Em Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory (2000); McGraw Hill: Boston; emphasis mine
You learn a lot of unimportant stuff in higher education, but a few things really stand out and stick with you. I encountered Geertz’s definition of culture as being a system of shared meanings in 2002, when I was a first year, and it has stuck with me since. I derived from this a definition of society, too: a society is the people who share the meanings that produce a culture. I don’t know if anyone else has made this connection, but it seems intuitive to me, so I don’t flatter myself as being super original in observing it. Since I’ve been talking about culture in terms of understanding genre, I thought a definition might be useful.
This is what I think of when I think of culture. Australian culture is the interlocking set of things us Australians understand; the ideas we use to organize the world. Those ideas aren’t consistent among all of us, and they aren’t exclusive to us — to use a couple of obvious examples, we don’t all know that three o’clock on the first Tuesday of November is a momentous occasion, nor is it just us who holds April 25 sacred — but taken in total, these interlocking and related ideas form our culture. That these ideas can also form other cultures explains why I can be Australian, and hip-hop, and a Sydneysider, and a Tumblr-er all at once.
I think, on an initial read, this may partly be what Frank Kogan was getting at here. I’ll have more to say about his thoughts later in the week.