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My topic of discussion is titled Making Sense of Culture so it would only be pertinent that I should begin by attempting to define the term culture There are many different and often divergent interpretations of this term making it extremely difficult to come to an exact definition It is an ambiguous concept which has attained a great deal of contradictory meanings over the years It can be defined as anything from the cultivation of civilisations human faculties or manners the improvement of the intellect by means of education to the cultivation of plants or animals As you can hear these are invariably broad and quite long-winded definitions Simply stated culture can be defined as everything that occurs in a society that is all the customs beliefs values norms ideas and practices as well as the material artefacts objects and instruments handed down from one generation to another Culture is not homogenous nor is it static It cannot be defined or described as an unchanging aspect of human experience simply because the world simply does not work that way We are living in what has been coined a global village where one listens to reggae watches a Western eats McDonalds food for lunch and local cuisine for dinner wears Paris perfume in Tokyo and retro clothes in Hong Kong As with most other things culture changes and evolves as the historical economic political and social beliefs values and circumstances of groups and individuals change Our common cultures the experiences we share often become the dominant cultures to which we subscribe Culture is not a neutral concept however and struggles between different groups in society often emerge from conflicting ideological positions and the values attached to these In order for this to make more sense it is necessary for me to define and explain the notion of ideology Ideology can be defined as a set of social values
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