Topics: Culture, Globalization, Sociology Pages: 11 (2602 words) Published: October 14, 2014

Three Dimensions of Europe
Different perspectives on the same thing, but: Europe is not a ‘thing’, it is not a fixed entity Europe is complex, multi-layered and has a changeable context This applies also for the European culture and/or cultures of Europe Europe consists of different cultures, but there might be also a ‘European culture’

‘The European Mosaic’ (reader p.14)
“The most plausible idea of an essential European culture builds on the idea of the Enlightenment, which was originally (in the eighteenth century) a European cultural development, and - it is claimed - is still Europe’s central cultural force in the world.”

‘Enlightenment’ / ‘Aufklärung’ / ‘Lumières’
Light of reason
‘To enlighten’: Going from darkness into the light: illumination / liberation / elevation Immanuel Kant (1783) ‘Was ist Aufklärung?’: “Der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit” “Unmündigkeit”: Inability to use one’s reason without guidance (‘Leitung’) from another

‼ Two Enlightenments
Greek Enlightenment (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle)
Modern Enlightenment (Descartes, Rousseau, Kant)

‼ Key ideas of Enlightenment
Rationality (science and technology)
Individuality (freedom and democracy)

‼ Dual revolution around 1800
Industrial revolution (rationality, science)
French revolution (individuality, freedom) (1789)
American revolution had the same ideas as the French revolution (1776)

‼ Era’s
Antiquity (until 500)
Middle Ages (500 – 1500)
Modernity (1500 – now)

‼ Modernity
After the ‘dark Middle Ages’
1. Renaissance: rebirth of antiquity (15th/16th century)
2. Enlightenment (17th/18th century)
3. Romanticism: countermovement Enlightenment (18th/19th century)

‼ Enlightenment vs. Romanticism
Rationality / reason
Control over nature
Descartes (1637): “Our goal is to become ‘maîtres et possesseurs de la nature’.” Romanticism:
Sensitivity / feeling
Participation in nature
Respect, awe, dedication, submission
Project of modernity
Subjection / appropriation of nature via science and technology Today: biogenetics, genetic engineering
Liberation / emancipation of the individual
Human rights
Still a project in the world

European identity
“If the identity of Europe is specified in terms of the Enlightenment, then some countries in it (...) will be more European than others, and some not very European, in this sense, at all.” (reader p.17) Identity becomes an ideal standard

Marginalisation of those who are not ‘enlightened’ enough Question: Is the Enlightenment the whole story?

Culture against Ferraro (reader p.22-31)
“All cultures – to one degree or another – display ethnocentrism.” ‼ Ethnocentrism: Evaluating other cultures by criteria specific to your own culture Ferraro: “We all do this, it is inevitable.”

Ferraro: Culture is everything that people have, think and do as members of their society.” Have: material objects
Think: Ideas, values, attitudes
Do: Patterns of behaviour
Members: Culture is shared

‼ Culture
In a narrow sense
Art and science
The ‘finer/higher’ things in life: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, a cultural evening etc. In a broad sense
All expressions of a group or society
Collective ways of think, feeling and acting, plus their material outcomes Leads to cultural differences and multiculturalism
‼ Culture is learned
Puts our convictions into perspective
Sharper eye for cultural differences
Learning process also possible for us with regard to other cultures We can learn to function within other cultural contexts
Learning process should be made possible for people from other cultures Training programs for immigrants in the Netherlands: ‘naturalization’, ‘inburgering’ Cultural universals
Fundamental problems which all cultures have to face
Solutions to these problems result in basic systems
Culture changes, because these systems are dynamic
These systems are interrelated, a...
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