The Characteristic Aspects Of German Culture

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Culture can be defined in many ways, to various depths. On the surface, it is simply “the characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time” (Culture, n.d.). Using this description, a person may make vague, on the spot assumptions with regards to a specific group or area. An individual visiting Germany for the first time will find that waiters at restaurants do not constantly return to the table throughout the meal. This could lead to either the knowledge that Germans tend to take their time with meals and enjoy the company and conversation of their companions, or the thought that they are rude, lazy, or inconsiderate. Unfortunately, the latter is more often than not the immediate tone Americans, Soldiers in particular, take when first experiencing German culture. A closer look at this country and it’s people, past and present, will give better insight into the culture, and why it’s more than worth a visit to the place that brews beer best. Interestingly, it is not enough for an individual to simply understand the definition of culture. He or she must comprehend the very characteristics that influence and drive any given societal practices and behaviors. According to Campbell (1981), all cultures consist of five basic distinctive attributes which are as follows: learned, shared, symbol based, integrated, and dynamic. Biologically speaking, humans are born with instincts that drive their desires and defensive mechanisms, whereas the

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