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Cultural theory in the liberal world: A review

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  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding cultural theory
  3. Theoretical content
    1. Marxian ideology
    2. Theory of cultural cognition
    3. Theory on the analysis of social facts
    4. Types of societal cohesion or unity
    5. Analysis of human behavior
    6. Value theory and the role of societal structures in modern society
  4. Social implications
  5. Cultural influence to human action or the self
    1. Cultural influence on human action: Terrorism
    2. Cultural influence on human action: Way of life
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

Critics of cultural theory espoused that it has become irrelevant in the modern age where terrorism (Eagleton, 2004 cited in Smith 2004), among others abounds. Further, they argued that it was not effective in dealing with the issues of ?morality, metaphysics, love, religion, revolution, death and suffering? (Smith 2004 par.6). On the other hand, Milner & Browitt (2002) agreed that cultural theory is still significant even in modern society. Literatures were reviewed to present the merits of cultural theory as well as, if necessary, further arguments against it. A logical presentation of information gathered from the review is done to clearly show varied opinions about cultural theory in understanding culture. Thus, as a start, definition of cultural theory must be presented in relation to understanding culture whether in classical period or contemporary or modern society

[...] Thus, in the end he was able to define cultural theory as a tool to explain nature of culture and its implications for social life? (p.4). Thus, cultural studies focus on understanding how a certain cultural incident relates to ?ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class and gender? (Serrat p. 1). Theoretical Content Marxian Ideology The classical social theories dominated the field of cultural theory per Karl Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Simmel's earlier works (Smith 2001 p. 6). Marx espoused culture as founded by an ?economic base? (Smith 2001 p. [...]

[...] Complexity of culture then requires a systematic analysis of information in order to address and understand the needs of each cultural formation by gathering ?social facts? (Smith p. 9). Social facts can only be gathered through analysis of interactions among humans. Levi-Strauss (1974 cited in Alexander & Smith p.135) expanded this notion towards analysis of cultural variations that includes cultural principles. Simmel (1978 cited in Smith 2001 p. 18) contradicted Marx's view by suggesting that culture is not based on the class system of the economy but rather on interactions that focuses on exchange as represented by money. [...]

[...] In contrast, Hong et al (2001) found out that cultural identity, a valued cultural dynamics; differ between culture with the activation of their individual and collective cultural identity (p.260) in terms of their duties and rights, respectively. Further, Cohen (1972 cited in Shepherd & Wicke, ) pointed out that an individual or a group's behavior emanates from their actual experience as seen in the British society after the Second World War implying that an actual experience is both ?contradictory and culturally specific? (p. [...]

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