The following sentences are from the transcription of a BBC podcast>

In the Western culture, we have got a bit of an uphill – I would say - struggle because pre-conceptions around eating insects are already sort of ingrained in society, so we already think before we've even tried them, they're going to taste disgusting or gross.


Interestingly, it seems to be western cultures that don’t like eating insects – perhaps because it’s thought to be wrong or just disgusting, even if it’s not!'

The first one is capitalized but the second is not. That makes sense:t it's not an essay but a transcription. Is there a general rule regarding this case?

  • 1
    Yes, capitalize Western culture that way. But don't say the Western culture. It's a general term like Asian, and there's not much you can say about it in the singular definite. May 8, 2022 at 15:58
  • Likewise Black and White, if you're in the capitalizing business. May 26, 2023 at 19:22
  • It's a matter of opinion. Some people capitalize more than others. There's no consensus.
    – Stuart F
    May 26, 2023 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


You should capitalize it. Western here is not a common adjective (like local), but is instead what is known as a proper adjective:

Names of people, organizations, countries, towns etc are "proper nouns" and need to be capitalized in English. Adjectives made from proper nouns are "proper adjectives" and also need to be capitalized.

[English Club]

Some more specific guidance:

Capitalize such words as northern, southern, eastern, and western when they refer to the people in a region or to their political, social, or cultural activities. Do not capitalize these words when they merely indicate general location or refer to the geography or climate of the region.


  • Those are just opinions, and not ones carrying much authority. Better to look at the leading style guides.
    – Stuart F
    May 26, 2023 at 19:53
  • @StuartF I wonder where to find reliable answers
    – sehe
    Mar 8 at 0:35

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