A consequence of human evolution that has had the most profound impact on human nature and human society was the emergence of culture. A term credited uniquely to humans, however over the course of the last century new developments in animal behaviour have been introduced, indicating perhaps that our understanding of culture is too limited, despite there being a vast amount of theoretical approaches to culture. Before we can further attempt to understand whether or not culture can be attributed to animals, we must first closely examine the concept of culture from a human perspective, including a detailed analysis of the role which language plays in maintaining culture. It could be argued that if animals were attributed with the ability to sustain culture, the very notion alone would bring into question humanity’s, albeit arrogant view, that as a species we are more than an animal. The term human in itself purposefully separates us from all other living creatures on this planet. An aspect that has affected the world over ecologically as in every known part of the world where humans reside, the environment during the last century alone has suffered consequences of humanity’s so-called ‘superiority’. It serves to segregate ‘the other’; in this case being any other species than human whilst also segregating humanity from an innate connection with this world, that is humanity has lost touch with its symbiotic relationship with earth. Thus, the debate over whether or not culture solely exists amongst humanity is in itself arguable as it is through various forms of culture, albeit some more complex than others, that all species can adapt and survive in any given eco-system and or environment.
Corbin, Mario R.J.
"Understanding Culture and Language,"
The ITB Journal:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/itbj/vol9/iss1/7