Donald Black

in Moral Time

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199737147
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944002 | DOI:

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Culture is the expressive dimension of social life—from language, religion, and ideas to art, clothing, and table manners. Societies have their own patterns of culture, and so do ethnicities, social classes, genders, and smaller groups. A cultural difference is a cultural distance: a degree of diversity. Cultural space continually fluctuates, sometimes gradually, sometimes rapidly, and every fluctuation is a movement of cultural time. A movement of cultural time might be anything from a disagreement in a conversation to contact with a foreign tribe or the appearance of a new religion. Any increase of cultural distance is overdiversity, and any decrease is underdiversity. Consider conflict caused by the former: Conflict is a direct function of overdiversity. The greater a cultural difference and the faster it appears, the more conflict it causes.

Keywords: culture; social life; societies; ethnicities; cultural difference; cultural distance; cultural time; overdiversity; underdiversity; conflict

Chapter.  7967 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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