many as three or four of
the nine authors cited. Now
and then an
9. Osgood, 19s 1: 206, 2OJ, 210, 211, 21}. author stands wholly alone in emphasizing a
.Culture consists of all ideas concerning
. . quality, as Ellwood in bringing in spirituality'
human beings which have been communicated with a hopefully ameliorative tone, or Goldcn-
to one's mind and of which one is conscious. weiser in dilating on the affect of hidden a
STATEMENTS: GROUP C: PROPERTIES OF CULTURE lOI

Case's Ideas (9), percepts and concepts (9)


prioris when brought to consciousness.
metaphor in Uniformities with laws (4), regularities promoting
statement contains an allusive
scientific analysis (7), own principles and laws (8)
"external storage." On
account of the variety
Real (4), phenomenon of nature (4)
of properties mentioned, a discussion of
them
Explicable only in terms of self (i)
would be lengthy. Accordingly we concent
ourselves with a condensed presentation of the Inertia, tending to indefinite reproduction (4)
properties, grouped as far as possible, to serve Plastic (6), variable,dynamic (7), new combinations
as a summary. (8)
Localized (5), each culture underlain by particular
SUMMARY OF PROPERTIES beliefs and sentiments (3)
General adaptability instead of specific structures
External (to body), extraorganic, extrasomatic (i, 6, 8)
and instincts (6)
Symbolism (i, 6, 8) Means for creative expression (7)
Communicated (6, 9), by speech (8), transmitted (8), Invention tools (6), manufacture (9)
(6, 8),
learned (7), by education (5), prior to individual
and influencing him (4)
Instrument of adjustment to environment (7, 8), effort
Education deliberate and non-deliberate (5), individ-
at group maintenance (4)
ual absorption also unconscious (5)
Transforms natural environment (2)
Accumulating, cumulative (i, 5, 8), gains conserved
(6)
Aggregate of human beings (9) Patterned, standardized (5), structured (7)

Historical (5), continuous (8)


Dogmatic with emotional reenforcemcnt (5), if made
Human only (i), unique property of nervous system conscious, resentful and leading to moral judgments

(8), sui generis (8)


or false rationalizing (5)
Spiritual (2) Conscious (9)
GROUP d: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY
I. Alarett, ip2o: n-12 (cf. footnote 6). tivities, to play such an important part in civi-
It is quite legitimate to regard culture, or lized life. If one were to yield to a first impres-
social tradition, in an abstract way as a tissue sion, one would be tempted to say that subli-
of externalities, robe of many colours
as a mation is a fate which has been forced upon
woven on the loom of time by the human instincts by culture alone. But it is better to
spirit for its own shielding or adorning. More- reflect over this a while longer. Thirdly and
over, for certain purposes which in their en- lastly, and this seems most important of all,

tirety may be termed sociological, it is actually it is impossible to ignore the extent to which

convenient thus to concentrate attention on the civilization is built up on renunciation of in-


outer garb. In this case, indeed, the garb may stinctual gratifications, the degree to which the
well at first sight seem to count for ever^-- existence of civilization presupposes the non-
thing; for certainly a man naked of all culture gratification [suppression, repression or some-
would be no better than a forked radish. thing else? of powerful instinctual urgencies.
]

Nevertheless, folk-lore cannot out of deference This "cultural privation" dominates the whole
to sociological considerations afford to commit field of social relations between human be-

the fallacy of identifying the clothes worn ings; we know already that it is the cause of
with their live wearer . , . Hence I would the antagonism against which all civilization
maintain that in the hierarchy of the sciences has to fight.
psychology is superior to sociology, for the
reason that as the study of the soul it brings 3. Redfield, 1928: 2^2.
us more closely into touch with the nature The barrios have, indeed, obviously different
of reality than does the study of the social cultures, or, what is the same thing, different
body .... personalities. . . .

... Tylor called our science the science of


culture, and it is a good name. But let us not 4. Benedict, 19^2: 2^, 24.
forget that culture stands at once for a body Cultural configurations stand to the under-
and a life, and thnt the body is a fvmction of standing of group behavior in the relation that
the life, nor the life of the body. personality types stand to the understanding
of individual behavior. . . .

2. Freud, 192-j: 62-6^. ... It is recognized that the organization of


. order and cleanliness are essentially cul-
. . the total personalit}' is crucial in the under-
tural demands, although the necessity' of them standing or even in the mere description of
for survival is not particularly apparent, any individual behavior. If this is true in individual
more than their suitability as sources of plea- psychology where individual differentiation
sure. At this point we must be struck for the must be limited always by the cultural forms
first time with the similarity bervveen the pro- and by the short span of a human lifetime, it
cess of cultural development and that of the is even more imperative in social psychology

libidinal development in an individual. Other where the limitations of rime and of conformi-
instincts have to he induced to change the ty are transcended. The degree of integration
conditions of their gratification, to find it that may be attained is of course incomparably
along other paths, a process which is usually greater than can ever be found in individual
identical with what we know so well as sub- psychology. Cultures from this point of view
limation (of the aim of an instinct), but which are individual psychology thrown large upon
can sometimes be differentiated from this. the screen, given gigantic proporrions and a
Sublimation of instinct is an especially con- loner rime span.
spicuous feature of culniral evolution; this it This is a reading of cultural from individual
is that makes it possible for the higher mental psychology, but it is not open to the objec-
operations, scientific, artistic, ideological ac- tions that always have to be pressed against such

102
STATEMENTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY 103

Levy-Bruhl s. The dif- infantile traumata, and that culture in general


versions as Frazer's or
reading of husband's preroga- (everv'thing which differentiates man from the
ficulty with the
secret societies from lower animals) is a consequence of infantile
tives from jealousy, and
age- and sex-groups, is that experience.
the exclusiveness of
it ignores the
crucial point, which is not the
occurrence of the trait but the social choice 7. Roheirn, 19^4: i6% fji, 2^s-3^-
in that cul- believe that every culture, or at least every
that elected its institutionalization
I

always helpless before f>rimitive culture, can be reduced to a formu-


ture. The formula is

opposite situation. In the reading of cul- a like a neurosis or a dream.


the
tural configurations as I have
presented it in If we assume that differences in the treat-

this discussion, it is this selective choice of the ment of children determine differences in cul-

society which is the crux of the process. It ture, we must also suppose that the origin of
there is potentially about the culture in general, that is, the emergence of
is probable that

same rancre of individual temperaments and mankind was itself determined by traumata
crifts, but from the point of view
of the indi- of ontogenesis to be found in the parent-child
vidual on the threshold of that society, each relation among the anthropoids or pre-human

culture has already chosen certain of these beings from whom we are descended. Analy-
traits to make its own and certain to sis teaches us that super-ego and character, the
ignore.

The central fact is that the history' of each moral attitudes that are independent of reality,
trait is understandable exactly in terms of
its of the current situation, result from infantile
having passed through this needle's eye of so- experience. The possession of these moral at-
cial acceptance. titudes is specifically human; it separates man
from his pre-human forbears.

5, Goldenweiser, ip^S' 59- The prolongation of the period of infancy


... If we had the knowledge and patience isthe cause of a tranvja that is common to all

to analyse a culture retrospectively, ever\'' ele- mankind. Differentiation in the erotic play
ment of it would be found to have had its be- activities in different hordes has modified it
ginnintr in the creative act of an individual and so produced the typical traumata arid the

mird. There is, of course, no other source specific cTiltures of different groups. . . . Al-
for culture to come from, for what culture is though neurosis is a super-culture, an exaggera-
made of is but the raw stuff of experience, tion of what is specifically human, analysis

whether material or spiritual, transformed in- adds to the cultural capacity of the patient;
to culture by the creativeness of man. An an- for those archaic features of quick discharge
alysis of culture, if fully carried out, leads back which arise as a compensation to the over-cul-
to the individual mind. ture disappear during its course. Rut in gen-

The content of any particular mind, on the eral we


have no cause to deny the hostility of
other hand, comes from culture. No individual analysis to culture.Culture involves neurosis,
can ever originate his culture —
it comes to which we try to cure. Culture involves super-
him from without, in the process of education. ego, which we seek to weaken. Culture in-
In its constituent elements culture is psycho- volves the retention of the infantile situation,
logical and, in the last analysis, comes from the from which we endeavour to free our patients.
individual. But as an integral entity culture is

cumulative, historical, extra-individual. It Sapir


8. {1934) '949: S91-92.
comes to the individual as part of his obiective What is the genesis of our duality of interest
experience, just as do his experiences with na- in the facts of behavior? Why is it necessary
ture, and, like these, it isabsorbed by him, to discover the contrast, real or fictitious, be-
thus becoming part of his psychic content. tween culture and personality, or, to speak
more accurately, between a segment of behav-
6. Roheim, 19J4: 216. ior seen as cultural pattern and a segment of
Thus weare led logically to assume that in- behavior interpreted as having a person-defin-
dividual cultures can be derived from typical ing value? Why
cannot our interest in be-
I04 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
havior maintain the unJifTerentiatcd character aware of and to attach value to his resistance
which it possessed in early childhood? The to authority. It could probably be shown that
answer, presumably, is that each type of inter- naturally conservative people find it difficult
est is necessary for the psychic preservation to take personalitv valuations seriously, while
of the individual in an environment which ex- temperamental radicals tend to be impatient
perience makes increasingly complex and un- with a purely cultural analysis of human be-
assimilable on its own simple terms. The in- havior.
terests connected by the terms culture and
personality are necessary for intelligent and 9. Opler, 193): 14^, 1 5^-5 3-
helpful growth because each is based on a dis- Now this cultural is the chief con-
factor
tinctive kind of imaginative participation by cern and object of study of the anthropologist,
the observer in the life around him. The ob- and he is adverse, naturally, to seeing it dis-
server may dramatize such behavior as he takes qualified at the outset. He is then further dis-
note of in terms of a set of values, a conscience turbed to see the totality of culture explained
which is beyond self and to which he must as a sublimation, as a channelization of the re-
conform, actually or imaginatively, if he is to pressed element of the Oedipus complex into
preserve his place in the world of authority or more acceptable avenues. As has been pointed
impersonal social necessity. Or, on the other out, in this view totemism is the "first religion"
hand, he mav feel the behavior as self-expres- and the ritual extension of the act of parricide;
sive, as defining the reality of individual con- exogamy is also derived from the aftermath of
sciousness against the mass of environing so- the parricide and is connected with totemism.
cial determinants. Observations coming within Art develops as a vehicle of ritualism. The
the framework of the former of these two parricide the "criminal act with which so
is

kinds of participation constitute our know- many things began, social organization, moral
ledge of culture. Those which come within restrictions and religion." A. L. Kroeber has
the framework of the latter constitute our pointedly remarked the discouraging implica-
knowledge of personalitv. One is as subjective tions of such a view for anthropology when
or objective as the other, for both are essen- he comments, ". . the symbols into which the
.

tially modes of projection of personal experi- 'libido' converts itself, are phylogenetically
ence into the analysis of social phenomena. transmitted and appear socially. if . . . Now
Culture mav be psychoanalytically reinter- the psychoanalysts are right, nearly all eth-
preted as the supposedly impcr .onal .aspect of nology and culture hi;rory arc waste of effort,
those values and definitions which come to the except insofar as they contribute new raw ma-
child with the irresistible authorirv of .the terials. . .
."

father, mother, or other individuals of their Thus the ego is the expression of the psy-
class. The child does not feel itself to be con- chological sustenance drawn from the total
tributing to culture through his personal in- culture by the individual. There are those
teraction but is the passive recipient of values whose contacts are rich, varied, and balanced.
which lies completely beyond his control and There are those whose experiences have proved
which have a necessity and excellence that he poor, stultifying, and unsatisfying. But what-
dare not question. We may therefore venture ever we attain, whatever we become, it is only
ro surmise that one's earliest configurations of a small part of what the total culture has to
experience have more of the character of what offer; above the slight shadow any of us casts,
is later to be rationalized as culture than of looms the greater image of the world of ideas,
what the psychologist is likely to abstract as attainments, and ideals from which we draw
personality. We have had the disillusioning
all our aspirations. This is the measuring stick
experience of revising our father and mother by which our individual statures must be
images down from the institutional plane to evaluated. This is the glass through which our
the purely personal one. The discovery of the neighbors watch us. This is the judge before
world of personalitv is apparently depend.-^nt whom we must pass before we dare breathe,
upon the ability of the individual to become "Well done," of our works. This is the total
STATEMENTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY 105

culture of the anthropologist and the ego-ideal


my metaphor, this matrix or cementing sub-
stance will in the first place consist of some of
of Freud.
Now we are prepared to understand wiiat the deeper or fundamental attitudes of the hu-

