Is cultural diversity an ethnographic invention, or cultures are real objects, to observe, to represent and to study? In this paper it is my intention to underline that anthropological reflection on culture has taken a dead end since the beginning of ethnographic research, for a great amount of efforts was spent to represent the content of specific cultures, expressed by a plurality of single societies. The final result is that nowadays anthropologists know much about invented (maybe) cultures, but do not know a lot about Culture, about how Culture works, which is, otherwise, in my opinion, the main aim of anthropological research. Cultural anthropology is lacking of a culture theory, and this is a bit embarrassing for more than one reason. It is true that in the last years the crisis of representation in social science has been overcame in part by new theoretical categories, and by new ways to think the concept of culture, no more as an essence, strongly linked to a place, to a delimited “spot”, but as a dynamic process a flux, which creates meanings. But the necessary step for anthropological way to think culture will better fit with the actual world is maybe to deal with “the other term”, the term “Nature”, always present but always neglected within anthropological research about men in culture.

Matera, V. (2004). Affianco alla cultura: "l'altro termine". RASSEGNA ITALIANA DI SOCIOLOGIA, 1, 63-78 [10.1423/13198].

Affianco alla cultura: "l'altro termine"

MATERA, VINCENZO
2004-01

Abstract

Is cultural diversity an ethnographic invention, or cultures are real objects, to observe, to represent and to study? In this paper it is my intention to underline that anthropological reflection on culture has taken a dead end since the beginning of ethnographic research, for a great amount of efforts was spent to represent the content of specific cultures, expressed by a plurality of single societies. The final result is that nowadays anthropologists know much about invented (maybe) cultures, but do not know a lot about Culture, about how Culture works, which is, otherwise, in my opinion, the main aim of anthropological research. Cultural anthropology is lacking of a culture theory, and this is a bit embarrassing for more than one reason. It is true that in the last years the crisis of representation in social science has been overcame in part by new theoretical categories, and by new ways to think the concept of culture, no more as an essence, strongly linked to a place, to a delimited “spot”, but as a dynamic process a flux, which creates meanings. But the necessary step for anthropological way to think culture will better fit with the actual world is maybe to deal with “the other term”, the term “Nature”, always present but always neglected within anthropological research about men in culture.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
antropologia, cultura, natura, epistemologia
Italian
Matera, V. (2004). Affianco alla cultura: "l'altro termine". RASSEGNA ITALIANA DI SOCIOLOGIA, 1, 63-78 [10.1423/13198].
Matera, V
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/7856
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