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LBST 2101-248

by: Jasmine sykes
Jasmine sykes
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

Class notes
Western History & Culture (LACS)
Joachim Ghislain
Class Notes
Wester, Culture, notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jasmine sykes on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2101-248 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Joachim Ghislain in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Western History & Culture (LACS) in Lbst at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Theses on Culture Culture: what we have in common Culture presupposes a community. A group of people, large or small, live and work together. They share (usually) a language and  "operating principles": beliefs and convictions, religion and rituals, rules and values. All those "shared" practices become features of a group identity.  This group identity will provide material for the personal identity of its members. (Your  individual beliefs and values tend to be informed by those of the community.) [Analyze a community you belong to: What are its fundamental rules and values?] Self­preservation: inside versus outside When we have defined who we are it is easy to identify those who are different. There may be  situations when we are curious about the "other", but our automatic position is that of distrust. If  someone is suspected not to share our beliefs and values we want to keep them outside of our  community.  There are times when contact with outsiders seems beneficial, so we cooperate. At other times it  seems a risk, and we compete with one another. Conflict with an "outgroup" fosters solidarity in  the "ingroup". [What would be examples of cooperation or conflict?] Community: the desire for history Having shared practices and principles is necessary for a community, but not sufficient. It seeks  to transcend the here and now. We legitimate the present by looking to "our" past. This makes it  easier to believe in a common future. We construct a history that explains and justifies what we  do. Traditions provide a grounding of the present: We are here because of those who came before us. We follow their example and continue what they started. [What tradition do you feel connected to? What do you get out of it?] Self­affirmation: insistence on uniqueness As a community we tend to glorify past achievements. We educate our children to identify with  our values, to honor our history, to preserve our way of life. We emphasize what sets us apart.  We can be proud to be the descendents of a new beginning. It is always easier to distinguish yourself from others when you can believe in being original.  Being different means being better. The result can be a superiority complex which mythologizes  the past and makes criticizing your community suspicious. [Think about "honorary members" of our community.] Self­affirmation: making or breaking connections The wish for being original is balanced by the desire for affinity. A community may try to be  special, but it also loves company.  A country may feel some cultural kinship with an older civilization in another region because it  can be claimed as a precursor. This may provide its cultural norms with further legitimacy. However, if our culture has also absorbed influences from outsiders ­ a "foreign" civilization  which we prefer to view with suspicion ­ those influences are played down. We do not see them  as evidence of similarity. [Can you think of artificial affinities ­ or its opposite which emphasizes difference?] Western Civilization ­ understanding how we came to be Why this term? How did it come about? How has its meaning changed? How selective are we in  constructing our cultural family tree? Which outside influences do we like to suppress? How  generous are we when it comes to being inclusive? Any interest in the past is guided by concerns of the present. The attempt to understand our  heritage is legitimate, but there is always the danger of explanation giving way to mythology.  One ought to be aware of a few basic pitfalls... Incomplete record: we think we have the whole picture when some puzzle pieces have been lost. Distortion: we trust a source that is unreliable or outright false. Presentism:  we project notions of our time onto previous people and places.


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