Freud means when he says: "The tension be- man psyche, including, perhaps, ethnic ele-
tween the demands of conscience and the ac- ments and possiblv fixations resulting from in-
suflicientlv
tual attainments of the ego is experienced as a
fantile experiences, if these are

sense of guilt. Social feelings rest on the foun- general to affect the majority of children of a
dation of identification with others, on the basis social group.
of an ego-ideal in common with them." What
we have in common with fellowmcn whose 1 1. Paris, 193-j: jyi'.

judgments mean much to us is culture, a com- It is assumed that culture and personality are
munity of understandings, artifacts, concepts, correlative terms; that to know the culture of
and ethics. The individual ego approaches, re- a people is to know the types of personalities
sembles, and utilizes this, or failing to do so. to be found within it; and that to know the
it suffers the condemnation of its fellows and pcrsonaUties is to understand the culture.
withdraws in guilty self-approach. These two products of human life are twin-
Thedifference between the anthropologist born. the collective side of per-
Culture is

and psychoanalyst in respect to the offices of sonality; personality, the subjective aspect of
the id, ego, and ego-ideal as thus defined, is culture. Society with its usages and personali-
hardly more than terminological. ties with their variations are but two ways of
The psychoanalyst says: "Whereas the ego looking at human life.
is essentially the representative of the external It is further assumed that these two concepts
world, of reality, the super-ego stands in con- are not to be thought of as arranged in a
trast to it as the representative of the internal causal sequence. Personalities do not cause
world, of the id." culture, nor does culture produce personality.
The anthropologist would phrase the matter Interaction, interstinuilation, intcrlearning are
just a little differently. He would say: "That continuous, and personalities are always affect-
is statement demonstrating remarkable in-
a ing culture, and culture is always modifying
sight, Dr. Freud. We
anthropologists have personality. It would appear that society does
been much impressed with its truth. too We not mold the individual, tor molding is too pas-
have noted that culture (ego-ideal) tends to sive a term. Individuals do not produce a cul-
express the deep-seated wishes (id). Man's ture, for collective life has its own laws and
whole world of supernaturalism, for instance, its own procedure. Society and the individual,
is largely a response to wishfulfillment. The culture and personality': both are useful and
much tried individual (ego) is constantly in necessary abstractions made sometimes at will,
the position of attempting to accommodate the forced sometimes upon the student as he tried
ideal, fictitious world that culture deems should to understand the phenomena before him.
be, with the realities of living." And yet a sequence is assumed, if not causal,
at least temporal. All culture can be assumed
10. Selignian, 1936: 113. to arise our of a former culture or some blend
... A mosaic, as we
all know, may be of any or combination of more than one. Similarly,
degree of elaboration, and this holds equally all personal ties are organized from the contact
of the cultures we study. A mosaic may ex- with other personalities and cultural forms.
hibit well-defined patterns, or it may be a But in any particular instance, in the consid-
mere scatter of different coloured tesserae; eration of any one individual personality, it
moreover, the tesserae are held together by a is here assumed that a personality arises subse-

matrix, and I believe that in studying so-called quently to a specific cultural system. The pri-
patterns of culture attention should equally be ority of culture seems to be not only a demon-
paid to an element comparable to the matrix strable fact; it is a heuristic principle of great
of a mosaic. If I mav be allowed to develop utility.
io6 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
12. Nad el,
19 3"] a: 280-81. 13. Nadel, tpsjb: 421-23, 433.
. . . The
present discussion attempts to dem- As this article is to describe an attempt to
onstrate that we have to reverse the argument; include psychology in anthropological field
that we must define (at least in the first in- work a few words must be said first in justifi-
stance) the observable psvchological trends cation of this attempt to examine, over and
in culture as an expression of dominating "con- above the concrete realities of culture, the psy-
tents," rational interests, and concrete pur- chological factors "behind" culture. . . .

pose-directed activity. . . . The anthropological analysis defines the con-


The "pattern" of a culture thus appears as stitution and structure of a culture (includincr
a co-ordination of social activirv of primarilv the institutionalized activities which involve
sociological, i. e., rational ("purposive-ration- psychological factors); the psychological ex-
al," as Mav Weber would sa\') nature. The periment is to define, independently, the psy-

rational interdependence of culture facts re- chological organization of the human substra-
veals the agency of certain obtaining social tum of the culture. . . .

conditions and concrete dominant interests. We have been able, by means of the experi-
In certain cases we may be able to trace these ment, to isolate psychological organization
determining conditions and interests still fur- from the body of culture, and we have demon-
ther, down to objective "aI)solutc" needs and strated that an essential correspondence ob-
necessities: to physical facts and psvcho-phy- tains between the two systems or phenomena.
sical or biologicalVactors. In other cases there
may he no such solution, and functional inter- 14. Woodard, 193S: 649.
pretarion will then l)c definitely relieved by From the angle of contained imperatives,
the descriptive statement of history (in the the culture, like the individual, nmst have an
narrow sense), by the "uniqueness of events" integration. A and thereby a com-
rational,
of which we spoke in the bei^inning, and by plete, integration not possible until much
is

the arbitrariness of the "illogical" phenomena experience has been accumulated. Hence, in
of culture (Pareto). It is implied in the nature both cases, the first integration cannot escape
of this purpose-directed integration of society being an incomplete, inconsistent, and emo-
that it tends to penetrate into every detail of tional one. As an emotional integration, it re-
culture: religion, education, recreation, and art sists the necessary transitional break-ups inci-

will reflect the dominarini; interc^rs of a cul- dent to achieving; a mature and rational inte?-
ture as much as the institutions which serve ration, and, as an incomplete and inconsistent
these interests more directly. Here, for the pattern, it achieves general workability of a
complex whecls-within-whecls-mcchanism, of sort by compartmentalization, rationalization,
culture in which eic'i element is conditioned the development of subintegrations, and the
as well as conditioning, directed as well as di- achievement of only accomodative mechan-
recting. Dr. formularion of the
Benedict's isms between these, rather than reaching the
"consolidations" of culture in "obedience to full adjustment of a single, all inclusive integ-

(dominatin^j) purposes." holds true in a new ration. Precisely this same mechanism pro-
and, I believe, locrically more correct sense. duces the three subintegrations within the per-
Evidently, this consolidation can only work sonality (Super-ego, Ego, and Id) and the
and become effective through concrete mental three divisions of culture (Control, Inductive,
processes. Expressed in terms of mental or- and Aesthetic-expressive culture) and the vari-
ganization, functional integration of culture ous merely accommodative mechanisms be-
means logical connection and relation (of tween them. Blocking at the hands of the
which purposive relation is only one cate- dominant subintegration; exaggerated pressure
gory), working with "assumption," "premises," from the blocked impulse; defensive overpro-
and syllogistic schemata. In its collectivity it tection and repression; further exaggeration
coincides with Mr. Bateson's logical structure and consolidation of the repressed elements;
or eidos (or rather with one side of this slightly still further overprotestation, consolidation,
ambiguous concept). and protective severirv: this is the contained
STATEME>JTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY 107

process which forges the threefold structure tions in the culture. From
point of view, this
if a group is paranoid, one ought to be able to
both of personality and of culture. Make it
track down those institutional forces with
onlv a little more severe than usual and it is
the vicious circle of neuroticism and
psychotic which all constituents make contact and which
dissociation (social disorganization and revo- terminate in this common trait. However, to
regard character as an irreducible racial or cul-
lution at the social level) expressed in its o
broadest terms. tural idiosyncrasy is at once to use a psycho-
loffical designation and at the same time to

Kardiner, 1939: 8^-8^. deny the validity of psychological derivation


15.
by analogies of character.
Cultures have been described
with the variations found in human character,
drawn either from psychopathology, from 16. Mandelbmmi, 1941: 238.

literary or from mythological sources. Thus A graduated weighting of patterns, a hier-


cultures have been described as "paranoid," archy of values, is characteristic of the phen-
"introverted," or "extroverted"; cultures have omena we call cultural as well as of the be-
been named after literary figures like "Faust," havior we term personal. The shape of a cul-
or after Greek "Apollo" or "Diony-
deities like ture, when we probe into its essential nature,

sus." The effort in all these cases is to convey begins to look more and more like the struc-
some general impression of the predominant turc of a personality. . . .

direction of life goals, of moral values, or of


a psychological technique. 17. Rohcmi, 1941: 3-4, 23.
Such designations as these cannot claim any The theory of a collective unconscious
orrcat accuracy. No culture is exclusivelv ex- would be an assumption we might be compelled
troverted or introverted. No culture is pre- to make if we had no other way to explain the
dominantly "paranoid." These epithets rely phenomenon of human culture. 1 believe,
on very vague connotations. The term "para- however, that psychoanah'sis has another con-
noid" may refer to megalomania, to persecu- tribution to offer and that this second sugges-
tion, or merelv to anxier\', and the reader's se- tion is safer and e:isier to prove. The second
lection of one of these depends on his concep- suggestion is that the specific features of man-
tion of "paranoid." The term "extrovert" like- kind were developed in the same way as they
wise can mean any number of things: uninhi- are acquired to-day in everv human individual
ited, interested in activity, interested in the as a sublimation or reaction-formation to in-
outer world; "introverted" may mean inhibited, fantile conflicts. This is what I have called the
introspective, interested in fantasy, etc. ontogenetic theory of cultures. I found a so-
The designation "Faustian" or "Dionysian" is ciety in which the infant was exposed to lib-
different in kind from the preceding ones. idinal trauma on the part of the mother and
Here a culture is described in accordance with have shown that this predominantly male so-
a characterological t\'pe in which the charac- ciety was based on the repression of that
teristic dominant objectives or values or ideol- trauma. In the same way I have shown that
ogies are taken as guides to the adaptation of in a matrilincal society the libidinal trauma
a group. consisted in the father playing at devouring
All these focal ideas are open to the same the child's genital and that this society was
objection, because they destroy the boundaries based on the fiction that there are no fathers.
between individual and institution. The basic If we remember some significant passages in
fallacy involved is that, according to any con- Freud's writings, we notice that Freud also
temporary psychology, variations in human holds this second view of culture. If culture
character are created by habitual methods of consists in the sum total of efforts which we
reacting to external conditions. The character make to avoid being unhappy, this amounts to
trait may be a reaction formation, a compensa- an individualistic and therefore, from the psy-
tion or flight, the nature of which can be de- cho-analytic point of view, to the ontogenetic
cided only from the disciplines or reality situa- explanation of culture. If culture is based on
io8 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
the renunciation of instinctual gratification, 18. Roheint, 1942: i^i.
this means that it is based on the super-ego and Ever since the first attempts were made to
hence also explained by the fact that we ac- apply psychoanalysis to cultural phenomena
quire a super-ego. the structural similarity of culture and neuro-
Of if we take Freud's papers in which he ex- sis or "psychical system formation" has been
plains not culture as a whole, but certain ele- tacitly assumed. No psychoanalyst would be
ments of culture, we find that these interpre- likely to contradict Freud's famous threefold
tations are and psychological,
individualistic comparison of paranoia to philosophy, of com-
and not based on hypothetical phylogenesis.
a pulsion neurosis to religion (ritual) and of hy-
Finally, if we consider especially the interpre- steria to art. By comparing three of the most
tations given by Mclanie Klein and in general important aspects of culture to three types of
by the English school of psycho-analvsts, it is neurosis Freud has implicitly compared cul-
quite evident that all these interpretations of ture itself to neurosis in general. Furthermore,
individual evolution also imply an interpreta- if we consider the whole literature on "applied
tion of human culture as based on the infantile analysis" we see in every case a cultural ele-
situation. Thus, if Melanie Klein regards sym- ment of some kind
is explained on basis of the

bolism as a necessary consequence of the in- same mechanisms that underlie the various
fant's aggressive trends and the mechanisms kinds of neurosis.
mobilized against these trends and also as the
basic elements in the subject's relation to the 19. Kluckhohi and Momrer, 1944: -j-8.
outside world and in sublimation, this implies The environment of
cultural facet of the
an explanation of culture in terms of the infan- any society is a signally important determinant
tile situation. If demons are explained as pro- both of the content and of the structure of the
jections of the super-ego, if the functions of a personalities of members of that society. The
medicine man are explained by the assumption culture very determines what is
largely
that the help of an external object is sought learned: available skills, standards of value, and
against the introjectcd object, or if introver- basic orientations to such universal problems
sion or extraversion in an individual or a group as death. Culture likewise structures the con-
are due to the flight of the internal or extern- ditions under which learning takes place:
al and many others are obviously
object, these whether from parents or parent surrogates or
explanations based on the infantile situation from siblings or from those in the learner's
own age grade, whether learning is gradually
I. Culture or sublimations in a group are and gently acquired or suddenly demanded,
evolved through the same process as in the in- whether rc:v-inciations are harshly enforced
dividual. or reassuringly rewarded. To say that "cul-
Cultural areas are conditioned
:. by the ture determines" is, of course, a highly ab-
typical infantile situation in each area. stract way of speaking. In the behavioral world
3. Human culture as a whole is the conse- what we actually see is parents and other older
quence of our prolonged infancy. and more experienced persons teaching
4. Typically human forms of adjustment younger and less experienced persons. as- We
are derived from the infantile situation. sume that biology sets the basic processes
5. Our conquest of naaire is due to the syn- which determine hoiv man learns, but culture,
thetic function of the ego. as the transmitted experiences of preceding
6. Psycho-analytic interpretations of cul- generations (both technological and moral)
ture should always be ego plus id interpreta- very largely determines ivhat man learns (as a
tions. member of a society rather than as an individ-
7. The interpretation of cultural elements ual who has his own private experiences). Cul-
through individual analysis is probably correct, ture even determines to a considerable extent
but should be combined with the analysis of how the teaching that is essential to this learn-
anthropological data. ing shall be carried out.
STATEMENTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY 109

