Comments on Culture

Welcome

November 30, 2009
Leave a Comment

Hey, there! New to the site? Click on ABOUT to the right to get started.

You might notice that even though my pursuits are academic, I use a casual voice. I firmly believe that everyone should have access to knowledge and be encouraged to question their own society. Keeping the fields of Anthropology, Sociology and American Studies preserved in the ivory tower of academia, bounded by dense language, is exclusionary, and it has no place here. In a way, I myself am doing exactly what I suspect I will find in my studies: a reflection of values in dialogue. I aim for my language to reflect that I value the readership and input of the people I study, us. All of us.

Thanks for stopping by!

Advertisements

Posted in Approach

Tasty disclaimers

August 26, 2009
Leave a Comment

It’s something we hear about a lot, in the news, movies, and while we travel. Americans are perceived by the rest of the world in certain romanticized or despised ways. United States citizens are aware of this very general idea, but we don’t talk about it much.

I asked an Anthropology professor a long time ago if one could specialize in American culture. She replied that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AMERICAN CULTURE, only American cultureS. We are too varied and diverse a people to all fall under one “American culture.” Interestingly, though, every non-academic person I’ve told this to says, “Huh? Of course there’s an American culture.”

I wondered, why are the pro’s missing what the laypeople see? Why is the discipline whose job it is to identify patterns of behavior—values and norms shared by groups of people—missing this seemingly obvious group? Why don’t anthropologists study American culture? (more…)