Is World Cultures the Same as History?


World cultures and history are two academic subjects that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same things. While they share similarities, they have different objectives and areas of focus.

Differences between World Cultures and History

The primary objective of history is to study past events and understand how they have shaped the present. It is concerned with analyzing and interpreting events that happened in the past. On the other hand, world cultures deal with the study of different cultures, traditions, beliefs, practices, customs, and values around the world.

History primarily focuses on political events such as wars, revolutions, and political leaders’ lives. In contrast, world cultures examine social norms such as family structures, art forms, religious beliefs, gender roles that exist within a particular culture.

School Curriculum

In school curriculums across the globe, history is taught as a discipline that aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of past events’ causes and effects. It seeks to teach students about significant historical moments in time and how they shaped the world as we know it today.

World cultures are also taught in schools but usually from a broader perspective. Students learn about major cultural groups around the world’s geography and how their cultural practices contribute to their way of life. The goal here is to promote cultural awareness amongst students.

Career Opportunities

While both subjects are distinct from each other in terms of their focus areas and objectives; however, career opportunities are similar for both fields.

History graduates can pursue careers such as historians or archivists who work at museums or libraries preserving historical documents or artifacts. On the other hand, graduates in world cultures can pursue careers as cultural anthropologists, international business consultants, or foreign correspondents.


In conclusion, even though history and world cultures are two distinct academic subjects with different objectives, they are both vital in promoting cultural awareness and understanding. Although they differ in what they study, both fields contribute to a better understanding of the world’s past and present.