American Sociological Association

Culture

Sociology understands culture as the languages, customs, beliefs, rules, arts, knowledge, and collective identities and memories developed by members of all social groups that make their social environments meaningful. Sociologists study cultural meaning by exploring individual and group communication; meaningfulness is expressed in social narratives, ideologies, practices, tastes, values, and norms as well as in collective representations and social classifications.

Sociology also studies the production, diffusion, reception, evaluation, and application of cultural meaning across institutions, organizations, and groups, including how cultures differentiate racial, ethnic, and class groups, and the role of culture in producing inequalities and group boundaries.

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