Difference Between Culture and Civilization

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* Article: Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten (2012) "What is the Difference Between Culture and Civilization?: Two Hundred Fifty Years of Confusion," Comparative Civilizations Review: Vol. 66: No. 66, Article 4.

Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/ccr/vol66/iss66/4


"The distinction between culture and civilization is not well embedded in the English language but has remained relatively meaningful in both other European and non-European languages. Edward B. Tylor designed in idea of civilization that covers both culture and civilizations. Similar attempts had been made in late 18th Century Germany. Though it is sometimes stated that Tylor's relativist concept of culture harks back to Herder, the latter's cultural relativism differs from Tylor's civilizational relativism. Tylor's holistic definition of civilization-culture has created an amount of confusion that can still be felt today. European totalitarianism is often called "civilization" because many people would work in the service of an expansionist tendency of colonizing groups. On the other hand, European racism, such as that which occurred in 20th Century Germany, profited from the creation of a totally mystical culture that included a pseudo-biological notion in the concept of culture (Master Race). This component had not been present in the Enlightenment or in Herder's Counter-Enlightenment discourses. Civilization-based racism thrived not only in the colonies but also in the United States, where Beard's purist and radically culture-less idea of civilization could create a suitable background. In Nazi Germany, anti-Jewish racism was based on a naturalized idea of culture; in European colonies and the United States, anti-black racism was based on the idea that Black people re unable to attain civilization by nature."