mid-15c., "the tilling of land," from Middle French culture and directly from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "tend, guard, cultivate, till" (see cult ). The figurative sense of "cultivation through education" is first attested . Meaning "the intellectual side of civilization" is from 1805; that of "collective customs and achievements of a people" is from 1867. For without culture or holiness, which are always the gift of a very few, a man may renounce wealth or any other external thing, but he cannot renounce hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge. Culture is the sanctity of the intellect. [William Butler Yeats] Slang culture vulture is from 1947. Culture shock first recorded 1940.
The underlying idea is simple but powerful. If we are trying to explain some phenomenon, X, then we need to identify variations in the likelihood of X or the rate of X, and look for potential causes that (1) vary across the relevant circumstances in a way that could explain X and (2) that we can connect to the outcomes for X in some way. For example, with the gender distinctive clothing question, some ways to better specify the question and look at it through comparisons are:
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