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Unformatted text preview: n the justification of
capitalism. The establishment and reinforcement of elitism is seen by these critics as a key
element in the role of such genres as opera and ballet.
Cultural patterns that distinguish a society's population elite
In practice, culture referred to elite goods and activities such as haute cuisine, high fashion or
haute couture, museumcaliber art and classical music. The word cultured referred to people
who knew about and took part in these activities. For example, someone who used culture in this
sense might argue that classical music is more refined than music by workingclass people,
such as jazz or the indigenous music traditions of aboriginal peoples.
People who use culture in this way tend not to use it in the plural. They believe that there are not
distinct cultures, each with their own internal logic and values, but rather only a single standard
of refinement to which all groups are held accountable. Thus people who differ from those who
believe themselves to be cultured in this sense are not usually understood as having a different
culture; they are understood as being uncultured
How Culture is learned
The simplest way to think about culture is to think about the distinction between nature (our
biology and genetics) andnurture (our environment and surroundings that also shape our
identities). Because of our biology and genetics, we have a particular form and we have certain
abilities. But our biological nature does not exclusively determine who we are. For that, we need
culture. Culture is the nonbiological or social aspects of hum...
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