Culture (Key Ideas) by Chris Jenks

By Chris Jenks

Even though a trendy time period, ``culture'' has however remained an ill-defined one. during this publication, Chris Jenks makes an attempt to extra outline this daunting topic, reading this idea within the context of either idealism and materialism, making a choice on its dating to the inspiration of social constitution, and assessing its former dominance inside of literary stories. Jenks discusses techniques of cultural polarization (high vs. low) and cultural replica in addition to tradition when it comes to postmodernism.

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Another major 40 Culture strand to such work is the study of evolutionary structural change, not radical or revolutionary change but the gradual and predictable transformation of one form into another. This is both historical and archaeological, but essentially morphological. Radcliffe-Brown’s theory of social structure, which is also an inclusive theory of culture, is taken to be universal in its application. Here is a framework requiring no modification when directed towards an understanding of all and any culture both across space and through time.

Darwin rendered these previously covert ‘grand narratives’ of modernity both visible and uncontestable. The ‘thinking and achieving ape’ was now clearly the measure of all things and the Enlightenment project was Culture and social structure 31 complete. The condition of modern (western) history was the best that could be; it was, after all, the pinnacle of human achievement. This realization was utterly political in character (adhering to Lawson’s6 view that ‘science is true because it is powerful, not powerful because it is true’).

All of this group of writers were anxious to record and protest at what they saw as the corrosive effects of industrialism on the contemporary state of humanity but also, and most significantly, on the historically emergent force of human potential. The Victorians, in grand and Gothic style, had made a symbolic international announcement concerning the triumphant excellence of British achievement in the form of the Great Exhibition of 1851. This conspicuous celebration of selfappointed cultural superiority manifested itself through an array of artefacts ranging from architecture, design and textiles, through steam engines and factory machines to the level of aspidistras and bathroom china.

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