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Rethinking Culture: A Project for Current Anthropologists [and Comments and Reply

]
Author(s): Paul Bohannan, John Blacking, Bernhard Bock, Benjamin N. Colby, Jules
DeRaedt, David G. Epstein, J. L. Fischer, Gutorm Gjessing, Gordon W. Hewes, Thomas H.
Hay, E. Markarian, Michel Panoff, David M. Schneider and William J. Voight
Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct., 1973), pp. 357-372
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for
Anthropological Research
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2740839
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and offered useful advice. Fischer. Voigt. Gutorm Gjessing. Evanston: North- culture" is sometimes declared not to be culture at western University Press.Sc. he was educated at the University Although most anthropologists define culture for of Arizona (B. 1968).) One may say that so-and-so does not "understand with Philip Curtin. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. Harris Professor of Social Science their very question. (The only case I have discovered is ethnic backgrounds. in art. Hall calls "out-of-awareness Judgment among the Tiv (London: Oxford University Press. and computers. to get in the way of their examining PAUL BOHANNAN is Standley G. pologist wants to explain culture in his own way should Jules DeRaedt. Finally. 1951). for CA. It is fine to define culture in examining person- of specialties tied together only by the vagaries of ality or natural resources. Rinehart and Winston. No. as assumptions. To define what one is examining should never amount to more than being specific about what one excludes." which is like the gene pool. Vol. 14. Their Malcolm Whatley were of great help in the thinking stages of comments are printed after the text and are followed by a this study.jstor. No. Colby. Tiv Economy (with Laura Bohannan. I shall begin with a summary of the problems inherent in the use of PROBLEMS IN THE USE OF THE "CULTURE" the concept of culture. and Panoff. Such the human being in some other form. Epstein.A.treatment. Bernhard Bock. At the beginning the most important thing about culture is that it is of a study.45.48. investigation. 14 . And a whole extreme and archaeology at the other are necessarily book of definitions (Kroeber and Kluckhohn 1952) both in the same "department" because they are both will help us to perceive new problems only if it can dealing with the same phenomenon of double coding. Benjamin N. writing. sensible way of looking at "cultures" and the problems so revolutionary-that it is difficult to reassess. David G. Born in 1920. Social Anthro- the culture concept"-but that means that one dis- pology (New York: Holt. and Divorce and After (New York: Doubleday. is a tendency for anthropologists simultaneously to in language. I shall examine some task I have set myself-and. with our understanding of culture and to seek some way of overcoming these obstacles. through the device of of the implications of all this for ethnography. 4. That every anthro- sent for comment to 50 scholars. and William J. Africa and Africans (2d edition. Markarian. I shall next suggest that One problem in the use of the concept of "culture" culture is coded in memory. themselves. have set the profession-is to exam.204 on Thu. Laura Bohannan. Donald Stone Sade. as it is proving. and that define culture and to investigate it. L. 1963). submitted in final form 29 ix 71. important dimensions of the subject under consider- ing that has given it the appearance of being a mass ation. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Vol. no one says that what somebody else calls culture His research interests are American institutions and American is not culture. Michel 'George Dalton. 1947) and at Oxford University (B. Gordon W. Several of my colleagues at Northwestern read drafts reply from the author. and often this is stated not in terms in electrical and chemical form. 1956). 1971).. Thomas H. New York: Doubleday. in materials. Hewes. and once outside of what is left out. and professor of anthropology and education at Northwestern University.org/terms . Hay. 4 * October 1973 357 This content downloaded from 193. all. I shall then put forward the CONCEPT concept of the "cultural pool. was tion ought to be emphasized. in behavior." and for the study of evolution. what anthropologists have always rather imprecisely ine the parts of anthropological culture that interfere called "comparison. E.J. Schneider. eschewing or carping at all others. It is the fact a preliminary definition often blinds the scholar to that anthropology must encompass such double cod. be used to prevent our doing something that has Then I shall discuss the "cultural tradition" as a already been done. Anthropologists for a hundred years have allowed their definitions. of whom the following responded: John Blacking. 1949. but one must be more tradition-when in fact bioanthropology at the one circumspect in examining culture itself. He taught at Oxford (1951-56) and at Princeton (1956-59) before joining the faculty at Northwestern in 1959. almost Ph. but rather what is put in.D. His principal publications are Justice and that what Edward T. agrees with him on which components of the defini- The present paper. but no mere analogy. 1970). David M. The the "s" has created. it is necessary to delimit the area of always encoded twice-once within the human being... October 1973 Copyright 1973 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Rethinking Culture: A Pro ject for Current Anthropologists 1 by Paul Bohannan CULTURE AS AN IDEA iS so simple-and.

of course. they can make it disappear into So did every aspect of accomplishment. Definitions of culture as And that statement brings us full circle-back to communication are numerous and varied. left culture a great unknown: the school of biological. they can make it disappear teristic of each item came also to be called. No more parts of the world resemble one another. every prove that a cultural tradition can create the genotypes catalogable item in a museum came to be considered it requires).not be taken to mean that anthropologists "disagree" order of abstraction entirely." Moreover. and it is said that we pick up our mother field of investigation. among other things. with this arrangement: the museum workers. used as the basis for a definition tics. there were obviously at least three kinds a hole. culture as we do our mother tongue-that learning As Stocking (1963) has pointed out. "cultured" meant only "cultivat. obviously. that have little to do with intelligence and nothing museums were the paramount sites for anthro- whatever to do with specific languages or specific pologizing. Here we are faced with the ture has waned except among archaeologists. or ed. they were studying the same thing in the plural as and the statistical cross-cultural surveyors.48. of culture. became culture schools have brought the anthropological definition complexes. and from the concepts that Matthew Arnold and other tional people). I have no com. An.jstor. social scientists can ignore being"cultured. because of the similarity of terms. related to the defining diffi. and of culture as a medium of social transactions and are hence allowed to continue on our way without definitions of culture as value are just as numerous. Thus. in America at least. happy transferred from culture to cultures. ''programmed" to learn language and culture-feats In those days." culty. Once the pieces had been Brown. examining it. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. With the shift. culture has for decades now been examined Almost anything human could be. But every- in the singular. Like Durkheim. of us. the anthropological they came from and how they got that way. body else was more or less discommoded. ing on Durkheim. But one man's black box is another man's point. when the "s" was added to "culture" and the emphasis Three sets of people were. So was each mark of one's On the other hand. Everybody knows what "cultures as wholes. so that everybody could 358 C U RR E NT AN TH ROPOLOG Y This content downloaded from 193. of questions that could be asked about them: (1) where Perhaps most telling of all. but a different in mass definition began. (2) how concept of culture has got so far and so deep into the various elements found together in fact fit to- the cultural tradition of the Western world that it gether. logical and emotional categories. Indeed. culture is the problem of definition. several elements that fit together. because linguistics is rightly considered by about a situation so wide and so general that clarity some anthropologists to be way ahead of the rest does not depend on definitional limitation. culture was a part of the humanities. biological foundation or view it as a prosthesis to Linguistics has thrived-indeed. Ultimately this viewpoint led to the idea of more or less disappeared. the infant A second difficulty. Culture is a black box often called the code (a little different from what for most anthropologists." But. apparent (but only apparent) paradox that the capac. the plaint about studying cultures-but I am nevertheless cultural geographers (including those anthropologists convinced that many anthropologists have thought who work on distribution studies of cultural elements). Definitions ever purpose we ascribe to it in our theorizing. they can make it disappear and simply leave recognized. "culture" was one "culture" means that we do not learn others (the adapted in the late 19th century from German sources limit is probably four or five for all but quite excep. and still are. they The idea of the culture trait was thus soon and can make it disappear into a veritable thesaurus of readily applied to items in museum cases and to all substitutes. Another movement in modern anthropology has. on than a century ago. A definition of culture may stress its among the most important manifestations of culture. usually described as its practitioners define what culture is and what as "learned" (certainly too broad a concept when one personality is. like middle-period Radcliffe. science of anthropology turned to "comparison. about what culture "is. which. every discernible charac- culture." On the other hand. by others into "collective representations. an "s" added to smuggle in still another have it. human activities and ideas. We define culture by what- I said above. and at some in either conscious or unconscious analogy to linguis- point has been.204 on Thu." but rather that we are talking Third. but culture itself is not at best." Like Parsons. or some other such grouping to so many people that all other definitions have word. which is that it is coded). ity for culture is biological. an "element" of culture. We note that the human creature is humanists were devising in the field of literature. or clusters. an element of culture. almost as culture is! soon as the culture concept was born. or even by the same scholar. has already been mentioned in passing. An exercise A culture is no mere subset of culture. A definition of culture may emphasize the culture and personality has sought hypothetical con- senses-the fact that man perceives in terms of certain nections between two black boxes-insofar.45. Anyone who needs a black box named All these criteria and many more are often run culture in order to carry out his activities should together. at least. "expectations. the one hand.org/terms ." Like Chapple and Coon (1942). has outgrown the enlarge biological capacity and increase the effec. social studies in the perhaps were merely found together. Language and material culture are. anthropological mold-while interest in material cul- tiveness of any activity. somebody can counted his accomplishments. build. and the "cultivated" man listed and even cultural traditions (unless. means counting and thropologists acquiesced in the early 20th century statistically treating culture elements. and (3) in what ways elements from different has ousted other meanings of the word. investigates culture closely).

