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Society and Culture

Society and culture are two concepts which are inextricably linked to the study of anthropology.¹ Basically, anthropology involves analyzing the cultural diversity of different societies around the globe so that our species, Homo sapiens, can be better understood. Uncovering the secrets from civilizations of the past should hopefully allow us to better understand the behavioural trends of the human species today.¹

  • Culture "consists of the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society."¹
  • Society "as the people who interact in such a way as to share a common culture."¹

Understanding a variety of cultures is a central objective of anthropological investigations. Anthropologists seek to uncover the cultures of civilizations which live in remote geographic locations or that are from different periods of time.¹ This allows anthropologists to complete comparative analyses between different groups of individuals. Considering that multiculturalism is a common theme in societies today, understanding the origins of various cultures and respecting cultural diversity is critical.¹

Furthermore, in the study of anthropology, society is the subject of interest when it comes to conducting research.¹ Humans of past societies can be studied either from long-term cultural data/observations or from material remains which are found at sites. It is the individuals who make up civilizations which have allowed societal structures to progress and thus, it is them which need to be analyzed.¹

Evidently, society and culture are at the centre of the study of anthropology. It is the task of anthropologists to study societies so that cultural diversity and trends can be better interpreted and understood.¹



Image sources:

1. Wikimedia


1. CliffsNotes. Culture and Society Defined. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from

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