The Historical Lag of Prevailing
Discourses on Culture


But the term culture has become silent too. The ways we are using the term and the conceptual apparatuses implied have been formed under conditions very different from ours. Words and concepts are being formed for making sense of and finding ways of responding to situations and problems. If that is the case, the term culture, as we are using it, and the conceptual apparatuses we are bringing into play when using it, are responding to problems that are not ours any more. Roughly speaking, these usages and concepts are responding to problems from the late 18th through perhaps the early 20th century.

Having said this, I do not want to deny many problems we are facing today and will be facing even more in the future have something to do with culture. The definitely do. And probably these problems are transformations of the problems the term cultures as we are still using it today was supposed responding to. They are transformations of these problems; they are not the same problems. Suffering from historical lag, the term culture as we are using it is implicitly using these problems as the same ones, however. Policies based upon such a procedure will not solve problems. They will create problems. And they already have begun doing so.

 

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Last updated: 2004/10/25 00:08