Difference Between Society vs Culture

Difference Between Society vs Culture

If you do not live under a rock, then you may know about the incomparable level of diversity that exists among humans. People tend to come together and coexist when they have a bunch of things in common. This “coming together” can be described either as culture or society.

In this post, we will take a look at what these two mean including their definitions, unique features, examples, and the difference between culture and society. To the best of our knowledge, there is so much information that needs to be divulged in this topic, but we will do our best to summarize them in this one post.

Definition of Society

Society is defined as a group of people who interrelate with one another based on common interests such as social views and geographical territory and are subject to a common political authority and cultural expectations.

When you come across a person who shares a common belief with you, you tend to relate better with that person. This belief can serve as a point of interest to others, bringing a group of people together to form a social order.

Why does a society have to have cultural expectations? Because it is what defines their identity. Culture is one thing every society has, and these two cannot exist without the other.

It serves as a social device for uniting people who share a common belief. Note that a social order is usually made of individuals who have voluntarily shown interest in working together for the mutual benefits of everyone involved.

In a society vs culture comparison, the former focuses on the individuals involved and a setting up a structure that will accommodate them, but the latter is about a common belief that exists among a group of people.

According to sociology, social orders come in the following types.

  • Hunting and gathering
  • Horticultural
  • Industrial
  • Post-industrial
  • Pastoral
  • Agricultural

Definition of Culture

Culture is defined as the features and facts of a specific set of people including religion, social habits, music, art, language, cuisine, and so on. According to the Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition, it can also be defined as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and understanding that are learned by socialization.

For a better understanding of this term, experts went ahead to state some concepts known as the ten elements of culture. They include:

  • Religion – The people’s way of worship, sacred symbols, and other reverenced items of worship
  • Values – The lifestyle pattern, principles, and beliefs.
  • Marriage and family – Types of marriage, the size of the family, etc.
  • Customs – Greetings, holidays, rituals, and activities
  • Government and laws – The type of political system in place and how the system works
  • Economy and trade – Main jobs, legal tender, trade partners, etc.
  • Language
  • Arts and literature
  • Science and technology

The types of culture include the following.

  • Hierarchy
  • Market
  • Adhocracy
  • Clan

Main Differences Between Society vs Culture

Now that you have a fair understanding of these two, let us throw more light on the difference between society and culture.

Basis of ComparisonSocietyCulture
DefinitionA group of people who interrelate with one another based on common interests, and are subject to a common political authority and cultural expectationsThe characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people including special features like religion, social habits, music, art, language, cuisine
MeaningThe pattern and structure that guide people of common interestRules that guide the way people live
SignificanceA generally accepted way for people to organize themselvesTo tell people how to live
Role                                                      To unite a group of people who share common beliefTo differentiate a particular cohort from another
Examples– Economy
– Village
– City
– Taste and preference
– Lifestyle
– Fashion
– Music and art

Difference Between Society and Culture: Conclusion

In comparing culture vs society, there is a clear difference, but it is almost impossible to define one without the other. The former is concerned with the structures and guidelines, but the latter is about the people that adhere to these structures and guidelines.