Saturday, 22 January 2011

Morning Scepticism: Culture

Culture doesn't impose from the top-down, rather culture is the pattern of horizontal transmission among a sufficiently large portion of a group. Calling it culture is a much easier way to describe it, but unfortunately it leads to the problem of ascribing people beliefs based on the perceptions of that culture. This is not to deny the power of transmission of information as a means of shaping someone, but that it sometimes goes too far. There's quite simply no mechanism to explain it. Culture is an emerging pattern, thus at best serves as a guide. After all, we don't treat people in our own "culture" as monolithic representations of cultural ideals - just as people.

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