cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

Culture is….

….everything we are not that tells us what we are

{Well, it wasn’t Bob Dylan}

What is culture?

9 definitions but none as simple as that. Though Edward B. Taylor’s ( a separate 10th. one) :

“the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, moral, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”

is pretty satisfying as definitions go. I first saw it in the intro to a compilation of papers by amongst others, Mumford, Lynne White, Aldous Huxley, called Technology and Culture, ed. Melvin Kranzberg and William H. Davenport [Meridian/New American Library, 1972]

Which suddenly reminds me of something along the lines of “If you want to know yourself, examine other people; if you want to know other people….examine yourself” but why exactly I can’t quite say. But it is probably something about ‘reading’ a culture.

Might as well do some quick revision:


Which is a reminder: there are a couple of succinct pages on Braudel’s Civilisation vs. Civilisations in Taming the Tiger: The Struggle to Control Technology by Witold Rybczynski. Oh, alright then, I check: pp. 186-88.

June 6, 2008 Posted by | culture | , | Leave a comment