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The process through which a culture is modified by borrowing elements/traits or complexes from another group.


Belief that objects, such as plants and stones, or natural events, like thunderstorms and earthquakes, have a discrete spirit and conscious life.


The material manifestations of culture, including tools, housing, systems of land use, clothing, etc.


Process of less dominant cultures losing their culture to a more dominant culture


A monotheistic religion founded in the 19th century as a development of Babism, emphasizing the essential oneness of humankind and of all religions and seeking world peace


The way in which one acts or conducts oneself


speaking two languages


a world religion or philosophy based on the teaching of the Buddha and holding that a state of enlightenment can be attained by suppressing worldly desire


A philosophy based on the ideas of Confucius that focuses on morality, family order, social harmony, and government

Contagious diffusion

The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population


a language that began as a pidgin language but was later adopted as the mother tongue by a people in a place of the mother tongue

Cultural diffusion

the spread of cultural elements from one society to another

Cultural ecology

the geographic study of human-environment relationships

Cultural geography

the study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places

Cultural hearths

Heartland, source area, innovation center, place of origin of a major culture

Cultural landscape

the visible imprint of human activity and culture on the landscape

Cultural transmission

the way a group of people or animals within a society or culture tend to learn and pass on new information

Culture complex

is the combination of several traits, which are characteristic to that particular group

Culture region

includes many different counties that have certain traits in common

Culture system

the interaction of different elements of culture

Culture trait

activities and behaviors that people repeatedly practice


philosophical system developed by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events


local or regional characteristics of a language


the dispersion of the Jews outside Israel

Extinct Language

language without any native speakers

Folk culture

Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural group living in relative isolation from other groups

Folk life

The way of life of a rural or traditional community

Geographic region

a demarcated area of the Earth

Hierarchical diffusion

The spread of an idea from persons or nodes of authority or power to other persons or places


Created in India, one billon followers, heaven isn't always the ultimate goal in life. Third largest behind Christianity and Islam


An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters

Independent inventions

The creative innovation of new solutions to old and new problems

Indo-European language family

language family including he Germanic and Romance languages that is spoken by about 50% if the world's population

Durkheim's sacred and profane

central characteristics of religion. Sacred-interests of the group, profane-interests of the individual

Ethnic Religion-

A religion with a relatively concentrated spatial distribution whose principles are likely to be based on the physical characteristics of the particular location in which its adherents are concentrated


the monotheistic religion of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran


a geographic boundary within which a particular linguistic feature occurs


the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud


a set of sounds, combination of sounds, and symbols that are used for communication

Language families

group of languages with a shared but fairly distant origin

Language sub-family

divisions within a language family where the commonalities are more definite and the origin is more recent

Language franca

applying to a tongue spoken in ancient Mediterranean ports that consisted of a mixture of Italian, French, Greek, Spanish and even some Arabic; "common language": trade language

Linguistic geography

the study of the geographical distribution of linguistic features.


One of the two major traditions of Buddhism


basis for the theory and practice of communism

Material culture

The physical manifestations of human activities; includes tools, campsites, art, and structures. The most durable aspects of culture

Migrant diffusion

when an innovation originates somewhere and enjoys strong-but brief-adoption, loses strength at origin by the time it reaches another area

Monotheistic religion

The doctrine or belief of the existence of only one god


Using many languages.

Non-material culture

ideas, knowledge and beliefs that influence people's behavior


A standard or pattern, esp. of social behavior, that is typical or expected of a group

Official language

in multilingual countries, the language selected, often by the educated and politically powerful elite, to promote internal cohesion; usually the language of the courts and governments


when parts of two or more languages are combined in a simplified structure and vocabulary

Popular culture

Entertainment spread by mass communications and enjoying wide appeal.


separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the principles of the Reformation, including the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches

Regional identity

Identification with a specific geographic region of a nation

Religion Braches

is a large and fundamental division within a religion

Religion Denominations

a particular religious group, usually associated with differing Protestant belief systems

Religion Sects

small group that has broken away from an established denomination


a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny

Relocation diffusion

The spread of an idea through physical movement of people from one place to another.

Roman Catholics

the Christian Church based in the Vatican and presided over by a pope and an episcopal hierarchy


Form of a tribal religion that involved community acceptance of a shaman, a religious leader, healer, and worker of magic who, through special powers, can intercede with and interpret the spirit world.


An adherent of the Shia branch of Islam


is a religion that began in sixteenth century in Northern India. The principal belief in Sikhism is faith in Vāhigurū.

Standard language

one that is published, widely distributed, and purposefully taught

Stimulus diffusion

transmitted from one culture to another


One of the two main branches of Islam


A thing that represents or stands for something else


The blending traits from two different cultures to form a new trait


mixed form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet


The more conservative of the two major traditions of Buddhism

Time-distance decay

the longer and farther it has to go, the less likely it will get there


place name

Traditional religion

Special forms of ethnic religions distinguished by their small size, their unique identity with localized culture groups not yet fully absorbed into modern society, and their close ties to nature


cultural borrowing that occurs when different cultures of approximately equal complexity and technological level come into close contact

Universalizing religion

a religion that attempts to appeal to all people, not just those living in a particular location

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