Culture pt II
After reading this paper I read others. The more I read, the more fascinated I was. It was a foray into completely alien territory. It was like learning to read a map of a familiar place where you were looking up from underneath instead of from above (A 'mole's-eye-view' map instead of a bird's-eye-view) or something equally disorienting. All of the places and streets are there, but they just don't relate to each other in the ways that I am used to. I know I should turn here, but do I turn right or left, wait a minute! ...which way is left?!? Second guessing every move...
Essentially I began to realize that some of the fundamental patterns of thought, behavior, and human interaction that I assume in all of the aspects of my daily life are not absolute. Rather they are cultural constructs.
We are not talking about surface things like shaking hands versus bowing, or even more significant differences like gender roles in society, or even something as radical as moral differences like polygamy versus monogamy.
We are talking about the very framing of the alternatives set out above. What if the very act of asking which is right and which is wrong (monogamy versus polygamy) is a cultural lens? What if the world isn't actually built in terms of right and wrong? What if there is another way of looking at things? Like Fear and Power, or Shame and Honor, not merely Right and Wrong?