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This introduction offers background problematics and theoretical frameworks of this book, in addition to introducing all other chapters. First, I note that the minimum core of human dignity can be captured by such conceptions as elevated rank, intrinsic worth, and anti-humiliation. Since the 1970s autonomy has risen to prominence. Second, populism and polarization in Western democracies, insofar as it is related to what Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris call “cultural backlash,” signals tension between dignity as individual autonomy and other competing social and communal values. Third, in the post-Asian-values-debate era, a great part of Asia has progressed toward or become liberal democracies, and human dignity and human rights are embraced as universal values. This book regards culture as contestable and fluid set of meanings and symbols that is subject to change, even though cultural changes may be path-dependent and cultures cannot be totally fluid in its entirety at a limited historical period. Fourth, Asian countries have already and will continue to work out the full implications of these universal values by applying different conceptions of dignity to concrete issues.
The socio-cultural and environmental shifts that have taken place in southern Italy over the last 30 years can usefully be traced by their impact on folkloric texts which present modifications that tend to emerge progressively over time. An analysis of such modifications to a body of southern Italian folkloric texts – as used in practice over the last three decades – finds that these reflect and are driven by changes in the people's living environment denoting a cultural dilution and a growing distance between people and the natural world, particularly the land. These modifications also expose a shift of emphasis from ends (e.g. food) to means (e.g. money), indicating increased commercial dependence driven by socio-economic changes. These changes are also reflected in folkloric texts which demonstrate a decline of direct, physical experience of some aspects of the natural world while including references relating to the local environment. Understanding these processes allows us to gauge the extent to which verbal folklore connects contemporary societies to past knowledge.
In my view, there is no artwork that captures the modern sense of time as profoundly as Christian Marklay’s installation, The Clock – first produced in 2010, and, since its opening, repeatedly staged in galleries around the world, to amazed reviews. It is, as Zadie Smith declared, ‘sublime’. The Clock is made up of around 12,000 short film and television clips that run on a 24-hour loop. In every single clip, you can see a watch or clock which shows the exact time at which you are watching The Clock. The synchronization is both funny and uncanny. If you start watching at 2.10, each of the short extracts contains a timepiece showing 2.10 – often several clips for the same minute. At 2.11, it is all 2.11 – and so on for twenty-four hours. At 6.00, a string of hatted men suggests a cocktail; tea is taken repeatedly between 4.00 and 4.30, tea-time; high noon looms and awaits its gunshots. The joy or frustration of interruption is replayed again and again with an extraordinary fascination.
One of the most surprising expressions that captures a self-conscious positioning in time comes in a remarkable poem in Book 1 of the Palatine Anthology. The poem is not an epigram at all, despite its inclusion in the anthology, but rather a 76-line poem of dedication celebrating the construction of the church of St Polyeuctos in Constantinople. The church was rebuilt in the early sixth century by Anicia Juliana, who came from one of the most distinguished family lines in eastern Greek Christian nobility. Indeed, the original church had been built in the fifth century by the empress Eudocia, who was Juliana’s great-grandmother. Juliana, in her act of rebuilding, was certainly engaging in the familiar competitiveness, aimed at both contemporary and historical rivals, that continued Hellenistic euergetism – the public display of wealth and authority through the sponsoring of public buildings – in order to contribute to the splendid redesign of Christian urban space.
Time is integral to human culture. Over the last two centuries people's relationship with time has been transformed through industrialisation, trade and technology. But the first such life-changing transformation – under Christianity's influence – happened in late antiquity. It was then that time began to be conceptualised in new ways, with discussion of eternity, life after death and the end of days. Individuals also began to experience time differently: from the seven-day week to the order of daily prayer and the festal calendar of Christmas and Easter. With trademark flair and versatility, world-renowned classicist Simon Goldhill uncovers this change in thinking. He explores how it took shape in the literary writing of late antiquity and how it resonates even today. His bold new cultural history will appeal to scholars and students of classics, cultural history, literary studies, and early Christianity alike.
Previous research has demonstrated that unique names increased in Japan, which shows a rise in uniqueness-seeking and individualism. To increase the validity of the prior findings, it is important to confirm the robustness of their results. Therefore, this study examined another indicator of historical changes in names in Japan. Specifically, I investigated whether the rates of common names decreased in Japan between 2004 and 2018. The dataset used in the previous study was analyzed. The results consistently showed that the rates of common names decreased for both boys and girls for the period. These results were consistent with the previous research, which further increases the validity of the finding that Japanese culture became more individualistic.
