Author: Dr. Jonathan Ingleby
Many years ago when I used to teach about ‘culture’ I would begin with a definition (‘the integrated system, characteristic of the members of a society, of learnt attitudes and behaviour patterns leading to a world view’) that suggested to my students that essentially culture is ‘all in the mind’. Even what seems to be a very concrete expression of a culture – something like its architecture – is the product of mythological thinking. Myths of this sort have always been the indispensable foundation of the powerful political, economic and social movements that make up a culture. The fascist culture of the Third Reich, to take an obvious example, was informed by a number of myths to do with racial supremacies and historical entitlements. Further, though myths are not necessarily or essentially evil, they often are.
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