Culture is our export

This will be section 3 of the compendium of posts forthcoming on this blog. The compendium will be called "How to be an anthropologist (for hire)."

1. Culture Matters I

In this post, I try to show that and how culture matters by calling it the software of contemporary life.  I offer my "Annapok experiment," in which we contemplate the experience of an Inuit man called Annapok who must go to Manhattan without the right software.  (See the post here.)

2. Culture Matters II

As the software of contemporary life, culture is essential to marketers.  Here we look at branding work by  Acura, Disney, Rache Ray, Volvo, and department stores.  (See the post here.)

3. Culture Matters III

Culture is essential for marketing and marketers but in fact it is routinely dismissed or derided by many experts.  In this post,I Iook at Clayton Christensen, Clotaire Rapaille and trend hunters.  (See the post here.)

4. The Devil Wears Durkheim

Culture does not descend to us from on high.  It is often the outcome of commercial forces.  (This is one of the reasons it is so various and so responsive.)  In this post, I look at how the fashion industry helps shape our culture.  My talking point is a key scene from the movie the Devil Wears Prada.  (See the post here.)

5. Prefab culture

Culture  created by the fashion world, by the movies, by marketing, by fiction and theatre, sometimes delivers itself straight into the details of everyday life.  This post looks at the phrases liked "what’s up!" or "Oh, behave" that start as commerce and end up as culture.   (I take this as a demonstration of how often commercial forces create our culture and in the process us.)  (See the post here.)

6. How to be a self-funding anthropologist

This is my career advice to a young man who wrote me from Mumbai to ask about how to learn about culture.  Please note my distinction between culture above and culture below.  There are two parts to our export, short term trends and deeper, longer continuities.  It is our attention to the last that distinguishes the anthropologist from many people who are also interested in culture.  (See the post here.)

7. Anthropology, the business model

This is my effort to treat the more general, and perhaps the most important, project an anthropologist can undertake to make him or herself useful to serve the world.  This post is about watching things change in our culture, detecting new patterns, and proposing a new architecture.  here.)


1 thought on “Culture is our export

  1. peter spear


    as ever i am enjoying your project and it highlights the really powerful value of simply organizing or re-organizing thoughts and ideas. these past few posts make me feel as if you’ve assumed a holding pattern above all the various notions you’ve been throwing out there, placing them in order, finding resonances and, then, simply sharing.

    it’s cool.

Comments are closed.