Culture is the whole of the manner of life of a given society and includes the thoughts and wonts which they learn andwhich are transmitted from one coevals to another ( Linton, 1945 ) .
Human behavior is based on guidelines that are shared by a group and in order for that group/society to work efficaciously the guidelines must use to all its members. Thus civilization is learned and shared and without it members of a society would be unable to pass on efficaciously and pandemonium would ensue.Cultural policy relates to thecultural capital of a state, its humanistic disciplines and memorials etc. Since theConservative Government came to power in the late 19 1970ss Britainhas had a continually shifting cultural policy. Some observers argued in theearly 19990s that the elitist intensions associated with cultural policy werebecoming less apparent in Britain. The coming of New Labour and theirlegislation sing cultural policy, nevertheless, may look to be a return toelitist cultural policy.
The construct of individuality isextremely of import in sociological thought. In Britain, for illustration, socialclass was frequently seen as cardinal to a individual ‘s thought of who they were andBordieu ‘s work on cultural capital tends to back up this position. Constructions ofidentity are besides closely linked to civilization and people ‘s individualities arereflected in the civilizations and sub-cultures to which they belong. Therefore Willis ‘ ( 1967 in Haralambos and Holborn, 2000 ) work put forth the position that workingclass young person had developed their ain sub-cultures with the instruction system.Modern theories of civilization tend to back up the position that individuality and cultureare really closely linked. British people would, for illustration, tend to hold a veryclear sense of what it might intend to be British.
Post-modernist minds havecriticised this position because they argue that the multi-cultural nature ofcontemporary Britain indicate that the ways in which people express theirBritishness are rather diverse. Frosh ( 1999 ) maintains that although identitydraws on civilization there are besides a figure of other factors at work in identityformation.Recent sociological andpsychological theory has stressed that a individual ‘s individuality is in fact somethingmultiple and potentially unstable, constructed through experience andlinguistically coded. In developing their individualities people draw uponculturally available resources in their immediate societal webs and insociety as a whole. The procedure of individuality building is hence one uponwhich the contradictions and temperaments of the environing socio-culturalenvironment have a profound impact( Frosh, 1999:413 ) .This paper will look into thechanges in cultural policy in Britain. It will get down with theories of cultureand recent cultural policy.
It will so look at positions on national individuality anddiscuss the relationship between cultural policy and national individuality.Theories of civilizationBritish cultural policy has itsroots in the 19th century when the businessperson elite were deriving power andthere was general concern over turning unrest among the working categories. It wasat this clip that a big organic structure of work grew up to set up the nature ofculture and what was culturally acceptable and what was non. A shared cultureand a shared belief system are necessary if a society is traveling to run swimmingly, it has power over the picks of persons and operates to restrain theirbehaviour ( Durkheim, 1961 foremost published 1912 cited in Haralambos and Holborn,2000 ) .
Durkheim believed that societies were possessed of a collectiveconscience which connected consecutive coevalss together and those who do notconform are punished by society. The rapid alterations that take topographic point inindustrial societies place them under menace and a shared civilization needs to bereinforced in order to back up society. Parsons ( 1955 ) maintained that culturewas passed on to consecutive coevalss through the socialization process.Culture can alter but most people in a given civilization must portion most of itsvalues or that society will fall in. Contemporary civilizations are, nevertheless, verydifferent and it may non be the instance that people feel the demand for a sharedculture, or that society would fall apart without it.Marx ‘s work concentrated on classstratification and he argued that in category stratified societies civilization was, infact, a contemplation of the political orientation of the opinion categories.
Culture is shaped byclass to such an extent that governing category political orientation becomes the dominantideology ( Abercrombie et al, 1983 ) . Marx, and his co-worker Engels, believedthat finally the civilization of society would alter through the development ofconsciousness by the on the job category who would come to see the falsity of thedominant political orientation. Marx ‘s statement has been extremely influential in theories ofculture but Numberss of minds have pointed to its failings.Storey ( 1993 cited in Haralambos andHolborn, 2000 ) has argued that the alterations that came with the IndustrialRevolution led to concerns that better facets of civilization were beingundermined. The outgrowth of other categories was a beginning of concern because theindustrial working category was able to develop:an independent civilization atsome remove from the direct intercession of the dominant classes.Industrialisation and urbanization had redrawn the cultural boundaries. Nolonger was there a shared common civilization, with an extra civilization of thepowerful.
Now for the first clip in history there was a separate civilization of thesubordinate categories of the urban and industrial Centres( Storey,1993:20-21 ) .Matthew Arnold ( 1822-1888 ) maintained that civilization was the survey of flawlessness but in 19th centuryEngland people were going excessively mercenary and excessively interested in the newmachinery and the production of goods. He was concerned about the fact thatculture was going confused with material wealth. Peoples would develop theirhumanity through the acquisition of cognition and reading literature and poetryin this manner people could develop society.
