Let recall a famous quote by Oscar Wild " Culture is what we have and civilization is what we are'.
Firstly, civilization in theory is bigger than culture in which an entire civilization can encompass one single unit of culture. Civilization is a bigger unit than culture because it is a complex aggregate of the society that dwells within a certain area, along with its forms of government, norms, and even culture. Thus, culture is just a spec or a portion of an entire civilization. For example, the Egyptian civilization has an Egyptian culture in the same way as the Greek civilization has their Greek culture.
A culture ordinarily exists within a civilization. In this regard, each civilization can contain not only one but several cultures. Comparing culture and civilization is like showing the difference between language and the country to which it is being used.
Culture can exist in itself whereas civilization cannot be called a civilization if it does not possess a certain culture. It’s just like asking how a nation can exist on its own without the use of a medium of communication. Hence, a civilization will become empty if it does not have its culture, no matter how little it is.
Factors leading to the rise of civilizations
When we start to study about civilizations, we should have at least three questions in our mind. They are:
What causes the rise of civilizations? What factors support their growth? , and Why do some civilizations reach much higher levels of development than others?
Some social scientists decide that factors of geography are the most important (to the rise of civilization). Others stress economic resources, food supply, contact with older civilizations, and so on.
Under geographical conditions, Ellsworth Huntington, an American geographer, insisted that no nation rose to the highest cultural status except under the influence of a climatic stimulus. Related to the climatic hypothesis is the soil-exhaustion theory.
This group of theory believes that the majestic civilizations that once flourished in Mesopotamia, Palestine, Greece, Italy, China, and Mexico were ultimately doomed by the simple fact that their soil would no longer provide sufficient food for the population.
Another theory about the origin of civilizations is adversity. Arnold J. Toynbee, a British historian, said that conditions of hardship or adversity are the real causes which have brought into existence superior cultures. Such conditions constitute a :challenge” to stimulate men to try to overcome it and to generate additional energy for new achievements. The challenge may be in the form of a desert, a jungle area, rugged topography, or a grudging soil.
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