Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John A. Xanthopoulos
Culture cannot be defined simply by our ethnic background. It is also family, religion, profession, interests, gender, child-rearing practices, educational background, where we live, the food we eat, our individual uniqueness, sexual lifestyles, and more. Even though we are better understood by someone who considers our ethnic background, our own cultural definition is much broader than just an ethnic label. By formulating the scientific concept of culture and destroying the myth of race as a determinant of behavior, cultural anthropologists during the 1920s began to lay the intellectual foundations for multicultural/global education. Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and their colleagues provided a scientific basis for dealing with the crucial dilemma of the world today: How can people of different appearances, mutually unintelligible languages, and dissimilar ways of life get along together peaceably? This understanding of ourselves as a species capable of creating and carrying culture opened the way for ...