Society vs. Culture

Difference Between Society and Culture

The two words – Society and Culture, although related to human mind and behaviour, have different meanings. To many people, the meaning of the two terms appear to be the same and interchangeable, but in reality there lie many differences between the two concepts.

Culture is a term that is meant to denote the cultural and social behaviour of an individual that regards him/her fit to be a part of a society whereas society refer to a closed group or civilization or population of characteristically unique individuals, in which each and every individual lives, and interacts with the others, however abiding by certain rules and regulations chalked out by the society heads.

Culture refers to the sociological psychological and religious beliefs, practices and values of a particular society or rather a particular community that makes the particular community unique or different from any other present. For example, gay couples maybe accepted in some of the communities, while in others, the same maybe a punishable offence. So on one hand where society is all about a particular group of people having similar beliefs, staying together, on the other, culture refers to the beliefs and the rules that the particular society has made for the people, who form a part of the society, to follow. It is the culture of a society that makes it distinguishable and unique and it is the aggregate of the traditional beliefs, the trends followed in the fields of music, art, craft, and the moral values of the individuals in a particular community or more particularly in a society.

Different groups of people, forming different societies may have some similarities in some aspect or the other of their cultures, but a majority of the beliefs and behaviours have a major differences. For example the western societies have a culture of greeting people by shaking their hands, the Chinese have the culture of bowing down and greeting the people and the Indians have the culture of holding their hands together in front of them, to say Namaste, while greeting their guests.

However, both society as well as culture change and modify themselves with due course of time as required. But the basic and the common beliefs and ideals remain the same, as they form the basis of that particular society and culture.


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  • Jorge Barraza

    Thanks for writing such a good explanation!