This pioneering textbook explores the theoretical background of cultural variety, both in past and present. How is it possible to study'culture' when the topic covers the arts, literature, movies, history, sociology, anthropology and gender studies? Understanding Culture examines the evolution of a concept with varying meanings depending on changing norms. Offering a long-duration analysis of the relationship between culture and nature, this book looks at the origins of studying culture from an international perspective. Using examples from the several scholarly traditions in the practice of studying culture, the book is a key introduction to the area. It identifies the history of interpreting culture as a meeting point between the long-standing historical investigation of'humanism' and'postmodernism' and is a comprehensive resource for those who wish to further their engagement with culture as both a historical and contemporary phenomenon.