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Unformatted text preview: Culture & Conflict This week
1. Culture and global politics The "clash of civilizations": real or imagined? 2. Culture and global politics Defining culture The UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity states in its Preamble that
"culture should be regarded the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs" Cultures & political cultures Religion & culture Two distinct ideas What we mean by religion usually revealed monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam other-worldly source of knowledge, usually with gods or spirits Religion is often the basis of culture, but not necessarily Why culture matters: morality, behaviour & the good life Values & issue perception Socialization & social behaviour A basis for judgment a lens to look at others a source of disagreement Some sources of disagreement Some sources of disagreement Relation to authority Relation to authority Individuals' relation to the Individuals' relation to the group group Relations with other cultures & Relations with other cultures & outsiders outsiders Humans' place in nature/the Humans' place in nature/the universe universe Division of labour in food & Division of labour in food & goods production goods production Relations between the sexes Relations between the sexes Family structure & the raising Family structure & the raising & status of children & status of children Reproduction, birth, life, death Reproduction, birth, life, death Culture writ large: civilizations Shared cultural traits across state borders Fluid boundaries & mutual borrowings One civilization or several? Civilization & to be "civilized" National culture 2 National culture 1 National culture n National culture 2 National culture 1 National culture n National culture 3 National culture 3 National culture 2 National culture 1 National culture 3 National culture n Identity, difference, and belonging The logic of identity The encounter with difference: uncertainty & fear Politics & the good life: who's right? Ethnocentrism & cultural superiority The "clash of civilization": real or imagined? Samuel P. Huntington 19272008 The argument The history of war according to Indicators of modernization Huntington Indicators of modernization religion nationalism ideology Civilization Industrialization Industrialization GDP growth GDP growth Population growth Population growth Western imperialism & humiliation Modernization, but not Westernization Cultural assertiveness The world of civilizations according to Huntington
African Buddhist Hindu* Islamic Japanese* Latin American Orthodox* Sinic* Western* *With a core state The evidence used by Huntington Afghanistan, 1980s Yugoslav civil wars, 1990s a multiethnic, multi-religious state provinces become independent 3-way conflict: Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats diplomatic support foreign fighters
BosniaHerzegovina in the 1990s The case of Bosnia-Herzegovina The rise of China A very long history & civilization Stunning economic growth From isolationist to assertive Growing military power (potential) How conflict could happen border disputes & escalation military alliances along cultural lines US identity, immigration, and national interests Sources of US culture & identity White, mostly English Christians, mostly Protestant creed: democracy & capitalism diasporas as transnational actors diasporas & the homeland fragmentation of the nation's identity electoral politics & public policy Migration & domestic politics The "erosion of national interests" Edward Said's response The "clash of civilizations" in perspective Edward W. Said 19352003 old wine, new bottle an enduring pattern of prejudice & tensions Western identity & Eastern difference Us & Them Universities & experts: their political Orientalism
"Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient--and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian or philologist--either in its specific or its general aspects, is an Orientalist, and what he or she does is Orientalism", Edward W. Said, Orientalism, p. 2 A field of study
(called Middle Eastern studies today & area studies in general) Essentialism: Essentialism:
"a belief in the real, true essence of "a belief in the real, true essence of Connected to imperialism things, the invariable and fixed invariable and fixed The Orient as a social constructthings, thewhich define the `whatness' properties which define the `whatness' properties it is not real essentialism & stereotypesm of a given entity....", Diana Fuss, of a given entity....", Diana Fuss, Essentially Speaking. Essentially Speaking. Eurocentrism European/Western culture at the centre The standard of civilization The source of progress Eurocentrism vs. racism: a distinction Where is Eurocentrism found? Academia Popular and high culture News coverage Conclusions A fluid concept A potential source of division A potential source of mutual learning Conflict is not inevitable: people make history NB: Misunderstandings & stereotypes are mutual ...
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