Defusing culture, not deconstructing it

mike salovesh (T20MXS1@NIU.BITNET)
Fri, 4 Feb 1994 00:36:00 CST

Bravo, James G. Carrier, for saying

-------------------------------quote follows------------------------
In short, the recurrent debate about the definition of culture seems
relatively useless absent any detailed application of the proposed definition
(or absent any invocation of work that has used the proposed definition to
produce interesting results). In other words, it looks too much like
arm-chair theorizing.
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I wonder if it isn't time to invoke the mystic word "WYKWIM", which
is an acronym for "Well, You Know What I Mean". The word culture, in
my mind, is one of a series of terms that is extremely useful until
and unless I get backed into trying to define them. Want another?
How about "marriage"? Or "politics"? With words like these, it's a
comfort to retreat to saying WYKWIM and leaving it at that.

What matters is what you can do with the definition.

mike salovesh anthropology northern illinois univ
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