What is Culture?

1459 Words Jul 16th, 2018 6 Pages
Question One
What is culture?
Culture can be interpreted in multiple ways and have many different meanings to different individuals. Consequently, it is because of those facts that a definition is so hard to create. To some, culture results from consumed meanings by a social group (Lewis, 2008). Others view culture as something based on economics and servitude (Marx, as cited by Lewis, 2008). Hebdige ambiguous concept
As I attempt to tease out a personal definition of culture based on my own experiences and various readings this semester, I select a few common themes that bare significance in my conceptualization of culture. Beliefs, values, social constructs, are some of the concepts used in many of the definitions of culture.
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I look to an experience I had as an undergraduate to help process through my definition of a subculture. Within my fraternity, there was a group of involved students on campus. We were small in number, and we were not receiving recognition from our organization for our accomplishments within the campus community. In order to gain the appreciation we desired, we formed “secret society” within our fraternity in which we met and helped each other balance campus involvement with fraternity involvement. We formed a subculture under the dominant culture that was our fraternity. Subcultures cannot exist without the dominant group, and must develop as an extension of the dominant culture. Subcultures do not develop in a “vacuum”, but the dominant culture influences them in many ways, both complex and subtle (Charon, 2002). Without the dominant culture, a subculture would not exist, and that is evident with this statement. Each needs the other Another component of a subculture is the adoption of symbols from a dominant culture to have their own meaning within the context of the subculture. Subcultures do this through the concept of bricolage. Lewis (2008) defines bricolage as “the rearrangement of cultural elements and styles in order to produce new meanings and styles” (pg. 395). Subcultures adopt new symbols and recontextualize their
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