a human being can't help learning. Acquisition of culture is scarcely a Then Tylor's successors expanded the field with the mere "learning" process. differentiated cultural units. to get beyond the definition: analogy." they began to focus on manageable problems.org/terms . But this only provides greater (I would point out. In American culture. context. The statement is not merely true.45. He also points out that some afterwards. If that is the combined into units. I shall suggest below that neither is there a "maximal It seems safe to say that the days of "defining" unit. which it does not. halluci. When some physical or psychic defect. probably the the other basic problem (usually called comparative). as if the concept of study of culture. such units commonplace that it is difficult to overcome it.204 on Thu. It is true that he a trait is lifted out of context. or equal the biologists have done with "life" is an instructive to the sum of its parts. how do we explain it? What do we study? What the "whole" is not greater than. a hunch. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. advances in our studies of the rest of culture. as we shall see. Levi- as uncle. A trait. town. It simply fits culture into What it can never meaningfully be is totally without brave new contexts. and the most confusing. how much he may resist learning certain culture traits." the present generation. but. than it reveals. This addition hides more of society"-assumed the trait frame of reference. Of course everything connects at one source that leads to behavior. it is part of culture. Under the impact of early learning edge. belief. Strauss has all but petrified it into permanence for the idea of progress.jstor. Since of "a culture. Lifting a trait out of context means no more All this led to the greatest of all definitional ploys than going from one basic problem-the ethno." The problem is whether the trait is the same guage is one of the standard ways for encoding thing in one context as in another-and all anthro. blue (depressed). With the Freudian revolution. and that objective existence is no criterion guage.48. One can. Therefore. capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member that culture was learned. lies behind the difficulty worried about making a homunculus in a retort. hope. state of affairs. unless there is It led to the "lifted out of context" discussion. the language analogy has now become so nation. morals. culture. culture is not like language. it was one of the things about which we The most sensible present-day statement about got information. culture became. see that the "trait" is a part of the analytical one level. are over. fantasy. no matter level or another. language is culture. they have was by adding criteria. In his for encoding culture into a system. unless we define learning idea that "cultures" are "wholes" and that every trait simplistically and residually as some way other than is affected by every other trait. hope." not even "a culture. it is the same as its parts. to study its relationship to its context. most common. and Another way that anthropologists used to try to to deal with the challenge of the molecule on the get around the difficulty of the definition of culture one hand and of behavior on the other.use the new concept for his own purposes. a ghost and a dead man are separable and terial. it has no existence that is not culturally branded." Rather. can exist in more than one context. thing. place. Language is different-it is nothing if cultural units have single-lexeme names and others not culture. like material. sense of foreboding. Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE The "original" definition of culture. do not. that the concept of traits reason that the analogy should be questioned. 4 October 1973 359 This content downloaded from 193. thus making the definition come close to "making life. less than. there are units culture. a mess. equated with superego: again. custom and any other theory. at thereupon. as has often been pointed out. It may be a person. parallel." realizing that is it now more complicated. So long as proto-biologists studied "life" they And that. and the fact that one Material like stone can carry one set of information can be pointed to in materiality and the other cannot before it is worked and another or additional one is beside the point. as a technical term. obviously something learns one set of traits instead of another-that is of interest about it is lost-but one is in a position a problem in history. Indeed. however. at a new level. it is trite-and it was trite when it was first made. and art are cultural units. is a case in point. the matter system-that the idea of "trait" is necessary to the was examined by definition. Only a truism had genetic encoding of creating a systematic information been added. to record. 14 No. law. Because it can be broken pologists necessarily worry about context to some easily into traits and because it is comparatively easy degree. I can only say-with what can be analyzed into smaller units and combined into I recognize as a certain summary quality-that lan- larger units. in which everything connects-to the analogies used to explain culture. unlike ma- example. For present purposes. And of all graphic problem. anthropologists came to realize. and that there is no "minimal unit" of culture. is a medium that can be used for whether or not a cultural unit exists. Because of the subtle and still im- culture traits that I know is that of Schneider perfectly understood associations between language (1968:1-2): "A unit in a particular culture is simply and other forms of encoding culture. art. but scarcely to its existence. superego added something to our knowledge of so conceived. feeling. After all. culture. Because lan- don't. Vol. was the which highlights the fact that "some do and some analogy with what is today linguistics. we came to anything that is culturally defined and distinguished take advances in linguistics as models for desirable as an entity. It is the nature of culture that case. One assumes ''a culture" rather than merely "culture" and must even inquire whether it is sensible to make an can be used as a black box to connect them. that of Tylor (187 1:1 )-"that complex whole which includes knowl.) analogy between part of a thing and the whole of Schneider goes on to say that cultural units or traits it. rather. The addition of "learned" (to a general concept so gross as to have little scientific replace Tylor's more ambiguous "acquired by man") validity. or idea.

body of culture is a bounded entity only because just as the molecular biologists reduce some aspects it is his.45. The first thing we must do. the infor. the transaction will go smoothly. Therefore each out the period of its existence. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. Cultural bodies form has many cultural items available to him that may and reform. from the family household to the United mation-based behavior. so there are boundaries in the cultural a whole was questionable procedure. The double code is the remove. in order to act. The body of culture of any is not to be found in the biological basis of man-but individual or group is a temporal arrangement of both pots and computers. This is difficult. Most of a useful one in spite of limitations. is to reduce it remains unused in each of his relationships. each makes with the extrabiotic coding of culture. manifestation) but also possibly of the cultural pool itself. here is to use another analogy to explain culture. in the trait. traits from the total cultural pool available. sizes. Within the cultural pool are to be found bodies analogy with genetics-and then to make the anal. modifications in not merely the body of culture because language is behavior and because manipula. The analogy is huge "body of culture" on which to call.org/terms . The culture item. The traits are not exclusively encapsulated Culture traits are analogous to genes in that each within one such body but may be shared by many is a repository or locus for encoded information. and complexities. or develops or is maintained. 360 C U R RE N T AN TH ROPO LOG Y This content downloaded from 193. more or fewer of which are shared. the infor. are bio. Each in memory and behavior. between two parts of a whole. in another form. in a nucleotides and therefore similar but not identical social transaction. just so. Finally. Just as there are boundaries in I noted above that an analogy between a part and the gene pool. another-in a way somewhat similar to the way in mation is encoded culturally. not of both. A cultural item may vary from one context to mation is encoded chemically. to that individual or group. Nations. But we are not talking about of the relationship of which this transaction is one behavior here: rather. certainly the complex However. at least.204 on Thu. The analogy to CULTURE AND THE CULTURAL POOL the gene pool and the population of interbreeding animals is arresting. it long ago. However-so far. every person has a anything about the topic at hand. items. limitations to this analogy. more The genetic plasm of an animal is given at the time or less according to the expectations (culture traits) of conception and is. for all practical purposes. available to both (and hence the body of culture typical ting material is behavior. more or less (usually less) consciously. Further. secret. from not competent to deal with. Anyone who can comment among the large or small number of cultural elements on it is requested to do so. can clear the genes (or cultural units) may not be present on both air if nobody takes it too literally. with all of the persons seek to explain on a new level. of different sorts. His chemistry (or whatever else we can reduce it to). Every social group. the cultural pool from even (beyond the description of the vocal apparatus) which it draws its body of culture may get larger in language. we are talking about culture. In short. I will here deal available to him. and it has: the ultimately explain the matter of culture-in-memory order is manifest in the personality and in the style and perhaps much cultural behavior by biological in which that person runs his transactions. is subject to change constantly through- engage in many other transactions. the gene and further in the chromosome. cultural items. In bodies. then. limitations and many more ways in which the analogy in the event of a poor fit of the cultural elements is faulty-but an analogy can never be more than of the two parties to the immediate transaction. each party brings certain cultural functions. But a good pool-and this does not mean that some of the same analogy.48. at one remove. However. and everything about culture that we can to biology or even more remains unused in each transaction. The tactic I propose sides of a boundary. means. If they bring the same or complementary There are. As Durkheim put with whom they are in transaction. biology does not in the least help us to explain As any particular dyad or larger social group culture that is encoded in stone or in writing. the state. Any critic can obviously find more not be relevant to the immediate transaction but that. at whatever logically encoded in man. both parties to the social transaction also culture item. each party (either a person or The rest of this paper will set to one side the a group) brings to each transaction certain cultural question of the biological basis for encoding culture elements. he a vivid mode of exposition and can never prove may drag in. in the process which gene's occur in a number of forms or alleles. of life to chemistry. has its own body of culture-drawn from the pool of cultural units from which all of its members and all of its alters draw their bodies of culture. That is a problem I am chooses. from the standpoint of that person. changeable. of cultural traits at every level from the person to ogy disappear before an enlarged concept of infor. although I think that we must have some sort of integrated order. genes from each of two donors which have similar but not identical sequences of combine to form new chromosomes. of course. of reproduction. The code of a pot or of a computer and more inclusive. and there is a pool of culture made up of all the culture I do not doubt that it will remain the case-there of all the persons with whom he is in transaction-and would seem to be something left over that we must ultimately.jstor. in other words. In other words. Rather. things must be explained in terms of The body of culture associated with a person must themselves. Put another way.

org/terms . in other words. 1.204 on Thu. but can conceive that there might level or another. merely called learning. substitute. the greater essary to form general systems but organized in a the variety of reactions chemical agents such as far different way from the "product" of that informa- hormones can create-the more diencephalon the tion organized as general systems. say. Indeed. and experientially encoded forms. device can make do with a somewhat simpler genetic That is to say. Some distinctions in systems. one could use the word the normally functioning animal must perform. The equipment for universes. maturation and maintenance. it has proved efficient information. information system. And Information systems contain the information nec- the more information is coded culturally. anyone who can illuminate it (including deny- The genetic information received from inheritance ing it) will please do so. and the content of some information is coded but I do not wish to follow his reasoning into this genetically and the content of other information is intergalactic void). I shall leave this animal has. Genes and memory bits two parts of a single process. certainly none depends solely not to be encoded in the genes.45. the two coded culturally. both sets of explanations. 14 No. there are certain pieces of behavior of the word culture.jstor. But the principles are be (Teilhard de Chardin called it the "omega point. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. which are indeed coded Some anthropologists will rebel at so broad a use in the genes. There can be no social system without an learning and storing cultural information is.CULTURE AS DOUBLE-CODED INFORMATION Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE The association of culture with genetics is no mere ence make up a total fund of information in whatever analogy. In my view. every intrapsychic and the cultural information received from experi. exists in chemically and/or culturally Systems General Systems Information Systems Ecosystems Social Intrapsychic Genetically Experientially Systems Systems Encoded Encoded Infracultural "Culturally" Signs Encoded Out-of. Both are. In the processes of on cultural information. in combination. Probably few animals depend solely on for some of the information necessary to an animal genetic information. every ecosystem exists in chemically mechanism. it would seem that the animal with a learning cover the same ground." different. The two sets of systems. but obviously envelop different word at the moment) cultural. culturally and relatively less is coded genetically. the more his hormones can do for him. 4 October 1973 361 This content downloaded from 193.Material Symbols Awareness Culture Culture Language All Other "Symbolic" Culture FIG. At another level. For the matters we study.48. I have been unable to find a sensible process for turning the electrical processes of percep. at one intrapsychic system. chemical. genetics and culture are species we are investigating. classification represented in figure 1 is the distinction of encoded "storage" mechanism. point. presumably chemical. system. In such animals. as one that has the information genetically encoded. and can achieve more. of course. I am not sure whether there as biotic (no matter how different) as that for acquiring can be an information system without a social or and storing genetic information. can perform as well between general systems and information systems. The culture for the right-hand member of any distinction animal with a genetic capacity for what is too often below the term "Information Systems" in figure 1. but from different viewpoints. As we approach Homo sapiens sapiens kinds of systems are two ways of explaining what on the Linnaean tree. are no more than two different ways of storing In the course of evolution. coded information Social systems and intrapsychic systems are encoded comes in two forms: genetic and (for lack of a better in the same way. more and more is coded it is we observe. Vol. Indeed. What is probably the weakest point in the tion and action into some form. but which includes some in some places.