Arnold maintained that the cardinal tobecoming cultured was larning to read and reading the right sort of material.The turning ‘popular ‘ civilization and reading stuff of the urban working classwas non cultured and Arnold saw them as a unsafe group, therefore he warned thatthere was a,organic structure of work forces, all over thecountrybeginning to asseverate and set in pattern an Englishman ‘s right to dowhat he likes ; his right to process where he likes, run into where he likes, enterwhere he likes, hoot as he likes, threaten as he likes, knock as he likes( Arnold, 1960:76 foremost published in 1869 ) .The working classes needededucating in order to go civilized and to be a constructive instead than adestructive force in society. Story ( 1993 ) has argued that Arnold ‘s concern wasless with civilization and more about maintaining people in their topographic point and maintainingorder. Arnold had an elietist position of civilization which has been increasinglychallenged in recent old ages. Thompson ( 1963 cited in Haralambos and Holborn,2000 ) has argued that during the industrial revolution working category culturewas non destructive but originative and as worthy of note as the civilization of thehigher elite categories.
More late the accent has beenon what has come to be known as mass civilization. Theories of mass culturedeveloped in America in the work of theoreticians such as Macdonald ( 1957 ) .Macdonald saw aggregate civilization as a menace to high civilization and capable of creatinga totalitarian society. The thought that aggregate civilization was harmful has beenattacked by Shils ( 1978 ) he did non see mass civilization as peculiarly worthyof note but thought it preferred to the harsh being that the working classhad antecedently experienced. Contemporary theoreticians of civilization criticise thenotion that one signifier of civilization is superior to another. Strinati ( 1995 ) maintains that what was one time seen as aggregate civilization may, over clip, come to beseen as serious art. Mass civilization, he argues, gives people a pick with regardto art, music, and books and this undermines the power of intellectuals overwhat constitutes good gustatory sensation.
Strinati is of the sentiment that unfavorable judgments of massculture consequences from intellectuals trying to support their cultural power.Hall ( 1995 ) argues that the different signifiers of civilization in a society have theirown ways of sorting the universe. All of the ways in which a civilization iscommunicated contain facets of that universe position and events can be givendifferent significances, therefore he maintains:In order for one significance to beregularly produced, it had to win a sort oftaken -for-grantedness for itself.
That involved marginalizing, downgrading or delegitimating alternativeconstructions. Indeed there were certain sorts of account which, given thepower of credibleness acquired by the preferable scope of significances, wereliterally unthinkable or unsayable( Hall, 1995:355 ) .State States, Nationalism andBritish IdentityAnderson ( 1983 ) says that a nationis an imagined political community, imagined as both inherently limited and atthe same clip crowned head.
It is imagined because although its members may feelthat they belong to the same community yet they may ne’er run into. The state islimited because some are seen as belonging to it while others are excluded, andit is autonomous because it seeks to observe self-determination for a particulargroup of people. Nationalism is an bridal of the cultural heritage andpractices of a peculiar state province. Smith ( 1986 ) maintains that nationstates are characterised by mass instruction, by economic integrating and legalrights and responsibilities for all members of that province.Hall ( 1992 ) argues that the nationstate and patriotism are creative activities of capitalist economy.
In recent times nevertheless, capitalist economy has generated forces which have served to sabotage the sovereignityof the state province and of patriotism. He regards efforts to promotenationalism in the modern universe as unsafe because most state provinces areculturally, ethnically and sacredly assorted and when groups attempt to promoteparticular involvements within a state province force and struggle can result.Hall maintains that these forces result in people holding a baffled sense ofnational individuality the ethnically diverse nature of Britain for case meansthat many people have a figure of different individualities because they seethemselves as members of different groups.Cohen ( 1994 ) demonstrates the forceof Hall ‘s statement when he argues that presents there is no clear cut thought ofwhat it means to be British. British individuality is blurred in a figure of ways.
Cohen investigates the complex and altering nature of British individuality as ithas been affected by a figure of factors. Societies across the Earth have beeninfluenced by colonialism and deconolisation, by migration, travel and bypolitical alteration. Colley ( 1996 ) maintains that ‘Britishness ‘ is an innovation ofelitist provinces to antagonize the dissentious consequences of capitalist economy and industrialisationand that the thought of British nationalism was invented in the 18th century.However, Langlands ( 1999 ) inquiries Colley ‘s position of Britishness as merely aninvention, she maintains that Britishness is more complex than Colley would haveus believe. Smith ( 1986a ) maintains that states are ethno-symbolic communitiesmade up of shared history and district and shared myths of beginnings. Smith’swork implies that ‘Britishness ‘ therefore operates on both a cultural and politicallevel.
While many modern provinces are poly-ethnic, but based around a dominantethnic nucleus that produced its name and cultural charter. Smith ( 1991 ) says thatit isreally frequently on the footing of such a nucleus that states coalesce to formnations( Smith, 1991:39 ) . Therefore, historically, modern state provinces are theresult of a province elect edifice on these nucleus foundations.
Smith claims thatin Britain, by the 15th century, there was a reasonably homogeneous cultural, blue sense of Britishness. The British state province, hence, isessentially English with elements taken from Wales and Scotland. On the basisof this, Langlands ( 1999 ) maintains that provinces with a stable dominant ethniccore are less likely to be susceptible to the effects of cultural conflictarising from jobs between the province and multiple ethnicities.
