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Outline of culture

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Outline of culture

The following outline is provided as an overview and content index to culture:

Culture – set of patterns of human activity within a society or social group and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. Customs, laws, dress, architectural style, social standards, religious beliefs, and traditions are all examples of cultural elements.


  • Nature of culture 1
  • Elements of culture 2
  • Types of cultures 3
    • Cultures by aspect 3.1
    • Cultural cross-sections 3.2
    • Subcultures 3.3
      • Types of cultures 3.3.1
      • Specific subcultures 3.3.2
  • Academic disciplines that study culture 4
  • Cultures of the world 5
    • Area studies 5.1
    • Cultures by ethnicity or ethnic sphere 5.2
    • Cultures of continents and major geopolitical regions 5.3
    • Cultures by political divisions of the World 5.4
      • Cultures of Africa 5.4.1
      • Culture of Antarctica 5.4.2
      • Cultures of Asia 5.4.3
      • Cultures of the Caucasus 5.4.4
      • Cultures of Europe 5.4.5
      • Cultures of North America 5.4.6
      • Cultures of Oceania 5.4.7
      • Cultures of South America 5.4.8
      • Cultures of the South America 5.4.9
  • History of culture 6
    • Cultural histories 6.1
      • By period 6.1.1
      • By region 6.1.2
      • By subject 6.1.3
    • Historical cultures 6.2
  • Politics of culture 7
  • Sociology of culture 8
  • Research fields 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Nature of culture

Main article: Culture

Elements of culture

  • The arts – vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. The arts encompasses visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts.
    • Gastronomy – the art and science of good eating,[1] including the study of food and culture.
      • Food preparation – act of preparing foodstuffs for eating. It encompasses a vast range of methods, tools, and combinations of ingredients to improve the flavour and digestibility of food.
      • Food and drink
        • Cuisines – a cuisine is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture.
        • Chocolate – raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree.
        • Wine – alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes.[2]
    • Literature – the art of written works.
      • Children's literature – stories, books, and poems for children.
      • Fiction – any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s). See below.
      • Non-fiction – form of any narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are understood to be factual.
      • Poetry – literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning.
      • Critical theory – examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities.
    • Performing arts – those forms of art that use the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium.
      • Dance – art form of movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music,[3] used as a form of expression, social interaction, or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.
      • Film – moving pictures, the art form that records performances visually.
      • Theatre – collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place.
      • Music – art form the medium of which is sound and silence.
        • Music genres
          • Jazz – musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States, mixing African and European music traditions.
          • Opera – art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score.[4]
        • Musical instruments – devices created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds.
          • Guitars – the guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with either nylon or steel strings.
      • Stagecraft – technical aspects of theatrical, film, and video production. It includes, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hanging and focusing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, procurement of props, stage management, and recording and mixing of sound.
    • Visual arts – art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature.
      • Architecture – The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
        • Classical architecture – architecture of classical antiquity and later architectural styles influenced by it.
      • Crafts – recreational activities and hobbies that involve making things with one's hands and skill.
      • Drawing – visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium.
      • Film – moving pictures.
      • Painting – practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface with a brush or other object.
      • Photography – art, science, and practice of creating pictures by recording radiation on a radiation-sensitive medium, such as a photographic film, or electronic image sensors.
      • Sculpture – three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials - typically stone such as marble - or metal, glass, or wood.
  • Entertainment – any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie.
    • Fiction – any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s).
      • James Bond – fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming. Since then, the character has grown to icon status, featured in many novels, movies, video games and other media.
      • Fantasy – genre of fiction using magic and the supernatural as primary elements of plot, theme or setting, often in imaginary worlds, generally avoiding the technical/scientific content typical of Science fiction, but overlapping with it
        • Middle-earth – fantasy setting by writer J.R.R. Tolkien, home to hobbits, orcs, and many other mystical races and creatures.
      • Science fiction – a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least nonsupernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".[5]
    • Games – structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment, involving goals, rules, challenge, and interaction.
      • Board games
        • Chess – two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Each player begins the game with sixteen pieces: One king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns.
      • Card games
        • Poker – family of card games that share betting rules and usually (but not always) hand rankings.
      • Video games – electronic games that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device.
    • Performing arts – those forms of art that use the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium. See above.
    • Sports – organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means. Generally speaking, a sport is a game based in physical athleticism.
      • Ball games
        • Basketball – team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules.
        • Cricket – bat-and-ball team sport, the most popular form played on an oval-shaped outdoor arena known as a cricket field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard (20.12 m) long pitch that is the focus of the game.
        • Tennis – sport usually played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles), using specialized racquets to strike a felt-covered hollow rubber ball over a net into the opponent's court.
      • Canoeing and kayaking – two closely related forms of watercraft paddling, involving manually propelling and navigating specialized boats called canoes and kayaks using a blade that is joined to a shaft, known as a paddle, in the water.
      • Combat sports
        • Fencing – family of combat sports using bladed weapons. It is also known as French swordfighting or French swordfencing.
        • Martial arts – extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.
      • Cycling sport – bicycle racing and track cycling.
      • Motorcycling – riding a motorcycle. A variety of subcultures and lifestyles have been built up around motorcycling and motorcycle racing.
      • Running – moving rapidly on foot, during which both feet are off the ground at regular intervals.
  • Humanities – academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences.
    • Area studies – comprehensive interdisciplinary research and academic study of the people and communities of particular regions. Disciplines applied include history, political science, sociology, cultural studies, languages, geography, literature, and related disciplines.
      • Sinology – study of China and things related to China, such as its classical language and literature.
    • Classical studies – branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and all other cultural elements of the ancient Mediterranean world (Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 – Late Antiquity ca. AD 300–600); especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
  • Mass media – diversified media technologies and their content that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. Includes radio and television programming; mass publishing of books, magazines, and newspapers; web content; and films and audio recordings.
  • Tradition
    • Celebration
      • Festivals – entertainment events centering on and celebrating a unique aspect of a community, usually staged by that community.
  • Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 as "an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations."[6][7]

