Re: Pluck and Culture Change

Wed, 1 May 1996 10:23:00 PDT

Hill writes:

"I tried for several years when I was his student to make Taylor realize
that if culture was something inside peoples heads, it was only studiable
by some sort of introspective psychology."

It is not completely clear what is meant here by "'culture was something
insdie peoples heads". In one sense it is trivially true; e.g., if culture
has to do with concepts (e.g., "American Flag", Motherhood, etc.) then those
concepts do reside "inside peoples heads". But remember that "phenomena" can
be observed both directly and indirectly. E.g., to cite just one exampple,
in her work Dr. El Guindi studies the conceptual framework underlying
behavior (the conceptual framework is "inside
peoples heads") by detailed ethnographic observation of patterns of behavior
and infers from the behavior to the "unseen culture" which underlies those

But Hill may be thinking of something different when he refers to "something
inside peoples heads."
D. Read