WHAT IS CULTURE?

Our Interpersonal Communication book says "culture is the learned, shared symbols, values, and norms that distiguish one group of people from another".

"The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in these, that man and maid, freed of all false feeling and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings."  Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)  Austro-German poet. Page 56

When we first started talking about the "culture" chapter, I thought, "Wow, what more can there be to culture other than what country you were born in!"  Well, I learned very quickly that there are many, many cultures.  Not only the country you are from, but co-cultures, such as, being a women, man, child, aunt, uncle, grandparent, student, music lover, sports lover, nature lover, friends, clothes, and the list goes on and on.  Everyone on this planet belongs to not only one culture, but many co-cultures. 

     I am an american women, mother, grandmother, animal lover, christian, daughter, sister, grandaughter, neice, friend, neighbor, co-worker, student, and many other things that don't come to mind right now. 

      For example, I will talk about the friend co-culture.  I have many friends in many places.  I have friends from the neighborhood I grew up in, friends from junior high, high school, college, co-workers, and neighbors.  These are friends I learned to interact with and relate to because we had or have a common bond with.  School, work, likes, dislikes ect...

     I think the most important co-culture would be my family.  This is who I learned from and how I became "me".

     My second co-culture would be the friends I grew up with in my neighborhood.  I went to a different school than all my neighborhood friends so there was a different relationship all together between this different group of friends.

     Once I got married, another co-culture came into existence.  My in-laws and my husbands friends.

     Another important co-culture is my childrens friends parents, sports parents, neighborhood parents, and teachers.

     Other important co-cultures to me are my church friends co-workers, and neighbors.  So you see, I am a part of many co-cultures.  The list could go on and on.