A high number of migrants returned from their transatlantic sojourn to their native Hungary between the 1880s and the 1930s. Despite being pauperised and marginalised in the United States, they encountered norms and mechanisms of a democratic society and cultural patterns unknown to the rural society they hailed from. Upon returning, they implemented some of these practices. The paper investigates the durability of this cultural change and argues that the transatlantic transmission of norms was outweighed in significance by internal, regional movements.
Archaeological research demonstrates that an agropastoral economy was established in Tibet during the second millennium BC, aided by the cultivation of barley introduced from South-western Asia. The exact cultural contexts of the emergence and development of agropastoralism in Tibet, however, remain obscure. Recent excavations at the site of Bangga provide new evidence for settled agropastoralism in central Tibet, demonstrating a material divergence from earlier archaeological cultures, possibly corresponding to the intensification of agropastoralism in the first millennium BC. The authors’ results depict a more dynamic system of subsistence in the first millennium BC, as the populations moved readily between distinct economic modes and combined them in a variety of innovative ways.
Cultures around the world are converging as populations become more connected. On the one hand this increased connectedness can promote the recombination of existing cultural practices to generate new ones, but on the other it may lead to the replacement of traditional practices and global WEIRDing. Here we examine the process and causes of changes in cultural traits concerning wild plant knowledge in Mbendjele BaYaka hunter–gatherers from Congo. Our results show that the BaYaka who were born in town reported knowing and using fewer plants than the BaYaka who were born in forest camps. Plant uses lost in the town-born BaYaka related to medicine. Unlike the forest-born participants, the town-born BaYaka preferred Western medicine over traditional practices, suggesting that the observed decline of plant knowledge and use is the result of replacement of cultural practices with the new products of cumulative culture.
The history of the Church in Wales since disestablishment in 1920 may be understood as a story of battles won and wars lost. The church lost the battle over disestablishment to Nonconformity. However, in the long run, the victory of the dissenters cost the largest Nonconformist churches dearly. At the same time, for many Anglicans the loss of disestablishment was offset by a renewed theological self-confidence enjoyed by the Church in Wales. This was particularly marked by a Tractarian identity. As elsewhere in the Christian world, for the Church in Wales also ‘invented tradition’, typical in modern societies at certain points of crisis and change. Anglicans and Nonconformists continued well into the late twentieth century to construct and deploy sophisticated and slanted versions of ‘historic’ Welsh Christian identity. This chapter examines aspects of this process. It also asks whether the energy devoted to these ongoing battles had the effect of limiting the depth at which Welsh Christians of all backgrounds were able to imagine the challenges of contemporary Wales.
Historical change in the definition of intelligence has a globalized direction under the influence of sociodemographic change. The main sociodemographic shifts are ever more technology, urbanization, formal education, wealth, and commercialized economies. Under the influence of these sociodemographic shifts, the direction of change in valued intelligence is from the integration of social responsibility, wisdom, and spirituality with cognitive intelligence toward purely cognitive skills; from practical, detailed, and contextualized to abstract, decontextualized cognition; from slow and careful thinking to speeded cognition; from repetition of the known to extrapolation and novelty; from habitual practice to innovation; and, using the language of IQ tests, from crystallized to fluid intelligence. These changes in definition have taken place and continue to take place around the world. While shifts in the definition of intelligence may be more visible in fast-changing societies, they have also taken place in the United States, as seen most dramatically in “what the IQ tests measure.”
This paper summarizes the talk given at this conference in which the cultural aspect of the low participation of women in science, mainly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas, is emphazised. A few personal recollections will be presented and some some striking numbers to illustrate the current situation will be given. In addition, some thought provoking ideas on what is known as “neurosexism” are explicited and a tribute is made to three women that overcame the challenges posed to them in different times in history (including current times) and helped paved the way to the new generation. However, there is still a long way to go. The inclusion of women and of other relegated sectors of society in scientific and technological activities is an important pending issue which will be achieved when our society as a whole reaches the necessary cultural maturity.
