What is the difference between social and cultural

1.2 Nature - culture - society

Western, European thinking is characterized by polarization and the development of differences. The fundamental difference between nature and society [cf. Kröll & Pesendorfer: Basics of social science ways of thinking] thinking in science.

The differentiation of Natural sciences and humanities (The latter are now diversified into cultural and social sciences) This contrast is also reflected in the organization of different faculties in universities. “We explain nature, we understand spirit” was how the German humanities scholar Wilhelm Dilthey put it at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, thereby establishing the difference.

Today this difference is increasingly being called into question. Nature and society are always inextricably linked. Genes - such a suitable picture - are the paper and the pencil, we have to write ourselves. Without genes there would be no human behavior, and without a mutual relationship between humans, genes would not be effective. Humans would only be incapable of survival because of their biological constitution; they need company. Today's social sciences will have to work more closely with the natural sciences in order to research human and thus also social reality. The contrast is becoming increasingly questionable.

A distinction is also made between Society and culture. While society has to do with structures and structural elements, the ideal superstructure belongs to the field of culture. Sociology deals with social structure, norms, social roles, and anthropology deals more with values, myths and the meanings of material things, according to the disciplinary differentiation. Today this opposition is no longer so specifically organized in the sciences. The former ethnology has been renamed cultural and social anthropology at the University of Vienna and sociology uses ethnographic methods in the field of qualitative social research and analyzes processes of giving meaning in society.

Today it is less about delimiting nature, society and culture than about observing the interactions between the areas. It is about interdisciplinary research into how the concrete life of people on earth is shaped by biological and spiritual (cultural, social) processes.

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