Ideal culture is a concept within individual perceptions of culture and is comprised of the norms, values, and ethics that a culture claims to profess. It is the idealistic, non-realistic perception of a culture and its most important ideals.
The other component in cultural perception is real culture which is composed of the values, norms, and ethics that are actually followed by a society in reality.
Ideal culture values are unwavering and absolute while in real culture exceptions are made to the rules and ethics of the society. An example of the difference between the perceived ideal culture and real culture can be seen in many national governments. While the highest national beliefs are that all people are equal and free (ideal culture) in many cases it isn't true. The real culture is often comprised of discrimination with many individuals not being treated equally.