Butterflies in my head
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The Myth of the "Clash of Civilizations". Edward Said - YouTube

In 1993 Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington wrote an essay titled "The Clash of Civilizations?" and later he expanded into a book with the same title, but...
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From 38:02 Said talks about how educational systems need to be 'denationalised'. The 'cry for tradition' is an approach used by conservatives to maintain a We/Other distinction that many countries still, consciously or unconsciously, perpetuate in their educational systems.

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Does Language Influence Culture?

Does Language Influence Culture? | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it
New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world; a different sense of blame in Japanese and Spanish
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BBC Radio 4 - In Our Own Image - Evolving Humanity, Human Cultural Evolution Versus Genetic Evolution

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Own Image - Evolving Humanity, Human Cultural Evolution Versus Genetic Evolution | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it
Is human culture stopping us from genetically evolving?
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"Human uniqueness takes many forms: we can communicate complex ideas; we have developed technologies, such as medicine and transport; and we change our environment to suit our biology. But how does human culture affect our biology - our genes?"

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5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it
A look at the ways that the construction of language can have implications for the way we think, act and parse the world around us.
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On Blame and English Speakers
"... in English, we’ll often say that someone broke a vase even if it was an accident, but Spanish and Japanese speakers tend to say that the vase broke itself. Boroditsky describes a study by her student Caitlin Fausey in which English speakers were much more likely to remember who accidentally popped balloons, broke eggs, or spilled drinks in a video than Spanish or Japanese speakers. (Guilt alert!) Not only that, but there’s a correlation between a focus on agents in English and our criminal-justice bent toward punishing transgressors rather than restituting victims, Boroditsky argues."

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How Culture Drove Human Evolution: Joseph Henrich

How Culture Drove Human Evolution: Joseph Henrich | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

A Conversation with Joseph Henrich [9.4.12]

JOSEPH HENRICH is an anthropologist and Professor of Psychology and Economics. He is the Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution at University of British Columbia.

 

"Part of my program of research is to convince people that they should stop distinguishing cultural and biological evolution as separate in that way. We want to think of it all as biological evolution."

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Thinking About Cultural Differences III: Where Do They Come From?

Thinking About Cultural Differences III:  Where Do They Come From? | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

Cultural differences relate to individual differences.The work of Geert Hofstede in particular has had a profound influence on cultural psychology. He identified a number of dimensions along which cultures may differ. One in particular that has played an important role in the study of cultural differences in thinking is the distinction between individualist and collectivist cultures. To oversimplify a bit, an individualist culture is one that emphasizes the priority of the individual. A collectivist culture is one that prizes the group identity in which members of the culture strive to satisfy the goals of the group. Most cultural groups in Western societies are individualist cultures, while most cultural groups in East Asian societies tend to be collectivist cultures.

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-Are cultures and countries the same? If not, why?

-Are cities and cultures the same? How about villages? Or your local sports club?

 

This article is an easy to understand introduction into cultural differences and the field of cultural psychology. Good COPI stimulus material.

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An inquiry into the concept of culture and its consequences: Who owns the Maasai 'brand'?

An inquiry into the concept of culture and its consequences: Who owns the Maasai 'brand'? | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it
The Maasai name or image is used by dozens of companies to sell products, but Maasai elders are now considering seeking protection for their "brand".

According to Light Years IP - an NGO which specialises in securing intellectual property rights in developing countries - about 80 companies around the world are currently using either the Maasai image or name.

"These include Land Rover, which has a range of accessories called Masai; Masai Barefoot Technology, which makes speciality trainers; and high-end fashion house Louis Vuitton which has a Masai line, including beach towels, hats, scarves and duffle bags."

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This also reminds me of the Louis Vuitton campaign in which they connect the legendary American boxer Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, January 17, 1942) to their brand. Again you see how a culture as a system and expression of life in a particular environment is used to create an image or perhaps context is a better word for a product, which doesn't have one.

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Culture and Brain - Springer

Culture and Brain - Springer | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

Provides a platform for empirical and review articles that focus on the interrelationship between culture and the human brain.

Covers mutual interaction between culture and human cognition and behaviorExplores the influence of brain/sociocultural interaction on cognitive function and neural mechanismsIncludes an expansive range of disciplines, from neuroscience to biology to anthropology and philosophy

Culture and Brain covers such topics such as how the mutual interaction between culture and brain/mind influences human cognition and behavior, what mechanisms underlie cultural experiences and how the cultural diversity of human collectives is created.

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Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning : NPR

Interesting article on approaches to learning in different cultures. (except for the unfortunate use of the East/West labels)

 

"For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength."

"I think that from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you're just not very smart," Stigler says. "It's a sign of low ability — people who are smart don't struggle, they just naturally get it, that's our folk theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity."

"Think about that [kind of behavior] spread over a lifetime," he says. "That's a big difference."

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