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Old 02-16-2010, 09:13 PM   #19
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,244
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17

Hello Ellis,

Most of the questions I raise about this chapter of HIPS are based on a decade or so of teaching comparative culture to Japanese graduate students. Such students inevitably believed (a) that they could analyze their own culture objectively, and (b) they could also make objective comparisons (which, as a consequence of them being objective and grounded in facts, they believed to be true) with any culture not their own and, especially, with cultures they labeled 'Western'. They also (c) had what they thought was a very clear idea of what culture was. In this respect my students have not been helped by the Nihonjinron gakubatsu, who have added to the obfuscation by suggesting that Japanese culture is, yes, really unique in a 'whiter than white' kind of way.

The problem with culture is that certain types of analysis of it are regarded as scientific and therefore preferable to other kinds of analysis. I also regard phenomenology and behaviorism as being at opposite ends of a spectrum--and subject to similar problems of analysis.

Many thanks for the exchange.


P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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