Functional Cultures and Structural Cultures

Gary Holthaus

in Learning Native Wisdom

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780813124872
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135281 | DOI:
Functional Cultures and Structural Cultures

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In Gary Snyder's e-mail message to the author, “The Three Lineages” of human beings are illustrated as the Children of Abraham, the Descendants of the Primates, and the Sons and Daughters of the Bear Mother. All three human lineages reveal the influence and eclectic thoughts of various cultures in the context of short-term cultures and social and environmental relations. Climatologists suggest that it would take only a few decades for the destructive tendencies of climate change to take place. In this chapter, the author introduces functional cultures and structural cultures. Although both have structures, the former are organized around them and around several other cultural elements. Understanding functional culture would entail wisdom on people's survival while structural culture is knowledge that results in personal advancement.

Keywords: personal advancement; structural culture; functional culture; survival; lineages

Chapter.  4845 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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