Talking Culture

Fri, 4 Feb 1994 15:45:00 PST

Graber writes:

" Thus, defining "culture" as information has something like the
stultifying effect, noted by McCreery and about which I complain every chance
I get, of defining "culture" in purely mental terms."

But this is only true if one insists that "culture" is a general cover term
that should encompass a wide variety of "things," even if they are of a very
disparate nature. Certainly, if one finds it reasonable to say: "automobiles
are part of U.S. culture" then limiting culture to "mental phenomena" is a
contradiction. But I am not convinced of any advantage to be gained by
making such a broad defintion--or if culture is to serve this role as the
cover term for a wide and disparate range of phenomena, then it still is
necessary to demarcate within this broad range more limited domains that have
the kind of internal coherencey that allows for a theory to be developed for
that domain , and to develop theory that relates these more limited domains
to each other.

D. Read