About boundaries of cultures

I have talked about small cultures as being things that can be seen and described. Does this mean that they exist as things, as entities that have boundaries? And if they do, can we not work up from this and think of there being large cultures with boundaries? And if …

What is it possible to say and think about culture?

In a non-essentialist approach we try to avoid using stereotypes to define and confine the characteristics of members of ‘a culture’. We recognise that national or ethnic cultures are largely ‘imagined’ – ideologically defined, the constructs of political, nationalistic, militaristic or other such agendas and narratives – carved by the …

Narratives as dark matter

I am referring to narratives as the stories that we use to make sense of the world and of each other. They are sometimes provided for us by the social structures that we are brought up with, though political ideologies, all sorts of media, what we are taught at school …

What to say about nation

There has been a swing away from an essentialist approach to culture and from taking the nation state as the basic definer of everything around us. We should not however go too far in discounting everything that our national upbringing gives us, but put these influences in their place. It …

Blocking threads and threading blocks

Following my posts about blocks and threads, further writing, and having spoken about them at the IALIC conference in Beijing, here are some more observations. We cannot be naïve about the simple value of threads – about pulling threads from our own cultural experience to meet with those of others, …

Creating a new storyline

Still struggling with this text. It should be obvious; but every time I still have to remind myself all over again. The answer is to create a storyline. And every time there is a new idea or concept there needs to be a revised, new storyline. I think I have …

Returning to recent writing

I’m returning to a piece of writing I started in April and then had to leave because of other commitments. Since then my ideas have moved on as a result of more recent research – mainly the stuff about blocks and threads. Now I have a new deadline to finish …

Final submission

This evening I sent of the manuscript for the third edition of my qualitative research book to the publisher. Right on time – well after getting a month’s extension about six weeks ago. The whole thing took me from the beginning of August. The final steps were doing short conclusions …