[UPSC SOLVED ESSAY 2020] Culture Is What We Are, Civilization Is What We Have

Civilization is a sustainable socio-cultural formation that performs various functions. It is, in its natural and necessary extension, a civilization that enables the reproduction of cultural patterns and creates the conditions for the further creation and shaping and stabilization of social relations for future generations. 

The term civilization emphasizes a systematic society in which different groups work together to improve the quality of life in terms of food, education, clothing, communication, transport and the like. It is not limited to cities, but talks about adopting a better way of life, made possible by the use of natural resources to meet the needs of a group of people. 

A society or civilization is not a particular group of ideas, customs, or a particular group of manufactured arts that make it unique. Our culture describes who we are, and our civilization explains what we are and what we produce and use. 

Civilizations tend to develop a complex culture that includes a state-backed decision-making apparatus, literature, the professional arts, architecture, organized religion, complex customs, education, and the coercion and control that elites associate with and maintain. Civilizations are among the most complex human societies, consisting of various cities with specific characteristics of cultural and technological development. 

In order to understand the term “culture,” it is desirable to distinguish it from “civilization.”. In many parts of the world, the earliest civilizations arose when people began to assemble in urban settlements. Civilization is often understood as a larger, more advanced culture, implying a contrast to smaller, more primitive cultures

In developing the term, sociologists used “civilization” and “civilized society” to distinguish between societies that were superior to them and those that they considered inferior and that they called savage or barbaric cultures. 

Samuel P. Huntington defined civilization as “the highest cultural grouping of people with the broadest cultural identity among men, without distinguishing man from other species. In this sense, there is no sense in which civilization is an exclusive concept that applies to some human groups and not to others. Indeed, most sociologists agree on the criteria that define a society as a civilization. 

On the other hand, civilisation represents a breakthrough in human society, which means that it represents an advanced level of social and human development. Group theorists use systems theory to view civilization as a complex system, a framework in which groups of objects are analyzed and work together to achieve results. 

Culture deserves to be called civilisation, because it has reached a stage of progress since this writing and is now being used to a considerable extent. However, since each culture has its own peculiarities and some cultures have developed faster than others, we can say that civilisation is superior to culture. In the future, this article will give you a deeper understanding of the differences between culture and civilization. 

Today, social scientists understand culture as a society with norms, values and beliefs, as well as its objects and symbols and the meanings given to them. The concept of culture reflects the inequalities between European societies and their colonies around the world; in short, it equates culture with civilisation as opposed to the nature of non-civilisation. 

According to this concept of culture, some countries are more civilised than others, and some people are more cultured than others. This new perspective removes the judging element from the concept and distinguishes between different cultures, not between them. This more inclusive approach to culture allows a distinction to be made between so-called civilised and primitive cultures. 

Let us look at the Egyptian, Greek, Western, Thai and Saraswati cultures as having the same origins in India and say that they are all the same Aryan civilisation, in an attempt to emphasise the idea that what separates Egyptian civilisation from Greek civilisation is ignorance and bad intentions, that one man’s benevolent attempts at unity with the evil of another man are, and that the Indo-Iranians are called Aryan because there is a common identity in the combination of culture and people. All that remains is to look at the commonalities that defined “culture” and its regionalisation, the hostility, communication and division that led to the development of differences, and the commonality (s). 

The formation of groups is a necessary precursor to asking certain kinds of sociological questions, but Durkheim and Maus insist that they do not pass on the problem of what constitutes civilization to historians and ethnographers. The idea is that certain common elements unite groups into one unit of civilization. A civilization or culture refers to the general way of life of the people in it and not to the culture that is capitalized. 

Given this definition of civilization, Huntington proposes several theories about the civilization that are discussed below. In his 1974 book The Race, the English biologist John Baker lists 20 criteria that make civilizations superior to non-civilizations. Baker tries to show the relationship between the culture of civilizations and the biological dispositions of their creators. 

Culture in the broadest sense is cultivated behavior, and cultivated behavior is the totality of what a person learns through accumulated experience, which is transmitted more than briefly through behavior and social learning. 

Culture is the way of life of a group of people, the behaviors, beliefs, values and symbols they accept and think about and that they pass on through communication and imitation through a generation to the next. The fundamental core of culture comprises traditional ideas and their associated values or cultural systems that can be considered products of actions and condition and influence future actions. 

A civilization is a society in an advanced social development state with complex legal, political, and religious organizations. In short, a civilization is a progressive state of human society which can be summarized as culture, science, industry, and government. 

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