So.. what is culture

As a student of philosophy and contemporary cultural theory I was impressed to come across this definition of culture from a lecture presented in 1977 by Daniel Bell. Similar words have been spoken many times in many different ways by many different persons, but this passage struck me as being very succinct.

All the better that I found it in a book that was purchased at a Lifeline book sale for $5 per bag of books. The book? John Hall’s The Sociology of Literature.

(I have yet to look up the meaning of the word ricorso. Can someone enlighten me? I don’t have time right now.)

I would define culture as the modalities of response by sentient men to the core questions that confront all human groups in the consciousness of existence: how one meets death, the meaning of tragedy, the nature of obligation, the character of love ? these recurrent questions which are, I believe, cultural universals, to be found in all societies where men have become conscious of the finiteness of existence.
Culture, thus, is always a ricorso. Men may expand their technical powers. Nature may be mastered by scientific knowledge. There may be progress in the instrumental realms. But the existential questions remain. The answers may vary ? and do?
All cultures, thus, ?understand? each other, because they arise in response to common predicaments.
Daniel Bell 1977 British Journal of Sociology Vol. 28