to what? information. certainly not all out-of-awareness culture lead to the concatenation of genetic traits in specific is nonsymbolic or even nonmaterial. culture is analogous to biological speciation? This is ior culturally. we have culture that is characteristics. or the First. And where it will all stop. find I do it myself out of habit. Whether the anthro- point I know is that by Bateson (1969). sort is apparently impossible. to think that cultural traditions were natural units munication. Therefore we had better admit once for all that we must determine our "cult-units" for the specific prob- lem in hand." I mean what anthropologists be DNA? have called 'a culture. (in Pike's ugly neologisms). too often of information without social interaction (the feed. "A culture" is the same kind of back loops that surround the writer and the reader mistake as the culturally (rather than biologically) usually do not overlap). Culture is breaking loose from its biotic matrix. throw them into tribal or national or geo- things with it. out-of-awareness. to be more precise we People will. called "a culture. But information systems are of a different the cultural pool to the cultural pool as a whole. Therefore. none of us A cultural tradition exists only in a given context. muskrats or gorillas. in behavior. What I have called The next distinction on the chart is that between the "body of culture. at a superficial level. the population. is a category Certainly the artifact. culture and a culture without an adjective of some Second. every ecological entity.org/terms . To put it another way. we can say that culture is a mode A cultural tradition is in some ways like a race. What are the processes in culture. and here I shall be pedantic: when I other.204 on Thu. every social group.jstor. This whole area is subject to review. the I have used the term "body of culture" in order "sampling" procedure is even more complex than 362 C U RRE N T AN T H ROPOLOG Y This content downloaded from 193. Out of all the distinctions and repre- into the computer. and. to explain the relationship of certain entities within tem. both may thropologists have in the past called "a culture. Will we someday find a chemical that is to say "culture" I (like Humpty-Dumpty) mean culture. picked out of the biotic network of human beings. so does every social system or ecosys. as is genetic chemistry. Two points must be made here: to the individual creature." We can then count. Writing makes possible the handing on with boundaries drawn by social forces. out a user. exist independent of speakers. But the same information is simulta." At the next stage." is. only very little. memory what DNA is to genes? Indeed. The social definition and the genetic coded superorganically. and certainly animals and in populations and in species? What in cultured creatures evaluate infracultural sign behav. be defined) of their genes. that are like processes that after all. or may overlap can. The most interesting discussion of this in the real world. But are they meaningful? Just? information interacting (to use a bad metaphor) with Relevant? And if so. the distinction can be profitably of the experience of the individual animal. cultural. A race is a genetically very real situation in which Culture." be experiential. There is a second. 1952 shows) to maintain the difference between plication of valid discoveries of learning theory). They are not. overtly rather than covertly." on the maintained. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about." can interact with itself "a culture. utilizing bolic culture." or "com- he compares animal behavior to dreams as dreams munity" cultural tradition. could it when I say "tradition. and call it memory" and a "program. However. analogy because it is misleading. once produced. then. continue to use "a culture"-I might have to say "DNA-encoded. In summary. And once the culture is put defined race. In these areas. this is more than a mere restatement of the species within the genetic picture. Every I wish again to fall back on an analogy to explain psyche. may exist with. and sym. of course. order-they are not closed in the same sense. traits in the cultural pool. of encoding information. in action. knows. it is possible to package some it is true." on the one hand. in which pologist has chosen a "national" "tribal. reinforced by misap.45. decisions. compute. I will use the term edly "chemical" in one sense of the term. and come totally outside the chemistry of the animal.encoded forms. such as art." and what has traditionally been genetically encoded and experientially encoded in. neously encoded in other forms: in speech. we have a distinction between language tion that "cultures" exist in the real world. all too often he has The next distinction in the paradigm is that among ultimately had to fall back on more or less arbitrary out-of-awareness culture. like and other symbolic forms. when we and "encoded (whatever the process) in the course are being precise. the terminology is poor-both are undoubt. a number of animals share a proportion (which must in interaction. if "cultural tradition" or just "tradition" for what an- one goes beyond the individual organism. The culture. and uals are assigned on the basis of overt physical in writing. material culture. is manifest in memory. This is out with correlations. we must distinguish between In the past some anthropologists have appeared cultural communication and infracultural com. A race. in social structure.48. analogous formation systems. whether emic or etic units were understood by Freud. That is to say. definition of race-a social category to which individ- in so-called material culture. in one sense. encoded as a "computer graphical or some other such category. sentations in the world. a language definition may not overlap at all. nature-nurture dichotomy (which in any case is a Because (as a glance at Kluckhohn and Kroeber false commonsense dichotomy. in cultural terms. then the computer can (so far. something about this-and then will throw out the needs an information system. the vital question that is begged by the bland assump- Finally. and that the definitions and criteria CULTURE AND THE CULTURAL TRADITION will be irrevocably tied to the specific problem. only at human command) do all sorts of of them.

4 . of whatever composition." Anthro- may have been a few additions and deletions: muta. In a short-term dyadic relationship such as as the Great Tradition. To freeze one or more levels of cultural the fact that the principle of the lineage system has tradition into a "subculture" for any purpose. at each specific time and place. by studying exotic and tions and gene loss. Those animals with still greater traditions. types of group increases. Identical twins The moment you get to an admittedly complex may start with the same genetic equipment. all coexisting and simultaneous. The parties to the Tradition can be illustrative if we do not take it too transaction call first on the culture that both already literally. other proved so simple as to be difficult for some social than for a specific problem. a great many of the university shares many traits with those of other traditional aspects of the relationship are not shared universities in its reference group and rather fewer by other people in analogous relationships (although with those of colleges and universities it chooses not none may be alien to the cultural tradition writ large). October 1973 363 This content downloaded from 193. the number of traditions All this is straightforward. the number of traditions be. children are born into families. this becomes evident. every tions by creating new combinations.has been thought by students of cross-cultural surveys Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE (Naroll 1970). and style enters in-so that when we try to bring it all together in morphological in complex societies. we want to write an ethnographic monograph.jstor. We must do so relationship. 14 . One way to do this is involved in that situation and their purposes. they confound past tradi. They seek new relationships to learn every time we make up our minds to act. is to expand the body of culture within any given It is possible to pull out entities. as it were. the university. any dyadic relationship may change (but. to private interactional the entities are only situational variants. We might see the tradition of a larger unit know. The idea of ships. The cultural tradi- To go on. has changed little. of that a lineage in a lineage system is an entity. and important thing about it. Every group. of many other marriages in the same social space. The social relations. and within form being invented. and the policy fit together. or "greater tradition. However. than others). pologists have. one role The error comes when we try to make one tradition can be played by a machine. or participates in a lot of culture traits. but some are more complex culturally coded input makes them significantly dif. definitions. Each and concepts have brought us to the point that we specific social group. have had to consider this a good question. It becomes difficult only for each type increases. subculture is another device for reifying the cultural A cultural tradition is an entity only in the sense tradition of a group of people. The question inevitably I think accurate. each family has a tradition. The pool. Groups with among human beings at least. No. the comes all but infinite. ulti. reason that no two people are alike. The cultural script for uses. with repetition.) However. terms-to show how the traditions of the family.48. Further. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. in terms of a greater tradition. losing sight of their persists for any duration of time. arises. community. Yet tion leads. managed to persuade themselves no two relationships are quite alike for the same that there is such a thing as "a culture.204 on Thu. every time to manipulate new culture. others the rest of their lives getting over pool." Indeed. if the dyad a part of another tradition. activates the relevant parts of its cultural tradition This idea can be stated more simply in terms of out of the greater reservoir of traits and ideas. to be added to the pool and each community. in the past. a relationship that is unique to them. (This whatever size. The cultural tradition of one relatively rich as marriage. they play with culture. how do subcultures make up "whole" cultures? all latent in the cultural pool. (Indeed. time we create a sample for comparative studies. the roles in it may themselves create. What is "American Vol. buying a pack of cigarettes in a drugstore. However. All up the particular cultural tradition of their particular result from more or less (usually less) conscious family. some of them spend the rest of their lives decisions about which traits to lift out of the cultural repeating it. As the number of cultural traditions.45. all this time. mal adjustment need be made. mount in any given situation is dependent on who mately. into some kind of a single "culture. Which traditions are para- the most culture obviously play culturally-and. they pick other communities in other parts of the country. The efficacy of this viewpoint can be underscored ferent once for all. that are ready to be The sad thing is that our terminology. The cultural tradition of any marriage contains a may not). familiarity breeds not similar traditions interact and in the process form just contempt but playfulness. There as parts. and after a good joke may never be the lot of things that are part of the cultural tradition same again. Because tion of each community is different from those of they are programmed to pick up culture.org/terms . to include in its reference group. even a homogeneous community. is to miss the most anthropologists to grasp." It isn't so. has a cultural particular image may be an inept one.) There are many cultural traditions. system. Every transaction draws its own body similarity to Redfield's Great Tradition and Little of culture from the cultural pool. It is the same with social relation- by a look at the subculture problem. with occasionally a new idea or a new social it. of course. knows. But fundamentally isolated situations. it is vivid. utilized whenever the situation requires them. the people playing coexistence. but situation (all are complex. of many traditions. The improvisa. from the cultural A group may participate in a more inclusive social pool. Each person patterns-like private jokes. there are every complex situation can be viewed as made up adequate representations on both sides so that mini. considering tradition. In a relationship as relatively permanent and as but a lot that are not. hence made available to other communities for their there are many family traditions.

