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the set of values, beliefs, rules and institutions held by a specific group of people.


the belief that one's own ethnic group or culturwe is superior to that of others.

cultural literacy

detailed knowledge about a culture that enables a person to function effectiviely within it.


a group of people who share a unique way of life within a larger, dominant culture.


what a culture considers "good taste" in the arts (including music, painting, dance, drama, and architecture), the imagery evoked by certain expressions, and symbolism of certain colors.


ideas, beliefs, and customs to which people are emotionally attached.


positive or negative evaluations, feelings, and tendencies that individuals harbor toward objects or concepts.

cultural trait

anything that represents a culture's way of life, including gestures, material objects, traditions, and concepts.

cultural diffusion

the process whereby cultural traits spread from one culture to another.

cultural imperialism

the replacement of one's culture's traditions, folk heroes, and artifacts with substitutes from another.


appropriate ways of behaving, speaking, and dressing in a culture.


when habits or ways of behaving in specific circumstances are passed down through generations.

folk custom

behavior, often dating back several generations, that is practiced by a homogeneous group of people.

popular custom

behavior shared by a heterogeneous group or by several groups.

social structure

a culture's fundamental organization, including its group and institutions, its system and social positions and their relationships, and the process by which its resources are distributed.

social stratification

the process of ranking people into social layers or classes.

social mobility

the ease with which individuals can move up or down a culture's "social latter."

caste system

a system of social stratification in which people are born into a social ranking, or caste, with no opportunity for social mobility.

class system

a system of social stratification in which personal ability and actions determine social status and mobility.


system to convey thoughts, feelings, knowledge, and information though speech, writing, and actions.

lingua franca

a third or "link" language understood by two parties who speak different native languages.

body language

communicates though unspoken cues, including hand gestures, facial expressions, physical greetings, eye contact, and the manipulation of personal space.

brain drain

the departure of highly educated people from one profession, geographic region, or nation to another.


all the physical features that characterize the surface of a geographic region.

material culture

all the technology used in a culture to manufacture goods and provide services.

Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck framework

compares cultures along six dimensions. (page 70)

Hofstede framework

compares cultures along five dimensions. (page 71)

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