Friday, May 02, 2008

What is Culture?

Before I vent I just wanted to let anyone who's going to see Iron Man know that there is a scene after the credits finish rolling. It definitely hints as to who is going to be in the next film. I was surprised.

Okay its venting time.

I was going to post this sooner but I've been working six days (with one exception) a week for the past 4 weeks now, so I haven't really been motivated to do the blogging thing. This topic had been on my mind for awhile now, but I must admit that the fire isn't burning inside like it was when it first crossed my mind.

Question? What is culture?

One night when I was watching the news they were talking about the black community and how we as a people don't snitch when someone is murdered. That its a part of our culture. When I was a kid I was taught that the meaning of the word is "a way of life". In a way, it kind of made sense, but I thought it was meant to be in a positive way.

The next day I called my mom and asked her what she thought the definition of "culture" is, and she sent me a text of a definition that she found.

Culture-beliefs customs practices and social behavior of a particular nation or people.

Alright when put its put that way it makes sense, but then I found another definition of the word in an Oxford dictionary.

Culture-The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

When I saw that one I realized that English language seem to have too many parameters for word definitions.

I guess the point i'm trying to make is that there is something about how the word is being used that just doesn't sit right with me.

When I think about the word culture, I think about music, religion... stuff like that. I never thought of it as something negative like not telling the authorities if you witnessed someones life being taken (No Snitching).

Honestly I don't know what I would do if I witnessed a murder. I do know that my reason wouldn't have anything to with grudges with the police or anything like that. My reason would be a little more selfish...Fear of death.


shari said...

My perception of the word culture was/ is the same as yours...
a way of life.

I would definitely tell the authorities if I was a witness to a crime. No matter what. I'd be like, "WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM!!!" :)

Chelle said...

Population control.....


Jeff said...

Culture has both meanings - it is the "way of life" definition that fits what you saw. There has been a mistrust of authority from many in the black community. It seems that not getting involved does two "positive" things within that community: 1. the authorities do not look at the "witness" for any wrong-doing; and 2. there is no repercussions from those that would have been snitched on. I don't think "culture" in this way is particularly negative (although it has a negative manifestation), but more a part of survival of those in the culture.

Chris said...

I think that what you are talking about is not about culture, but community learned helplessness, specific to a local community that is so racked with crime and corruption that they don't think anyone can help.

When we quit fighting, we quit trying. I'm glad Charles has fight left in him :)

Jeff said...

BTW - I have something for you on my blog. In that vein, post something wouldja? You are making me look bad. lol

kristarella said...

What? I totally missed that bit in Iron Man, I walked out during the credits.

I think you might be right, there could be a better word to use than culture, but I can't think of it :P