22+ Differences Between Culture And Civilization

Culture and Civilization are essential parts of human societies but unfortunately, both the terms sound like synonyms and are used interchangeably many times.

Culture and Civilization are similar yet different. Culture refers to people’s religions, traditions, art, practices, etc., in human society.

Civilization, on the other hand, refers to the advancement of human society and Culture in terms of technology and urbanization. It is essential to use both the words correctly as there are various differences between the two terms, which we will find out in this article. 

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Key Differences –

Culture –

  1. Culture refers to our behavior, thinking, religious practices, way of living, morals, ethics, etc.
  2. It simply denotes our way of existing in our society. 
  3. It can go on existing without the presence of Civilization. 
  4. There are generally no advancements in Culture. 
  5. A person can be highly cultured and uncivilized. 

Civilization –

  1. Civilization refers to our technological, urban, and political advancements.  
  2. It simply denotes advancements that exist in our society. 
  3. It generally can not exist without the presence of Culture. 
  4. Civilization is all about advancements in our society. 
  5. A person can be highly civilized and lack cultural values. 

Comparison Between Culture And Civilization

ParameterCultureCivilization
MeaningA description of why we are the way we are. A description of how civilized we are. 
RepresentsIt represents who we are, what language we speak, what our religion is, what are our religious practices, what food we eat, what we wear, what our thinking is, what our beliefs are, what our ethics are, what our morals are, etc.It represents how advanced our technology is, how effective our laws are, how good our infrastructure is, how efficient our economy is, how strict our rules & regulations are, etc.
DependenceIt can exist in the absence of Civilization; thus, it is independent. It can not exist in the absence of Culture; thus, it is dependent on Culture. 
NatureIt is internal in nature as its deeply rooted in one’s mind and heart. It is external in nature, as it’s concerned about what a man can do artificially to make the surroundings a better place for himself and others. 
Availability Anywhere they are people, there is Culture. Even if an area has a rich culture and a large number of people, it is not mandatory for that area to be civilized. 
PassedCulture is always passed from one generation to another. It is not possible for Civilization to be passed from one generation to another. 
Advancements There are no to negligible amounts of advancements in Culture. Without advancements, Civilization has no meaning. 

Major Differences Between Culture And Civilization

What exactly is Culture?

Culture refers to our way of living, how we think, how we live, what are our ethics, what are our morals, what are our responsibilities, what religion we do follow, what are our traditions, what we eat, what we wear, what our beliefs, etc. is Culture.

It represents who we are and why we are that. Cultural practices are generally passed from generation to generation and do not possess any advancements. 

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Features of Culture –

  1. A representation of our way of living. 
  2. It typically denotes who we are and why we are the way we are. 
  3. It is passed from generation to generation. 
  4. Culture and cultural values are mainly rooted inside a person; thus, they are internal. 
  5. There are usually no advancements in cultural values. 
  6. It is independent of Civilization. 
  7. High cultural values do not denote high Civilization and vice versa.
  8. It is a part of Civilization. 
  9. Examples include our religion, traditions, morals, ethics, responsibilities, beliefs, dietary choices, clothing, thinking process, etc. 

What exactly is Civilization?

Civilization simply refers to the advancements in our technological, economic and political systems existing in our society. It simply denotes how advanced we are, how good our technology is, how good the political system is, how good the infrastructure is, how good laws are, etc.

It comprises many factors such as Culture, urbanization, politics, technology, economic conditions, etc.

Unlike Culture, Civilization can not be passed from generation to generation. It concerns what a man can do to make his surroundings better for him and society.

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Features of Civilization –

  1. A representation of how civilized we are as a society. 
  2. It typically denotes the state of a society’s technological, political, urban, and cultural systems. 
  3. It is not possible to pass Civilization from generation to generation. 
  4. It concerns what a man can do to his surroundings so that it’s better for him and his society; thus, it is external. 
  5. Civilization is all about advancements in a given society. 
  6. It is dependent on Culture.
  7. Higher Civilization does not represent higher cultural values and vice versa. 
  8. It comprises cultural, economic, technological, or political systems. 
  9. Examples include a degree of urbanization, rules, regulations, policies, politics, technology, infrastructure, economics, etc. 
  10. Examples include the degree of urbanization, rules, regulations, policies, politics, technology, infrastructure, economics, etc. 

Contrast Between Culture And Civilization

Origin Of The Word

  • Culture – The word Culture originated from the Latin word “cultura,” which derived from another Latin word, “colere,” which means “to cultivate.” 
  • Civilization – The word Civilization originated from the Latin word “civitas,” which means “city.”