Langlandsmaintains that:As it is true of all nationalidentities, the significances and salience attached to Englishness are unstable andhave varied well ; it has at some times drawn upon Celtic beginnings ; andat other times it has been conflated with Britishness ( the myth of our islandrace for case )( Langlands, 1999:60 ) .Cultural Policy and National IdentityBritish Cultural policy remainedbased on the elitist positions of the 19th century until good into thetwentieth century and re-emerged after the Second World War as portion of thewelfare province. In 1947 the Arts Council was established in an effort to bringart to as many people as possible. Ballet, Opera and the theater were givenmuch promotion as theoretical accounts of British cultural life. As the National Heritagesite maintains, cultural heritage is of great importance.
It is besides important tothe building of individualities and to societal behavior ( Turnpenny, 2004 ) . The policieswhich promoted what has been termed ‘high ‘ civilization remained stable until thelate 19 1960ss and 1970ss. During the 1950s leftist policieswere pursued which resulted in cultural stableness. By the 1970s the situationwas less stable and the far left began to deride it as all cultural values wereregarded as reflecting the involvements of white in-between category males. It wasnecessary to make away with value opinions so that civilization would accommodate the needsof everyone.
In the 19 1880ss ‘high’culture was once more undermined by the market rules of Margaret Thatcher’sGovernment. Art had to warrant its continued being on the footing of itsmarketability. In 1986 the cultural policy advisers to the Greater LondonCouncil wrote:In an age when we know longerexpect to happen a individual all- embracing truth, the best schemes forsurvival frequently involve making option, sole kingdom, which rejectdominant manners( Mulgan and Worpole, 1986:32 )When New Labour came to power inthe 1990s it took over elements of the left and the right in an effort topromote a more diverse and inclusive position of civilization and cultural heritage. Pearce ( 2000 ) contends that:Cultural heritage is somethingthat can be inherited, which enables the heirs to come in into theirrightful provinces and be their true egos( Pearce, 2000:59 ) .
This heritage is expressed in anumber of different ways some of which are stuff and some symbolic. Therefore acultural heritage consists of artifacts, patterns, objects and cultural spaceswhich persons recognise as portion of their cultural heritage. Among thesymbolic facets are unwritten tradition, the acting humanistic disciplines, and societal practices.Therefore cultural heritage can associate to all facets of life ( Turnpenny,2004 ) . Current cultural policy dressed ores on the material facets of heritagesuch as edifices or memorials. This means that heritage is really tightlydefined within an academic context and denies wider cultural reading ( Turnpenny, ibid ) . So although current cultural policy provinces an purpose ofinclusivity its actions with respect to cultural heritage and this can take topeople going alienated from their cultural heritage. Pearce ( 2000 ) arguesthat these physical facets of heritage are associated with certain values andemotions, without this association the material civilization would lose its value.
Cultural sites, topographic points andartefacts can, hence be considered to be physical representations ofperceptions of ego, community, and belonging, and their associated culturalvalues( Smith and Vandermeer, 2001:51 )Social patterns have been omittedfrom Government statute law on cultural heritage yet these are frequently related toparticular societal groups and are an look of traditional societal values.These patterns are a beginning of group individuality and have historical, traditional, and cultural significance and should hence be considered aspart of our cultural heritage ( Jones, 1996 ) . Turnpenny ( 2004 ) argues that thecurrent manner in which the province legislates with respect to cultural heritage isoppressive as it does non take into history community values and thecommunities ‘ perceptual experiences of their cultural heritage and it therefore contributes tosocial exclusion. Current cultural policy, in its disregard of the intangible, offprints fact from value. In making so it imposes a signifier of national identitythat does non truly reflect the individuality of community groups in Britain.Turnpenny maintains that cultural policy, in its disregard of the wider culturalheritage that is espoused by communities, consequences in communities non being ableto relate to Government definitions of cultural heritage ( which is why lesspeople visit museums now ) and this leads to tie in jobs ofdisempowerment and exclusion.DecisionThis paper has looked at culturalpolicy and its relationship to national individuality. It is arguably the instance thatcurrent Government cultural policy has reverberations of 19th century elitism inanother signifier.
Buildings and artifacts are regarded as portion of British culturalheritage and are hence to be espoused. The broad cultural heritage ofcommunities, e.g. the pattern of good dressing, balefire dark, Dwali etc areneglected because they are regarded as the civilization of the multitudes. Nationalidentity hence, is reserved for an elect subdivision of society, merely as it wasduring the 19th century, and this consequences in many communities feelingalienated from official definitions of cultural heritage and what it means tobe British.BibliographyAbercrombie, N and Urry J. 1983CapitalLabour and the Middle ClassesAllen and Unwin, LondonAnderson, B 1983ImaginedCommunitiesVerso, LondonArnold, M 1960 ( first published1869 )Culture and AnarchyCambridge University Press, CambridgeColley, L.
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