Re: Pluck and Culture Change

thomas w kavanagh (tkavanag@INDIANA.EDU)
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 12:12:00 -0500

On Fri, 26 Apr 1996, Ronald Kephart wrote:

> Do y'all (or youz) agree that unshared mental phenomena can be considered
> "culture?" Isn't "shared" one of the design features of culture?

In discussing the differential sharedness of culture in a community in
his 1936 book, The Study of Man, Ralph Linton recognized the possibility
that some semi- cultural materials might be unique to individuals, these he
called "individual peculiarities":

Individual Peculiarities cannot be classed as a part of culture in the
sense in which the term is ordinarily used, since they are not
shared by any of a society's members. At the same time, they are
of extreme importance in cultural dynamics since they are the
starting [and ending] point of everything ewhich later becomes
incorporated into culture. As soon as this new thing has been
transmitted to and is shared by even one other individual in the
society, it must be reckoned a partof culture. [p 274}