Culture & Power Blog
Warming-up: What is culture?
One of the first things I proposed to myself before starting to look for ideas to cover posts and articles was just the simple, random but necessary question: what is culture? Here I will introduce two quotes that, for very different reasons, inspire my desire of continuing studying Culture Studies.
Raymond Williams say that
“culture has two aspects: the known meanings and directions, which its members are trained to; the new observations and meanings, which are offered and tested. These are the ordinary processes of human societies and human minds, and we see through them the nature of a culture: that it is always both traditional and creative; that it is both the most ordinary common meanings and the finest individual meanings. We use the word culture in these two senses: to mean a whole way of life--the common meanings; to mean the arts and learning--the special processes of discovery and creative effort.” –
On the other hand, ― Chuck Palahniuk expresses a very emotive declaration about the negotiations of culture and people:
“The first step - especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money - the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.”
Regarding this last comment I cannot avoid thinking of this video. I saw it two years ago and believe it to be useful for any culture researcher. Motivation is always important to remind us not where we started, but what keeps us moving forward, looking for new ideas, exploring, investigating. And never, never surrender.