20. Beaglehole and Beaglehole, 1946: 15. 22. Mertou, 1949: S19-
The culture of each individual overlaps Despite her consistent concern with "cul-
w ith the culture of ture," for example, Horncy does not explore
to a greater or less degree
differences in the impact of this culture upon
each and every other individual making up the
group in question. This overlapping makes up fanner, worker and businessman, upon lower-,

a world of generally understood feelings, middle-, and upper-class individuals, upon


thouf'hts, actions, and values. In other words, members of various ethnic and racial groups,
itmakes up the culture of the people. One of etc. As a result, the role of "inconsistencies in

the jobs of the social scientist is to study this culture" is not located in its differential impact
culture as thus defined. But in doing so, he upon diversely situated groups. Culture be-
must abstract and generalize from the private comes a kind of blanket covering all members
experience of as many informants as he is able of the society equally, apart from their idiosyn-
to study. The result can only be an abstrac- cratic differences in life-history. It is a prim-

tion. can only be a valid abstraction if a


It ary asumption of our tvpology that these re-
sensitive member of the group feels a fair sponses occur with different frequency with-
amount of familiarity as he reads the words in various sub-groups in our society' precisely
which define these abstractions. because members of these groups or strata are
Depending both on the skill of the investiga- differentially subject to cultural stimulation
tors and on the relative amount of integration and social restraints. This sociological orienta-
of the culture (that is, the preponderance of tion will be found in the writings of Dollard
common symbols over private symbols in the and, less systematically, in the work of Fromm,
culture), the informed reader is likely to say, Kardiner, and Lasswell.
"Yes, this is so," or "Yes, that nuy be so, but
it is outside the context of my own experi- COMMENT^
ence." Because of our feeling that Kowhai
Maori culture today sutlers from a lack of in- These excerpts are largely variations upon
tegration (a feeling that we will try to docu- two themes: the relationship of the abstraction,
ment later on in this report), we expect disa- culture, concrete individuals and certain
to
." t^/pe with some between personalities and cultures.
greement of the "Yes, but . . similarities
of our analv^ses and statements. Such disagree- The variations on the first theme consist
ments would not necessarily imply that our partly in general discussions of the origins of
study was subjective and perhaps prejudiced. culture in the individual psyche, partly in at-
Thev would indicate only that in trying to see tempts to provide a specific theory through
Kowhai Maori culture as a going concern we psychoanalytic principles.
have inevitably neglected to explore all the Marett ( ) (cf. also III-f-2 ) strikes a chord
i 1

private worlds of all the Maoris living in Kow- which has been developed by many later
hai. A moment's reflection will doubtless con- writers, perhaps most subtly and effectively
vince the general reader of the impossibilit\' by Sapir (cf. also III-f-7). A somewhat crude
of ever presenting an absolutely true and abso- paraphrase of this position might run as fol-
lutely objective account of Kowhai Maori life. lows: "Let us not be so seduced by captivat-
ing abstractions that we lose sight of the ex-
21. Leighton, 1949: "jS. periencing organism in all his complexity and
There exist psychological uniformities com- variability. We must not dehumanize the sci-
mon to all tribes, nations, and "races" of human ence of man by concentrating exclusively
beings. Each psychological uniformity has a upon 'the outer garb.' What we in fact observe
range through which it varies; some variants and we ourselves experience is not culture but
are characteristic of particular groups of peo- an intricate flux that is influenced, channeled
ple and as such form a part of their culture. but never completely contained within cultural

*This comment must be linked to that in the Individuals.'


comment on Ill-f, subsection entitled, "Culture and
no CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
forms. Actual living always has an affective as Freud was merely saying that family life
tone, and each human being has a uniqueness and social life in general were possible only at
that is partly the product of his own special the price of surrendering many "instinctual
biological nature, partly the resultant of his gratifications" to the control of cultural norms,
own private life history up to that point. Ab- few anthropologists would gainsay him. .Many
stractions may be useful but thev must not be would likewise agree that culture is to a large
confused with 'realit\'.' " Goldenweiser's (5) degree a "sublimation" i.e., a redirecting of —
main point is an extension of this argument: bodily energies from such immediate satisfac-
culture change could not occur were it not for tions as sex and aggression (Roheim, 18).
the creative activity of concrete individuals. Freud developed a putative explanation of
It is perfectly true, as Nadel (12) insists, culture in general but hardly of the variations
that culture not only "conditions" individuals between cultures. Roheim (6, 7, 17), how-
but is also "conditioned" by them. There is ever, has offered such a theory.*" This briefly
certainly a ceaseless interplay between the ten- is that the distinctiveness of each culture is to

dencies toward standardization that inhere in be understood in terms of the infantile trau-
cultural norms and the tendencies toward varia- mata maximized by the child-training prac-
tion that inhere in the processes of biological tices of that culture.
institutions of the The
heredity and biological development. How- adult culture are, as were, reaction-forma- it

ever, any argument over "primacy" is as ybot- tions against the specific "instinctual depriva-
Icss asany other question cast in the chicken tions" emphasized in what Herskovits calls the
or the egg formula. To be sure, ther^ were process of "enculturation." Obviously, this
presumably human or at least humanoid or- cannot serve as an explan'rion of the origins of
ganisms before there was culture. But as far the special features of each culture. Roheim
as the phenomena with which anthropologists (cf. also III-a-14) would have to resort to his-
and psychologists can actually deal, the issue torical accident for that. His theory may be
of "primacy" resolves itself into a selection be- useful in understanding the perpetuation of a
tween problems and between equally legitimate set of culture patterns. At any rate, it is a test-
frames of reference. able hypothesis, and unpublished research by
Study of what Nadel calls "the psycho- John .M. Whiting and others is directed toward
logical factors behind culture" is clearly essen- determining what degree of validity this theorv
tial to a satisfactory theory of the cultural possesses.
phenomenon. For historical accident, environ- On the whole, the last few years have seen
mental pressures, and seemingly immanent considerable improvements in communication
causation, though all important, are not ade- between psychoanalysts and anthropologists
quate to explain fully the observed facts of and a re-casting of certain central propositions
Unless we are to as-
cultural differentiation. on both sides in forms more nearly acceptable
sume that each distinct culture was divinely re- to each of the two groups.^"* Thus Roheim in

vealed to its carriers, we must have recourse his last book says:

to psychology as part of the process. .the theory of culrural conditioning cannot ac-
• .

Thus far only the psychoanalysts have pro- count for certain parallelisms in widely divergent cul-
posed somewhat systematic theories. How tures the psychic unity of mankind is more than
. . .

helpful the suggestions of Freud, Roheim, and a working hypothesis cross-cultural parallels, al-
. . .

though they may have an additiorul context-deter-


Kardiner are is highly arguable. Freud's "Just
mined meaning, have an underlying meaning that is
So Stories" are contradicted, at least in detail,
independent of the social system or culture or basic
by much anthropological evidence. Tt also ap- and is based on the nature of the primary
institutions
pears to most anthropologists that he has exag- process. There is such a thing as a potentially universal
gerated "cultural privation" at the expense of symbolism. The latent content is universal, but the
the many ways in which cultures reward and symbol itself may become verbalized by a certain in-
gratify those who participate in them. Insofar dividual or many individuals in many parts of the

"•Cf. also Seligman (10). 'Cf. Kluckhohn and Morgan, 1951.


STATEMENTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY
world and then accepted by others on basis of tlie theme in Egyptian thought, as we have re-
universal latent content those who condition are . . .
cently been assured by Frankfort," the convic-
subject to the same biological laws as are the others tion that the universe is static and that only
whom they are conditioning. (1950. 435, 488,
5,
the changeless is ultimately significant? Did
489; italics Roheim's). the Judaic conception of sin originate in the

Roheim Festschrift Hartmann, Kris, and Near East because this had unusual survival
In the
or adjustive value under the circumstances of
Loewenstein observe:
life in this area?
The comparative study of culture includes the ques- seems more likely that conceptions of
It
tion as to variant and invariant traits of "human time and of the good life were largely de-
nature. . .
." The "biological" is neither limited
termined by the accidents of history operating
to the innate nor identical with invariant traits in man.
through psychological mechanisms as yet un-
There is obviously a vast area in wliich the same
known but including the genius and tempera-
statements are part of both biological and sociological
The biological approach thus ment of individuals who happened to be born
sets of assumptions. . . .

framework w ithin which the fact that man at a crucial period arid born to key positions
indicates a
is the social animal becomes meaningful. Once this in the social structure. Societies make what,

has become clarified it becomes evident that the study for want of a more accurate word, we may
of human behavior can, and in many cases must, be call "choices." Such decisions are of special
viewed from both sides: we can characterize the rela- importance when a new culture is being cre-
tionship between mother and child as a biological ated or when an old one has become relatively
relationship or we can characterize it as a social one:
loose and malleable under extreme stress. But
the fact that both concatenations are overlapping con-
with societies as with individuals any crucial
stitutes the human. Both psychoanalysts and
. . .

"choice" is to greater or lesser degree a de-


anthropologists are interested in the same processes,
but they are partly using data of different kinds. . .
terminer of later ones. Once
group starts
a

(1951, 6, 10).
down one road, the would have
paths that
opened up on another route that was "objec-
Everyone will agree that human biologv tively" available will not be traversed; even
and those aspects of human psychology which ifthey should be, the territory will be reacted
arise from biological potentialities set limiting to,not freshly, but in a fashion colored and
fran-es for cultures (Leighton, 21; Seligman, shaped by the experience upon the first road.
10). How the selections that are possi!)lc with- The principle of "limitation of possibilities" is

in these frames are arrived at by different peo- operative.


ples each in a somewhat distinctive way this — The functionalist assumption that culture is

is one of the largest questions in culture theory solely the result of response to physiological
and one which has hardly gone beyond the drives and needs as modified by acquired drives
phase of speculation and reasoning by analogy reduces culture change to the tautology of
and the illustrative example. It does seem cer- "culture begets or determines culture." Un-
tain that simplistic "functional" explanations doubtedly the systemic quality of each culture
will help us only a little. does tend to give cultures the property or at
Neither a society nor an individual will sur- least appearance of immanence or orthogenesis.
vive unless behavior makes a certain minimum Some culture change may well be predeter-
of sense in terms of environment demands. mined once the culture has assumed its funda-
But how is one to account thus for the enor- mental organization. Much more, however,
mously diverse conceptions of time found in culture change seems to be due to the ceaseless
the cultures of the world? The ancient Egyp- feedback between factors of idiosyncratic and
tians were pioneers in astronomical and calen- universal human motivation, on the one hand,
drical investigations. This makes good "func- and factors of universal and special situation,
tional" sense, for Egyptian agriculture was on the other. Unfortunately, we lack concep-
tied to the periodicities in the inundations of tual instruments for dealing with such systems
the Nile. Why, however, is the dominant of organized complexity."

Frankfort, 1948. "Cf. Weaver, 1948.


