Culture and Race Essay

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Culture and Race

Anthropologists have always had their discrepancies with the word culture and its background significance. There have been numerous definitions that have filtered through the field, yet not one that everyone can accept or agree with. Franz Boas, an anthropologist in the early 20th Century, and his students, had a difficult time figuring out the objective of what culture is. Culture is about learning and shared ideas about behaviour. Although Boas and his students had a slightly different idea in mind. They ultimately reached a conclusion, a definition of culture in their view that is a contradiction in terms. Boas sates that, “ culture was expressed through the medium of language but was not reducible to it;
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143). She illustrates how essential culture is to anthropology and how anthropology helps to balance culture, as well as its ties with race. She considers culture and race as opposites. “Culture is learned and can change,” (Abu-Lughod, p. 144), and race is something inborn. Although she can only depict and explain the concept of culture, and how it has become necessary and not the reasons behind it.

Lila Abu-Lughod also writes about feminism in regard to culture. “ It has been important for most feminists to locate sex differences in culture, not biology or nature,” (Abu-Lughod, p. 144). There have been many cultural differences between women and men, “ a different voice” perhaps from Anglo-American feminist Gilligan and her followers, (Abu-Lughod, p. 145), as well as an explanation of the differences, “ whether through a socially informed psychoanalytic theory, a Marxist-derived theory of the effects of the division of labour and women’s role in social reproduction, an analysis of maternal practice or even a theory of sexual exploitation,” (Abu-Lughod, p. 145).
With that there has been an increasingly large demand for more women oriented culture, a place where they can express themselves and learn about their gender culture, and not that of men. “That is to say, if women share something in common, it is not the result of a universal bodily maturational process but of mutually experienced interpolations of race, class, and sexual
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