27 July 2009

Theories of Cultural Identity

This blog post is about theories of cultural identity, and theories about cultural identity.

A good university education can prepare people for the challenges of the word "theory" and help graduates to understand why "theory" causes so many problems in the "real world".

 I decided not to pursue a university career in the long term because I like being in the "real world" much more, though I like exploring a wide variety of theories.  The word "theory" is not one that many people receive with enthusiasm, unless the theory in question is one in which they already believe. "Theory" is a word associated with universities.

My own theory is that there are essentially only three types of cultures. There are cultures in which entertainment has the highest value. There are cultures in which teaching has the highest value, and there are cultures in which learning has the highest values. These cultures are all mixed up together in most societies and compete with each other for dominance.

What each aspect of my three-dimensional societal view of cultures might suggest is that culture is mainly about placing value on something. If I was at all like the people in charge of most university departments, and most publishers of academic writings, I would charge fees for people to access the more detailed information about my theory.

What does that say about culture and value to you? Should I put my theory about culture in more detail in my blog posts or should I send it only to people who have paid a fee?

What does cultural identity mean to you? What role has the media played in the development of your cultural identity? What influence has your family had? What about the influence of your schooling, the people you call friends, where you have worked, and the neighbourhoods in which you have lived?

Is the media mainly about the culture of entertainment, teaching or learning? Would you like me to provide some interesting links about the topic of cultural identity?

Here are a few you might enjoy, tell others about, and/or learn from:

Globalization and cultural identity

Equitable globalization and defense of cultural identity


Cultural pluralism

Cultural diversity and UNESCO

My own cultural preference is for learning. I love learning about things but I don't like being taught. School was a place I did not enjoy very much, nor university. Learning is my entertainment. Most other forms of entertainment are boring to me, especially as I find many more interesting things to learn about and enjoy - in the "real world".

The photographs in this blog post are from my various travels: Normandy in France (2000), Zimbabwe in Africa (1994), Narita in Japan (2005), and along the Amazon in Brazil (1987). The world is my favourite place to learn.

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