112 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
Nevertheless we can consistently and expli- the subjective side of culture (Paris, 11) repre-
citly recognize the interdependence of cul- sents an unfortunate over-simplification. The
tural and psychological phenomena. While an- former analogy leads to the brink of the
thropologists will always resist the tendency "group-mind" fallacy. The latter is false be-
of some psychologists to reduce culture to cause culture is far from being the only con-
psychology (as in the Katz and Schanck defi- stituent of personality; a unique biological
nition, D-IV^-z), they increasinglv acknowl- heredity and idiosyncratic life history also
edge that psychologists and anthropologists enter in.
inevitably start from the same data. More The parallels nevertheless remain arresting.
strictly, they start from data of the same order, Of cultures as well as of personalities one can
namely human behavior. They may start properly say: "This culture is in some respects
from the same particular data, but often do like allother cultures, in other respects like
not, because their interests and problems usual- some other cultures only, in a few respects
ly differ. More concretely: a psychologist completely individual." A personality can
seldom with a custom considered as such,
starts participatemuch more nearly in the whole of
anthropologists hardly from acts of learning a culture than in the whole of a society. The
or remembering as such. To the psychologist fact that students of personality and students
a fresco of Giotto is primarily a datum on a of culture have more in common than either
certain creative personality. To the anthro- have with students of societies as such is at-
pologist the fresco is a datum on art style of a tested by some interesting contrasts in disci-
certain period in Italy and on culture content plinary affiliations.
(costume, house types, other artifacts, etc.). Superficially, sociologists and cultural an-
In Sapir's (8) words, a segment of behavior thropologists appear to be studying much the
may be seen either as cultural pattern or as same things.Yet the record shows more
having a person-defining value. instances of cooperation and intellectual sym-
Moreover — and this brings us to the second pathy between sociologists and social psy-
major theme of this group of extracts —
cul- chologists than between anthropologists and
ture and personality are not only abstractions sociologists. Anthropologists have more often
from data of the sime order; they have intrin- been with students of personalit}'
affiliated
sic similarities. Certain definitions of culture (clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psycho-
state that it is a "mental" phenomenon, and analysts) and hare had deeper influence upon
many definitions of personality start from the the t.hinking of these groups. Probably the
same premise. Both personalities and cultures fundamental difference is that social psycholo-
appear to acquire their distinctiveness at least gistsand contemporary American sociologists
as much from organization as from content are more obsessed with the quantitative and
(Woodward, 14). More and more personality more ready to pull their data out of context,
psychologists and anthropologists have had while the other two groups insist upon the
recourse to such ideas as "themes," and "con- relevance of form, of features of order and ar-
figurations," "orientations," and "implicit rangement which are not (at least as yet)
logics" in constructing their conceptual measurable. It will, however, be germane to
models. As Mandelbaum (16) says: "The our analysis of the relationships between cul-
shape of a culture, when we probe into its es- ture and psychology to examine a little further
sential nature, begins to look more and more the factors that have brought students of per-
like the structure of a personality." sonality and students of culture together.
Benedict's famous parallels were of a slightly Just as the anthropologist attempts to eet a
different order —
between personality types picture of the whole of a culture, so the clinical
and cultural types. Yet she seemed to many of type of psycholoeist tries to envisage the
her readers to be saying: culture is personality whole of a personality. In both cases this en-
writ large; personality is culture writ small. tails, for the rime being at least, some deficien-

The equation of culture with the personality cy in workmanship as well as loss of rigor.
of a society (Rcdfield, 3) or of personality as The anthropologist cannot have enough spe-
STATEMENTS: GROUP D: CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY "3
cialized knowledge to describe music, bas- existence unless psychologically satisfying and

ketrv', and kinship with equal expertncss. Nor were discovered.


socially acceptable substitutes
The essential scientific task was that of gain-
can the psychologist be equally well trained
ing maximal understanding of underlying de-
in mental and projective tests, depth inter-
viewino", and techniques of the personal docu- terminants.
ment. Nevertheless holistic, controlled im- Finally, the dominant experience of cultural

pressionism has certain merits, at any rate for anthropologists had been as "unscientific" —
heuristic purposes in this particular stage of in the narrow sense of that term —
as that of

the development of the human sciences. the psychoanalysts. Most cultural anthropolo-
One may take as an extreme case the rela- gists are as innocent of statistics as the psy-
tionshipbetween psychoanalysis and anthro- choanalysts; both groups operate with proce-
pology. For all of the extravagant dogmatism dures that are essentially "clinical." Ordinarily
and mystique of muchpsychoanalytic writing, the anthropologist working under field condi-
the anthropologist sensed that here at least he tions has as little chance to do controlled ex-

was getting what he had long been demanding periments as has the psychoanalyst who sees his
from academic psychology: a theory of raw patient for an hour a day in the consulting
human nature. The basic assumptions of the room. The skilled of both professions do make
theory might turn out to be false in general or predictions of a crude order and test them by
in derail. The anthropologist was positive that subsequent observation. But these observa-
the theory was culture-bound to an important tions do not lend themselves to presentation
degree, though the evidence of the past t\vent^' in neat graphs and "t" distributions. Indeed

years indicates that many anthropologists ex- both groups would maintain, without disparag-
awfrerated the extent of the distortion they ing the indispensable importance of statistics
thought produced by bourgeois Viennese cul- for other purposes, that some of their main
ture and bv late nineteenth-century science. problems involve matters of form, position,
At all events, psychoanalysis provided anthro- and arrangrement more than of the incidence
pology with a general theory of psychological and clusterings of random variations. Such
process that was susceptible of cross-cultural problems may find an eventual solution in
testing by empirical means and with clues that terms of matrix ali^cbra or some other form of
might be investigated as to the psychological topological mathematics but, in the nature of
causes of culturalphenomenn. the case, not in an applied mathenutic based
Moreover, there were experiential facors on probability theory. Probably in all cv Irurc,
that drew the psychoanalysts and the anthro- as well as in that aspect known as linguistics,
pologists together. Psychiatrists of all persua- the crucial issue is not that of size or frequency

but of what point in what pattern. One may


sions were showing O that there was meaning^
^ D
in the most apparently chaotic and non-adap- compare the principle of the circle which does
tive acts of the mentally ill. This struck an not depend upon measurement as such but
answering chord with the anthropologist, for upon a fixed patterning, even though measure-
he was engaged in demonstrating the fact that ments are necessary to draw any particular cir-
the seemingly bizarre patterns of non-Western cle to specification.
cultures performed the same basic functions And so the anthropologist, however skep-
as did our familiar customs. The same amnesty rical he may be of certain psychoanalytic dog-
that the psychoanalyst grants to incestuous mas, tends to feel in some measure at home m
dreams the anthropologist had learned to ac- psychoanalytic psychology. He recognizes
cede to strange cultures. That is, both insisted certain similarities which confront him in de-
that the queerest behavior had significance in scribing and interpreting a culture with those
the economy of the individual or of the so- met by a psychoanalyst in diagnosing a per-
ciety. There was no implication of moral ap- sonality; the relationships between forms and
proval, necessarily, on the part of either psy- meanings, between content and organization,
chiatrist or anthropologist. Both merely agreed between stability and change.
that behavior could not be legislated out of Culture is not merely a "nssue of cxtemali-
114 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
ties" (Marett, i). It is "built into" the person- through the structuring of the present which
ality and as such is part, though only part, of previous events have produced.
the personality'. From many different private Culture is manifested in and through per-
versions of a given aspect o^ a culture as mani- sonalities. Personality shapes and changes cul-

fested by so many different unique personali- ture but is in turn shaped by culture. Culture
ties, the anthropologist constructs the ideal exists to the extent to which the "private
type of that aspect which he, perfectly legiti- worlds" of which Sapir (8) and the Beagle-
mately, incorporates in his conceptual model holes (20) write overlap. In a complex strati-
of the total culture. This is the "supposedly fied and segmented society like our own these

impersonal aspects of values and definitions" "private worlds" overlap for the majority of
which worries Sapir (8). But almost all an- the total population only upon the broadest of
thropologists todav are fullv aware that as issues. Generalized American culture, as Mer-

culture influences the concrete act of the in- ton (22) says, has a "differential impact upon
dividual actor it is not "impersonal" at all. diversely situated groups."
Concretelv, culture is internalized. This is the The exploration of the mutual interrelations
basis of those resemblances between culture between culture and psychology must con-
and super-ego ^' to which Opler (9) and others tinue. However, we may conclude with Stern
have drawn attention. To a considerable de- (1949, 34:) that:
gree (though not completely) anthropological There has been considerable unrewarding con-
culture, psychoanalytic super-ego, and indeed troversy . . around the contrast of culture as a
.

the conscience collective of Durkheim are all thing in itself, and culture as an activity of persons
constructs from the same data and have many participating in it. Actually both approaches are
overlapping theoretical implications. valid, and are required to supplement each other for a

There is no genuine problem as to the "in- rounded understanding of cultural behavior.


wardness" or "outwardness" of culture. It is
Both culture and personalirv are inferential
"out\vard" and "impersonal" as an abstraction,
constructs that start (but select) from behavior
a logical construct; it is very much "inward"
or products of behavior. Symbolization (in a
and affective as internalized in a particular in-
very broad sense) seems to be central to both
dividual. One must merely take care not to models, and such symbolization is carried on
confuse these two frames of reference. It is at various levels of awareness and with varying
highly convenient to construct an abstract degrees of compulsiveness. In the past culture
conceptual model of a culture. But this does has tended to emphasize explicitness of both
not mean that culture is a force like Newtonian design and content, personality theory im-
gravity "acting at a distance." Culture is a plic'tness and "internality." Now culture
precipitate of history but, as internalized in theory seems to be working "downward"
concrete organisms, very much active in the toward the implicit and "internal," personality
present. One might almost say that a culture theory "upward" to explicit forms. Hence the
is to a society as the memory is to a person. two bodies of theory converge more and more
The past is present through memory and but will not, we think, fuse completely.

"A case can also be made for comparing culmre a highlv technical consideration of psychoanalytic
at least as closely to another concept of Freud's, that terminology.
of the ego ideal. However, this would involve us in
GROUP e: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE
Boas, 1911: 6-]-68. ness, and thus give rise to secondary reason-
I.
obstacles to general- ing and to re-interpretations. It would, for in-
It would seem that the
stance, seem very plausible that the funda-
ized thought inherent in the fonii of a language
are of minor importance only, and that
pre- mental religious notions —
like the idea of the

sumably the language alone would not pre- voluntary power of inanimate objects, or of
vent a people from advancing to more general- the anthropomorphic character of animals, or

ized forms of thinking if the general state of of the existence of powers that are superior
their culture should require expression of such
to the mental and physical powers of man —
thought; that under these conditions the lan- are in their origin just as conscious as are
little

guac^e would be molded rather by the cultural the fundamental ideas of language. While,

state. It does not seem likely, therefore, that however, the use of language is so automatic
there is any direct relation between the culture
that the opportunity never arises for the fun-

of a tribe and the language they speak, except damental notions to emerge into consciouness,
happens very frequently in all phenomena
in so far as the form of the language will be
this

molded by the state of culture, but not in relating to religion. Itwould seem that there
so far as a certain state of culture is conditioned is no tribe in the world in which the religious
by morphological traits of the language. . . . activities have not come to be a subject of
greater positive importance is the ques-
Of thought. While the religious activities may
tion of the relation of the unconscious charac- have been performed before the reason
ter of linguistic phenomena to the more con- for performing them had become a sub-
scious ethnological phenomena. It seems to my ject of thought, they attained at an early
mind that this contrast is only apparent, and time such importance that man asked himself
that the very fact of the unconsciousness of the reason why he performed these actions.
linfTuistic processes helps us to gain a clearer With this moment speculation in regard to re-
understanding of the ethnological phenomena, lifjious activities arose, and the whole series

a point the importance of which can not be of secondary explanations which form so vast
underrated. It has been mentioned before that a field of ethnological phenomena came into

in all languages certain classifications of con- existence.


cepts occur. To mention only a few: we find
objects classified according to sex, or as ani-
/ 2. Sapir, 1^12: 2 S 9-4 1 (1949: 100-02).
mate and inanimate, or according to form. We . . Perhaps the whole problem of the rela-
.

