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Some definitions of culture emphasize its basis in meaning All human activity involves meaning and this is what distinguishes it from the activity of non-human animal species Culture then arises exclusively from human activity and excludes other species Meaning presupposes language in other words language which is a unique characteristic of humans at the same time characterizes culture Culture as Norms and Values A more restricted definition of culture defines it as the values held by a group and the norms governing behavior Values are ideal standards which are held up as good to most analysts of culture this approach is far too narrow to give a full account of culture The broadest definitions are therefore those which highlight human activity and meaning Cultural activity is the means by which people makes sense of their world It gives them as sense of identity A Few Examples Canada Canada faces a severe problem in defining its national identity increasingly divided between English-speakers and French-speakers Quebec nationalism based on the French language is in conflict with the concept that the nation-state should be based on the existence of a community all speaking and using a common language China Chinese national identity is based not on language but on common descent it transcends the extreme diversity of religious practices family structures spoken languages and regional cultures of population groups that all define themselves as Chinese Chinese ness is primarily defined as a matter of blood and descent As the Chinese see it one does not become Chinese in the same way as one becomes Swiss or Dutch Germany The German language through which the awareness of a common history and a common ancestry was transmitted was the principal unifying force from the time of Napoleons 1806 invasion of Germany and later throughout the 19th century as a united Germany was created Nigeria A post-colonial country which faces many problems in creating any sense of
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