Culture / Culture


I noticed that the French students put a strong emphasis on classic, Western European ideals of arts, fine arts, and high society. American students focused on the role of culture in worldview. I feel like in the US, there are two ways to view the word culture -- the idea of being "cultured" tends to refer to the first concept, but we also talk about something being "multicultural," which is the second.

pour nous, nous associons le mot culture aux différents arts que nous connaissons c'est à dire que culture dit pour nous cinéma, musée, musique... c'est vrai que nous ne différencions pas le fait d'être cultivé et la notion de culture. De votre côté, la notion de culture est plus globale on pourrait appeler ça "a global cultura". Qu'associrais-tu à la culture américaine?

As Tegan mentioned, the French view of culture tended to be the arts: literature, music, theater, museums, etc.

For Americans, that's one definition of culture, but apparently not the primary. I talked to Tegan in class today about this ... it might just be for Brandeis students though.

For example, at our University we have "

cultural groups

," such as: Korean Student Association, Brandeis Black Student Organization, Caribbean Connexion, etc. They're all hosted in a building we have on campus call the



We have multiple theater groups, improv troupes, orchestras, bands, choirs, literary magazines, etc. But we would never classify them as cultural groups.

But it seems to be very confusing, even for us. If you look on our Club website ( you'll see that the webmaster had trouble defining things so that there's a group called "Arts and Culture."

It's also very common in English to refer to someone as cultured meaning, they're well read, or have knowledge. This seems to be the case in France as well. I'll joke with people if they ask me if I've read something, or been to a certain museum, I'll say "No, I'm not cultured."

I agree with Tegan and Samantha. It's very interesting to see the differences with how we all interpreted the word "culture." Maybe, as Samantha said, it has to do with our particular school and there seems to be an emphasis on anthropology and other fields that have to do with culture/groups around the world. I'm an anthropology major, so maybe I just happen to learn a lot about the idea of culture as different groups around the world. I wonder if the responses would have been different if the word had been "cultural," and I would imagine it would also have been different had it been "cultures"....

Après avoir lu vos deux remarques,un autre mot m'est venu en tête pour définir ce que vous entendez par culture : "ethnicity". En effet au premier semestre j'ai suivi un cours s'intitulant "immigration and citizenship in the US" et nous avons éudié en détail la notion d'ethnicité aux Etats Unis et avons pu constater à quel point c'était un thème centrale en politique (du moins au début du siècle...) Je ne sais si ce que je dis a beaucoup de sens et peut être que je me trompe mais je pense que le mot culture aurait donc plus ce sens que le sens que nous lui associons en France.