The Differences between Culture and Civilization
According to the oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, culture is “the custom and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group,” on the other hand, civilization is “a state of human society that is very developed and organized” and “all people in the world and the societies they live in, considered as a whole.” Therefore, culture emphasizes spirit compared with civilization. And civilization related to technique and substances.
When we compare a culture with other cultures, we categorize with types of cultures. For example, we can make categories such as culture which people burn trees to make a good soil and culture which people dominate animals for eating so that people can live. On the other hand, we categorize with regions and period. For example, we can make categories such as civilization around Yellow River in China and Chinese civilization in 1990s. Therefore, the way of comparison among cultures and civilizations are different.
The relationship with our daily life is different between culture and civilization. Culture is what people pass down from generation to generation and what people do in their daily life. In addition, culture and social structure influence each other. On the other hand, civilization is what people create by advancement of human’s wisdom. Moreover, culture is a generic term of lifestyle, religion, the way of thinking and so on, and civilization is a general term of development of technology and economy in order to make more convenient life. Therefore, culture maintains forever or for a long time unless cultures are not forced to change the cultures or people who have unique culture die out. However, civilization may vanish or stop developing and new civilization occur.
The way of measuring is also different between culture and civilization. Actually, we can not say which culture is superior or inferior. In addition, the number of sorts of culture is much more than that of civilization. Culture can be divided into more small cultures. Our university was established in Yuwa in Akita city in Akita prefecture. So our university has at least four cultures which are cultures of Akita prefecture, Akita city, Yuwa, and Akita International University. On the other hand, civilization is sometimes compared with other civilizations, and people use the expression like more civilized. Moreover, civilization goes up and down, and splits and combines. The number of people who are related to civilizations also can be big and small. However, it is human who creates civilization, so even small civilization more people are related to the civilization compared with the number of people who are related to a small culture.
Finally, we tend to use the word conflict for culture and clash for civilization, when we want to express disagreement. The meaning of conflict is a circumstance of disagreement or violence among two groups, and that of clash is a fight or argument between two groups whose beliefs or thoughts are different each other. Therefore, disagreement among cultures is weaker compared with that among civilizations.s