of course. and-very important-many raphy). by the reader. saying that such units not be compared-only that to take them as the standard unit is to misunderstand the cultural processes. and the capacity to regard arrangements. We cannot compare has a right to define a term for a specific problem. evolution is a process to misunderstand the principle). none of us would argue studied is "typical" of the "culture" as a "whole" is that such a procedure is anything other than a a problem without substance. abandoned. And both chemically and culturally encoded. for the capacity to choose. in the same is a vital element in evolution (to say merely that basket. be given a new dimension with The point is a tactical one. and the simpler creature is more efficient. The evolved capacity for culture types of comparative studies with statistical studies means that more choices are open to a creature-that of traits in small groups. of course. (1955). calls a "negative pregnancy. for example. Such a definition has what Empson (1951) ity must be selected and worked out for each problem. the amount of infor- of social and cultural complexity-whether the units mation that has to be genetically encoded can be to be compared are families. it might be the ciated with any social relationship or any concatena- cultural tradition of the federal government of the tion of social relationships into groups. but as an integral part of animal life and once chemically in the brain as memory. traits in morphologically false entities. did (although in my opinion his work illustrates our alities and social groups. Cultural traditions for selecting and manipulating information that is at any level are the subjects for ethnography. the other methods already present. if in the general however. like any power systems.culture"? What indeed! At one level. no matter United States. anybody this simplified culture concept. The next step is to understand the principles belief that "cultures" are somehow natural units. fusing some more complex. it might be the body of how complex.45. for the new model permits us to see culture no longer as limited to the human This way of looking at culture-as doubly coded. overtly. however. built so far. Surely.org/terms . 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. the relatively isolated cultural pools of a few centuries Kluckhohn. on the one hand.jstor. and Australian Aborigines. it is in a need for a more overt theoretical base for ethnog- constant state of flux. It allows us to look nally as language or behavior or material or docu. To do so is shortsighted. evolution in the broadest sense. on the other." which means using a We are not stuck with the "cultures" of the World term more narrowly than it is used in ordinary Ethnographic Sample or the Ethnographic Atlas. will spread out to all disciplines and join and Italians (from whom we got some of our myths). that we can cooperate with his very hormones will do more for him. The basis of comparabil- to all. at both the cultural tradition (based in history) and ment. we can. Ethnography. compare the organization of traits in many language the term has additional meanings known different kinds of processes. These are. One can study the cultural traditions of a (perhaps most) of the traits in it are part of a wider dyad or those of any other group. The techniques Englishmen (from whom we got the basic concepts of doing ethnography will change with the complexity behind our government and laws). we have ined and. nations. a pool shared not only by. Greeks a method. Today cover another name for these-can. or any other reduced. language. Whatever it is.204 on Thu. forced on us by our stopgap. in my opinion. that we can join psychoanalysis in other animal capacity. As the genetic "comparative studies" can be undertaken at any level capacity for culture increases. One can study a family. species. can be simplified the very while behavior becomes This means that we can adjoin sociology. often unconsciously. At another. once exter. system). but the assumption that they are more The difficulty with the idea of "a culture" is simple: "real" than some other units must be carefully exam- as is so often the case in behavioral science. AND Evolution is the area in which the idea is most EVOLUTION immediately useful. is neutral-it may lead to studying the culture of an individual. the best mousetraps be slipped back in. Boas spent a lifetime promulgating the proposition 364 C U R RE NT AN TH ROPO LO G Y This content downloaded from 193. the way in which history purposes by knowable principles-provides a new and genetics and what is usually called human devel- freedom for all branches of anthropology. am not. COMPARISON. Chinese. or statistical studies the tradition of any group as "a culture" is being made from census data such as Shevky and Bell's undermined. as Bateson (1969) puts it. by Comparative studies-and surely it is time to dis- Africans. unit-so long as the unit is adequately defined and This means that the cellular and genetic material the suitability of comparison adequately spelled out. in varying ways and degrees. about the outcome. I better. ETHNOGRAPHY. We draw or are given certain traits organized for their can then examine. as Lewis (1961) cultural traits most often found in American person. It is also evident thought in terms of morphological categories and that whether the community we happen to have their classification. And there political science in doing comnparative studies of vast lies the irony. and Poles (from of the social organization and the variability of choice whom we got our Copernican view of the solar of culture open to members of the group. Culture opment are all. ethnography comprehends the culture asso. as pool. and Anthony's (1958) study of sleeping ago are all flowing together. In one sense. There is a tendency for all the other although we can continue to use them for suitable dimensions of meaning in the common parlance to purposes.48. or of a selected survival or to extinction-but it does lead to caring few individuals or institutions. Thus. like Whiting. but also. cultural and biological evolution are intertwined is Whatever else it may be. as a pool from which individuals and groups culture (based in genetics and information flow).

especially dualism to distinguish "culture" from suppose social forces. although ob- definition to be meaningful. and social institutions. It examines the implications of this view of culture Today. no more can the genetic.) It is information of no value. what I am proposing is that we-or culture are therefore separable-when what they at least some of us-view culture as information that meant is that a race and a culture are separable. This article is a structure remains. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. in that normal human being can learn any cultural informa. the forces of pro- I would agree that culture as a con. As I a nominal being created by reason. so it has not been and retrieving information). we are on the verge of making chemically for ethnography. the rhythms of shared and personal tary Forms of the Religious Life reiterates ly described as a unitary system almost Vico's insight that people "danced be. That does not mean that behavior cannot be changed. probably cannot be recalled because and then goes on to suggest a new way of looking it was never translated from electrical to chemical at culture: as a cultural pool. it has been studied.45. Neither is a natural entity viously what is culture can affect what is not. (In Freudian language. It begins memory remains. Ireland. thesis. 7) understood that "new structure" can be built in a psyche to take Culture as a concept has not been fully examined over from old and inadequate structure. pool (both culture and genes being forms of storing ed. but I am not sure that I follow those elements which some might call tween societies as they really are and him in the present article. animal brain and nervous system into Durkheim endorses the psychological perience. process. from which each indi- preserved in the memory. The cultural information can never be removed. in language. Some of Durkheim's individuation and social creativity. But Durkheim himself. concepts grow out of contrasts between help us to understand what Vico right. not even to the has been studied. experience. in its extent that a species is such an entity-and biologists external coding. For Durkheim." I believe "profane. be- works. But the structure remains.org/terms . learn to make total changes in cultural and tion." If these modes are stripped and cognition tends to support Vico's that it is as wrong to call Durkheim of their religious connotations. once in behavior are brought about. Freud (1900:chap. stone. comparative studies. repetitive behavior. surely distinguished between analyses and arguments in earlier game. 9 iii 73 product of the conscious mind that is solidarity. He calls these contrasting 150 years before Tylor. But I do not see human mind? argument that "the self is a product how the analogy of a gene pool and I refer to the theory of Durkheim. He sees the need to reconcile real and rationalized solidarity. it was never cathect. guage and institutions. vidual. But the old by the profession for some time. analogous to the gene storage. Perhaps we will. whenever the in the brain and once externally. And Rather. Culture in the real world (whatever that is). and as information coded twice. to account for the transformation of sciousness and conceptual thought. any read him. is doubly encoded. What you had for breakfast on by discussing problems in the use of the concept October 12. But is it necessary to create an elaborate duction do not generate but pre- cept needs re-examination. the idea that although human nature a conservative as it is to say that he "sacred" can be seen as the source of changes according to men's ways of ignored culture. with that insight. Bohannan also agrees that group that calls itself a society must by JOHN BLACKING culture is not entirely a superorganic contain forces that contribute to its Belfast. and so my "the collective unconscious" with the societies as men conceive them in lan- comments may be irrelevant to his "experientially encoded" data that an. and perceiving and acting in the world. That does not mean that every challenge to carry out this examination. fore they walked. thropologists try to record and analyse. 1958. tic communication. 14 * No. by psychoanalytic have long known that species are not closed categories. by anthropological methods. each group draws its particular New structure is added. like I have greatly admired Bohannan's learned like the arbitrary rules of a Marx. and Vol. But. for Abstract obviously it can. They have insisted that biology and In summary.48. that what is here described as the overt content of Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE the genetic information and the cultural information are independent of one another-that any genetically perhaps to total change. however. Anthropologists have. 4 * October 1973 365 This content downloaded from 193. and the existence in the light of recent discoveries in the "cultural tradition" (a culture) when of society as a system of forces is also fields of brain function. Nothing that is not (or has not Both "a race" and "a culture" have to be given specific once been) doubly encoded is culture. and with it effective changes body of culture. Comments certain basic cognitive and affective if society is a system of forces and not structures are species-specific. and so on. not been content memory storage. once a human being has learned cultural philosophers have organized our ignorance about the information. in its internal coding. followers seem to have assumed that hence of concepts and cultures. paralinguis. the old structure is there to take writing. then that cultural information conjoins way it all fits together. each dyad. and physiological methods. and created poetry modes of experience "sacred" and Our new knowledge of perception before they created prose. of social interaction" and explains how the use of dualistic terminology will whose secondary theme in The Elemen. and the study coded information subject to new structure and of evolution. transcendental ex. the biological we already have an impressive theory a prerequisite of both self-con- foundations of language.jstor. over. new structure fails. with the chemical information in his genes to create the complete creature.204 on Thu.

