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Thus a contrast between "culture" and "civilization" is usually implied in these authors, even when not expressed as such. Terror management theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person[s] of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the merely physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain.The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively.These forces are related to both social structures and natural events, and are involved in the perpetuation of cultural ideas and practices within current structures, which themselves are subject to change.(See structuration.) Social conflict and the development of technologies can produce changes within a society by altering social dynamics and promoting new cultural models, and spurring or enabling generative action. feminist movement involved new practices that produced a shift in gender relations, altering both gender and economic structures.Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century.Some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, and such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies.Sometimes "culture" is also used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture (e.g. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture.using an agricultural metaphor for the development of a philosophical soul, understood teleologically as the highest possible ideal for human development.
For example, after tropical forests returned at the end of the last ice age, plants suitable for domestication were available, leading to the invention of agriculture, which in turn brought about many cultural innovations and shifts in social dynamics.In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions.