When we are born, our surrounding cultures immediately begin to shape us into who we are as people. Culture is rooted - it reflects the values and beliefs of those who came before us - yet, it is malleable and dynamic enough to be completely transformed in a matter of generations. For thousands of years, human culture and the natural environment have been bound up with one another, which reflects a long arc of a give-and-take relationship between people and the planet.  During that time, the foundations of cultural traditions have been laid. In an era where a changing climate threatens this relationship, we must ask ourselves: What does culture mean to us? What must be changed our cultures? What should be preserved in our cultures as we respond to a changing climate?


Explore: What Is Culture?

Is Culture Always Integrated?

How Is Culture Experienced?

What Do The Science Say About Culture? 

What Does Literature Say About Culture?

What Stories Are There About Culture? 

How Does Culture Humanize? How Is It Embodied? 

What Is The Relationship Between Culture And Societal Disruption?

What Is Cultural Diffusion?


1. Do you believe you have an individual responsibility to challenge, or otherwise be critical of cultural norms? Why or why not?
2. How do you describe how culture is constructed?  In addition, how is culture preserved and changed?
3. Identify three ways in which culture shapes our everyday lives.
4. Cultural Reflections (15 minutes)
Take a moment to reflect on your relationships to the cultures of which you are a part and then respond to the following on one page.  Ask yourself: How has culture influenced/informed my identity, my values, and my actions? What has culture taught me? What do I cherish? And, what do I wish to challenge?


Podcasts allow us to experience the values and stories of neighbors from around the world. We encourage you to Take a Listen: