cultural theory This term has been applied to diverse attempts to conceptualize and understand the dynamics of culture. It makes a neo-Durkheimian synthesis around a dynamic concept of culture as simultaneously creating, sustaining, and produced by institutions. Cultural theory is one of many approaches that have been used to cope with the subjectivity inherent in analyzing long term global change. As we discuss below, claims of universality are highly controversial and difficult to defend; they also provide a primary distinction between Thompson et al. Culture theory is the branch of comparative anthropology and semiotics (not to be confused with cultural sociology or cultural studies) that seeks to define the heuristic concept of culture in operational and/or scientific terms. cultural theory and other approaches. Cultural theory is a method of studying cultural conflict. A focus on institutional factors avoids confusion of subjective and objective viewpoints. Historically these have involved arguments about the relationship between culture and nature, culture and society (including material social processes), the split between high and low culture, and the interplay between cultural tradition and cultural difference and diversity.