L.A.S.T 201 (Week One- What is Culture?)

Posted by: | January 12, 2009 | Comments Off on L.A.S.T 201 (Week One- What is Culture?)

This weeks reading topic of what is culture? has opened my eyes to different perspectives on culture and the ways and styles of which they are formed and lived through. I found the readings both by Raymond Williams and Roger Kessing to be very intriguing and informative. I felt Williams opened my eyes to new perspectives and ways of thinking on culture of which I had not considered before. From the beginning of Williams paper I appreciated his courage in the labialization of such an extensive, complex topic, as culture and classify it as ‘ordinary’. I think, however, a dictionary definition of what exactly culture and ordinary ‘means’ would be a good technique for his use of exploring culture. I felt as though Williams brought in a bit more excitement and fun into his paper through the structure and use of words and expressions over Kessing’s. For example Williams brings rhyming into his paper through word ‘culture of which he compares to vulture and sepulture. This comparison adds to his overarching thesis but was defiantly not necessary and felt he thought it was advantageous to add some humor and lighten up the topic. Another aspect of Williams paper I enjoyed was his expulsion of Marxists theorists who say that we are living in a dying culture. This belief is extremely popular at moment and I feel it was adventurous of him to “stand on the other side of the room’ , so to speak. One of the things of which I did not necessary agree with on Williams paper was the classification of culture in terms of good or bad. I feel as though a classification such as this, into black and white categories should of been refrained. When reading through Keesing’s article I enjoyed how he brought in quotes by other people. I felt as though this brought another perspective to his argument. I also like how through the reading of Keesing’s piece I was able to learn a new word and concept known as radical alterity. Some questions I have for both of these papers are: firstly for Williams paper I wonder how his paper would have changed if he focused on a certain aspect of culture such as religion? For Keesing’s paper I wonder what his paper would evolve if he had brought in more prespectives on top of “post-Marxist’ and feminist approaches. I feel as though both papers explored past theories and analogies of culture well and feel as though they have set forth a steeping stone for the continuing growth and study of culture as the world itself evolves.


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