Development scholars have identified several Hofstede (1980, 2001) cultural dimensions as critically important determinants of long-run economic development across countries. Does economic progress, in turn, shape culture in a predictable direction? This paper investigates whether economic change since 1970 has induced shifts in five of the Hofstede value orientations in a sample of up to 72 countries. To achieve identification, we employ a unique data set on country-level cleavages in the values of two non-overlapping age cohorts approximately one generation (30 years) apart, on average. We find evidence that faster-growing countries during the period of coming of age and personality development of the younger cohort witnessed the rise of more individualistic and politically egalitarian generations, suggesting the existence of a self-perpetuating cycle between certain “good-for-development” cultural attitudes and economic development.
Networks are increasingly recognised as advantageous when creating and embedding cultural change within organisations. This paper explores and problematises ideas around networks for education for sustainability (EfS), specifically in relation to the implementation of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI), a national, whole-school approach to EfS. In three Australian states - New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland – AuSSI has been implemented in different ways. In examining the use of products, facilitators and networks to embed initiatives such as AuSSI in Australian schools, we propose a “continuum of cultural change strategies” as a framework for thinking about each of these approaches to creating organisational and cultural change for sustainability. We anticipate that such a framework may assist where choices need to be made in relation to the kinds of capacity building processes that might best achieve “deep and wide” change within schools hoping to engender significant cultural change.
Drawing upon the dynamic interrelationship between human agency and space, this article sheds light on the constitution of and relation between “place” and “path” among the pastoral Pokot of East Pokot District in the Kenyan North Rift Valley. It discusses the transformation from a more mobile pastoralist model of spatialization, which relies on a flexible network approach combining paths and places, toward a more “place-making,” postpastoralist model linked to increasing sedentariness, privatization of land, a clearer definition of external and internal boundaries, and a rapid emergence of schools, churches, and other physical structures.
This study explores the impact of recent discoveries on our understanding of the transition from the Roman to early medieval periods in northern England. Using the Tees Valley as a case study, it shows how modern interpretations of this process have focused primarily on the afterlife of the military sites in the region. However, the increased identification of significant Roman civilian settlements forces us to reconsider the dominant narratives and rethink the underlying processes that influenced the move from Roman-controlled frontier society in the fourth century to a fifth century society comprising both culturally Anglo-Saxon social groups and sub-Roman successor polities. A wider consideration is also given to how the changing patterns in the use of space and in refuse disposal strategies can be used to shed light on wider patterns of changing social identity in the later fourth century AD.
The traditional explanation for the presence of Roman artefacts beyond the Roman Empire's frontiers is that these were objects of trade, but this view has been modified in two studies published around the same time. Although they both referred to areas north of the Rhine, each was based on different theoretical premises and presented a different explanation for the presence of Roman artefacts in these areas. One study, based on the concept of world systems theory, concluded that there were uninterrupted and mutually beneficial trade relations across the frontier. The other study was based on a linear culture-historical approach, and it concluded that there were no trade relations between the Empire and the ‘barbarians’, but that Roman artefacts were the result of specific historical events of brief duration. The present article analyses these apparently conflicting outcomes. It focuses on Roman artefacts from the Netherlands, specifically those from the modern province of Friesland, about 150 km north of the Rhine/the Limes.
This paper discusses the results of the first regional and bioarchaeological analysis of health in late Iron Age and Roman Britain. This tested the hypothesis that cultural and environmental changes in Dorset would result in changes to demography, stature, dental health and infectious disease. The study observed change to all health variables, supporting environmental and archaeological evidence for the introduction of urban centres, changes in living conditions, greater population movement, and development of the agricultural economy. Importantly, the study demonstrated that these responses did not reflect changes observed in other areas of Britain or Gaul.
Holocene sea-level changes affected people living in the Pacific Islands and their ancestors along the western Pacific Rim. Sea-level changes, particularly those that were rapid, may have led to profound and enduring societal/lifestyle changes. Examples are given of (1) how a rapid sea-level rise (CRE-3) about 7600 BP could ultimately have led to the earliest significant cross-ocean movements of people from the western Pacific Rim into the islands; (2) how mid to late Holocene sea-level changes gradually created coastal environments on Pacific Islands that were highly attractive to human settlers; (3) a hypothesis that rapid sea-level fall during the ‘AD 1300 Event' brought about widespread disruption to trajectories of cultural evolution throughout the Pacific Islands; and (4) the effects of recent and likely future sea-level rise on Pacific Island peoples.