Cultural Theories And Concepts Of The Culture Essay

1881 Words Dec 13th, 2016 8 Pages
A. Culture
This semester, we often talked about culture, what it is and how it should be studied. The issue most apparent to me was that often, the definitions used to describe culture are extremely broad, but the categories historians created to study it are too constrictive. Getz defined culture as a focus, “on identifying and seeking to understand the perspectives of people who lived in the past rather than the causes or experiences of major events. Cultural historians rely on the method of deconstruction and tend to explore relationships between individuals and society as a whole” (Getz & Clarke 214). However, this definition is ambiguous and the phrase “relationships between individuals and society as a whole,” encompasses a huge amount of information. Arnold describes culture as, “patterns of thought and understanding, modes of language, rituals of life and ways of thinking,” a definition that is compatible with Getz’s, but no less broad (Arnold 87). Hunt goes most in depth into cultural theories and the four paradigms, Marxism, modernization, the Annales school and identity politics, which have framed the way historians study culture for many years. After Hunt describes each school’s main focus and shortcomings, she concludes, “paradigms are problematic because by their nature they focus on only part of the picture” (Hunt 121). However, I would conclude, as Hunt eventually does, that paradigms are “necessary, if not simply inevitable” because of culture’s broad…

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