Types of cultures

  • Organizational culture –

Cultures by aspect

  • Consumer culture – a society based on consumerism
  • High context culture – a culture with the tendency use high context messages, resulting in catering towards in-groups
  • Low context culture – culture with a tendency not to cater towards in-groups
  • Remix culture – a society which allows and encourages derivative works
  • Participatory culture – a culture in which private persons (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers – )
  • Permission culture – a society in which copyright restrictions are pervasive and enforced to the extent that any and all uses of copyrighted works need to be explicitly leased
  • Primitive culture – a community that lacks major signs of economic development or modernity

Cultural cross-sections


Types of cultures

Specific subcultures

Academic disciplines that study culture

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology – history studies in the physical aspects or artefacts of cultures.
  • Biology
  • Cultural history – academic discipline that combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. It examines the records and narrative descriptions of past knowledge, customs, and arts of a group of people.
  • Cultural studies – academic discipline that studies the forces from which the whole of humankind construct their daily lives. It seeks to understand the ways in which meaning is generated and disseminated through practices, beliefs, and political, economic, or social structures within a given culture.
    • Ethnic studies
    • Popular culture studies – generally considered a combination of communication studies and cultural studies, it analyzes popular culture from a critical theory perspective.
  • Culturology – social science concerned with the scientific understanding, description, analysis and prediction of cultural activities.
  • Culture theory – seeks to define the heuristic concept of culture in operational and/or scientific terms.
  • Human geography – social science that studies the world, its people, communities, and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place.
  • Philosophy of culture
  • Psychology
  • Sociology – scientific study of human society. The traditional focuses of sociology have include social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance.
  • Sound culture – interdisciplinary field which considers "the material production and consumption of music, sound, noise and silence, and how these have changed throughout history and within different societies, but does this from a much broader perspective than standard disciplines."[8]
  • Visual culture

Cultures of the world

Area studies

Cultures by ethnicity or ethnic sphere

Cultures of continents and major geopolitical regions

(non-continents are italicized)

Cultures by political divisions of the World

(arranged by continent or major geopolitical region)

Cultures of Africa

Culture of Antarctica

  • No political divisions, just some scattered outposts

Cultures of Asia

Cultures of the Caucasus

(a region considered to be in both Asia and Europe, or between them)

Cultures of Europe

Cultures of North America

Cultures of Oceania

Cultures of South America

Cultures of the South America

History of culture

Cultural histories

By period

By region

By subject

Historical cultures

Politics of culture

Sociology of culture

Research fields

  • Semiotics of culture – studies culture in relation to language and as a symbolic system of signs

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster "Gastronomy - Definition"
  2. ^ "wine". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 25 June 2008. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Some definitions of opera: "dramatic performance or composition of which music is an essential part, branch of art concerned with this" (Concise Oxford English Dictionary); "any dramatic work that can be sung (or at times declaimed or spoken) in a place for performance, set to original music for singers (usually in costume) and instrumentalists" (Amanda Holden, Viking Opera Guide); "musical work for the stage with singing characters, originated in early years of 17th century" (Pears Cyclopaedia, 1983 ed.).
  5. ^ Marg Gilks, Paula Fleming, and Moira Allen (2003). "Science Fiction: The Literature of Ideas". 
  6. ^ "UNWTO technical manual: Collection of Tourism Expenditure Statistics". World Tourism Organization. 1995. p. 10. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Manila Declaration on World Tourism". World Tourism Conference.  
  8. ^ Pinch, T. and Bijsterveld, K, 2004, Sound Studies: new Technologies and Music, in "Social Studies of Science", 34\5, pp. 635-648 DOI: 10.1177/1056492611415279 Anne E. Witte Making the Case for a Post-national Cultural Analysis of Organizations, Journal of Management Inquiry 2012 21: 141 originally published online 13 September 2011

External links

  • This outline displayed as a mindmap, at
  • The Canadian Museum of Civilization - Culture section
  • Detailed article on defining culture
  • :Dictionary of the History of Ideas "culture" and "civilization" in modern times
  • Countries and their Cultures
  • Global Culture Essays on globalization, migration and their impact on global culture
  • Centre for Intercultural Learning
  • What is Culture? - Washington State University
  • Investigaciones en Bioética
  • Define Culture - List of definitions of culture from people around the world.
  • Reflections on the Politics of Culture by Michael Parenti
  • Mukul Dey Archives, Chitralekha, Santiniketan INDIA
  • Foreign Influence on Indian Culture (c. 600 BC to AD 320) by Manjari Ukil
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