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Malinowski's Concept of Culture

According to Malinowski culture is an instrument which enables man to secure his bio-psychic survival and subsequently a higher mental-intellectual survival. Since each aspect of a culture, whether it is economic organization or social organization or religion or language is rooted in the needs of the human being, they are all inter-related to each other through the common ground in which they are rooted i.e the human being with his needs.

There is nothing loose within a culture; it is all inter-connected and no single trait has any meaning by itself unless it is seen in the context of the whole. Malinowski emphasised the self-sufficiency and the holistic character of a culture. He pointed out that if one aspect of a culture is changed the whole of it will change. He believed in cultural pluralism where every culture grows in response to localised versions of the bio-psychic needs of a people and that it is to be judged in terms of these and not in terms of any absolute values. Adequacy in terms of local needs is the characteristic of a well-integrated culture in the light of prevailing knowledge.

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