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Culture Culture

Hans Johst (often attributed to Hermann Göring): “When I hear the word ‘culture’ I Hans Johst (often attributed to Hermann Göring): “When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun” (“I release the safety catch of my Browning”)

Cyril Connolly (English writer): “When I hear the word ‘gun’ I reach for my Cyril Connolly (English writer): “When I hear the word ‘gun’ I reach for my culture. ”

„I don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I’d never heard the damned „I don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I’d never heard the damned word. ” (Raymond Williams, British cultural theorist)

Binary oppositions (binarities, dichotomies) (kétosztatúságok) • More than mere contrast: explanatory function, covering an Binary oppositions (binarities, dichotomies) (kétosztatúságok) • More than mere contrast: explanatory function, covering an entire field, establishing hierarchy • subject – object (self – world) • soul (spirit) - body • essence – appearance (depth – surface, truth – lie) • male- female, sun – moon, day – night • good – evil, right – wrong • democracy – totalitarianism • individual – community, public – private • Culture - ? ? ?

Culture: its etymology to inhabit colere – colony cultivate – protect, worship – coulter, Culture: its etymology to inhabit colere – colony cultivate – protect, worship – coulter, agriculture cult

I. Culture as cultivation cultura animi - cultivation of the soul F. Bacon: „culture I. Culture as cultivation cultura animi - cultivation of the soul F. Bacon: „culture and manurement of minds” (agriculture, body culture, cell culture) ) Nature+culture = fully human nature is unfinished; culture: perfection of nature and not its opposite („cultural instructions”) • Culture as process • • •

II. Culture as a value-laden term 1. Culture ~ civilisation vs. barbarity, savagery, primitiveness II. Culture as a value-laden term 1. Culture ~ civilisation vs. barbarity, savagery, primitiveness (European idea) 2. Culture = expression of collective (national) spirit (Völkergeist, J. G. Herder) vs. „others”, aliens

World War One poster (UK, then US, 1917) On club: „Kultur” On helmet: „Militarism” World War One poster (UK, then US, 1917) On club: „Kultur” On helmet: „Militarism”

Value-laden “culture” – detached itself from material things (19 th century Britain) culture is Value-laden “culture” – detached itself from material things (19 th century Britain) culture is “a study of perfection, … perfection which consists in becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit. ” (Culture and Anarchy, 1869) Matthew Arnold:

III. The anthropological meaning of “culture” - Late 19 th cent: rise of ETHNOGRAPHY III. The anthropological meaning of “culture” - Late 19 th cent: rise of ETHNOGRAPHY and ANTHROPOLOGY as a discipline - E. B. Tylor, James G. Fraser, Arnold Gehlen, Norbert Elias, Bronislaw Malinowski, Émile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz

Human being unable to survive in nature → puts culture between himself and nature Human being unable to survive in nature → puts culture between himself and nature culture = second nature (Arnold Gehlen, Norbert Elias - German anthropologists)

Anthropology and ethnography (from mid - C 19) Study of “primitive” societies Small communities Anthropology and ethnography (from mid - C 19) Study of “primitive” societies Small communities ~ laboratories Two conclusions 1. “primitive culture” is not really “primitive” E. B. Tylor (Vict. anthropologist): we should appreciate “the real culture which better acquaintance always shows among the rudest tribes of man” (e. g. Aborigines)

Anthropology and ethnography 2. Cultures are all different, but the fact of having a Anthropology and ethnography 2. Cultures are all different, but the fact of having a culture is a universal human feature comparative anthropology Fraser: The Golden Bough (Az aranyág)

Anthropological meaning of „culture” - broad meaning: a distinct way of life (Tylor: culture Anthropological meaning of „culture” - broad meaning: a distinct way of life (Tylor: culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (1871) - neutral - plural: „cultures” rather than „culture” - culture: a human universal - Nature vs. culture again - Every culture is an adequate response to its environement, working well - Culture: second nature of meanings, symbols

Raymond Williams (English critic): “Culture is ordinary. …Every human society has its own shape, Raymond Williams (English critic): “Culture is ordinary. …Every human society has its own shape, its own purposes, its own meanings. Every human society expresses these, in institutions, and in arts and learning. The making of society is the finding of common meanings and directions. ” (1958)