can be done in a series of steps. but problems accept the validity of Durkheim's broad definitions. culture) or external to the mind. But each culture offers and achievements. order to be easily stored and applied. I believe." or "sail- rethinking culture. each (a) not consistent units. morality not our morality. in my opinion the conception "storing and retrieving information" of expressing his feelings and thoughts of culture should not be reduced to from which a "group draws its particu. according study. and the polity fit together. do. dyad-as bearers ity. COLBY genes at the moment of conception. Basic conceptions-even preliminary we ascend to a higher and clearer level ject to experiences of social interaction. and psychic factors (love. number of cultural units. nation.jstor. haves. On the other hand."' pological research.A. has sufficiently called our at- Both theories. and storing accordng to the various strata and discoveries in the form of traditional signs and structures. seem to be so- the apparently conflicting theories of sential traits of culture. the selection and "culture" is not always our culture. and vague ones-need not "blind the of discussion which avoids most of the We know this to be true of learning scholar" (Bohannan). (b) structured tention to the existence of "cultural 366 C U R R E N T A N T H R O P O L O G Y This content downloaded from 193. adjusted and vational tests must be done. 19 ii 73 Bohannan justly suggests a common 2.the "profane" as the realization of these to transmitting. about it as long as one is working in cesses rather than products and can 1. difficulties Bohannan speaks of. In so doing culturally encoded information is sub. are confined inable cultural units. law. limited by BENJAMIN N. U. culture. into some kind of a single 'culture. Calif. art. Geertz. by JULES DERAEDT Braunschweig. envy. and so on. rather than groups. whose patterns of interaction Man can also change his cultural "members of" or "participants in" a provide both their form and content. This is a convenient way of thinking solidarity. regardless of their domains of culture. Cultural units. is cultural information time. therefore. music. Bohannan refers to In reply to the question "how the basis for all sciences of man. codes and transform his surroundings. as bodies acquire their ture" (Bohannan) is. instruments). or when experimental or obser- and autism. for ex- parable to structuralism in linguistics. but also flexibly reacts to unnoticed. nomics. Cultures are not real in seem to be a give-and-take affair. Starting from cognitive anthropology. imposed by the task at hand. family. courage. criterion of cultures as unitary systems concrete situations. an is whether the locus of culture is in the same way as genes: they have to interaction between the individual and the mind (in which case we can speak be made and re-made by human the society he lives in. members of his cultural group. and methods of anthropological re- Culture is not simply a device for ficulties of his existence and finds ways search. jealousy. or philosophy. to the requirements for precision pologists who study them? mains (religion. The Cultures emerge as unitary systems He communicates not only with compromise notion of double coding. because of continuities in social in." the major one information. eco. Cultures the usage of "culture. the commun- as doubly encoded information" is his tribe. in art. Germany. hatred. as well as those of the anthro." "Navaho culture. however. general conceptions. Universals of culture. This formal view. should we not con." Residues there Man's experiences are accumulated regarded from another point of view may well be. called open systems. he "be. both in individual bodies and communicated through tradition as a dynamic field of creative actions and in "external" cultural traditions. emerges from and reflects their social universals of culture and units of cul. a formal device. We then have the basis of meanings. production referred to the external to models whose consistency both pologists should keep in mind both manifestations of this mental system.204 on Thu. 10 ii 73 Nor. of cultures and subcultures. as parts. evaluating. Such made. the modifications. Cultures. Moreover. tures. and pensable as a kind of framework to precise theoretical statements are to be it may be relevant in cases of marasmus be filled out and verified in detail. human capacities. the research worker arise when this usage is applied to other "sacred" mode of experience as a should bear in mind the old rule that areas of study. must be further specified. as an unbound variable. is attractive until one stops to any one "cultural tradition" the range with the rest of the world. Fun. The an. Likewise. art I think the solution is to treat culture manipulation of both chemically and not our art. and satisfies Vico's formation.45. 2 iII 73 turance). in once within the human being and once teraction. he masters many dif. new inven. but individuals and social groups do only a selection from all possible not draw their cultures from a pool. stant change which is often nearly hannan's dualism. creative activity. Through discernment and to reflect critically on the various fields world of nature. by BERNHARD BOCK fear. In tion of cultural units. but are indis. Culture should be lar body of culture. For well expressed in the world views of cations and a clearer scientific recogni. Every "pool of cul- once and for all. hous. damental conceptions of culture will boat-racing culture" are bindings that sider the theories of the societies we comprise material bases (food. but to foreign languages from the beginning was that culture was a system in the claim that when individuals interact or of his life. Man not only receives encoded in. moreover.. dispenses with Bo.org/terms . If we see cultures as pro. will again form the basis of ture will have to be bound. "Culture various groups of human beings.48. but also outside. without think: just how is a pot or a building of individual behaviour overlaps those having been encoded for speaking a code? In the past my own idiolect of a hundred other traditions. traditions of the family. subject to a con- Marx and Freud. society. selected out of the multitude of imag. arms. only of "users" of a culture." because he divines a meaning thesis is fertile and a welcome cause rials" that are in the body and in the in his life. This is not to deny that in whose code he participates. a theory of culture that incorporates plicitly one-sided conception lacks es. thropologist is confronted with a vast we have long known that cultures are like information theory itself-is com. Baguio City. spirit of sacrifice. and (c) limited in institutions. then cul- The ideas of Vico and Durkheim adapted. and education. Though Bohannan's "information" that men create in society from "mate. source of knowledge.S. Bohannan's ex. communications). Binding on the subject of culture are rather new fieldwork resulting in new verifi. ample. ing. common denominator for anthro. Philippines. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. Of the many points of contention over encoded in the same way as genetic tions may enrich a culture. When a language and learning to think. nur. anthro. and subject to losses and changes over Irvine. "Neolithic some African and Asian societies. clothing. poetry. individual's mind and the term cultural react as groups they tend to conform As Bohannan points out. example.

national corporations are treading a well as understanding it. along with per- Bohannan discusses at length." as Bohannan would have it). As a tactic deflecting only man has culture.A.. and the origin of new other characteristics of cultural phe- the author has articulated an impor. further development. the arbitrariness of bounda. How does Bohannan phenomena manifesting certain values neider 1968: 1. because they are essential namely. The American example is uncon.. kinds of "experientially encoded in- ing a timeless definition of culture like tial. and grammars are all grist a vast mass of irrelevant material. from material definition ("being specific about what refinement of its analytical tools as it roots as extrasomatic means of ad. but wish he had gone fur- by DAVID G. except in terms of their adaptive. the transformation and persis. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. practical. and is sterile. Ethnographic observation the contemporary world. on this only briefly and implicitly in any.e. production and the concept of culture includes certain of symbols and their meanings (Sch. 1971)." The potential infinity of Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE definable cultural traditions (in the author's social-structural framework. matters implies neglect of the material ginning of a study would seem to be Schneider's cultural units are symbols conditions of life (not just "material rather a simple and flexible positive and not simply traits.perspectives. But restriction of which one has forgotton to specifically strangely disappears in the "culture as the scope of anthropology to such exclude. rather than maintaining or expanding. definition. nomena are. 14 No.45. this disciplinary boundary. the common ignorance of mis. path through primitive stamping other obstructive waste of time. 4 iII 73 colonial dependence to inclusion in a as a lifetime (although some of it does neocolonial national state. play a part in changing the world as tence I refer to Bernstein's two cate." No cultural materialist consideration. but the increasingly severe risks undertak. cronesia. coding" of cultural information is nan's circular-and idealist-explana.org/terms . 2 III 73 and their purposes" simply won't wash. what I would term a "focal a very specific tradition in anthro. 4 October 1973 367 This content downloaded from 193. FISCHER ple with whom they spend as much New Orleans. ed. unit. Bohannan's own Tiv have sionaries about the culture of the peo. nor answers logical arrangements are destroying." no less. figure 1. planation of sociocultural differences speciation?" is to be found in the exis. thing. signs" and "culturally encoded" infor- through its thorax. Bohannan would like to be So Bohannan's exercise fails even as which culture is reproduced or trans- Talcott Parsons." One should specify that pology that views culture as a system energy and materials. ion and points which appear to deserve whose culture they study. To those of us who wish to boundaries. restriction of refer all cultural traditions back to a will confirm the increased prevalence research attention to _definitional exer- single cultural pool of global dimen. state cises and to arcane corners of the sion. semantic dimensions" and at the same including and social institutions obscures rather structures. But as a scientific strate- The answer to the question "What the aftermath of a separatist civil war. supplies of energy and materials for What about nonhuman social animals The task which Bohannan "set [s] which present technology is suited and which understand each other's acts and the profession. Bohannan suggests that a negative reflect the profession's concern with or at least cultural traits. grounds from Central Brazil to Mi- tion. computerized torture devices. A theoreti. Cambridge. double coding is the means by Ho-hum. of such units as national states. inforjnation systems.S. for our mill. passed from acephalous autonomy to by J. Bohannan's paper does not strongly Bohannan would also abstract culture. adaptive pattern. animal species? Vol. U. ther into its implications. processes transforming them in the fully the material conditions of life in that is) cannot be turned around to real world. to human adaptation. consequences? Bohan. For all his obeisances to evolution. bureaucracies." State bureaucracies are armed and similarities. where he distinguishes two Bohannan's preoccupation is with fix. aptation. of the capture and transformation of definition.204 on Thu. N. L. . What is called for at the be- double-coded information" section. even if Evanston isn't a proposed charter for anthropology's ferred from one organism to another. television. than clarifies the discussion. distinguished. For the rest of us. La. I agree with Bohannan that "double i. one excludes") is more suitable than tackles more manageable problems. Multi. he adopts a positive definition because the latter Notwithstanding the reference to Schneider's emic definition of a may blind the investigator to "impor- Schneider (1968). tormation systems": "infracultural an etherized butterfly with a pin pant observers of the debacle or obser. matter open for study as to what the as information that is doubly encoded. Rather than repeat points on which rub off). The term. Evans-Pritchard's problem of transla. corporations. a tural element.. gestures? Bohannan appears to touch questions worth asking. values. it is just an- gories of speech (Douglas 1970:22). If he believes. tant aspect of the notion. . In support of their exis. I will call communication between the experts process would be infinitely more valu. Bohannan's proposal tence of cultural (and not structural) with helicopters. however encod. For one New York. symbolism. dence. reproduction. that instance.jstor. item) is used in and certainly no Marxist denies the negative definition runs a great risk a rather vague manner. the term "trait" trait: "anything culturally defined and tant dimensions of the subject under (and its equivalents in the paper: cul. exclude learned traditions in other he has no proposals to offer about the en by those who would examine care. For example.48. The Nuer today are in haps prudent.A.Y. EPSTEIN tions in terms of "who is involved . U. and the rare event of true cally grounded discussion of this last I agree with the author. gy aimed at the specification and ex- in culture is analogous to biological Papuans approach national "indepen.S. mation. propose to explain the extinction of of certain dimensions and leave the In proposing that we view culture some. and multinational cognitive and symbolic domains is per- vincing and the analogy overdrawn. Abstracted from historical processes. tence of other. human productive and creative poten. for quired for the institution of a more haps a majority of anthropologists. important. our choice is to be either partici. vant participants in the next steps re. But does Bohannan believe that all Grand Theory Game is a crashing Given the onrushing depletion of double-coded information is culture? bore. To use it to relevance of the "native model": rules. of accidentally excluding "important cover such diverse things as symbols beliefs. attention to some differences of opin- (anthropologists) and the people able than the present folderol. everything in the universe abundant elsewhere in the paper. He speaks from culture." On the contrary. how does he ries between units in anthropology. leads to no the fact that dominant social and ideo.

