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Culture in Anthropological Perspective

According to the definition given by E.B Taylor culture has been portrayed as a social heritage as the gift of society to an individual. Malinowski pointed out that the social heritage has both material and non-material aspects to it. Marett defines culture as communicable intelligence. Redfield defined it as the sum total of conventional meanings embodied in artifacts, social structure and symbols. This is an idealistic view of culture which stems from a recognition of the all important role which symbols play in the communication and acquisition of knowledge.

Ruth Benedict propagates the formalistic, aesthetic view point of culture. According to this view culture is not so much to be conceived in terms of content of social life as in terms of its formal ordering and organization. Ruth Benedict considers the pattern of culture not its content.

For Malinowski culture stands for a total way of life which secures for an individual the satisfaction of his biopsychic drives and the fulfilment of other wants and cravings and ultimately invests him with freedom.

Radcliffe Brown regards culture as cultivation, the process of transmitting and acquiring traditions as a result of which society is perpetuated.