 • T. S. Eliot: culture in the widest sense “includes all the characteristic • T. S. Eliot: culture in the widest sense “includes all the characteristic activities and interests of a people: Derby Day, Henley Regatta, Cowes, the twelfth of August, a cup final, the dog races, the pin table, the dart board, Wensleydale cheese, boiled cabbage, beetroot in vinegar, nineteenth-century Gothic churches and the music of Elgar” (1944)

Ethnocentrism Eskimo – „eaters of raw meat” Pygmy – „size of a fist” Hungarian Ethnocentrism Eskimo – „eaters of raw meat” Pygmy – „size of a fist” Hungarian – „alliance of tribes” Apache – „enemies” Tsigan – „outcasts” (magyar, roma, dine, inuit, baka) Our own ethnos is always the standard of the normal, of the human

What it is that all cultures have in common (LCD of cultures)? • Where What it is that all cultures have in common (LCD of cultures)? • Where is the boundary between nature and culture? • Laws, rules • Appearing as: prohibitions, taboos, ‘don’t’s • ‘Two feet good, four feet bad’ • (Orwell’s Animal Farm) • dietary habits and fasting (no meat on Friday)

Threshold of culture • Cannibalism? • hunger cannibalism vs cultural cannibalism (mortuary, sacrificial) • Threshold of culture • Cannibalism? • hunger cannibalism vs cultural cannibalism (mortuary, sacrificial) • Incest? • Licence of gods: quod licet Iovi non licet bovi

Francisco Goya: Saturn Devouring His Children (1819 -23) Francisco Goya: Saturn Devouring His Children (1819 -23)

(symbolic) meaning as the thresholod of culture • Clifford Geertz (US anthropologist) about the (symbolic) meaning as the thresholod of culture • Clifford Geertz (US anthropologist) about the ‘winking boy’ • ‘THICK DESCRIPTION’: to ‘describe’ is never enough • Cultural practices as texts (a Balinese cockfight) • (professional wrestling, a duel, sy beating a drum, slaughtering an animal)

Culture and meaning • Culture is „webs of meaning. . . woven by us” Culture and meaning • Culture is „webs of meaning. . . woven by us” (Geertz) • Objects, texts, practices, institutions • No meanings in nature (stones, trees)

CULTURALISM • • coherence of a culture Emile Durkheim: collective representations Völkergeist (‘spirit of CULTURALISM • • coherence of a culture Emile Durkheim: collective representations Völkergeist (‘spirit of the people’) Like cells in a body

Symbol and function • Function (use) + (symbolic) meanings • In culture, nothing (? Symbol and function • Function (use) + (symbolic) meanings • In culture, nothing (? ) is exhausted by its function/use Basic human (animal) needs: eating, protecting our bodies Everything else is meaning • Meals: help define communuty • Clothes: ‘culturalising’ the body

Saudi athlete wearing hijab in London 2012 Saudi athlete wearing hijab in London 2012

Culture and meaning ‘Which is Adam and which is Eve? ’ ‘I do not Culture and meaning ‘Which is Adam and which is Eve? ’ ‘I do not know, but I could tell if they had their clothes on. ’ (Samuel Butler) gendering the body

Male and female peacock Male and female peacock

„the great renunciation” Man: serious labour, sober clothes Woman: frivolous decoration, flamboyance Rigaud: Louis „the great renunciation” Man: serious labour, sober clothes Woman: frivolous decoration, flamboyance Rigaud: Louis XIV

19 th century: Victorian boy 19 th century: Victorian boy

 • Victorian card • Victorian card

Queen Victoria and baby Prince Arthur Queen Victoria and baby Prince Arthur

William Orpen: A Bloomsbury Family (1907) William Orpen: A Bloomsbury Family (1907)

Botticelli: Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Child (1490) Botticelli: Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Child (1490)

Cimabue: The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels Cimabue: The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels

Mrs. Eisenhower in pink (presidential inauguration, 1953) Mrs. Eisenhower in pink (presidential inauguration, 1953)

Wearing jeans (the meanings of jeans) Marlboro ad Wearing jeans (the meanings of jeans) Marlboro ad

Camel ads Camel ads

Culture and meaning ‘Which is Adam and which is Eve? ’ ‘I do not Culture and meaning ‘Which is Adam and which is Eve? ’ ‘I do not know, but I could tell if they had their clothes on. ’ (Samuel Butler)

