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Culture

  • Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet alone.

  • Leisure, itself the creation of wealth, is incessantly engaged in transmuting wealth into beauty by secreting the surplus energy which flowers in great architecture, great painting and great literature. Only in the atmosphere thus engendered floats that impalpable dust of ideas which is the real culture. A colony of ants or bees will never create a Parthenon.

  • Culture, which by definition serves no purpose, has now found a role as the consort of business. Right off the bat we have a beached whale, since there is nothing that disdains culture as much as business does. ... In fact, 'corporate culture' is nothing more than the crystallization of the stupidity of a group of people at a given moment.

  • Culture — as we know it — is an instrument manipulated by teachers for manufacturing more teachers, who, in their turn, will manufacture still more teachers.

  • I am suspicious — first of all, in myself — of adopted mysticisms of glib spirituality, above all of white people's tendency to ... vampirize American Indian, or African, or Asian, or other 'exotic' ways of understanding.

  • ... human beings seem to hold on more tenaciously to a cultural identity that is learned through suffering than to one that has been acquired through pleasure and delight.

  • Culture is what people invent when they have lost nature.

  • ... culture both clarifies and mystifies. A set of beliefs is at once a way of seeing the world more clearly while, at the same time, foreclosing an alternative vision.

  • ... cultural ideals are powerful forces, shaping not only our ways of thinking and doing but our ways of being as well, giving form to both the conscious and unconscious content of our inner lives.

  • The newer education put stress on culture ... Saturday mornings, the young were brushed and washed, forced into blue cheviot suits, and dragged to children's concerts to learn appreciation. They wriggled, squirmed, counted the light bulbs in the ceiling, dived under seats to gather ticket stubs, stampeded out at intermissions. The weakness of their bladders was astounding.

  • Clothes, manner, and to a certain extent morals are the products of the economic life of the times.

  • 'Culture' means a long receptivity to things of the mind and the spirit.

  • Society in its full sense ... is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it. No individual can arrive even at the threshold of his potentialities without a culture in which he participates. Conversely, no civilization has in it any element which in the last analysis is not the contribution of an individual.

  • From the moment of his birth, the customs into which [an individual] is born shape his experience and behavior. By the time he can talk, he is the little creature of his culture.

  • Most people are shaped to the form of their culture because of the enormous malleability of their original endowment. They are plastic to the moulding force of the society into which they are born. It does not matter whether, with the Northwest Coast, it requires delusions of self-reference, or with our own civilization the amassing of possessions. In any case the great mass of individuals take quite readily the form that is presented to them.

  • In world history, those who have helped to build the same culture are not necessarily of one race, and those of the same race have not all participated in one culture. In scientific language, culture is not a function of race.

  • Culture is not a biologically transmitted complex.

  • No one culture has ever developed all human potentialities; it has always selected certain capacities, mental and emotional and moral, and stifled others. Each culture is a system of values which may well complement the values in another.

    • Ruth Benedict,
    • 1943, in Margaret Mead, An Anthropologist at Work: Writings of Ruth Benedict ()
  • ... women's entry into the public sphere can be seen not merely as the result of contemporary economic pressures, the high rate of divorce, or the success of the feminist movement, but rather as a profound evolutionary response to a pervasive cultural crisis. Feminine principles are entering the public realm because we can no longer afford to restrict them to the private domestic sphere, nor allow a public culture obsessed with Warrior values to control human destiny if we are to survive.

  • The whole world is being 'deculturalized' into a uniform 'Coca-Cola society,' wanting and needing an American way of life.

  • I think of Western culture as a virtual reality that we've constructed and then forgotten is not real.

    • Anne Wilson Schaef,
    • "Soulful Living," in Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, eds., Handbook for the Soul ()
  • There is no such thing as a 'superior' or 'inferior' culture, there are only various cultural patterns which make up this beautiful, multicolored mosaic.

    • Taslima Nasrin,
    • in Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition "No Gods--No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • Culture is both an intellectual phenomenon and a moral one.

  • Culture does not make people. People make culture.

  • Cultural symbolism: often overlooked or dismissed, always potent.