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Notas Bateson

a premise is a generalised statement of a particular assumption or implication recognisable in a number of details of cultural behaviour. 24

I would define cultural structure as a collective term for the coherent " logical" 1 scheme which may be constructed by the scientist, fitting together the various premises of the culture. 25 In the study of cultural structure we take details of behaviour as our units and see them as linked together into a "logical" scheme; whereas in the study of social structure we shall take humanindividuals as our units and see them as linked together into groups e.g. as kin, as clan members or as members of a community. 25-6 I shall endeavour to consider the functional position (using the term in its widest philosophical sense) of the naven ceremonies from five different points of view. That is to say, I shall classify functions into five categories so that the various parts of the book will illustrate five different methods of approach to the problems of culture and society 29

1 . Structural or ' * logical " relationships, between the cognitive aspects of the various details of cultural behaviour: the cognitive reasons for behaviour. 2. Affective* relationships, between details of cultural behaviour and the basic or derived emotional needs and desires of the individuals : the affective motivation of details of behaviour. 3. Ethological relationships, between the emotional aspects of details of cultural behaviour and the emotional emphases of the culture as a whole. 4. Eidological relationships, between the cognitive aspects of details of cultural behaviour and the general patterning of the cultural structure. 5 . Sociological relationships, between the cultural behaviour of the individuals and the needs of the group as a whole : the maintenance of solidarity, etc. 30
It is, I think,

time that anthropologists took account of

this set

enormous variation in the value which different peoples upon the effects which modern functional anthropology

has to offer them. In the light of this variation it is obviously dangerous to state that the significant pragmatic function of a given detail of a given culture is the increase of family pride unless it can first be shown that family pride is really one of the effects which is valued in other contexts of the particular culture which we are studying.32

Apart from this difference in procedure, the ethological and eidological approaches to culture are very closely analogous. Both are based upon the same fundamental double
hypothesis: that the individuals in a community are standardised by their culture while the pervading general characteristics of a culture, those characteristics which may be

recognised over and over again in its most diverse contexts, are an expression of this standardisation. This hypothesis is, in a sense, circular it is supposed that the pervading characteristics of the culture not only express, but also promote the standardisation of the individuals 33


three premises which I have mentioned deal with the relationships of the child to its father, mother and

maternal clan. These may be summed up in a form especially relevant to naven by saying that the child is closely identified with its father but competes with him. The child's identity with its mother and its link with the maternal clan are more obscure. But here the child is not a competitor but, rather, an achievement of the mother and the child's achievements are her achievements, the triumphs of her clan. 48

In this connection the most significant fact is that the formulations of proper behaviour towards affinal relatives can be applied in this culture not only to own wife's own relatives and to own sister's husband's relatives, but can be extended to a whole series of relatives who are grouped around this central nucleus in a classificatory manner. Such fundamental
principles as the identification of siblings, the identification

man with his father and with his father's father, and the grouping of whole clans as single units, are applied in this extension of affinal relationships. But it would not be true to say that the affinal linkages due to every marriage
of a are extended indiscriminately in every direction according to this scheme of identifications. 93


the writer it seems that there is a very profound contrast between peripherally oriented systems such as that of the latmul and centripetal systems such as those of Western Europe.

The latmul


fundamentally, a people without law.


do not mean that they have not customs

and sanctions,
but that they have no codified law and no established
authority which might impose sanctions ex officio or in the name of the community as a whole. It is a general principle though one not stated as a generalisation by the natives themselves that no considerable sanction, i.e. no fine, damage to property or physical injury, is ever imposed upon an individual

by the group (clan, moiety, initiatory group, or village) of which the individual is himself a member; neither is any considerable sanction ever imposed within the group by a superior authority representing that group or by any outstanding


in the group. In general such internal sanctions confine themselves to disapproval, insult and abuse.1In the absence of such sanctions, internal or

imposed from
above, the ordering of latmul society is almost entirely dependent upon what we may call external or lateral sanctions.

The tendency

of the people is to phrase every offence as an offence against somebody and to leave the business of inflicting sanctions to the offended people. 98

In every society, divergences from the cultural norm are

liable to threaten the integration of that society, clearly evident different


this is

the latmul. But under the latmul system the type of disintegration which is threatened is somewhat


from that which threatens our own

societies. 106


ethological approach involves a very different system

of subdivision of culture. Its thesis is that we may abstract from a culture a certain systematic aspect called ethos which

w e may

define as the expression of a culturally standardised system of organisation of the instincts and emotions of the individuals. The ethos of a given culture is as we shall see an abstraction from the whole mass of its institutions and formulations and it might therefore be expected that ethoses would be infinitely various from culture to culture as various as the institutions themselves. Actually, however, it is possible that in this infinite variousness it is the content of affective life which alters from culture to culture, while the underlying systems or ethoses are continually repeating themselves. It seems likely a more definite statement would be premature that we may ultimately be able to classify the types of ethos. 118


specific tones of

behaviour are in



indicative of an ethos. 120