RE: naturvolk versus kulturvolk

From: Tony Whitson (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2005 - 11:44:44 PST

Turning to Google, I see

where, for the price of just 6 euros, you can download a 100-minute audio

Register Nr.




Diskutiert wird der unterschiedliche Kulturbegriff in verschiedenen
Gesellschaften und Zeiten. Themen: 1. Kulturpolitik, Literatur und
Arbeiterkultur; 2. Kunst und Kitsch; 3. Kulturvolk-Naturvolk-Subkultur; 4.
Essen, Mode, Sport.


I’m not going to pursue this link (mainly since I don’t know German), but it
looks frightening from what I can see. It looks like a contemporary,
authoritative, anonymous, quasi-official exposition of these ideas from the

Austrian “Bundesminiterium fur Bildung, Wissenschaft, und Kultur.” Note that
this item is under the tag for “Bildung / Schulen”


If anybody does pursue this, I would personally be relieved if you could
report back that the exposition is more critical and aware than I see any
reason to believe from this Web page.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 2:31 PM
To: Tony Whitson
Subject: Re: naturvolk versus kulturvolk


Many thanks!

I have found current uses of the terms found through google, in

partricular, translations from twikipedia very interesting. I finally

thought to look under my nose at Jahoda's great book, Crossroads

between culture and mind where he takes up the work of Herder, then

von Humboldt, Lazurus and Steinthal, and Wundt, where the idea of volk

is developed,

then volkgeist, and then the differentiation.


In case all of this seems off track to anyone on xmca, Vygotksy and

Luria use the

terms uncultured or unencultured peoples and cultured peoples in ways

that map on to

some uses of nature and culture volk in the German thinkers listed on

this thread.




On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 14:17:16 -0500, Tony Whitson <> wrote:

> Steinmentz writes:

> The opposition between Kulturvölker ("cultural" or civilized peoples) and

> Naturvölker ("natural" or primitive peoples) became ubiquitous in German

> scholarly writing in the second half of the nineteenth century, although

> terms were given varying definitions (compare, for example,

> Klemm [1843–1852] and Vierkandt [1896]).


> Klemm, Gustav. 1843—1852. Allgemeine Cultur-Geschichte der Menschheit.

> Leipzig: Teubner.

> Vierkandt, Alfred. 1896. Naturvölker und Kulturvölker. Leipzig: Duncker

> Humblot.


> fn. 29, p. 50

> Steinmetz, George. ""the Devil's Handwriting": Precolonial Discourse,

> Ethnographic Acuity, and Cross-Identification in German Colonialism."

> Comparative Studies in Society and History 45, no. 1 (2003): 41-95.


> -----Original Message-----

> From: Mike Cole []

> Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 12:25 PM

> To:

> Subject: naturvolk versus kulturvolk


> Can anyone point me to the origin of the concepts of naturvolk and

> kulturvolk

> in German thought? I see the notion of volk attributed to Herder, but am

> having difficulty finding out where the nature/kultur distinction is

> introduced and by whom.

> mike



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