Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 24 – Q 4.Differentiate between the terms culture and civilisation. How are they interrelated? Explain.

4. Differentiate between the terms culture and civilisation. How are they interrelated? Explain.  

संस्कृति और सभ्यता के बीच अंतर करें। वे कैसे जुड़े हुए हैं? स्पष्ट करें ।


The term ‘culture’ is a Latin origin of the world ‘cultus’, which refers to cultivating or refining something, in such a way that it provides admiration and respect. In finer terms, culture is the way people live, reflected in the language they spoke, food they eat, clothes they wear and the Diet they follow or worship. It expresses the manner in which one thinks and do things.

Civilization is described as a process of civilizing or say developing the state of human society, to the extent that the culture, industry, technology, government, etc. reaches the maximum level. The term ‘civilization’ is derived from a Latin term ‘civis’ which indicates ‘someone who resides in a town’.


Differences   Between culture and civilisation:

  1. The term ‘culture’ refers to the embodiment of the manner in which we think, behave and act. On the contrary, the improved stage of human society, where members have the considerable amount of social and political organisation and development, is called Civilization.
  2. Our culture describes what we are, but our civilization explains what we have or what we make use of.
  3. Culture is an end; it has no measurement standards. As against this, civilization has precise measurement standards, because it is a means.
  4. The culture of a particular region can be reflected in religion, art, dance, literature, customs, morals, music, philosophy, etc. On the other hand, the civilization is exhibited in the law, administration, infrastructure, architecture, social arrangement, etc. of that area.
  5. Culture denote the greatest level of inner refinement, and so it is internal. Unlike, civilization which is external, i.e. it is the expression of state of the art technology, product, devices, infrastructure and so forth.
  6. Change in culture is observed with time, as in the old thoughts and traditions lost with the passage of time and new ones are added to it which are then transmitted from one generation to another. On the flip side, civilization is continuously advancing, i.e. the various elements of civilization like means of transportation, communication, etc. are developing day by day.
  7. Culture can evolve and flourish, even if the civilization does not exist. In contrast, civilization cannot grow and exist without culture

MacIver and Page have clearly stated the interrelationship between culture and civilisation. They say that civilisation is a ship “which can set sail to various ports. The port we sail to remains a cultural choice.

Without the ship we could not sail at all; according to the character of the ship we sail fast or slow, take longer or shorter voyages. But the direction in which we travel is not predestined by the design of the ship. The more efficient it is; the more ports lie within the range of our choosing”. In short, civilisation is the driving force of society. Culture is its steering wheel.


Culture and civilisation both are created by human and are means to express the way we lead our lives.

Best  Answer: Navneet Singh

Print Friendly, PDF & Email