Culture as a filter to Ecology, Economics and Politics
To bring us back to where I left off last time, it is my belief that Culture, culture* is more than tangible, individual products, but rather expressions of how we feel. Culture pulls at our emotions and leaves us with an experience to talk about. In the 21st century Cultural opportunities are the primary motivators behind the choices we make. Culture in essence defines our Quality of Life.
But then what does this mean? Certainly, our quality of life depends on more than Culture?
Indeed, every individual will define their quality of life differently. Every individual has a unique and valuable insight into balancing a healthy quality of life. The daily routine, interactions, and relationships we engage in mould our life experiences. Our environments, socially, ecologically, politically, and economically influence our (re)actions, cause and effect understandings. And so, for many modern sociologists, thinking about Culture, culture as an influence on our quality of life, Culture big C, is usually one element of 4 equal domains of influence. One perspective on this analysis is titled the Engaged Theory of assessing quality of life.
According to Wikipedia (I know, but who doesn’t go there at times 😊), Engaged Theory as outlined in the journal of Applied Research in the Quality of Life (who knew there was a journal named after this), there are four equal domains in assessing quality of life: Ecology,Economics, Politics and Culture. In the domain of Culture, the following subdomains exist:
- Belief and ideas
- Creativity and recreation
- Enquiry and learning
- Gender and generations
- Identity and engagement
- Memory and projection
- Well-being and health
Now, I believe that all of these subdomain concepts are legitimate tangible and intangible products, aspects, and entities associated with Culture. And, as I discussed in the first blog, Culture, culture in the 21st century is many things to many people, unlike its privileged and narrow interpretation for centuries before. But when we dissect these other domains that define quality of life, Ecology, Politics and/or the Economy, I ask you, how are these domains not in turn affected, influenced and defined by Culture, culture?
Maybe its the colonial mindset and (assimilationist) influence for why we must put all things in a nice, neat, tied-up-with-a-bow box to understand it. Our ways of thinking and defining things have moulded all of us who have been born and raised inEuropean colonized societies to repeatedly try to fit ‘round’ thoughts, ideas, and products into ‘square’ holes. And the essence of Culture, culture is no different. These other domains apply to aspects of our societies and lives that are perhaps more tangible, and more time applied to their definition than that of Culture. For you can measure the health of an environmental landscape, or how much a stock has risen or plummeted, and/or how many individuals vote for liberal or conservative ideals by just gauging the success of newspaper sales and/or tv news channel ideological leanings. But, how do we neatly measure Culture, culture?
Certainly, ifI simply platformed the voices of Greta Thunberg, Elon Musk or Donald Trump, I assume very few folks in a Western colonial country would not have heard of these folks let alone their opinions on things. But when we think about Ecology and Greta, the Economy and Elon and/or Politics and Donald, are we also not intermingling a cultural interpretation of these domains through these voices?For if I had been born and raised in Texas USA, Sweden or China, (as opposed to rural White Ontario Canada by mixed European and Indigenous heritage parents who came from poverty with little education) would my understanding of these same platformed voices and the arenas that they represent be the same? I’m not so sure…
I’m therefore going to leave it here for this month and let these thoughts or ramblings percolate before jumping deeper into an understanding of Culture as a filter, instead of a domain. But I’ll leave you with this cartoon, (which I concede is interpreted in different ways than which I’m using it; more on that in a future blog).Without the vast influence of Culture, culture on our daily lives what would our world truly look like? How would we understand and interpret all that surrounds us? For if you refer back to the subdomains of Culture above, how are each of these parameters not seen in our Ecology, Economy and Political domains?
Until next time…
* Please see my Blog dated April 27th for clarification on why I have capitalized/small case words in my text.