find actions determined according to time rnd tion l)et\veen culture and environment gen-
place, etc. The behavior of primitive man erally, one hand, and language, on the
on the
makes it perfectly clear that all these concepts, other, may be furthered somewhat by a con-
although they are in constant use, have never sideration simply of the rate of change or de-
risen into consciousness, and that consequently velopment of both. Linguistic features are
their origin must be sought, not in rational, but necessarily less capable of rising into the con-
in enrirely unconscious, we may perhaps say sciousness of the speakers than traits of culture.
instinctive, processes of the mind. They must Without here attempting to go into an analy-
be due to a grouping of sense-impressions and sis of this psychological difference between
of concepts which is not in any sense of the the two sets of phenomena, it would seem to
term voluntary, but which develops from quite follow that changes in culture are the result,
different psychological causes. It would seem to at least a considerable extent, of conscious
that the essential difference between linguistic processes or of processes more easily made
phenomena and other ethnological phenomena conscious, whereas those of language are to
IS, that the linguistic classifications never rise be explained, if explained at all, as due to the
into consciousness, while in other ethnological more minute action of psychological factors
phenomena, although the same unconscious beyond the control of will or reflecrion. If
origin prevails, these often rise into conscious- this be true, and there seems every reason to

"5
ii6 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS

believe that it is, we must conclude that cul- thesis. Another consequence is that the forms

tural change and change do not move


linguistic of language may be thought to more ac-
along parallel lines and hence do not tend to curately reflect those of a remotely past statue
stand in a close causal relation. This point of of culture than the present ones of culture it-
view makes it quite legitimate to grant, if self. It is not claimed that a stage is ever

necessary, the existence at some primitive stage reached at which language and culture stand
in the past of a more definite association be- in no sort of relation to each other, but simply

tween environment and linguistic form than that the relative rates of change of the two dif-
can now be posited anywhere, for the different fer so materially as to make it practically im-
character and rate of change in linguistic and possible to detect the relationship.
cultural phenomena, conditioned by the ver\'
nature or those phenomena, would m the long 3. Sapir, 1924b: is^-S3 (i949, ^55-5^)-
run very materially disturb and ultimately en- ... If theEskimo and the Hottentot have no
tirely eliminatesuch an association. . . . adequate notion of what we mean by causa-
To some extent culture and language may tion, does it follow that their languages are in-
then be conceived of as in a constant state of capable of expressing the causative relation?
interaction and definite association for a con- Certainly not. In English, in German, and in
siderable lapse of time. This state of correla- Greek we have certain formal linguistic de-
tion, however, can not continue indefinitely. vices for passing from the primar>' act or state
With gradual change of group psychology,- to its causative correspondent, e.g., English to
and physical environment more or less pro- fall, to jell, "to cause to fall"; ninde, to ividen;

found changes must be effected in the form and German hangen, "to hang, be suspended";
content of both language and culture. Lan- hangen, "to hang, cause to be suspended";
guage and culture, however, are obviously not Greek phero, "to carry'"; phoreo, "to cause to
the direct expressions of racial psychology carrv'." Now this ability' to feel and express
and physical envirorur.ent, but depend for their the causative relation is by no manner of means
existence and continuance primarily on the dependent on an abilit).- to conceive of causalin,-
forces of tradition. Hence, despite necessary as much. The latter ability is conscious and
modifications in either with lapse of time, a intellectual in character; it is laborious, like
conservative tendency will always make itself most conscious processes, and it is late in de-
felt as a check to those tendencies that make veloping. The former ability is unconscious
for change. And here we c(jme to the crux and nonintellectual in character, ercerciscs it-
of the matter. Cultural elements, as more defi- self with great rapidiry and with the utmost
nitely serving the immediate needs of societ)' ease, and develops early in the life of the race
and entering more clearly into consciousness, and of the individual. We have therefore no
will not only change more rapidly than those theoretical difHculty in finding that concep-
of language, but the form itself of culture, tions and relations which primitive folk are
giving each element its relative significance, quite unable to master on the conscious plane
will be continually shaping itself anew. Lin- are being unconsciously expressed in their lan-
guistic elements, on the other hand, while they guages — and, frequently, with the utmost
may and do readily change in themselves, do nicety. As a matter of fact, the causative re-
not so easily lend themselves to regroupings, lation, which is expressed only fragmentarily
owing to the subconscious character of gram- in our modemEuropean languages, is in many
matical classification. A grammatical system f)rimitive languages rendered with an abso-
as such tends to persist indefinitely. In other utely philosophic relentlcssness. In Nootka, an
words, the conservative tendency makes itself Indian language of Vancouver Island, there is
felt more profoundly in the formal ground- no verb or verb form which has not its precise
work of language than in that of culture. One causative counterpart.
necessary consequence of this is that the forms Needless to say, I have chosen the concept
of language will in course of time cease to sym- of causality solely for the sake of illustration,
bolize those of culture, and this is our main not because I attach an especial linguistic im-
STATEMENTS: GROUP E: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE <»7

portance to it. Every language, we may con- vocalique, et le polonais: la conservation de la


possesses a complete and psycholo- mouillure des consonnes. . . .
clude,
gically satisfying formal orientation, but
this

orientation is only felt in the unconscious of its 5. 211-14 ('949' '64-66).


Sapir, 1929:

speakers —
not actually, that is, consciously,
is ... Of
forms of culture, it seems that lan-
all

known by them. guage is that one which develops its funda-


Our current psychology does not seem al- mental patterns with relatively the n.ost com-
together adequate to explain the formation plete detachment from other t\pcs of cultural

and transmission of such submerged formal patterning. Linguistics may thus hope to be-
systems as are disclosed to us in the languages come something of a guide to the understand-
of the world. . . . ing of the "psychological geography" of cul-
ture in the large. In ordinary life the basic
Trubetzkoy (1929), 1949: xxv. symbolisms of behavior are densely overlaid
4.
. une etude attentive des langues orientee
.
by cross-functional patterns of a bewildering
vers la logique interne de leur evolution nous variety. It is because every isolated act in hu-

apprend qu'une telle logique existe et qu'on man behavior is the meeting point of many
peut etablir route une scrie de lois purement distinct configurations that it is so difficult for

Unguistiques independantes des facteurs extra- most of us to arrive at the notion of contex-
lincuistiques, tels que la "civilisation," etc. tual and non-contexaial form in behavior.

Mais ces lois ne nous diront rien du tout, ni Linguistics would seem to have a very peculiar
sur le "progres" ni sur la "regression." Les . . ,
value for conngurative studies because the pat-
divers aspects de la civilisation et de la vie des terning of language is to a very appreciable ex-
peuples ^voluent aussi suivant leur logique tent self-contained and not significantly at the
interne, et leurs propres lois n'ont, elles aussi, mercy of intercrossing patterns of a non-
rien de commun avec le "progres" Dans . . .
linguistic type. . . .

ITiistoire litteraire, les formalistes se sent enfin . . . The regularity and typicality of lin-
mis a etudier les lois immanentes, et cela nous guistic processes leads to a quasi-romantic feel-

pemiet d'entrevoir le sens et la logique interne ing of contrast with the apparently free and
de revolution litteraire. Toutes les sciences undetermined behavior of human beings
traitant de devolution sont tcllcmcnt negligees studied from the standpoint of culture. But
du point de \'ue methodologique que mainter. . the rcgul.irity of sound change is only super-
antle "problcmc du jour" consiste a rectifier ia ficially analogous to a biological automat] ;n».
methode de chacune d'elles separement. Le It is precisely because language is as strictly

temps dc la synthase n'cst pas encore venu. socialized a type of human behavior as any-
Ncanmoins on ne peut douter qu'il existe un thing else in culture and vet betrays in its out-
certain parallelisme dans revolution des dif- I lines and tendencies such regularities as only

ferents aspects de la civilisation; done il doit the natural scientist is in the habit of formulat-
exister certaines lois qui determinent ce paral- ing, that linguistics is of strategic importance
lelisme. . . . Une discipline speciale devra surgir for the methodology of social science. Behind
qui aura uniquement en vvie I'etude synthetique the apparent lawlessness of social phenomena
du parall61isme dans revolution des divers as- there is a regularity of configuration and ten-
pects de vie sociale. Tout cela peut aussi
la dency which is Just as real as the regularity of
s'appliquer.aux problemes de la langue. . . . physical mechanical world,
processes in a
Ainsi, au bout du compte, on a le droit de se though it is of infinitely less ap-
a regularity
demander, non seulement pourquoi une langue parent rigidity and of another mode of appre-
donnee, avant choisie une certaine voie, a hension on our part. Language is primarily a
evolu6 de telle mani^re et non d'une autre, mais cultural or social product and must be under-
aussi pourquoi une langue donnee, appartenant stood as such. Its regularity and formal devel-
i un peuple donne, a choisi precisement cette opment rest on considerations of a biological
voie d'^volution et non une autre: par example and psychological nature, to be sure. But this
le tch^que: la conservation de la quantitd regularity and our underlying unconsciousness
ii8 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
of its typical forms do not make of linguistics 8. Voegelin and Harris, 1947- 58 S, s 90-92,
a mere adjunct to either biology or psy- 593-
chology. Better than any other social science, The data of linguistics and of cultural an-
linguistics shows by its data and methods, thropology are largely the same.
necessarily more easily defined than the data Human behavior, as well as (or rather, which
and methods of any other t\ pe of discipline includes) behavior between humans, is never
dealing u ith socialized behavior, the possibilirv purely verbal; nor, in the general case, is it
of a trulv scientific srudv of society' which non-verbal. Linguistics characteristicallv studv
does not ape the methods nor attempt to onlv that part of a situation which we here
adopt unreviscd the concepts of the natural call verbal.Cultural anthropologists often seg-
sciences. . . . regate the non-verbal from the verbal, relegat-
ing the latter to special chapters or volumes
6. Bloo7ti field, /pvf-* <^-2J.
(such as folklore), as contrasted with chapters
Every language serves as the bearer of a cul- devoted to various aspects of material culture,
ture. If .vou speak a language vou take part, such as house t\-pcs; one might infer from
insome degree, in the wav of living represented some ethnographies that houses are built in
by that language. Each svstcm of culture has sullen silence. . . .

its own wav of looking at things and people The techniques of linguistics and of cultural
and of dealing with them. To the extent that anthropology are in gejieral different.
vou have learned and understand a
to speak Linguistic techniques enable a worker to
foreign tongue, to that extent vou have learned state the parts of the whole (for anv one lan-
to respond with a different selection and em- fTuarre). and to fjive the distribution of the

phasis to the world around vou, and for vour parrs within the whole. This provides criteria
relations with people vou have gained a new of relevance: it is possible to distinguish sharp-
system of sensibilities, considerations, conven- Iv between what is and what is not linguistic.
tions, and restraints. All this has come to vou Such criteria are lacking in ethnographies
in part unnoticed and in part throuo;h incidents where culture traits are none too clearlv dis-
which vou remember, son;c of them painful tineuishcd from culture com..plexcs and where
and some pleasurable. If the culture is remote a given segment of behavior mav be regarded
from vour own, manv of its habits difi^er vcp>' bv one v.orker as an expression of culture, bv
widelv from those ot' vour communirv. No another an expression of personality; another
as

exception is to be iiir.de here for the peoples scfrnicnt of behavior, thought to be entirely
whom we arc inclined to describe as savage phvsiolngrjcal (as morninfj sickness in preg-
or primitive; for science and mechanical inven- nane v). mav later be shown to be stimulated
tion, in which we excel them, represent onlv bv cultural expectation. Accordingly, neither
one phase of culture, and the sensitivitv of the historian treating of past cultures, nor the
these peoples, though different, is no less than anthropolofrist dealing with present cultures is
our own. ever half as comfortable as is the linguist in
excluding any datum as irrelevant. . . .

