Essay on Interdependence of and Interrelationship between Culture and Civilization – Civilisation and culture do not reveal two independent and separate systems. The distinction between them is only relative and not absolute. They are not only interdependent but also interactive. Both are man-made. One is for his comfort and luxury and the other for his satisfaction and happiness. One is as important as the other.
The ‘ Order’ of civilisation influences the ‘ order’ of culture. The articles of civilisation called “artifacts” are influenced by culture called “mentifacts”. Culture is also influenced by the articles of civilisation.
Cultural character is generally added to the utilitarian order. We want fashions and styles and show it in our automobiles, buildings, etc. Similarly, our philosophies, literatures and learning have been much influenced by the printing press.
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Some objects of civilisation or some utilitarian things when become old acquire cultural character. The tools and implements of the primitive communities are also the symbols of culture. Various articles such as pots, vessels, ornaments, coins, weapons, tools, etc., found in excavations reveal the culture of the ancient people.
An environment of civilisation can affect our thoughts, values, morals, aims, objectives, ideals, ideologies, etc. The machine has brought new habits and enjoyments, new philosophy and ethics. Our world outlook has been changed due to the progress of science and technology.
The cultural order also affects civilisation. Every people, every age has its own way of life. We look at the new inventions and techniques in the light of our way of life and our values. New aspirations and values may bring about a new civilisation.
Culture is the breeding ground of civilisation. Civilisation gives strength and stamina for the wheels of society to march on. According to Ogburn, civilisation represents “material culture” and culture implies “non-material culture”. If civilisation is like a body, culture is its ‘soul.
MacIver and Page have clearly stated the interrelationship between culture and civilisation. They say that civilisation is a ship “which can set sail to various ports. The port we sail to remains a cultural choice.
Without the ship we could not sail at all; according to the character of take ship we sail fast or slow, take longer or shorter voyages. But the direction in which we travel is not predestinated by the design of the ship. The more efficient it is, the more ports lie within the range of our choosing”. In short, civilisation is the driving force of society. Culture is its steering wheel.