Culture vs Society – Difference and Comparison

What is Culture?

The term ‘culture’ comes from the Latin word cultura, which refers to the cultivation, bringing together, or refining of ideas. In other words, culture refers to the way in which people from different societies interpret and express themselves culturally.

Culture is the way of life of a particular nation or group of people. It refers to the learned behavior and traditions of a particular society. A society has its own culture, and all cultures are not alike.

Culture is shaped by geography, history and education. Some cultures are more modern than others, and their traditions change over time. Understanding different cultures can help people from different countries understand each other.

People from different societies have unique cultures because their histories are unique. Certain aspects of their societies are preserved through art and expressions such as poetry and literature. Every society has a set of values, beliefs and traditions that bind its members together. Essentially, culture is a way of life for a particular society or nation.

Most anthropologists believe that human culture has existed as long as human existence has existed. Art, religion and tradition have been around since the beginning of humankind- essentially since the beginning of culture.

What is Society?

The word ‘society’ originates from the Latin word sociare, which means to associate or mutualize. In Ancient Rome, socius meant companion or household slave. In ancient Greece, socios meant a shareholder in a company, and in Medieval Europe, socius meant a friend or comrade in arms in battle. Hence the English ‘society’ comes from ‘ mutuality,’ denoting an association based on common goals or interests.

In 1752, philosopher Thomas Burnet used the word society to mean our contemporary culture, society as in manners and customs, or society as a nation. In addition, we can refer to a particular social class in society.

Aristotle referred to society as a group of people with similar interests and occupations. He thought that humans existed in societies from the start of life. A society is an extension of the family since they both have similar goals and interests.

We need to live together to protect ourselves, find food and build shelters; this is why we need societies. Human history is full of conflict without societies; this is because people disagreed without respecting each other’s rights and needs. Society is essential for human existence since it protects us and gives us a place to prosper.

Difference Between Culture and Society

The terms culture and society are used interchangeably in everyday speech and writing. While both refer to groups of people with shared beliefs, values and traditions, ‘culture’ tends to be used when discussing ideas or arts rather than people themselves. ‘Society’ is also used to refer to groups of people without necessarily implying a negative connotation; for instance, one might refer to a group of friends as a ‘society.’

Whenever either term is used in reference to people or animals in nature, it’s meant disrespectfully rather than scientifically accurately – i.e., anthropomorphically – which can make understanding how this affects animal behavior even more confounding than understanding how it affects human behavior in much the same way that humans understand their own cultural backgrounds

Comparison Between Culture and Society

Parameter of ComparisonCultureSociety
Purpose  It enables us to distinguish one group from another.  To bring together a group of people who hold similar values
Relevance  It provides moral advice.  It is a fantastic way for people to get oriented.
Contains  A group’s culture encompasses its beliefs, traditions, customs, etc.  People in society share a common set of traditions and practices.
ExamplesDressing sense is part of cultureArchitecture of villages, city towns are part of societies