What Is Culture? Briefly respond to questions 1, 4, 9 and 14 and four others of your choice. Agar says “culture is about differences” but he also says culture is “theories about who you are and how t

What Is Culture?
Briefly respond to questions 1, 4, 9 and 14 and four others of your choice.
Agar says “culture is about differences” but he also says culture is “theories about who you are and how the world works.” How are these two definitions related?
Can you think of some aspect of your own life that would be almost impossible to explain to a foreigner who spoke excellent English but had no concept of how anything was done in the U.S.?
What do you think Agar means by these statements (explain either one):
“Culture is something those people ‘have,’ but it’s more than that. It’s also something that happens to you when you encounter them.” (p. 20)
“Differences aren’t a threat, they’re an opportunity.” (p. 29)
What does Agar mean by “the circle”?
How did Sir William Jones revolutionize linguistics? How might his approach be similar to the ways we sometimes talk about cultural “traditions”?
What was de Saussure’s criticism of Jones? How might his critique be applied to the ways we sometimes talk about cultural “traditions”?
In his elaboration of language/culture as a system of meanings, what does Agar see as Saussure’s big mistake? Why was it a mistake?
Why does Agar want to coin the term “languaculture”?
What is the difference between
methodological
moral
relativity?
What point does the following passage illustrate? “[T]he conclusion isn’t that these people are confused, less efficient, or burdened with so much concrete detail they’ll never rise to the level of abstract intelligence. He knows that there is another system operating, one with its own logic, and that it’s his job to figure it out.” (pp. 52-53)
How is “reality” being used in discussions of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
Do people raised in different cultural systems live in different realities?
The author quotes Sapir as saying “The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world’ is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group…We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.” What is the significance of the term “habit” in this quotation?
How do the concepts of “availability” and “codability” reveal the significance of habit in forming our everyday conceptual realities?
What Briefly respond to questions 1, 4, 9 and 14 and four others of your ch







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