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Re: [xmca] Cultural memory

Hi there.

I believe Polynesians qualify up to a certain point. Look at the links
between people form Tahiti, Rapa Nui and Aotearoa in terms of
normative before they were alphabetised by Western colonizers.

The problem of course is that most ancient cultures had very similar
normatives (as J. Frazer explores in The Golden Bough), at least in
terms of normative for king succession, mixing roles of king and
priest, gender roles and taboos, and so forth. The question would be
to focus on a particular area of normative where you could find
radical differences. Yet, succession normative is always accompanied
by what Bourdieu called the 'august apparel', e.g. the scepter, the
crown, feathers, bodily paint, even the use of animal skins, etc.
Taboos are linked to contaminating magic (mediated by artefacts, human
tissue, hair, etc.). So I do not see how can someone get rid of
cultural tools other than speech in the analysis of normative.



On 15 October 2011 08:54, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> I need some help. I am having a discussion with a supporter of Robert
> Brandom, who was at ISCAR, but is not an Activity Theorist. on the question
> of cultural memory.
> One of my criticisms of Robert Brandom is that he does not theorise any
> place for mediation in his theory of normativity. He supposes that norms are
> transmitted and maintained down the generations by word of mouth (taken to
> be an unmediated expression of subjectivity), and artefacts (whether texts,
> tools, buildings, clothes, money) play no essential role in this.
> I disagree but I cannot persuade my protagonist.
> I challenged him to tell me of a (nonlierate) indigenous people who managed
> to maintain their customs even after being removed from their land. My
> protagonist responded by suggesting the Hebrews, but of course the Hebrews
> had the Old Testament. Recently on xmca we had the same point come up and
> baseball culture was suggested, and I responded that I didn't think
> baseball-speak could be maintained without baseball bats, balls, pitches,
> stadiums, radios, uniforms and other artefacts used in the game.
> Am I wrong? Can anyone point to a custom maintained over generations without
> the use of arefacts (including land and texts as well as tools, but allowing
> the spoken word)?
> Andy
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
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