Over the last 20 years culture has become a key concept in intellectual disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. However, it is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down, having very different meanings in different contexts. This book seeks to chart a route through the maze, revealing the variety of meanings of culture. It demonstrates that culture is not something that emerges from out of human activity, but rather is part and parcel of it. This book looks at how culture emerges and manifests itself in human life, and how it is experienced in the life of individuals and collectivities. It also explores the ways in which globalizing processes and changes in technology are affecting cultural identity, and w
The Differentiation of Cultures
As humans, we are born not only into culture, but also into a particular culture: we are given a set of culturally specific defining features into which we are expected to fit or to which we are expected to adapt ourselves. More accurately, we are born into several cultures, each of which acts upon us in different ways, expecting different things from us and making different demands to which we are forced to respond. Moreover, such demands, and the extent to which we are constrained – or, on the other hand, inclined – to accept them, vary enormously in their intensity and insistence, to the extent that we must constantly weigh up the ones to which we will ...