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culture lag

Definitions of Culture Lag

  1. (noun) The period of time between the introduction of new technological developments (material culture) into a culture or society and the acceptance of the developments by legal and moral institutions (nonmaterial culture) in a culture or society.
  2. (noun) (informal) The time it takes for culture to catch up to innovations in technology.

Example of Culture Lag

  • Laws and mores adapting to medical science’s ability to keep an individual alive through artificial means.

Etymology of Culture Lag

Culture Lag Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈkəltʃər læɡ/
    • British English
      • /ˈkʌltʃə laɡ/
  • Syllabification: (cul·ture lag)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: culture lags
  • The period of time between introduction and acceptance of a technological development leads to conflicts and social problems.
  • Also called:
    • cultural lag
    • cultural lag theory

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

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Cite the Definition of Culture Lag

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “culture lag.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 13, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-lag/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

culture lag. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-lag/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “culture lag.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 13, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-lag/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“culture lag.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/culture-lag/>.