7. Voegelin cmd
Hitrris, 1^4^: 4^6-^'j. Cultural anthropology is dependent upon
part of cttltiire. Evervone ack-
Lan<riia^e is comparative considerations for finding its ele-
nowledjies this theoreticallv and then tends to ments; linguistics is not. Linguistic analysis
treat the two separatelv in actual work be- provides an exhaustive list of its elements
cause the techniques of gathering data and (thus, there are between a dozen and a score

making analvses are not the same for both. or two of phonemes for any given language);
The result of this practical divorce of lin- cultural analysis does not.
guistic work from cultural investigation often
means that the final lingtiistic statements and Q. Greenberg, 1948: 140-46.
the final cultural statements are incomplete; or The special of Hnfriiistics arises
posirion
statements covering the ethno-linguistic situa- from its two-fold nature: as a part of the sci-
tion as a whole are neglected. ences of culture by virtue of its inclusion in
STATEMENTS: GROUP E: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE 119

the mass of socially transmitted tradition of speech community, taken more or less widely,
human groups, and as a part of the nascent sub- as indicated bv such rough tenus as language,

ject of semiotics, the science of sign behavior dialect, or sub-dialect. The definition of this

in general.That language should be included communit\- is often undertaken in the intro-


in both of these more general sciences is no ductory portion of a linguistic description
more contradictory than, for example, the where the people are named, and population
double status of physical anthropology with figures and geographical distributions arc
its simultaneous affiliation with a phvsiolo- given. In his choice of a unit of description
oricallv oriented zoology and with anthro- the linguist the cultural anthro-
resembles
poloey, the general study of man approached p>ologist who
describes cultural norms valid
both" physically and culturally. Since lin- for a circumscribed group of people, a tribe,
cTuistics faces in these two directions, it should cnmmunicv, or nation. Such a treatment disre-
be aware of the implications for itself both of gards— and justifiably so for the purpose in
the semiotician's discussions of language and nf hand — relations in two directions, one towards
the general science of culture. Linguists have, the individual, and the other in the direction
on the whole, been more aware of their affilia- of the exact determination of the membership
tions with cultural anthropology than with in thiscommunit\' and the relationship of its
semiotics, a state of affairs which is under- membership to others whose speech show some
standable in view of the recency of the degree of similarity to its own. This super-
semiotician's interest in the general features of organic approach to linguistics I call cultural,
lansjuacre. ... as opposed to individual and social. Thus far
. Careful compilation of a lexicon is
. . . . . . .our discussion has been of cultural lin-
.

a field inwhich the linguist and ethnologist can guistics in the syntactic, semantic, and prag-
fruitfully colJLiborate. To the ethnolofjist, the matic phases. . . .

semantics f the language of the people in Social linguistics, often called ethnolin-
whom he is interested is a subject of considera- guistics, synchronic aspect, a
involves in its

ble interest since it presents him with a prac- whole series of significant problems regarding
ticallv exhaustive classification of the objects correlations bcrwccn population {jroupings as
in the cultural universe of the speakers. For determined by lincruisric criteria and those
certain m.orphcmes whose desiq,nata are not based on biolocric, economic, political, cjeogra-
sensuallv perceivable events in the space-time phical, and other non-linfjuisric factors. . . .

of the investigator the lincMistic approach is Social diachronic sriidics or historical eth-
crucial. That this has been realized in seneral nolinguistics is the phase of the inter-relation-
bv ethnologists is evidenced by the liberal use ships of ethnology and linguistics of which
of native terms which characterize magjical and there has probably been the greatest awareness.
other ideological components of culture, a The correlations ber\.veen linguistic groupings
practice which has resulted in the borrowing of people and those derived on other bases,
via the ethnographic literature of such notably physical and cultural, is a standard
words as viana and taboo into the European problem in historic research. Examples of his-
languafjes. torical ethnolinguistic approaches are the trac-
The lexicon of a language holds as it were ing of former population distributions through
a mirror to the rest of culture, and the accu- linguistic groupings, the estimate of chron-
racy of this mirror image sets a series of prob- ologic remoteness or recency of the cultural
lems in principle capable of empirical solution. identity of groups on the basis of degree of
In certain instances, notablv that of kinship linguisric divergence, the reconstruction of a
terminology, this problem is a familiar one, partial cultural inventory of a proto-speech
and has occasioned a number of specific in- community on the basis of a reconstnicted vo-
vestigations. On the whole, however, the eth- cabulary, acculturational studies of the influ-
nographic problems presented by this aspect ence of one culture on another by the study of
of language remain for the future. . . . loan-words, and diffusionist studies of single
The unit of the descriptive linguist is a elements of culture in which points of primary
I20 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
or secondary diffusion can be traced by a con- distinct stocks:Shoshonean, Zunian, Keresan,
sideration of the form of the words which and Tanoan. The reverse situation peoples —
often point unequivocably to a particular lan- speaking related languages but belonging to
guage as the source. different culture areas — is illustrated by the
perhaps worthwhile to note the extent
It is Athapaskan-speaking groups in Nonh
to which our analysis of language is also ap- America. Here we find languages clearly and
plicable to culture traits in general. Obviouslv unmistakably related, spoken by peoples of
the distinction between synchronic and dia- the Mackenzie area, the California area, and
chronic is relevant and it is possible to study the area of the Southwest, three very different
cultures either descriptively or historically. cultural regions.
The distinction between the cultural, the so- The fact that linguistic and culture areas do
cial, and the individual approaches is also valid. not often coincide in no way denies the
If we adopt Linton's convenient concept of proposition that language is part and parcel
status, then the behavior patterns themselves of the cultural tradition. Culture areas result
arc the results of cultural analvsis, while the from the fact that some traits of culture are
manner of selection of individuals for given easily borrowed by one group from neighbor-
statuses, whether achieved or ascri{)ed, to- ing groups. In essence, then, the similarities
gether with factors of sex, age, geographical in which mark societies in the same
culture
locations, etc., are social as here defined. The culture area result from contact and bor-
study of personalit\' variations in the carrying rowing, and are limited to those features of
out of the patterns is part of the individual culturewhich are easily transmitted from one
approach. group to another.
Languacre areas, on the other hand, are
lo. Hoijer, i<f^: ^jj. regions occupied by peoples speaking cognate
Culture, to employ Tylor's well known languages. The similarities in language be-
definition, is "that complex whole which in- tween such peoples are due, not to contact
cludes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, and borrowing, but to a common linguistic
custom, and any other capabilities and habits tradition. Traits of language are not readily
acquired by man as a member of society." It is borrowed and we should not expect to find
clear that language is a pan of culture: it is linguistic traits among those cultural feaDires
one of the many "capabilities acquired by man shared by peoples in the same culrjre area.
as a member ot society." If whole cultures could be gioupcd geneti-

Despite this obvious inclusion of language cally as we now group languages into stocks
in the total fabric of culture, \ e often firui the and families, the culture areas so formed
two contrasted in such a wav as to imply would be essentially coincident with language
that there is little in common bervveen them. areas. This is difficult to do, since much of
Thus, anthropologists frequently make the culture does not lend itself to the precise com-
point that peoples sharing substantially the parison necessary to the establishment of
same culture speak languages belonging to dis- genetic relations.
parate stocks, and, contrariwise, that peoples
whose languages are related may have very II. Voegelin, 1949: 36, 4j.
different cultures. In the American South- A culture ivhole is to ethnology what a
west, for example, the cultures of the several single natural language is to linguistics. In the
Pueblo groups, from Hopi in the west to earlier ethnological and sociological theory a
Taos in the east, are remarkably alike. culture ivhole was merely a point of de-
Pucbloan languages, however, belong to four parture.** Nowadays a given ailture ivhole

" (Vocgelin's foomotel Witness theoretical dis-


cussions of the nineteenth century concerned with tion and devolution of one cultxire in one area).
elementary ideas, independent invention or psychic Linguistic theory and method is also concerned with
onity of mankind, and cultural evolution; cyclic sequential and comparative problems beside its more
history theories of today are partly comparative in recent concern with exclusively synchronic state-
the nineteenth century sense, panly sequential (evolu- ments.
STATEMENTS: GROUP E: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE 121

is held as a constant agai.nst which a particular we can generalize:


an inescapable feature of
analysis or theory is tested; in a somewhat all natural human languages
is that they are

parallel way, the linguistic structure of a given capable of multi-morphene utterances.


natural may be said to be what
language
emerges after certain operations are followed. 12. Silva-Fuenzalida, 1949: 4-^6.
Some writers jump from this parallel way . . .When we hear the statement that
of delimiting a single cultural communit)' or "language is a part of culture," it is in fact
a single speech community to either or both meant that are correctly under-
utterances
of the following conclusions: (i) that lan- stood only they are symbols of cultural
if

guage is a part of culture, which is debatable; phenomena. This implies that since experience
(2) that the techniques for analysis of lan- is communicated by means of language, a
<Tuage and culture are the same or closely person speaking any language participates to
similar —
this is surely an error.^' It is obvious some degree in the ways of lire represented
that one does not find culture in a limbo, by that language. These verbal symbols are
since all human communities consist of human not loosely joined, but co-ordinated by means
animals which talk; but culture can be, and of a system that expresses their mutual rela-
as a matter of fact, is characteristically studied tions. Language is thus the regular organiza-
in considerable isolation; so also in even greater tion of series of symbols, whose meanings
isolation, the human animal is studied in have to be learned as any other phenomenon.
physical anthropology, and not 'what the The implication of this is that as each culture
human animal talks about, but rather the has its own way of looking at things and at
structvre of his talk is studied in linguistics. people and its own way of dealing with them,
What he talks about is called (by philosophers the enculturation of an individual to a foreign
and semanticists) njeaning; but for most an- body of customs will only be possible as he
thropologists ivhat he talks about is ctilure . . . learns to speak and understand the foreign
If language were merely a part of culture, language and to respond with new selection
primates should be able to learn parts of human and emphasis to the world abound him a —
language as they actually do learn parts of selection and emphasis presented to him by
hunr.n culture when prodded by primatolo- this new culture.
gists. No sub-human animal ever learns anv
part of human languages — not
even parrots. 13. Hockert, 19S0: 11^.
The fact that Polly ivants a cracker
is not Two recent remarks concerning the relation
taken by the parrot as part of a language is of lanfjuage to culture call forth this brief
shown by the refusal of the bird to use protest. C. F. V^ocgelin (1949) labels "de-
part of the utterance as a frame (Polly u-ants batable" the usually accepted contention that
J .) with substitutions in the frame.
. . (For language is part of culture. Silva-Fucnzalida
the three dots, a speaker of a language would (1949) docs not debate the claim, but cer-
be able to say cracker or mit or banana or tainly misunderstands it; he says language is

anything else wanted.) As George Hcrzog part of culture because "utterances are cor-
has phrased this, imitative utterances of sub- rectly understood only if thev are symbols
human animals are limited to one morpheme; of cultural phenomena."
to the parrot, then, Polly zvants a cracker is Voegelin's claim is flatly false; Fuenzalida's
an unchangeable unit. From this point of view, misunderstanding is unhappily confusing. VVe

" [Vocgelin's footnote] Because culturalists do this inVoegelin and Harris, 1947, sec also the Index
not, in actual field work [operations, analysis], find references to Typolojrv in Kroeber, 1948, Per
culture traits by asking what are "irreducible ways contra, Gillin and Gillin, 1948, who equate phonemes
of acting shared by a social group;" rather, culture and culture traits, without any critical reservations
traits found in a whole culture reflect the ethnologists' (p. 155): they say a culture trait is identifiable by
sophistication of comparative ethnography — of the being irreducible and cite a single digit (i, 2, 3 etc.)
area in which he works, or, more generally, of world as an example of such a trait; what then arc fractions
ethnography. Besides the explicit argument supporting and negative numbers?
122 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
may what it means to say that
state succinctly in tenm of this abstract cojnparison. That the
language part of culture, and prove in a few
is relationship of language to culture is debatable,
words why it is true That our speech
. . . isthen the only reasonable way to state it,
habits are thus acquired has been proved but only in the sense that "the structure of
time and again: bring an X-baby into a Y- [man's] talk is studied in linguistics." And
speaking environment and there raise him, "... for most anthropologists ivhat he talks
and he will grow up speaking Y, not X. There- about is culture." (Voegelin, ms. in press,
fore language is part of culture. Proceedincfs, XXIX International Concrress of
Since linguistics is the study of language and Americanists).
cultural anthropology the study of (human)
culture, it follows that linguistics is a branch
of cultural anthropology. It also follows 15. Voegelin, ipjo: -f^j.
that every linguist is an anthropologist. But Speaking only in terms of scientific usage,
it docs not follow, by any means, that can it be agreed that linguistics and culture
every linguist kncnvs that he is an anthro- and physical anthropology are coordinate?
pologist, or that a linguist necessarily The content descriptions of general courses
knows something about phases of culture in anthropology departments often specify
other than language, or, for that matter, that these three main divisions of anthropology
every cultural anthropologist knows that lan- just as the content description of a general
guage is culture and that linguistics is a branch biology course might specify botany and
of his own field, even if one to which he zoology and bacteriology as the three main
chooses to pay no particular attention. The divisions of biology. Because bacteria are
historical fact is that there have been two classified as plants, and other microorganisms
distinct traditions, with differing terminologies, as animals, while viruses remain unclassified
different great names and landmarks, differing in this respect, perhaps a biologist would not
levels of achievement, differing chief prob- object saying that bacteriology adjoins
to
lems and direction of interest. Only two men zoologv well as botany, thus paralleling
as
(to e.xclude those now living) have so far the position of culture: adjacent to linguistics
achieved reputations in both fields, and of on the one hand, and to physical anthropology
those two, Boas as anthropologist far out- on the other —
assuming, of course, that
shadows Boas as linguist, Sapir as linguist phcnotv'pic as well as genorv'pic traits are in-
probably somewhat outshadows Sapir as cluded in physical anthropology. Whatever
culturalist. the majority opinion may be on the relation-
It isprobably because of the separatcness of ship of language to culture, linguistic analysis
the two traditions that we have the unfortu- characteristically proceeds without reference
nate habit of speaking of "language a?id cul- to the culture of speakers even when data—
ture." VVe ought to speak of "language in on the culture of speakers are available. If
culture" or or "language and the rest of most anthropologists really do think that
culture." From the fact that language is part linguistics is part of culture, then it is a ver\'
of culture does not follow that we have, as dispensable part;it does not keep the majority

yet, anything very significant to say about from classifying the archaeological remains of
"language in culture" or the interrelationships particular preliterate peoples as the culture
between "language and the rest of culture." of the people in question —
despite the fact
that their culture must, by definition, be pre-
14. Buywell, 19^0: 28^. sented without any linguistic data at all.

