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Issues with “culture”

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, …

Engaging with foreign places

Following my previous posts about blocks and threads, I can now see why it is so important for people who stay in foreign places for a long time to engage with their histories and cultural scenes. I am thinking particularly about students I know who come from far away but …

The issue of values

The issue of values is difficult. Having different values is in many ways the core of diversity. They can also bring out the best in us when they relate to good principles of action and understanding.  Several points need to be considered though. One is that we can claim exclusivity …

Reading good fiction

How is it that when we read good fiction written by authors with completely different cultural backgrounds to our own, and about lives and histories that are so far away from ours, we are still able to make sense and even to identify with significant parts of what they write …

So what is culture?

So what is culture? Culture is whatever you see around you wherever you look. This is of course when you are looking at people; though it could also be wherever there is some sort of social behaviour going on – animals and perhaps other organisms. It might become ‘a culture’ …