Culture is more important than legislation and judiciary ("official laws") as culture is the strongest force defining how we live the majority of our lives, what actions we take and how they are judged by others; courts, police and prison only step in in absolute extreme cases. You do many more things (such as eating meat, cutting your hair, watching TV or living with a single partner) because of culture, not because you are obliged by law. There aren't even enough policemen to guarantee law enforcement in all cases and all states rely (by basically not even having any other choice) on culture doing most of the job in keeping society working (which is also exploited by states and corporations when they try to manipulate culture with propaganda rather than changing laws). Consider for example that you download a random photo from the internet and set it as a wallpaper on your computer -- officially you have committed a crime of piracy as you had no rights for downloading the image, however culturally no one sees this as harmful, no one is going to bully you, sue you and even if someone tried to sue you, no judge would actually punish such a laughable "crime". On the other hand if you do a legal but culturally unacceptable thing, such as making a public art exhibition of non-sexual photos of naked children (also notice this might have been culturally OK to do in the previous century, but not now), you will be culturally punished by everyone distancing themselves from you and someone perhaps even illegally physically attacking you. A sentence, such as "black people aren't as intelligent as white people", spoken half a century ago may nowadays be judged by a court in a much different way just by the context of today's culture and even under the same set of laws in the past you would not have been convicted of a crime while nowadays you would, as legal terms are eventually at some level defined in a plain language, which is permeated by culture. Therefore in trying to change society we should remember two things:
Here are some notable, named cultural patterns:
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