U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Appendix I: A Definition of "Culture"Early in this Bulletin a shorthand definition of the word "culture" is used. A longer and somewhat more complex definition is used in the National Park Service's internal cultural resource management guidelines (NPS-28). This definition is consistent with that used in this Bulletin, and may be helpful to those who require further elucidation of the term. The definition reads as follows:
"Culture (is) a system of behaviors, values, ideologies, and social arrangements. These features, in addition to tools and expressive elements such as graphic arts, help humans interpret their universe as well as deal with features of their environments, natural and social. Culture is learned, transmitted in a social context, and modifiable. Synonyms for culture include lifeways,' customs,' traditions;' social practices;' and folkways.' The terms folk culture' and folklife' might be used to describe aspects of the system that are unwritten, learned without formal instruction, and deal with expressive elements such as dance, song, music and graphic arts as well as storytelling."
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