Basic Theory of Culture; A Request for Reading Suggestions

William Bangs (wbbangs@U.WASHINGTON.EDU)
Mon, 27 Feb 1995 20:23:05 -0800

Hi, all. I've decided I'm deficient in basic perspectives. It's all
well and good to be interested in how language reflects culture, but what
the h--- *is* culture anyway? How on earth can we go about looking for
it and where? How can we separate 'culture' from anything and everyone
else? What's central, and what's tangential? Before I apply anywhere
I'd like to 'know' what this animal is I'm analyzing and have some basic
tools for analyzing it; my undergrad was in communications, a good start,
but hardly what I really need. I know about Geertz -- I'm loving The
Interpretation of Cultures. What else do people think I need? Keep in
mind here that, a la a "Militant Middle", I don't want too many post
modernist "how-can-we-know-anything" works, but anything that will help
me get closer to enough philosophical and theoretical certainty about
this endeavor to know where I want to do it. If folks have time, you
might give me a one or two sentence description of what issues the work
deals with *but no more* so that I don't come to any preconceived notions
about the authors' thesis based on the blurb. Thanks, all!

Ben Bangs

We each must decide which values are worth saving,
which satisfactions are worth sacrificing,
what ultimately we wish from life.

I fear many do not give this proposition
the sufficient thought it deserves:
until they become too engrained in a superficial life,
too far removed to find such harmony again...