Yesterday in class we delved a little deeper into the development of culture as an academic pursuit. We talked about several different schools of thought that, from a position of prosperity or high culture, looked down upon the working class and tried to conform them to fit a more refined definition of culture. One of the main examples of this, Leavisism, wanted to see a return to the higher cultures of England and advocated that the middle and lower classes be trained in classics and high art.
There seems to be a tremendous fear when a new culture is being developed and created in a way that will infringe on your cultural space. The Leavis’ tried to force the lower classes into conforming to their definition of culture rather than see culture broadened and pluralized to include the working class.
Whether it be a business, a family, or a church…we have this desire to preserve our way and our tradition. Our culture. When something new comes along, we get defensive and try to preserve our cultural space and prevent new cultural growth.
Why are we so afraid of change…of culture shock?