important problems." or should form a connected whole itself? Most of us will probably agree This is why I am not stimulated by simply because our bodies and cultures that in socioculture nothing is entirely such microtheories as "componential are outcomes of doubly coded infor- mation systems. on the mian and Radcliffe-Brownian anthro- cence. But.jstor. because Evans-Pritchard says. which again can be defined in by GUTORM GJESSING work model of socioculture according terms of cultural and. One must always re- "Anthropological theory is conserva. a new formulation paper is apparently inspired. we cannot study either culture or soci. crowd at a football game." then we can measure the degree warned us against using cybernetics in rather by a painstaking and critical of culturality of an item of information the social sciences?) This duality. when Wiener [1964] himself strongly be resolved by "pedanto-cracy. rather. but how new is the idea parts. or even antitheoretical. forms of production. Whether anthro." It member. is very conservative. it "culture and society are as inseparable science of man must be biologically seems to fit what they in fact study as the two sides of a sheet of paper. since its appearance in the expense of society. A personal idiosyncratic recipe whole. an outmoded Newtonian.S." 368 C U R R E NT AN TH ROPO LOG Y This content downloaded from 193. Both Leach whether it be a religious congregation." setningene mellom individ og kollektiv. Den moralske sage-strings. may persist for a lifetime but is barely ual. or equal to the sum of its stimulating essay that anthropology is formulation. I am not convinced by Bohannan's The analogy to gene pool is a new less than. Further. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. The acquisitive and society. "In the category of solidarity the learning and can be temporarily wide. and groups. is no dichotomy but a comple. Den er dypt rotfestet Consequently. the positivistic philosophy." contrast between individual and col- spread but likewise has a low degree on the other hand." as Bohannan sented by various social institutions. perhaps." etc. and philosophical expressions. Norway.45. deeply -genetic." really important problems of our day. The crisis in anthropology is not to formation dependent on social learn. that the 'whole' is not greater than. by which Bohannan's of culture may be more useful than cal. bevissthet. As Bloch (1972) has put A fad is highly dependent on social drive chases ahead from profit to profit. develop parallel and side by side within one society are just as inseparable as culture uration. I agree with Bohannan that the pologists like this definition or not. widespread in. of course. HEWES nan's "rethinking" will be only time statement: "It is the nature of culture Boulder. we must abandon' rooted in biological heredity. social "cate- Oslo. idea is dy- philosophical premises. Topology deals with those fremad fra profitt til profitt. and statics within individuals as well position. and his "double coding" to me and describe under the label of "cul. 7 iII 73 will show. single individual. In a letter to the critic George Murdock's (1971). may be elaborated further to me to be in danger of developing gree to which its presence is dependent to show the tension between dynamics an atheoretical. a complementary by the ideational content of religious. it leaves room for con. topolo. individualistic tendency and so- sidering the influence of other factors certain very specific and restricted sit. let- seg ikke paralelt og jevnsides i et og det closed categories.A. we have to apply nology. culture as "persistent. now Bohannan is "rethinking" a holistic framework. significantly.. Colo. as Kroeber once remarked. Dette "I kategorien solidaritet oppheves mot- is limited to system-preserving changes. The moral consciousness. What strikes me escape from having to approach the pologists have tried to use. etc. is easily demonstrable that a qualitative phenomenon has a cultural aspect and should critically analyze our theoretical change takes place in the individual every cultural phenomenon a social basis right down to its positivistic when he is integrated in a whole. U.org/terms . but even more of tance." derimot er variant under all continuous deformations. Henrik Ibsen wrote (Heiberg nan's paper inevitably leads to an over- and persistent but has a low degree 1967) :2 rating of the role of the individual at of culturality. Tilegnelsesdriften jager ters of the alphabet) and longer mes- gical processes. "the conscience."3 While Durkhei- of culturality because of its evanes. and human cultures may properties of figures which remain in. based on tendencies are manifested in processes. If we open ones subject to change. which analysis of our theoretical foundation. If we define as most fruitful is the "double coding. I disagree completely with Bohannan's by GORDON W. uations). One cannot quarrel with the facts: DNA molecules exhibit 'Leach. This causes the individual pology grossly underrated the individ- conflict. A panhuman mode of locomo. and the de. itive. "samvittigheten. may lead to the posing of new and long suspected them of being another hannan and nearly all other anthro. change. (Why this cybernetic terminology. lowed with his Rethinking Archaeology way of thinking (Gjessing 1968) within artistic. Some kind of quantitative definition cultural and nothing entirely biologi. proposed thinking 2"De forskjellige 'andsfunksjoner utvikler in terms of processes in addition to our analogies to phonemes (or better. on social learning as distinct from indi. in the past." but ing.' How fruitful Bohan. Bohan- tion such as walking is both widespread Brandes. is deeply rooted in tradition and." however. og i det hele i fortiden. It lectivity is abolished.-American anthropology seems its distribution in society. Rethinking once in a while is model certainly is "trite. appropriate. and Chang fol. and Anthropology (1961). however. that every social tive!" The "rethinking. it is the same as its parts. to be sure. Since. 27 ii 73 to which the cogs work into each other gories" except that these have to be "Rethinking" seems to have become a and so nothing happens at all. situational. namic. (1968). U. it. side. means that culture represents the dy- ture.48. ar- was deplorably right in his remark: whose main postulate is that "the whole tistic forms." Also. ciety the stabilizing tendency. it is at least equally detrimental cultural because of its restriction to a to overrate him. Leach's processual thinking i tradisjonen. It is positivism. At any rate. but. are to deal with the tension between tural tendency is represented by tech- Leach started out with his Rethinking statics and dynamics. idiosyncratic. that results in the watch. mentarity. The cul- fashionable anthropological sport. and the same individual.. rituals. These on human behavior. organizations. Form is stabilizing. ety in isolation (except. a political party. a dialectic or. The watchwork whereas the social tendency is repre- culture. as the product of its persistence in time. I am thinking not only of vidual rediscovery or genetic inheri. or the to the traditional structuralist-func. as sociocultures that is necessary to all Bohannan's paper. and Chang confined their "rethinking" a trade union. the other repet- world view. but it is not holism. Therefore tionalist cage. etc.204 on Thu. samme individ. Individual and The different spiritual functions do not the individual depends mainly on mat. analysis.. mechanistic the one type dynamic.S. forarsaker den individuelle konflikt. in namic. meget konservativ. is more than the sum of its parts." based. not on instruction or example. I have the categorical type of definition Bo.

is culture. His view of the culture The accepted analogy for the central ticle. of anthropological theory. Nagel Strauss. Recent a formal definition of the term "cul.S. culture. his 1961. usually not di. Yerevan. Most of us recog. consistently.R. I heartily it is false (Braithwaite 1960. Although many of its con. acquired by learning. Bohannan con- psychology texts are likely to employ ture.48. Louis. Dob. The activity of biological systems. presupposes models of be- other. MARKARIAN fixing experience is universal. and provided for so by THOMAS H. Huxley. A scientific types of organization. the opment of anthropological theory. I am not sure we are at a point deduced. Science In the case of culture as information. as a becomes the property not only of was thought of as a miniature solar repository for information. is stimulated. Unfortunately. the atom ferent ways-as information. then empirical support for The heuristic value of this concept is where the "geneticizing" of sociocul. or applications before we can know what information ior. (often called theorems) deduced from view. coding information. to use the term Especially stimulating is his attempt to similarities. Rudner 1966). If a hypothesis has been validly formed into socially directed activity. and." which cepts have been assimilated. if a validly deduced hypoth. tivity. phenomenon. by E. 8 iii 73 deduction that makes it vital that each fects (Markarian 1972). been seen as the "functional and evo. as I think he doubt on the truth of the axioms. Mo. Masters (1970) have expressed similar article makes no direct contribution to notions. Early in this century. of paradigms from one field to an.45. in the general characteristic of the tural anthropology will solve our con. But in this func- after World War II. explicit definitions within a single ar. but success is not inevitable." The theoretical premise of this con- a borrowed linguistic model. deductions which are invalid perceived parallels between genetics mon behaviors of anthropologists because of the ambiguity of terms may and culture and/or language.S. and (2) propositions a system operates. and as a human behavior but of that of animals system. These propositions to use the concept "specific mode of of science. Bohannan calls upon the profession term be defined carefully and used As to the concept "a culture" (I "to examine the parts of anthro. obvious that a mode of encoding in. In the case of culture as however. applaud his call. Similarly. 14 No. U. Hypotheses are tion. 4 October 1973 369 This content downloaded from 193. To understand long-sought synthesizer of much of the in whole or in part. In the the index of culture. the goal or basic assumptions. concept "culture" is the fundamental but efforts to force what is left over The seriousness of using one term theoretical means for the discrimi- into formal linguistic models have not in two or more senses arises from the nation of sociocultural and biological been spectacularly successful. is not convinc- nervous system 50 years ago was a Although Bohannan refuses to offer ing. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. most recently. cally.be thought of as doubly coded in the Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE brains of their carriers and in the extrasomatic products of cultural ac. Waddington.S. define the term in at least three dif. it is necessary distressingly compartmentalized world or logical symbols). extrabiologically derived means and ceptual problems. Gerard. In repository for information. The to the informational content of culture. 9 ii 73 mechanisms involved are highly par." Along with some undeniable and Goldstein (1957). Levi. in mathematical the nature of culture. coding information. or at least from analogies information is encoded and before we nongenetic acquisition is not in itself with written messages. The basis of a distinction between lutionary analogue of genetic material" formation will be different from both biological and cultural phenomena (Masters 1970:312). genetic and cultural sys. "culture" (and other terms) in several comprehend the direct interrelations tems differ from each other in a great different senses and to change even between mechanisms of biological and many significant ways. the information and the behavior or must be not mode of getting informa- nize that language is not all there is artifact in which the information is tion. or metaethnology has been based on statements refer to different "things. permits an answer to the question how of unified science seems as far away rectly testable.204 on Thu. thus falsely casting straction. mined. that the task is to analyze com. language. ticular. Gerard's (1960:255) comment this analysis. In dealing with have decoded the information. noted by Moore (1952) Bohannan's paper is of great interest. we are in havior based on both programs geneti- the present case. cultural levels. From this point of as ever. confusion is case of culture as mode. Defining culture as a mode of telephone central exchange. however. Bohannan is not alone in having does. obstacles." various statements effectively siders as "cultural" any information the idiom of the computer center in. information theory consists of a set of propositions tion culture is more than a mode of theory exhibited great promise as a (some or all of which may be expressed. but his estimation of it as Vol. potentials of human beings are trans- model of linguistics has been under.. These as well. dence for the truth of the axioms. nated. A whole school of ethnology mode of encoding information. At a much less grandiose level. the hypothesis provides indirect evi. Shortly role of terms in theories. U. coordi- our confidence in the axioms is re. the tendency. Thus culture stead. Similarly. but it seems biological in nature.A. encoded. realized. and information Bohannan's essay. mechanisms by which human activity esis is not supported by empirical test. In other words. there are several acquired nongenetically may be purely compounded because language has possible interpretations.org/terms . as a "superstructure" even the hope of turning cultural the axioms or from the axioms and above the biological type of organiza- theory into something approximating previous theorems. programmed. If a term is used am. the genetic model possession of culture as soon as we have cally transmitted and programs ac- itself was affected by ideas taken from the behavior or artifact in which the quired by learning." If he means. prefer the term "local culture"). it exemplifies an seems especially apt: "The problem of especially serious obstacle to the devel. fall into two classes: (1) a set of axioms activity (existence) of a system. HAY duced. but type of organization. ception is the consideration as biologi- has advanced as the result of such we must be in possession of the code cal only of genetic programs of behav- conceptual borrowings. is a mode by which the biological the formerly rigorous and autonomous theorems which can be tested empiri.jstor. It is the requirement of valid as to produce socially adaptive ef- St. we may invalidly deduce hannan is quite right in stating that our understanding of culture and to hypotheses which are "disconfirmed" it expresses a different order of ab- by empirical test. which are obstacles to the development lead us to accept the whole theory when zhansky. Bo- pological culture that interfere with biguously. Rather.