Saudi athlete wearing hijab in London 2012 • Nothing is exhausted by its use Saudi athlete wearing hijab in London 2012 • Nothing is exhausted by its use value • Clothes: ‘culturalising’ the body

burqa burqa

Male and female peacock Male and female peacock

„the great renunciation” Man: serious labour, sober clothes Woman: frivolous decoration, flamboyance Rigaud: Louis „the great renunciation” Man: serious labour, sober clothes Woman: frivolous decoration, flamboyance Rigaud: Louis XIV

Victorian boy – F. D. Roosevelt Victorian boy – F. D. Roosevelt

Victorian boy Victorian boy

 • Victorian card • Victorian card

Queen Victoria and baby Prince Arthur Queen Victoria and baby Prince Arthur

Botticelli: Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Child (1490) Botticelli: Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Child (1490)

Cimabue: The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels Cimabue: The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels

Marlboro ad Marlboro ad

Camel ads Camel ads

Culture as (a web of) meanings • Who puts the meanings into them? • Culture as (a web of) meanings • Who puts the meanings into them? • Who is weaving the webs? • Is there a difference between the web itself and the meanings? • Richard Dawkins: the web weaving itself • (culture is about the survival of ‘memes’) • Culture like gossip? • What is the stake of this? • Self, individuality, identity, subject(ivity)

Culture and individuality Liberal views of individual freedom and culture (Dworkin, Kymlicka, Rawls) individuals Culture and individuality Liberal views of individual freedom and culture (Dworkin, Kymlicka, Rawls) individuals have life plans - culture is “the context of choice”: it is “only through having a rich and secure cultural structure that people can become aware, in a vivid way, of the options available to them, and intelligently examine their value. ” No conflict between the liberal concern for our freedom (to judge the value of our life-plans) and cultural identity culture “provides the spectacles through which we identify experiences as valuable” “familiarity with a culture determines the boundaries of the imaginable”

What do we buy when we buy a cinema ticket or a car? What What do we buy when we buy a cinema ticket or a car? What else is offered with a product?

Ideas and i. Ideology • Ideology: • (1) a set of (political) ideas shared Ideas and i. Ideology • Ideology: • (1) a set of (political) ideas shared by a group (green, conservative, liberal, nationalist) • (2) unquestioned, „natural”, invisible system of ideas: („false consciousness”) e. g. : books for boys=books for everyone

How do ideologies work? Louis Althusser Ideologies address the subject: offering a view of How do ideologies work? Louis Althusser Ideologies address the subject: offering a view of ourselves and of the world ideological messages do not simply influence us to think about the world in certain ways but are responsible for calling us into being as thinking individuals and for making us who we are • e. g. TV news vs mobile phone commercials • •

Cultural products • Enter the circulation of meanings and representations • acquire ‘added meanings’ Cultural products • Enter the circulation of meanings and representations • acquire ‘added meanings’

Mickey Mouse • 1935: Intnl symbol of good will (League of Nations) • Loved Mickey Mouse • 1935: Intnl symbol of good will (League of Nations) • Loved by Th. Roosevelt, King George V, and Mussolini • 1944: D Day code-name, US army mascot • Anti-semitic and anti. American ideologies

“Mickey Mouse is the most atrocious ideal that has ever been offered to mankind “Mickey Mouse is the most atrocious ideal that has ever been offered to mankind … The healthy sentiments of every independent-minded young man worthy of respect must suggest that this ugly and dirty parasite, this greatest bacillus host of the animal kingdom cannot be the ideal animal. We must not allow Jews to degrade humanity! Down with Mickey Mouse! Let everybody wear the swastika!”

Art Spiegelman: Maus (1991) Art Spiegelman: Maus (1991)

Cultural products • Meanings added in the course of cultural circulation meanings ‘already’ in Cultural products • Meanings added in the course of cultural circulation meanings ‘already’ in the texts (intentional or unintentional) art: the most useful ideological tool precisely because it seems to be outside the system

Disney and ideology • Children’s films • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, 1937 Disney and ideology • Children’s films • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, 1937 (Wizard of Oz, 1939) • The ‘construction’ of ‘the child’ • The idea of the ‘family movie’

Comic Book Art Specifications (1970 s) - no political ideas - no races, no Comic Book Art Specifications (1970 s) - no political ideas - no races, no stereotypes - no classes, no social differences - no modern weapons - no sexuality, no love

Duck. Tales (1987 -90) Duck. Tales (1987 -90)