Meaning

  • Culture – A group of factors that defines why we are the way we are is known as Culture. 
  • Civilization – A group of factors that defines how advanced we are as a society. 

Represents

  • Culture – It represents our way of living, how we think, how we live, what are our ethics, what are our morals, what language we speak, what are our responsibilities, what religion we do follow, what are our traditions, what we eat, what we wear, what are our beliefs, etc. 
  • Civilization denotes how advanced we are, how good our technology is, how good the political system is, how good the infrastructure, how good laws are, how good the economy is, how rapid urbanization is, etc. 

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What do Culture and Civilization represent –

Culture                                                                                                   Civilization

  1. What do we think?                                                                1. How advanced is our technology?
  2. What do we speak?                                                               2. How effective are our laws?
  3. What is our Religion?                                                          3. How rapid is urbanization?
  4. What are our religious practices?                                   4. How efficient is our economy?
  5. What are our ethics?                                                           5. How strict is the political system? 
  6. What are our morals? 
  7. What are our responsibilities?  
  8. What do we wear?
  9. What do we eat? 
  10. What are our traditions? 

Comes First

  • Culture – Culture is present before Civilization takes place. 
  • Civilization – Civilization occurs after Culture. 

Dependence

  • Culture – Culture is independent of Civilization, meaning it can go on existing without Civilization. 
  • Civilization – Culture is a part of Civilization and depends on Culture, meaning it can not exist without the presence of Culture. 

Passed

  • Culture – Culture and Cultural values are mainly passed from generation to generation. 
  • Civilization – Civilization can not be passed from generation to generation. 

Advancements

  • Culture – There are little to no advancements in Culture and Cultural values. 
  • Civilization – Civilization is all about advancements; it can not take place in the absence of progress or advancements. 

Availability

  • Culture – Culture is always present everywhere humans are inhabited. 
  • Civilization – Only a few areas or societies have the presence of Civilization. 

Rooted In

  • Culture – One’s Culture is rooted in one’s mind and heart. 
  • Civilization – is all about what a person can do to make his and his external surroundings a better place for everyone. 

Nature

  • Culture – Since Culture is deeply rooted in one’s heart and mine, it is an internal factor in every individual. 
  • Civilization – Since Civilization is about making one’s external surroundings a better place for everyone, it is an external factor in every individual or society. 

Comprises Of

  • Culture – Examples of Culture include, Religions, Religious practices, Language, Beliefs, Thinking, Morals, Ethics, Responsibilities, Dietary choices, Dressing sense, etc. 
  • Civilization – Examples of Civilization include Technology, Politics, Rules, Regulations, Policies, Laws, Infrastructure, Economic Growth, Urbanization, etc. 

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Culture comprises of –

  • Religions and religious practices. 
  • Language
  • Thinking and Beliefs
  • Morals 
  • Ethics
  • Responsibilities
  • Food preferences
  • Clothes choices
  • Traditions

Civilization comprises of –

  • Technology
  • Political system
  • Rules
  • Regulations
  • Policies
  • Legal System
  • Economic Growth
  • Urbanization 
  • Infrastructure

Conclusion

Culture and Civilization are the two crucial aspects of our surroundings and society. Culture is an Internal factor rooted in the minds of people living in a society that describes why the people are the way they are.

On the other hand, civilization is an external factor that explains how civilized or advanced a community is. It should be noted that the presence of Civilization is not mandatory for Culture, whereas the presence of Culture is mandatory for the process of Civilization.

A person can have high cultural values but may lack Civilization, while a person can be civilized and lack cultural values. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How is Culture Internal but Civilization External?

Culture is Internal as cultural values are deeply rooted in our minds; we operate on an everyday basis respective to our Culture.

We do cultural things not according to our own minds but based on what has been passed to us from our previous generations.

We are not inventing anything new, just following our Culture; thus, it is Internal. 

Q2. What can be passed from generation to generation?

Culture is always passed from generation to generation. The religious practices, traditions, dressing, and food habits, are passed from older generations to younger generations.

However, it is not possible to pass down Civilization. 

Q3. What are the major differences between Culture and Civilization?

The major differences between Culture and Civilization are –

1. Cultures describe why we are the way we are, whereas Civilization describes how civilized we are. 
2. Culture can take place without the absence of Civilization, but Civilization can not take place without the absence of Culture. 
3. Culture is internal in nature, while Civilization is external in nature. 
4. Culture represents our thinking, religious practices, ethics, morals, dressing, food choices, likes, dislikes, language, etc. Civilization, on the other hand, represents the state of our technology, economy, political system, urbanization, etc. 
5. There are little to no advancements in Culture, whereas Civilization has no means without advancements. 

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