Cultural Perception: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 Culture Dominates the…
  • 0:52 Definitions
  • 1:28 How Does Culture Shape…
  • 2:05 Examples of Cultural…
  • 3:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Gaines Arnold
How does culture influence how an individual perceives their world? This lesson looks at how culture influences perception by defining the terms involved and providing examples of cultural perception.

Culture Dominates the Individual

Group action, meaning working with other people, is the dominant factor in society. In business, some individuals may be individual proprietors (running their own single employee business), but they still have to sell products or services to other people. An individual can be single in terms of relationship, but there are many areas in that person's life where they are part of a group.

One membership that all people share is that of culture. Culture may be ascribed to national boundaries, but it doesn't need to be. Cultural membership is better explained as people who share common features and knowledge that are demonstrated in elements such as artistic accomplishments, language, religion, food, and social characteristics. Culture then plays a critical role in how people see the world. This is called cultural perception.


Therefore, culture involves how a person lives, speaks, interacts with others and what individuals create, but perception considers how that individual sees the world, or what happens when these two concepts are combined into a single phrase. Cultural perception is how people gather information, learned within their specific culture, to inform themselves about their world. This takes into account all aspects of the individual's life. How a person sees art, language, religion, etc. is all informed by how those elements of the world are seen within the context of their culture.

How Does Culture Shape the Individual?

Of course, this does not mean that everything the individual experiences will be tainted by their culture (meaning that they will see only those things valued by their culture as good and representations of other cultures as bad or inferior); it means that the culture in which the individual was raised will color how they see the world. If the overall culture is restrictive and skeptical of others, it could lead the individual to have the same view. However, as an individual matures and sees the value of other cultures, they may have a more expansive view, especially if the culture the individual is originally from values experiences from other cultures.

Examples of Cultural Perception

Because the world is comprised of numerous cultures, there are many examples of this phenomenon. Let's look at a few of those:

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