Culture Quotes

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Culture is the way we see and do things as a society. Here are the best culture quotes that capture the essence of what culture is.

The term incorporates the social norms, values and traditions, knowledge and technology, food, language, the arts, and many other things.

Culture is an important part of the way we experience life.

Whether we stay at home or travel the world, are engaged with the latest news and political debates, or simply enjoy reading a good book or watching a good movie, we are actively engaging in the culture that surrounds us.

These culture quotes help define what culture is and why it matters. We hope they inspire you to take a fresh look at the world and get more culture today.

Quotes about Culture

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear.

Walter Lipmann
Thomas Wolfe quote "Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs"
“Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.” – Thomas Wolfe

The crucial differences which distinguish human societies and human beings are not biological. They are cultural.

Ruth Benedict

Culture is not made up but something that evolves which is human.

Edward T. Hall

Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity.

Robert Alan

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

Mahatma Gandhi

Culture is the bedrock, the final wall, against which one leans one’s back in a godforsaken chaos.

J.C. Powys, The Meaning of Culture
Malcolm Bradbury quote "Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail"
“Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail.” – Malcolm Bradbury

The triumph of culture is to overpower nationality.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our cultural diversity has most certainly shaped our national character.

Julie Bishop

The role of culture is that it’s the form through which we as a society reflect on who we are, where we’ve been, where we hope to be.

Wendell Pierce

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

Mahatma Gandhi

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.

John F. Kennedy

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Ray Bradbury

Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"If we are to preserve culture we must continue to create it"
“If we are to preserve culture we must continue to create it.” – Johan Huizinga

Every man’s ability may be strengthened or increased by culture.

John Abbot

The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.

John F. Kennedy

Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail.

Malcolm Bradbury

To merely observe your culture without contributing to it seems very close to existing as a ghost.

Chuck Palahniuk

That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all.

Henry Ward Beecher
"Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit"
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future

Albert Camus

In an immature society culture is an import; for a mature one it is a native manufacture which eventually becomes an export.

Northrop Frye

It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.

Henry David Thoreau

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey

Real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and influences, not from the insular development of a single national style.

Tyler Cowan
"Culture is the habit of being pleased with the best and knowing why"
“Culture is the habit of being pleased with the best and knowing why.” – Henry van Dyke

Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbor is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.

Paolo Coelho

No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it.

James Baldwin

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

Thomas Jefferson

Periodically, I return to the classics for inspiration and refreshment.

Cecilia Dart-Thornton

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

Cesar Chavez

Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Ralph Waldo Emerson culture quote "Culture opens the sense of beauty"
“Culture opens the sense of beauty.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pop-Culture Quotes

Popular culture has become engorged, broadening and thickening until it’s the only culture anyone notices.

P.J. O’Rourke

Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.

Criss Jami, Killosophy
Bill Gates quote "If your culture doesn't like geeks, you are in real trouble"
“If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.” – Bill Gates

It’s part of our pop culture to give animals human personalities and talents.

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Popular culture is a contradiction in terms. If it’s popular, it’s not culture.

Vivienne Westwood

All I’ve ever wanted to do is move the needle on popular culture.

Jimmy Iovine

People constantly make pop-culture references. That’s why it’s called popular culture, because people are aware of it and reference it constantly.

Seth Rogen

Jazz is not the popular culture. Jazz is in the same position in our culture as classical music. A very small minority of people really love it.

John Corigliano

The concept that an artist would be revered by popular culture is an immediate dismissal of his relevance as an artist.

Thomas Kinkaide
Hasan Minhaj quote "Political culture has become popular culture"
“Political culture has become popular culture.” – Hasan Minhaj

We once turned to popular culture because it produced fantasy objects; now, we are asked to ‘identify with’ the fantasizing subject itself.

Mark Fisher

Whatever you say about popular culture, people like people who know things, who are experts, and it doesn’t particularly matter what they look like.

Mary Beard

Pop culture is not about depth. It’s about marketing, supply and demand, consumerism.

Trevor Dunn

The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism.

Carl Bernstein

If you’re looking for a book that’s not been influenced by 21st century popular culture and that’s guaranteed to be a good read because it’s stood the test of time, you can’t go wrong with the classics.

Cecilia Dart-Thornton
"Pop culture is a reflection of social change, not a cause of social change"
“Pop culture is a reflection of social change, not a cause of social change.” – John Podhoretz

We hope these culture quotes have you inspired to be more and do more. Whether you’re an artist, a musician, a teacher, or even an actor or astronaut, you’re doing your part to lift us all higher.

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

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