Surely it is not amiss to consider a language, It is relatively easy to abstract linguistics


as related to the body of science called lin- from culture and to define without linguistics
guistics, in the same sense as a culture, as reference to culture, as have done; it is
I

related to ethnology. This Voegelin does, much more difficult to abstract culture and
with the perfectly logical result that he can define culture or covert culture without
now speak analytically of language and culture reference to language.
STATEMENTS: GROUP E: CULTURE AND LANGUAGE »»}

1 6. 1950: j-8.
OlTTtsted, is dependent on comparative techniques for
There is a good
deal in [the 1949] article the examination of any given culture, while
of Voegelin's that ought to evoke comment. the linguist is not.
First, the fact that
great apes can learn to
drive a car but not to speak is significant, 17. Taylor, 1950: $$9-60.
but it in no way proves that language is not all fairness to C. F. Voegelin, it may be
In
a part of culture. If this be the test of questioned whether the phrase "language and
whether something is a part of culture, then culture" is any more vicious than, for example,
surely Tylor's or Herskovits' definitions of "culture and society." Certainly, non-human
culture (to name only a couple of widely societies without culture exist; whereas lan-
accepted ones) will straightway be shot to guage and culture (or the rest of culture) are
pieces as we amass a colossal list of things that not found apart. But within the human species,
apes cannor be taught to master. societ\% language, and culture are concomitant;
That linguistic and ethnological techniques and it is hard to see how one is any less ac-
are not strictly comparable is one claim; that quired or learned than the other.
culture traits and phonemes are not com- Nevertheless, there is an important differ-
parable is another. Probably few students ence berween language and the other universal
would disagree with the later claim. For the aspects of culture: the latter lean heavily on
phoneme is not a piece of raw data as are precept —
that is to say, on language for —
most generally recognized culture traits; a their practiceand transmission, whereas the
phoneme is something inferred from raw rudiments of the former can be passed on only
data, a construct shown to have crucial lin- by example and imitation. Not until the child
guistic valuewithin the structure of the lan- has gained some control of speech, by a pro-
guage under study. The linguist, in determin- cess comparable to that by which a kitten
ing the phonemes of a language, applies cer- learns to kill mice, can its enculturation pro-
tain standard techniques that enable him to gress far in other directions — this time by the
discover and describe the linguistically im- instrumentality of language itself, and hence
portant sound-units. He then may go on to by a process unknown on the sub-human
compare one structure with another, always level.
being sure that he the relation of any
knows Language has often been called the vehicle
of the phonemic the whole. The
units to of culture; and there would seem to be no par-
culture trait (or anything like it) does not as ticular vice in distinguishing a conveyance
yet have the same status in ethnology. What from that which it conveys, even when in
is of crucial importance in one culture may be practice the rvvo may be inseparable.
ancillary in another. It is this lack of a handy
label indicating the structural value of data
COMMENT
that lies at the roots of the deficiencies of
such a comparative project as the Cross- It is remarkable how fitfully anthropologists
cultural Survey. As Voegelin (1949) points and linguists have discussed the relation of
out, the status of phonemes is something in- culture and lanmjaire.
herent in the linguistic structure bein^ studied, We have found no passages explicitly deal-
and, theoretically, a linguist who knew the ing with the subject in Jespersen's, Sapir's, or
techniques, even if he had never studied an- Bloomfield's books called Language.
other language, could study any language and In 191Boas (i) pointed out that linguistic
1

come up with the phonemes in a way that phenomena are unconscious and automatic^
would satisfy any other competent linguist. but cultural phenom.ena more conscious. This
However, the anthropologist, lacking any such distinction has become widely accepted. Boas
standard procedure for determining the rela- went on, however, to suggest that cultural
tive ethnological value of each "culture trait," phenomena, such as fundamental religious
must needs call on his knowledge of other notions (animism, supematuralism, etc.) may
cultures in order to investigate, in a specific in their origin have been equally unconscious,
culture, what has been found to be crucial in but have secondarily became a subject of
other cultures. In this sense the ethnologist thought and been rationalized into conscious-
124 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
whereas the use of language remained
ncss, ness of patterning, which occurred also
in
This second suggestion seems to
automatic. lesser measure in non-linguistic culture.
have been developed little further, either by Then there appears to have been a lull until
Boas or others." 1945, when two papers, by Bloomfield (6) and
Sapir (2) in 1912 made much the same by Voegelin and Harris (7) reopened the
point as Boas: culture changes result from "Every language serves as the bearer
subject:
processes easily made conscious, linguistic of a culture" and "Language is part of culture."
changes are due to minute factors beyond the These were followed by interrelated state-
control of will or reflection. Sapir in his turn ments (8-16) by Voegelin and Harris, Green-
adds a second suggestion —
which also ap- berg, Hoijer, Voegelin (ii, 15), Silva-Fuenza-
pears not to have been developed —
that with lida,Hockett, Buswell, Olmsted, and Taylor.
time the interaction of culture and language Voegelin partly reversed his former position
became lessened because their rates of change with Harris, at least to the extent of speaking
were different. Cultural elements serve im- of language as not "merely a part of culture"
mediate needs, and cultural forms reshape (11) and suggesting that they are "coordinate"
themselves, but linguistic elements do not (15); and was bluntly contradicted by Hockett
easily regroup because their classification is (13). As of early 1951, the discussion is still
subconscious. in progress, and promises to be fruitful of in-
A
dozen years later, Sapir (3) returned to creased sharpening of concepts. Greenberg's
the issue with the point that consistent gram- appraisal is particularly broad: he specifically
matical expression of causality may occur in considers semiotic aspects, and he reco^Tiizes
languages whose associated cultures possess cultural or superorganic, social, and individual
no adequate explicit notions of causality. Lan- approaches or emphases as valid in linguistics
guages often contain "submerged formal sys- as well as in cultural anthropology. His men-
tems" whose psychology is unclear and not tion of language and "the rest of culture" is
closely related to conscious thought. This t)'pical of the position, with various shadings,
issue was subsequently revived in an opposite of most of the participants in the discussion.
sense by Whorf and by Lee in their meta- It is evident that culture has been used in two
linguistic papers. senses, each usually implicit in its context and
Tnibetzkoy (4) 1929 touched on the
in validated there: culture including languatre,
the nc of the relation —
"purely linguistic laws and culture excluding language. It is also
independent of extra-linguisric f:icrors such clenr that language is the most easily separable
as civilization." But he also submitted the part or aspect of total culture, that its pro-
claim that linguistics ought ultimately be able cesses are the most distinctive, and that the
to give the reasons why particular langi'igcs methods of linguistics are also the most dis-
followed one line of development and not tinctive as well as the best defined in the social
others. sciences. What the "cultural" equivalent of
Sapir (5) returned to the subject in 1929. phonemes, or the linguistic equivalent of
Language patterns develop in relative self- "cultural traits," may be has not yet become
containment and detachment from "other apparent: it may be unanswerable until the
types of cultural patterning." Linguistics thus question is reformulated. Similar obscurities
has a peculiar value for configurative studies, remain unresolved as to the conceptual rela-
includmg Gestalt psychology. It shows the tion or non-relation of cultural and organic
possibilities open to the social sciences when concepts (culture trait, culture whole, species,
they do not ape the methods or adopt the un- genus, or family, ecological assemblage or
rcvised methods of natural science. faunistic area). Underlying the problem, and
It is evident that up to this point there was in a sense constitutingit, is the fact, as Voegelin

fundamental consensus that laniniag;e showed (15) says, that obviously easier to abstract
it is
in a somewhat accentuated degree certain linguistics from the remainder of culture and
features, such as consistency and unconscious- define it separately than the reverse.

"But sec L6vi-Strauss, 1951. This article appeared to it in Part IV. It is one of the most arresting state-
too late to We
include in this section. have referred ments on language and culture ever published.
GROUP /: RELATION OF CULTURE TO SOCIETY, INDIVIDUALS,
ENVIRONMENT, AND ARTIFACTS
I. VVissler, ipi6: 200-01. 3. Ogbum, 1^22: 48.
. when we are dealing with phenomena Kroeber has recently made an attempt to
that belong to original nature, we are quite show that the subject matter of sociology is

right in using psychological and biological culture, apparently relatively free from any
methods; but the moment we step over into consideration of the organic factor. His at-
cultural phenomena we must recognize its tempt is quite bold considering the agreement
[sic] historical nature .... often read We existing as to the nature of society and the ac-
that if cultural phenomena can be reduced to ceptance of society as the subject matter of
terms of association of ideas, motor elements, sociolog\', and is also significant because of
etc., there remains but to apply psychological his logical and consistent analysis which sets

principles to it [sic] to reveal its causes. This is forth the imponance of culture as a subject

a vain hope. All the knowledge of the mech- of science. Briefly, his thesis flows from his
anism of association in the world will not tell classification of sciences according to planes,
us why any particular association is made by the inorganic, the vital organic, the mental
a particular individual, will not explain the organic, and the superorganic.
invention of the bow, the origin of exogamy,
or of any other trait of culture except in terms 4. Case, 1924a: 106.
that are equally applicable to all. Environment and race . may be regarded
. .

as in a sense original, with culture emerging


2. Marett, 1920: n-i^ (cf. d-i). from [their] interaction .... The factor thus
It isquite legitimate to regard culture, or derived from the two preceding becomes itself
social tradition, in an abstract way as a tissue an active member of a triumvirate of forces,
of externalities, as a robe of many colors woven whose interaction constitutes the process
on the loom of time .... Moreover, for cer- known as social evolution or "civilization."
. . .

tain purposes, which in their entirety mav be


called sociological, it is actually convenient thus 5. Kroeber, 1928: 55/ {1931: •/7<J).
to concentrsre on the outer In this case,
gr^rb. Thekite, the manner of manipulating the
indeed, the garb may well at first sight seem marbles, the cut of a garment, the tipping of
to count for everything, for certainly a man the hat, remain as cultural facts after every
naked of all culture would be no better than physiological and psychological considera-
a forked radish Human histor\' [neverthe-
. . . tion of the individuals involved has been ex-
less] is no Madame Tussaud's show of dec- hausted.
orated dummies. It is instinct with purposive
movement through and through .... 6. 6^8 (1^9: 36^).
Sapir, ip^i:
According to the needs of the work lying The word custom is used to apply to the
nearest to our hand, let us play the sociologist totality of behavior patterns which are carried
or the psychologist, without prejudice as re- by tradition and lodged in the group, as con-
gards ultimate explanations. On one point trasted with the more random personal activi-
only I would insist, namely that the living ties of the individual .... Custom is a vari-
must be studied in its own right and not by able common sense concept which has served as
means of methods borrowed from the study the matrix for the development of the more
of the lifeless. If a purely sociological treat- refined and technical anthropological concept
ment contemplates man as if there were no of culture. It is not as purely denotative and
life in him, there will likewise be no life in it. objective a term as culture and has a slightly
The nemesis of a deterministic attitude towards more affective quality indicated by the fact
history is a deadly dullness. that one uses it more easily to refer to geo-

»25
126 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
graphically remote, to primitive or to bygone but the metaphysical locus to which culture is
societies than to one's own. generally assigned.

