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what is culture?

culture is everything to team building,
to business, to family, and to community.

an anthology of definitions
By David W. Pearson, Ph.D

Culture is to "know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma, 1873

"Culture is but the fine flowering of real education, and it is the training of the feeling, the tastes, and the manners that makes it so."
Laura Cornelius Kellogg, Our Democracy and the American Indian, 1920

"Culture is at once socially constituted (it is a product of present and past activity) and socially constitutive (it is part of the meaningful context in which activity takes place)."
William Roseberry, Ph.D., Anthropologies and Histories, 1989

"Culture involves at least three components: what people think, what they do, and the material products they produce. Thus, mental processes, beliefs, knowledge, and values are parts of culture. Some anthropologists would define culture entirely as mental rules guiding behavior, although often wide divergence exists between the acknowledged rules for correct behavior and what people actually do."

Topical: Culture consists of everything on a list of topics, or categories, such as social organization, religion, or economy.
Historical: Culture is social heritage, or tradition, that is passed on to future generations.
Behavioral: Culture is shared, learned human behavior, a way of life.
Normative: Culture is ideals, values, or rules for living.
Functional: Culture is the way humans solve problems of adapting to the environment or living together.
Mental: Culture is a complex of ideas, or learned habits, that inhibit impulses and distinguish people from animals.
Structural: Culture consists of patterned and interrelated ideas, symbols, or behaviors.
Symbolic: Culture is based on arbitrarily assigned meanings that are shared by a society.
John H. Bodley, Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the Global System, 1994

MindData Hint:
Contact MindData to find out how you can match job candidates with your company's cultural values.

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Served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot, David Pearson is a noted behavioral scientist. David Pearson was a contributing author of the EEOC's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures and also contributed to the Tower Amendment to Title VII.12. As a nationally recognized authority on employment practices and behavioral tendency profiling, Dr. Pearson has been quoted in publications from Newsweek to The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Pearson has been retained as an expert witness for the successful defense of major companies including Adolph Coors, Frontier Airlines, the City and County of Denver, Detroit Edison, and Martin Marietta. David Pearson has earned a Master of Science and a Doctorate in Psychology. He has also received extensive legal training, and has considerable experience in statistics and research methodology. Today, Dr. Pearson continues to make valuable contributions to MindData's business -- including development of all new MindData products and contribution of frequent articles and insights to the MindData web site.

The opinions expressed in articles by this author do not necessarily represent the opinions of MindData. These articles are provided as a means of informing you of current events and opinions that impact employers and the workplace.

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