Culture is an accumulated deposit of socially transmitted experience and implicit patterns of behavior, beliefs, and attitudes. It is also a set of norms and symbols that distinguishes members of one group from others. The word “culture” derives from the Latin word “colere,” which means to nurture and to grow.
To define culture, we must begin by examining what constitutes a group. For example, a group of Hasidic Jews in New York practices a distinct “culture,” which includes a number of rituals, customs, and behaviors.
Some of these practices are considered to be socially essential. Other rituals are regarded as superfluous in reaching a desired goal. However, most people agree that cultures are important.
Defending a culture is a political issue. When a culture is contestable, a group makes claims against the state or another group of people for various reasons. Defenders of a contestable culture demand robust forums for culture exchange. They also demand that the culture be protected from natural changes.
One of the most common reasons to defend a culture is its meaning and value. Culture is valuable because it defines and shapes the lives of individuals. Moreover, it can be difficult to understand how a cultural group operates.
Another reason to protect a culture is its political significance. A culture is a system of ideas and practices that a group develops over time, and which may be passed on from one generation to the next. Defending a culture can be challenging because of the variety of possible instantiations.