Cultural formation and cohesion
Taken for granted
Mindfulness and critical mindedness
Cultures look, think, and communicate as they do for very practical reasons: to have a common frame of
reference that provides a widely shared understanding of the world and of their identities within it; to
organize and coordinate their actions, activities, and social relationships; and to accommodate and
adapt to the pressures and forces that influence culture as a whole.
- Pg. 33
From last week:
- Culture is a learned set of shared interpretations about beliefs, values, norms and social
practices, which affect the behaviours of a relatively large group of people.
o (L & K, 2010, Pg. 25)
Culture vs Nation
Cultural boundaries are often synonymous with national boundaries
Nation and culture are not the same.
Nation is an artificial construct that is overlaid over a geopolitical region that tries to give the
impression of coherent culture. How coherent are they as cultures. For example, Canada and
the United States.
Nation “is an imagined political community – and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.”
Benedict Anderson Imagined Communities (1991, p. 6)
Imagined – artificially created union, which presupposes a connection in act or creed in spite of
the impossibility of engaging all citizens.
Limited – clearly defined boundaries laid out through legislation and / or conflict with
Sovereign – responsible only to its own citizens, defending and protecting their own interests
Community – imagined as fraternity; an equality that validates one’s belonging as peer
Many cultures strive for national identity
Israel arose out of a recognition of national identity for the Jewish culture
American Civil War – in part an attempt to form an independent state where the value of human
slavery was accepted
Quebec referenda –
Forces affecting culture formation and cohesion
From the text:
- Institutional networks
- Interpersonal communication patterns
David McCulloch (pg. 35) Quote
(insert quote here)
The unique experiences that have become a part of a culture’s collective wisdom constitute its
history. (L & K, 2010, P. 33)
Text: wars, inheritance rules, religious practices, etc.
Country formed by armed revolution
o Rejection of monarchy
o Rejection of ‘unfair’ taxes
o Those loyal to crown emigrated, leaving ‘rebels’ behind – individuals who believe in self-
government, not imposed government