Throughout the complex yet recognised studies upon sociological phenomena, the term ‘culture’ continues to astound anthropological revisions. Whether or not a definition of ‘culture’ can be determined, or merely the exact forces which bring about such an abstract entity, the concept that culture exists can be acknowledged with focus to structural functionalism. The precise justification for culture itself began to enlighten anthropologists such as Durkheim, who in turn has encouraged studies from Malinowski and Parsons for instance. Still, existing theories suggest intensely dynamic and multifaceted definitions of ‘culture’, those of which ‘explain’ culture with various stances.
Within contemporary studies, culture itself is often
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The requirement of food stuffs, water and shelter are the most basic of conditions which culture is ‘obliged’ to provide for survival (Malinowski, 1944). Not only do biological requirements for subsistence determine functionalism, it is the idea of reacting to these necessities and the exact method of fulfilment which progresses a society. Overall, culture in this sense, can be seen as “the total way of life of a people” (Kluckhohn, 1949, pg. 17), and it is the precise actions in which communities take which governs the numerous identifications of cultural systems.
The differentiation between social systems and cultural systems represents the complexity and significant ideology surrounding sociological studies (Geertz, 1973). Geertz describes a cultural system as a “theoretical diffusion [of]… semiotic” existence (pg.5). It is suggested that culture builds the basics of a society and is a “self-contained…reality with forces and purposes of its own”, the structure, however, must have therefore arisen from the societal trends and survival mechanisms. Kluckhohn proclaims that “culture arises out of human nature” (Kluckhohn, 1949), a way in which society meets the demand for its needs, thus a functionalist view. In a sense, culture sets limitations of behaviour and guidelines in order to sustain optimum survival and contentment within a certain community (Haviland, 1996).