misinterpretation of the quotation of consideration: the local historical type." but he fails to ask where this A unit in a particular culture is simply from definite space-time limits. a mess. worked out mode of human existence. I will dence of culture as a subsystem which as one asks "What is culture?" one confine myself to one comment which cannot be reduced to "expectations. state of affairs. As long which I feel this paper merits. of foreboding. but I find I am quoted as providing "the most nite space-time limits.S." Instead of wor. SCHNEIDER the concept of culture "disappear into for morphological categories and their Chicago. and as if the individual or the group by MICHEL PANOFF could occupy any position within the Paris. whether much of the rest of the paper specific features of the modes of exis. ercion and internal repression. stop half. and were quite immaterial to the subject."' tures" and "whole cultures" is there. His statement with Kroeber among others. on this point. he is redundant to a fault in and ask what is left out when one menting in the detail and at the length insisting on the integrity and indepen- concentrates on definitions. of culture traits" (my emphasis) Bohannan mon historical properties and stages "information coding" and "double knows of: of cultural development abstracted coding. were I to detail and document it. France. the contents and limits of such a pool as uncle. building on Durkheim. rying about what "life" is. in his writings. ed items from the cultural pool. hallucination. struggle. especially Marcuse (1955) and makes amply clear that in my view doubt that his attempt will take us very Deleuze and Guattari (1972). 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. To dismiss the that it is a precise repetition of the characterises the specific mode of Freudian theory of culture in two sen. psycho. such units karian 1969:99-130). The concept of culture as it is used fore not a matter of inclusiveness but ing with black boxes for some time by Parsons is quite clear and explicit one of domination. To coding comes from. In intro. art are cultural units. indicative and has more the psychological system. which generalizes com. instead.204 on Thu. and to come.48. etc. sensible present-day statement about historical type. biologists distorted may be seen in his treatment way? If the many discussions of the have tried to understand how it works. town. Freud was not "fitting culture into view of culture as "traits" in the old All of us will probably support his brave new contexts". Why does Bohannan quote he is right in stressing that cultural the individual could cooperate with the me as providing "the most sensible traditions are not natural units in the coercive system in enforcing repres. blue (depressed). to cope with the fact of coercion and make it disappear into 'expectations. tures?" have done with "life. U. we have sons. by what means it anything that is culturally defined and dis- reconstruct "a culture" as a historically is achieved. Ill. for God's sake.jstor.. tinguished as an entity. 9 III 73 'expectations. tence worked out by different peoples.' Like Par- culture is a combination of forces and analysis. explicitly. directly. acter of a cultural system within defi. with examples. If the concept of culture of what they wrote. Otherwise we will be play. an instructive parallel in what biologists here? I refrain from speculation.. That is probably why he This is indeed a precise quote from It is true that there has always been takes for granted the importance of pp. repression. as if or idea. hope. and most emphati- his attack on our tendency to reify Both were simply trying to explain how cally abhorrent to the scheme I culture and culture elements. In no with complaining that the idea of "a way can it be shown that Parsons made culture" has fallen victim to the craving by DAVID M. general relevance than its substance system. Instead. they can that the relationship between "subcul. Like Durk- especially CA 10: 181-201) have been follow it merely by putting side by side heim. Thus one cannot be content my own view derives from his.org/terms . no anthro. or the general no mention of such things in Bohan. is not of the same quality. culture could perpetuate itself and how present. my own work and provide two other which generalizes the individual char. different kinds of generalization (Mar. symbols and meanings and that the himself. I writers. present-day statement" of something real world. and do again. 'collective representations. thus show similar gross miscomprehensions different meanings depending upon avoiding all unproductive questions. of Durkheim and Parsons: "Social sci- idea of a "culture of poverty" (see Here is our way out. He speaks. or the social culture work?" Marx and Freud. feeling. It is likely some uneasiness about culture among family traditions versus community that Bohannan read the whole book anthropologists. formulation-that I disowned and dis- have to raise such a question as "How pologists studying "culture" can find avowed. for the book this subject matter. tried to answer this might indicate. but we cannot entists can ignore culture. frustration and sublimation. political science. Again. explicit. I will therefore correct the the historical type of culture under Marx did the same. I think. as is well known. sense it is necessary to combine these two group took at random or freely select. repression. that I explicitly excluded from my pologist will fail to find it sad that we Bohannan himself says that anthro. traditions. fantasy. The main difficulty with the concept ter by definition. 1-2 of my 1968 book. "culture" is an integrated system of far. and to what ends. All this has been seriously through. for his benefit. Tylor's and Schneider's definitions is so distorted that I am moved to ask tems. nan's paper. vance in the realm of social theory. sion. and his latest statement 370 C U R R E NT A N TH ROPOLOG Y This content downloaded from 193. One has to go further Circumstances prevent me from com. for he has not carried it far enough ducing his concept of the superego. it is in reminding us that sociology. he argues as if the individual or the place. he tried to would be that the paper does indeed "a culture" is that it acquires quite visualize how culture functions. and. a hunch." overlooks the basic question "How does is. nor was Marx in Kroeberian or any other sense is describing culture as a black box and expounding his idea of alienation. to begin with. it is true. Nevertheless."nothing other than a stopgap" seems be better off knowing a little more and the quote is perfectly accurate in too negative. words as they appear in print-but the human existence in contrast to the tences while devoting a full page to words are so taken out of context and modes of existence of biological sys. throughout."' Parsons is not merely classification. That I am not the only one so But why. thing. My answer. hope. they can make it disappear into of any use. 7 III 73 social system. do subcultures make up whole cul.45. As a result. Culture has to do with external co. Bohannan is there. It may be a person. the idea of progress. In American culture. the concept "a culture" expresses to prove blind to what constitutes rele. and anthropologists would I have been quoted in this paper. (Kroeber and Parsons 1958) is clear question. but he apparently forgot or fore to be commended for coping with and fruitfully questioned by several decided to ignore the rest. Freud (1929) did not examine the mat.A.

because it sons. the profession would below it. The Parsons 1972 was pub- the "culturality" of a trait. But Panoff hasn't raised in the responses. neither more logical nor more system. I have od instead of analyzing the point. I am Several points: fine" culture as any of the right-hand not much in the mood of "defending" 1.) explains behavior very culture make it so. Still. Hay says that I have analytic theory for the purposes of distinction should be confused with a defined culture at least three ways. point in the hierarchy you select deter- Some disappointment (if that is not netics should not be used to explain mines what you think about nonhuman too strong a word) comes because social relationships. which I dictate how others should use his work. distinctive in culture theory. I think this gy that would seem to be more useful lished after this paper was accepted. each of which is part of the Durkheim discussed cultural matters carried the argument far enough. Why distinguish "social a social theorist that a clear. It is not quite clear what the two mentioned. and that the it. however. equivalent to the old "nature-culture" needs to "afterthink" his conclusions. information systems play a how important a general-systems ap- disappeared there. each of which sets ing and Schneider read me to say that some of these points. unique. There is no need of emphasizing tive conscience. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. If we look at a social relation. too.S. ture insofar as students of wolves and share." The dichotomy seems to me the basic ideas of culture theory. dichotomies for solving Bohannan's why Bohannan garbles such perfectly we ought to be dissatisfied with some problems. Just as economics must be Vol.(Parsons 1972) reiterates and further Bohannan: RETHINKING CULTURE clarifies it. 5 iv 73 and a culture. anthropologists will read it. and (3) all this yields a proach to culture theory is today. It is our loss that he behavior? Is it possible? White's "sym- It has been two years since I wrote chose to lecture me on scientific meth. Ill. didn't.45. 4 October 1973 371 This content downloaded from 193. Fischer sug. Both Black- than a set of dichotomies to explore cybernetic systems. VOIGT and chemical form" and coding "out. Inci- CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY-it was an overt is useful for several of the inquiries dentally.org/terms . Indeed. Gjessing points out elements in my chart. Reply more. one titled his book a dozen years ago Re. I be inadequate. Hewes raises doubts. Certainly would provide it. Men and animals.48. His aim. respondent-Epstein-rejected my not possibly believe that any animal thropological dam. there are now many or "biological-social" dichotomy and of which the culture theory itself is attempts to rethink some basic prob. cisely one of Durkheim's claims to the new culture theory. 4. is a very good idea-his work is cut than either behaviorism or psycho. Many ideas in Bohannan's ing "within the human being. animals' having culture. if he "rethinks" Budapest. In fact. for example. clear and simple points of view as of his conclusions. Bohannan atic. Durkheim and culture. The problem must be explored clearly embedded in the concept of offers three main ideas: (1) culture is more profoundly. U. but it by no means coding. double coding. and it is clear from systems" from "information systems?" notion of culture as an independent Bohannan's preliminary remarks on How can "material culture" or "sym- and irreducible subsystem of social the history of culture concepts that he bols" exist apart from "ecosystems" and action had emerged by the time he knows well how social. (2) in one aspect of this 2. Powers's book said it before (Bohannan 1961). 5 II 73 side the human being in some other (instead of systematically examining) Probably for the same reasons Leach form. a matrix of correlations would be better convincingly as a hierarchy of nine 3. I agree. Fischer has suggested that I could a lot of water has gone over the an. thinking . pology. not definition. indeed. Voigt says that Powers (n. biological. correctly that Wiener said that cyber. Learned be- commentators chose not to rise to the like the rest of us. and am rather pleased that only one cor.. It would seem. one can find neither a new parts of his double coding are. and stops there. definite role. I am grateful to Schneider request for help. the concept of culture was lems in anthropology. and I have taken. can ignore culture. but did not. Of course. collective representations and collec. If he the reference level for the one just Durkheim ignored culture. I still think that you can "de- is either received or used. Man is long ago learned (and Schneider has own. I meant to say that Panoff is quite right that I have not tems. I did not mean to. In response to uses of "culture" may be at least as Markarian: How does one distinguish by PAUL BOHANNAN bad as the confusion between culture between culture and other "learned" Evanston. is by WILLIAM J. . anthropologists. is that these three nation. Without solving the problems just Durkheim. why I placed the article in can learn a lot. I have Glassperlenspiel in order to push his except man has culture. So far as Durkheim is con- cerned. dualism-I read Blacking's comments (Undoubtedly he hasn't looked very 2. . That environment of the other. it is pre. 3. been involved in other pursuits. The differences to make that confusion. No social scientist be in his debt for generations to come. and I hope hard-there must be half a dozen between human animals and other I did not. I do not think that a out for him. ship as two interacting cybernetic sys. Nevertheless. During those years. in electric paper are fruitful. or cod. the Achilles' heel. I think we without a concept of culture. whether culture theory nor a theory for "cur- "biological" and "extrabiotic" codes. I remain puzzled as to together in such theory. highly welcome. which I should have known and gests that we find ways of quantifying provides a set of ideas about psycholo. and "social systems?" A matrix of correla- finished The Elementary Forms of the even information problems are bound tions would be better than a set of Religious Life. Thus. I have is. 1. Dualism. I hope all for the reference to Kroeber and Par- carried it farther either. wolves is cul- bait.jstor. Cybernetics.boling" would seem to help-but to this paper.A. one the proposal in figure 1 raises a lot position of preeminence he holds as should always be in favour of new ideas of questions. Hungary. 14 No. or rent" (in which meaning?) anthro- "genetic" and "cultural" codes.d. Parsons. Moreover. Wiener cannot havior of.204 on Thu. Still. Unfortunately.) The criticism that he should have should be a matter of exami- animals made. that he apparently the only animal who has chosen to make the point above) that confuses his with the real world on the equipment to think up ways in one can have absolutely no control over the undeniable grounds that the issues which he supposes himself to be the' way in which anything one says are pressing..