7. Sapir {1932), 1919: S'5-i^' ja. Winston, 1933: j-7.


The
so-called culture of a group of human life is both social and cultural in
Societal
beings, as it is ordinarily treated by the cultural nature. The social and the cultural are inti-
anthropologist, is essentially a systematic list mately related; nevertheless they are not the
of all the socially inherited patterns of behavior same. Inasmuch as it is necessary for the pur-
which may be illustrated in the actual behavior poses of this book to grasp the significance of
of all or most of the individuals of the group. both approaches, separately and together, the
The true locus, however, of these processes distinction between the two may be analv'^ed
which, when abstracted into a totality, con- briefly.
stitute culture is not in a theoretical com- attempts to distinguish between
Artificial
munity of human beings known as societ\% fields on the
basis of word-splitting are not
for the term "society" is itself a cultural con- unknown phenomena in the realm of the
struct which is employed by individuals who sciences, physical or social. It is not the in-
stand in significant relations to each other in tention to add one more literary discussion to
order to help them in the interpretation of the fairly large accumulation along this line.
certain aspects of their behavior. The true It however, necessary for the purposes of
is,

locus of culture is in the interactions of the adequate presentation of the cultural ap-
specific individuals and, on the subjective side, proach to differentiate, in so far as differentia-
in the world of meanings which each one of tion is possible or necessar)% between the social
these individuals may unconsciously abstract and the cultural. Instances common to every-
for himself from his participation in these in- day life afford materials for exemplification.
teractions. Every individual is, then, in a verv The social interaction w^hich takes place be-
real sense, a representative of at least one sub- tween two individuals comes under the cate-
culture which may be abstracted from the gory of the social, in so far as it pertains to
generalized culture of the group of which he their reactions to one another as individuals.
IS a mcniber. Frequently,
if not typically, he But where their behavior is affected by the
Is a of more than one sub-
representative patterned ways of behavior existent in the
culture, and the degree to which the socialized society of which they are a part, their own
bchavi-r of an' given individual can be social behavior is influenced by n cultural
identified with or abstracted from the typical factor. The introduction, the tipping of the
or generalized culture of a single group varies hat and other formalized rules of politeness,
enormously from person to person. the methods of courtship and the channeled
It is impossible to think of any cultural ways of behavior toward each other of man
pattern or set of cultural patterns which can, and v.ife, are all examples of patterned ways
in the literal sense of the word, be referred to of behaving. The interaction is social but it
society as such. There are no facts of political is affected by the cultural; it may largely coin-
organization or family life or religious belief cide or. as in the case of antisocial behavior,
or magical procedure or technolog)^ or aes- it may veer away from the patterned ways of

thetic endeavor which are cotemiinous with behavior laid down by a given societ)^
society or with any mechanically or sociolo- Turning to group behavior, we may take
gically defined segment of societ)' .... the play groups of children. Children play
. The concept of culture, as it is handled
. . the world over. The chemical, the physical,
by the cultural anthropologist, is necessarily the biological, the individual, and the social
something of easy
a statistical fiction and it is components in play may be separately studied.
to see that the social psychologist and the But when the play life follows a definite
psychiatrist must eventually induce him to pattern, it has become culturally conditioned.
carefully reconsider his terms. It not the
is The play of children with other children, a
concept of culture which is subtly misleading psychosocial phenomenon, is affected by the
STATEMENTS: GROUP F: RELATIONS OF CULTURE >27

culturally imposed n-pes of plav, whether it 9. Fonie, 1934: 466.


be in Guinea or in New Mexico.
New The differences in character and content
The interactions of individuals with others, between particular cultures have, as has been
of individuals with groups, or of group upon
said,often been ascribed to one or more of a
group are exemplifications of social interac- number of general factors, and especially to
tion. But interaction in society takes place differences of race and physical environment,
within a cultural framework. This cultural or to differences in the alleged state of social
framework influences human behavior and at or even psychological evolution. No one of
the same time is to be distinguished sharply these general factors can alone explain any-
from it, in order to analj-^e completely and thing, nor can their significance be analyzed in

more objectively the functions and structure isolation; forthey do not operate singly or in
of society. . . • a vacuum. Theyfail both singly and col-

. . . Even in the social field there is still lectively because they ignore the fact that the
prevalent the error of considering behavior culture of every single human community has
as altogether a matter of social relationships. had a specific history.
There is a cultural milieu within which social
relationships always take place. This cultural 10. Ford, 1931: 226.
milieu, while it has been built up as a result Culture is concerned primarily with the way
of societal life, has become, fro?n the stand- people act. The actions, then, of manufacture,
point of the present, the framework within use, and nature of material objects constitute
which present social relationships occur and the data of material culture. In their relation
are influenced. between hus- The relationships to culture, artifacts and materials arc to be
band and wife, between employer and em- classed in the same category as the substances,
ployee, among members of a club or members such as minerals, flora, and fauna, which com-
of a church, are social or psychosocial. These pose the environment in which people live.
relationships are affected bv the particular Artifacts themselves are not cultural data, al-
patterns behavior developed in a given
of rhoufjh, to be sure, they are often the concrete
society. The
relationships not only involve manifestations of human actions and cultural
social interaction; they also involve patterned processes. The cultural actions of a people
ways of behaving. Thus it is that, with the cannot even be inferred from them without
same biological processes, the same chemical extreme caution, for a number of reasons.
processes, the apparently same inherited psy- Chief among these are the following: (i)
chological traits, the apparently same t)'pc of instead of being a product of the culture the
interaction, i.e., that of a man and a woman, artifact may have been imported; (2) the pro-
the courtship and marriage s\'stems, differ in cess of manufacture is frequently not implicit
all parts of the world, and in differing affect in the artifact itself; and (3) the use or func-
difl^erently the behavior of men and women tion of the artifact is not deducible from the
in, say, the United States, Siam, Sweden, and object alone.
Spain. There are no laws in the physical
sciences, there are no explanations in the social 11. Murdock, ipsj: xi.
sciences on the purely social level to explain Patterned or cultural behavior does not,
the difl'ering habits of peoples, so far as these however, exhaust the data available to the stu-
habits are wide-spread and not individual dent of society. Realizing that culture is
peculiarities. Failure to recognize these facts merely an abstraction from observed likenesses
leads to an inadequate explanation of human in the behavior of individuals organized in
behavior. groups, the authors of several of the articles,
especially those dealing with aspects of modem
8. Goldevweiser, ip^s- ^3- society, find themselves interested in the
. Man, being part of culture,
. . is also part culture-bearing groups, sub-groups, and indi-
of society, the carrier of culture. viduals themselves. To them sociology is not
128 CULTURE: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
merely the science of culture; it is also the than the sum" of Wallis? And answers: This
science of society. While it is perfectly legiti- "more," the functioning dynamic unit, is the
mate conceptually to exclude all data save people who possess a certain complex of
cultural patterns, and while this particular traits .... The nucleus around which these
procedure has proved extremely fruitful in traits are grouped is the people who have
the hands of anthropologists and others, this them. Then follows the statement above.]
does not appear to exhaust all possibilities of
social science. In this respect our authors 15. Kardiner, 1939: 7.
find themselves in disagreement with certain When we have collected, described, and
American sociologists who, discouraged by catalogued all its institutions, we have the
the apparently chaotic situation within their description of a culture. At this point we
own discipline, have turned in desperation to find Linton's differentiation between a society
cultural anthropolog)' and have imported into and a culture ver^' useful: a society is a per-
sociology a whole series of anthropological manent collection of human beinsrs; the institu-
concepts: diffusion, invention, culture area, tions by which they live together are their
etc. Applying these to phenomena in our own culture.
culture, they believe thev have achieved an
objectivity which their colleagues have missed. 16. Rouse, ipS9' f'^1 '^^ ^9-
The followers of Sumner and Keller, who . .culture cannot be inherent in the arti-
.

have been "cultural sociologists" for a much facts. It must be something in the relationship
longer rime —
who have, indeed, always been between the artifacts and the aborigines who
such —
do not, however, see anv impelling made and used them. It is a pattern of sig-
reason why the sociologist should thus arbi- nificance which the artifacts have, not the
trarily limit his field. artifacts themselves.
Culture, then, is merely a single one of a
12. Parsons, i^^j: 162-6^. group of factors which influence the artisan's
On an analydcal basis it is possible to see procedure in making an artifact .... Culture
emerging out of the study as a whole a division may be the most important of the interplaying
into three great classes of theoreticil sj^'stems. factors. Xeverthelesj, it would not seem justi-
They may be spoken of as the systems of fiable to consider the artifacts themselves to be
nature, action and culture .... The culture equivalent to culture.
systems are distinguished from both the others The t\-pes and modes, then, express the
in that they arc both non-spatial and a- cultural significance possessed by the Fort
temporal. They consist, as Professor White- Liberte artifacts. In effect, they separate the
heaa says, of etemil objects, in the strict sense which produced the artifacts
cultural factors
of the term eternal, of objects not of indefinite from the non-cultural factors which are in-
duration but to which the category of time is herent in the artifacts.
not applicable. They are not involved in
"process." 17. Radcliffe-Brovm, i^-fo: 2.

Let us consider what are the concrete, ob-


13. Flant, 1937: /;, fn. 4. servable facts with which the social anthro-
The terms environment, milieu, and cultural pologist is concerned. If we set out to study,
pattern arc used interchangeably in this vol- for example, the aboriginal inhabitants of a
ume. part of Australia, we find a certain number of
mdividual human beings in a certain natural
14. Bierstedt, 1938: 211. environment. We
can observe the acts of
The social group is the culture, artifacts behaviour of these Individuals, including, of
and traits are its attributes. course, their acts of speech, and the material
[This bases on the passage from Wallis cited products of past actions. We
do not observe a
as ni-tf-5. Bierstedt asks: What is this "more "culture," since that word denotes, not any
STATEMENTS: GROUP F: RELATIONS OF CULTURE 129

concrete reality, but an abstraction, and as it the fact that human beings must adjust to
is commonly
used a va^e abstraction. But other human beings as well as to impersonal
direct observation does reveal to us that these forces and objects. To some extent these ad-
human beings are connected by a complex justments are implemented and limited only
network of social relations. I used the term by the presence or absence of other human
"social structure" to denote this network of beings in specified numbers, at particular
actually existing relations. It is this that I points, and of specified age, sex, size, and in-
regard it as my
business to study if I am telligence, relative to the actors whose action
working, not as an ethnologist or psychologist, is being "explained." Insofar as the human
but as a social anthropologist. I do not mean environment of action does not go beyond
that the study of social structure is the whole such inevitables of the interaction of human
of social anthropology, but I do regard it as beings with each other, it may be called "the
being in a very important sense the most social environment." It is imperative, how-
fundamental part of the science. ever, to isolate a founh dimension (the cul-
tural) before wecan adequately deal with the
18. Kluckhohi and Kelly, 1945^'- -9- total environment of human action. This
. . . human action framed by four univer-
is fourth abstraction arises from the observed
sal dimensions: (i) physical heredity as mani- fact that any given human interaction can take
fested in the human
organism, (2) the external place in a variety of ways so far as the limita-
non-human environment, (3) the social en- tions and facilitations of the biological and
vironment, (4) a precipitate from past events impersonal environmental conditions are con-
which has partially taken its character at any cerned. Some human interactions, indeed, do
given momentconsequence of the first
as a seem to be subject only to the constraints sup-
three dimensions as they existed when those plied by the field of biological and physical
events occurred, partially as a consequence of forces. Such interactions may be designated
the selective force of an historical precipitate as "social" without further qualification.
(culture) that already existed when a given However, careful observations or the words
past event occurred. and deeds of human beings make it certain that
many of their acts are not a consequence
19. Kluckhohn and Kelly, ip^jb: 55-. simply of physical and biological potentiali-
... to have the maximum usefulness, the ties and limitations. If the latter were the case,
term [culture] should be applicable to social the possible variations within a defined field
units both larger and smaller than those to of biological and physical forces would be
which the term "society" is normally applied. random. The variations within different
Thus, we need to speak of "Mohammedan human groups which have some historical
culture" in spite of the fact that various peoples continuity tend beyond all possible doubt to
which share this to greater or lesser extent clusteraround certain norms. These norms are
interact with each other much less intensively demonstrably different as between groups
than they do with other socieries which do not which have different historical continuities.
possess Mohammedan culture. Also, it is These observed stylizations of action which
useful to speak of the culture of cliques and of are characteristic of human groups are the
relatively impermanent social units such as, basis for isolating the fourth, or cultural,
for example, members of summer camps. dimens