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Three Cultures

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Abstract

The concept of culture is notoriously hard to define, and it is not clear what falls inside and outside of culture.1 A definition will be provided shortly, but as mentioned in the introduction (Chapter 1), the argument here is that there are three major candidates for culture in modern society: religion, science and consumption. Religion becomes residual, consumption provides diffuse legitimation, and science (Chapter 5) undermines some parts of culture but strengthens others. That leaves one other contender: political beliefs. These can be subsumed under political change or the political order if they are powerful enough to contribute to divergence (as discussed in Chapters 2 and 3). Yet as discussed in Chapter 2, even in this case it is important to put beliefs such as ‘individualism’ into a broader context — importantly here, how ‘individualism’ relates to the state. There is also a broader, anthropological, notion of culture as everyday life. In keeping with the overall argument, however, culture only contributes to macro-sociological patterns if aggregate changes in everyday life can be shown to have wider repercussions.

Keywords

Everyday Life Social Movement Popular Culture Political Order Modern Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ralph Schroeder 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OxfordUK

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