Princi. Oslo: Univer-MURDOCK." The 6. Cambridge: M. GOLDSTEIN. OMAR K. 1970." A would agree that this Western idea of aries in the culture pool do not distinction. 1952." in Emile Durkheim. [EM] of male initiation ceremonies at puberty. STOCKING. MARY. ethnog. I experience aspects of the tetra. course they are not. as DeRaedt says. As in so many things. 1960. pology. 81. tally. On defining cul. I would ask him. Englewood Cliffs: New York: Random House. Maccoby. to its apogee in America) is consonant give unreasonable emphasis to some 5. University Press. HEIBERG. SHEVKY. H. . However. 1961. 38. KROEBER. Nominal definitions [GWH] of "culture. Konkret utopi-speku." most enlightening. Standard Academy of Sciences of the Armenian ALBERT S.I. When Bock says "every 'pool of cul. Culture. Kontrast (Oslo). 1964. Oceanic Institute Communication ture. London: Chatto and Windus.) London: Hogarth SSR.distinguished from capitalist economy. [GG] American Sociological Review 23:582-83. Co.d. if the replicator can under- drawing-pin is thrust into the tetrahe. Proceedings of the Royal An- communication. EGG] mythology. Edited by Sol Tax. there are no general-purpose social "a culture. American Anthropologist plex words. COON. In press.jstor. which is no I do not need it. society. plorations in cosmology. It seems to me that every. language. [THH] NAROLL. 8. 1970. 1955. New York: Harper. The people of societies that have gen. "Metalogue: What value and sociocultural field. The culture pool and boundaries. . revisited." in The evolution of MASTERS. which I call "experience. Fortunately. vols. LEWIS. my point a culture. Rethinking anthropology. the individual (which. Papers of the Peabody POWERS. WILLIAM. residue of change. A cultural account. Tylor. Paris: Minuit. and definitions. thropological Institute of Great Britain and beok.. raphy becomes an exercise in trying man: Mind. and CLYDE KLUCKHOHN. The SCHNEIDER. ERNST. thing in Blacking's response can be know that all the rest is there. Ocherki teorii kul'tury 65:783-99. "The funiction Edition. MARKARIAN. 1970. 1961. in saving it from such a fate. but I must in writing was to expose this very trap. Ireland." ture and society are as indivisible as groups. and provided the ref- any information of the real thing if I do not think he has assisted much erences. When he says that "culture feel most indebted is Markarian. Each three a word-and. Eros and civilization. R. Behavior: The control lumbus: Ohio State University Press. 1963. 1971.204 on Thu. Thus "the individual" is information contained in the pot into two of the planes meeting. I cannot have device." Each eral-purpose groups do not need such contains all the information that is plane meets every other. 1968. in this exercise. and C. close kinsmen somebody who can read Given this simple model. FREUD. and dreams. GUA-FrARI. 1968. Se. Culture: A critical review of concepts 66. [JD] MARCUSE. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.. ALFRED. 1929. fiddt from cross-cultural til kunstner":surveys? American lativ materialisme. 1958. 1900. New York: Holt. Museum of American Archaeology and of perception. replicate it. C. I am not confuse my experience with "the should not be reduced to a formal delighted to know that he has worked real thing. pp. nomics and Political Science. References Cited Evolution after Darwin). to get my pin as close to the informant's it is he. ANTHONY. K. We need a word for "the individual. J. London: Barrie New York: Random House." "soci. Stanford: Stanford DOUGLAS. Ethnology Harvard University. it is in Japan mean. of course. Complementarity. CHAPPLE. American Anthropologist 59:1075. EMP] invention. of looking at an organism-with-its. [DMS] . dron. RAOUL. then reuses the metaphor for society purpose social groups and must hold whose imagery of the "unbound vari- and the individual. is raised "exist"-only that anthropologists may mentarity. 1972. 255-67. besides. 2 of and evolution. because I find it much ed" from the pool. (English translation. p. and F. PAUL. Matthew and Rockliff. Newcomb. but rather "the individual" I am left to thank two of the respon- the two sides of a sheet of paper. The structure of com- ton: Beacon Press. Conferences: Kinship and ples of anthropology. JR. 63. Chicago: Aldine. stand it. I believe I did not claim. however. GREGORY. E. not I. "Conscience collec. I think the tetrahedron is not enough by itself. E. Social Science Quarterly 2:253- tive and culture. Semiotica 2:295-320. "Becoming: The no. He is right-of Gjessing refers to this point too when too mystical a concept-and. and WENDELL BELL. GUTORM." "culture. . that bound- dichotomy but a complementarity.45.. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. L'Anti. Et Ibsenportrett. American kinship: CHANG. with the kind of a society in which and ignore others under the rubric of Gjessing cites Kroeber to say that cul. as Panofl more profitably stated in terms of my I do not use the word "individual" suggests. I do not planes come together in a point. and T.org/terms . [MP] study of human activity). 1960." and "behavior. if it is not true that a pot ety. RICHARD KLUCKHOHN. GEORGE W. 1972. Inciden. Rinehart and Winston. that allows us to speak of a culture is limiting. Sistemnoye issledovaniye in Readings in social psychology. 1968. [DMS] 1858-1958. 1972. label." However. Oedipe. work. 1952. The interpretation of (Essays on theory of culture). 195 1. EDMUND R. 47. chelovecheskoy deyatel'nosti (Systemic Eleanor E. and Wien. Yerevan: WHITING. London: London School of Eco.48. and society (Vol. but on this subject. ROGER D. 0. B. GJESSING. Genes. I did not mean he notes "this duality. Voprosy Filosofii E. I agree. Anthropologist 72:1227-88. GEORGE P. Press. no. Rethinking anthro. The children of Sanchez. I can start anywhere. Edited by Thomas A. Edited by Kurt Wolff. I use a tetrahedron. and the uses of EMPSON. 1969. LEON J. locality. L. 1972. S. Scientific explana. that just anybody can astonishing how many times scholars that we find the limits of the usefulness replicate it-only people who get the use the word "cause" when they find of this idea. concepts of culture and of social system. W. G. New York: Henry Holt. B. 1969. 1 EM] WIENER. [JD] DELEUZE. do not have needed to replicate the pot. It is it.. In teaching. He must participate in many special. Culture and social system BOHANNAN. I agree." obviously I can only agree. Anthropological is an instinct?" in Approaches to animal sitetsforlaget. ture"' he has missed my point-there The other respondent to whom I hedron from that position. What have we learned BLOCH. ing its four surfaces "soma. ESHREF. DAVID M.T. [GWH] Dp. Bos. Prentice-Hall. WILLIAM T. 1955. . I hope that Gjessing to imply. I would point out to him that his books. D. One of these is Colby. HANS. OSCAR. NORBERT. S. contains all the information needed to ing-pin. implies comple. A. n. [GG] 372 C U R R E NT AN TH ROPOLOGY This content downloaded from 193. the cultural artifact of one society's way their heads before they try. but I do is only one. Aschehoug. T. [GG] EGG] PARSONS. In "comparative" of "cultures and subcultures". that a computer or an airplane also One also needs a thumbtack or draw. BRAITHWAITE. G. Bell. SIGMUND. PARSONS. 16 Feb 2017 16:29:32 UTC All use subject to http://about. GERARD. 4 and 5. and I have ordered them. dents especially. Oslo: H. 17-24. 1971. . E. Hartley. 1958. M. RALPH W. [MP] EGG] Social area analysis. I have among my I do not engage it in my experience. 1961. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 12:107. that traits are "freely select- article than as objections to it. 1967." Press." Philosophy of Science 19:245. Arnold. tion. I have them-and himself-together with the able" of culture and the "binding" found the two-sided metaphor too strength of his interest and character. and the individual. [THH] BATESON. psyche. 1942. [THH] KROEBER. of course. Edited by . who talks about "bearers" so must culture be distinguished from pin as I can manage. Natural symbols: Ex. T. MOORE. God and Golem Inc. LEACH. 1957. culture..