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ERIC Number: ED100780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Curse of Culture. SSEC Publication No. 133.
Bohannan, Paul
Social scientists seeking relevance in their disciplines should search for the touchstone of this relevance in the cultural order instead of in their social science disciplines. Culture preserves the distilled wisdon of the past but it also encapsulates much that is harmful, and even fatal, to human existence. Such basic questions of culture such as who eats what, what do we do with waste products, who dominates whom, who marries whom, who invents what, who rationalizes what, and who teaches what to whom must be asked to get at what is relevant. A cross-cultural perspective can give us these vitally needed perspectives on current problems of social crisis and pollution. The implications of American passion for eating beef, our inhibitions toward intelligent policies for recycling waste, the reality of dominance in social relationships, the decline in the family as a social institution, and the power of ideas to influence peoples' life styles have world-wide future significance. Yet the history of human development exhibits constant pressure toward ever larger groups, more complex modes of dominance, exploitation, technology, and rationalizations. A civilization cannot both grow and remain the same; therefore, humanity must learn to live under the curse of culture rather than die under it. Relevance comes in the attempt to modify this culture to avoid pitfalls and find positive solutions. (Author/DE)
SSEC, Social Science Education Consortium, 855 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (SSEC No. 133, $0.90 prepaid)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., Boulder, CO.