Introduction to “In Focus: Culture in the Spaces of No Culture”

Authors

  • ILANA GERSHON,

  • JANELLE S. TAYLOR


Abstract

ABSTRACT  In this “In Focus,” authors address how culture is figured in institutional contexts that are putatively arenas of no culture. Participants in these institutions pay ever more attention to questions of “culture” but often deploy the term in ways that presume that only select outsiders are culture bearers. Contributors to this volume seek to highlight the intricate ways in which the “cultural” and “acultural” are mutually constituted in such institutional settings and the consequences that flow from this. To address this issue ethnographically, the authors explore how culture—framed as traditional and locatable—is presumed and performed in institutional contexts constructed as modern, universal, and acultural. By comparing how different institutions account for the cultural and the acultural, this special issue questions what is the price of having culture as a classificatory category?

Ancillary