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Unformatted text preview: Edward Said's 3 conditions for understanding another culture The student must feel that he or she is answerable to and in uncoercive contact with the culture and the people being studied. Knowledge of the social world acquires the status of knowledge by various means, some of intellectual, many of them social and even political. It cannot be treated as science and knowledge of nature. The interpretation of culture is a social activity and inextricably tied to the situation out of which it arose in the first place, which then either gives it the status of knowledge or rejects it as unsuitable for that status. No interpretation can neglect this situation, and no interpretation is complete without an interpretation of the situation. Interest is necessity. Renato Rosaldo's experience trying to understand the Ilongot culture Rosaldo and his wife lived with Ilongots and conducted field research for thirty months, in order to study their headhunting culture. At first, Rosaldo brushed aside the Ilongots simple explanation for their act of headhunting. He though that more verbal elaboration and another analytical level may help better explain the motives behind the behavior. He explored exchange theory but failed. Then, the declaration of marital law seemed to make the Ilongots converse to evangelical Christianity as a means of coping with their grief and rage, but they still faced a dilemma. Rosaldo began to understand that the Ilongots problem of meaning resides in practice, rather than theory. At Last, Rosaldo eventually fathom the Ilongot culture through experiencing the death of his wife. David Ho, "On Crossing Cultures" Defining "crossing cultures" has both theoretical and practical significance, theoretically, it compels us to scrutinize the concept of culture more carefully; practically, it accelerates the contacts and interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds and increases diversity of human relations. About the concept of culture According to anthropology, culture is external to and existing independently of the individual, it is objective, we would interested in individual differences in enculturation; According to psychology, culture is internalized within the individual as a result of enculturation, it is subjective, we want to recognize the individual differences in internalized culture, and individual uniqueness is reaffirmed. We need to investigate the correspondence between external culture and internalized culture. How do we know when we are crossing culture? Cross-cultural studies are not identical to cross-national or cross-ethnic group studies. Multicultural groups may live in same country and different countries may share same culture....
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