Concept of civilization: definition and characteristics

Concept of civilization: definition and characteristics

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Derived from the Latin ‘civitas‘And this in turn of‘ civis ’, represents the inhabitant of a city, the term civilization arises from the hand of the French encyclopedists in the 18th century as a concept opposed to barbarism (for them there were progressive or civilized peoples and barbarian or primitive peoples).

Already in the nineteenth century the concept was pluralized, meaning that set of characters that the life of a group or of an era had.

Today, civilization would be the stage in which man organized himself into cities, allowing the emergence of urban life.

It is also used referring to the achievements of humanity, rather, to its cultural heritage (fire, wheel, writing, cybernetics, etc.).

For it to exist, certain constituent elements are necessary.

Elements of a civilization:

The space: it must be contained in a locatable geographic space, which determines a different relationship between man and nature, giving each civilization its peculiarity.
The society: in this geographical framework human groups form societies. A civilization cannot exist without society and vice versa.
The economy: with his work, man exploits natural resources so his relationship with production systems would be the economic system of each civilization.
Political organization: to regulate life in society are organized institutionally and politically according to certain legal, moral and social standards.
The collective mindset: The man has tried to give an explanation to the world that surrounds him in different ways according to the time and culture, thus forming a set of beliefs, values ​​and fears (mainly religious). This is what gives man a sense of belonging to a certain society.

A civilization is a "last alive”, The history of each of them is the search for what still valid today in its main structure (the environment, social hierarchies, collective thinking, etc.).

No civilization can be understood without some knowledge of the past, experiences and values.

Video: The Elements of Civilization - a reading lesson