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Cultural Variation and Culture Change

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An increase in comprehension of the understanding of “cultural variation” also means

increase in the understanding of culture change (Sutcliffe, 2004, n.p.). It is anthropologically significant to establish the fact that “not all cultures moved through the same sequence of development” (Naylor, 1996, p. 7). The researcher came up with this idea by definition and examples alone and because culture was never the same, it changes all the time, and that culture is unavoidable (Naylor, 1996, p. 7).

Increase in Understanding of Cultural Variation Means Increase in Understanding of Cultural Change  

            Cultural variations” is the different practices, beliefs, perspectives of certain groups; for instance in other countries, it is believed that living in a “private house” links “heaven and earth” thus through it they feel and believe that they are protected by a higher being (Sutcliffe, 2004, n.p.). Others also believe that before they occupy the new house they are moving into, they should put salt, sugar, rice, etcetera into containers and to make sure that the containers should be filled to the top to attract good luck and prosperity (Sutcliffe, 2004, n.p.). “Culture change” on the other hand, involves “complex, continuing processes, rather than isolable acts or events of unitary character” (Steward, 1973, p. 4). It is a progression on both wide-ranging or common and detailed levels, adjustment to particular settings (Naylor, 1996, p. 10). Interestingly, it is something whish continuously changes which also means that what we consider as today’s culture is not at all the same as before (Naylor, 1996, p. 1). The change emerges because “the physical and socio-cultural environments continually change” (Naylor, 1996, p. 1). This is unavoidable because people always do something to achieve something which is better (Naylor, 1996, p. 1).


Indeed, an increase in comprehension of the understanding of “cultural variation” also means an increase in the understanding of “culture change” (Sutcliffe, 2004, n.p.). Readers should accept this fact because it is easy to understand it even by definition and examples alone (Naylor, 1996, p. 1). See, if there are no variations in our culture, every anthropologist will work under the impression that culture develops according to a specific sequence and that it does not occur at random (Naylor, 1996, p. 1). Since people want something better, they do things to achieve it, and so culture changes (Naylor, 1996, p. 1). See without variation, “culture change” will not occur and so increase in the comprehension of the latter will also increase ones understanding in the former (Naylor, 1996, p. 1).


Naylor, L.L. (1996). Culture and Change: An Introduction.  

Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Steward, J.H. (1973). Theory of Culture Change: The Methodology of Multilinear Evolution.  

Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

Sutcliffe, T. (2004). Cultural Variations. Retrieved May 31, 2009 from


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