The Difference Between Civilization, Culture, And Society

One cannot give a unique or simple explanation, elaboration or definition of these three terms that easy. Many scientists, explorers, thinkers, and debaters are still confronting each other on the subject of what is what. There are many different beliefs. Some claim that society is nothing but a community of persons and individuals that share the same language, social organizations and institutions, along with common traits.

These traits can be spatial as in terms of geographical boundaries, based on ideals and abstract like liberal, civil, religious or legal traits, or temporal like modern. They can also be based on technology since we are all well aware of the appearance of social media and so on. If we see things this way, one society could be small or big. It can be just a cluster of families living in a village or it can be big as a country or even multiple countries since we live in the era of globalization where countries come together for the mutual interests and benefits.


On the other hand, the culture is a bit different as it’s the gist of all the learning and knowledge that was gathered, collected and acquired by the society. This knowledge is mostly driven due to one thing that is characteristic of the society. Since it is comprised of persons, it is the interaction between them and the environment that made that knowledge possible.

All three are interconnected

Society uses this knowledge to govern various aspects of life like technology, art, aspirations, ideas, values, establish traditions and customs, faith and religious beliefs, laws, and transactions. If we now take all this into our consideration, we can safely say that the civilization would be the highest level of the interconnection between the existing culture and society. It is the apex of the both.

Culture And SocietyWe know that culture is passed on from one generation to the other and it is safe to say that the culture does not have an end or it is rather unending. Hence the most obvious difference between culture and civilization. While culture is somewhat eternal, civilization is actually bound to a certain time period.

This means furthermore that one culture could be comprised of multiple levels of civilizations or, at least, different phases of one civilization. This only means that the culture can be unique while one civilization may or may not have anything that would be unique enough to be added to the already existing culture. For example, the remaining cultural findings of the Ancient Egyptian Empire are the only proof we have that civilization ever existed. That is why one culture far exceeds both the society and civilization.