Cultural Research and Its Usefullness in Daily Life

Nowadays, it became a commonplace practice, on the part of recently arrived immigrants from the Third World countries, to indulge in clearly anti-social behavior, which proponents of political correctness justify by the particulars of these people’s cultural uniqueness. In its turn, this disrupts the normal functioning of Western societies to the extent when law-obeying citizens are being often afraid to venture out on the streets in their own neighborhood, after it gets dark. For example, during the course of most recent racial riots in London, I never ceased fearing for my very life, while outside of my flat. Partially, this explains why through 2010-2011, even the mainstream Western politicians of high social prominence, such as Angela Merkel and David Cameron, began to publically speak on the failure of ‘multiculturalism’ as the policy that undermines the integrity of Western countries from within (Chodos 2011).

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Given the fact that the whole concept of ‘cultural studies’, as academic discipline, came to its today’s prominence after the policy of ‘multiculturalism’ had attained an official status in the West, it will only be logical to conclude that, in its present form ‘cultural studies’ cannot be considered academically legitimate, in full sense of this word. After all, the essence of just about any academic pursuit cannot be discussed outside of what represents this pursuit’s potential benefits to society. And, as it was pointed out earlier, there are good reasons to think that in the long run, ‘multiculturalism’ advocated by ‘cultural studies’, had proven counter-beneficiary to citizens’ social, political and economic well-being. In this casebook-paper, I will aim to explore earlier articulated thesis at length, while coming up with suggestions as to what I believe should account for the conceptual transformation of ‘cultural studies’ from being simply the tool of political indoctrination (as it is being the case today) into the instrument of society’s actual betterment.

As I implied earlier, one of the reason why the discipline of ‘cultural studies’ is being often regarded as quasi-scientific, is that most individuals affiliated with this discipline, appear politically engaged – that is, their actual agenda is not being quite as concerned with advancing impersonal science per se, but rather with explaining ‘culturally unique’ individuals’ lessened ability to act in socially-productive manner by a number of purely environmental factors, such as these people’s personal and even ancestral exposure to ‘poverty’ and ‘institutionalized racism’. According to Ang (2006): “Cultural studies’ sentiment has always been overwhelmingly on the side of the subaltern, the subordinate, the marginalized” (p. 184). It is quite explainable, therefore, that despite the fact that the numerous ‘cultural scientists’, such as infamous Hommi Bhabha (who made an academic career in America by exposing students to his highly unintelligible writings), even today enjoy a considerable presence in Western academia, their opinions are rarely being taken into account by responsible policy-makers. Apparently, is it being quite impossible for people who do not even try to conceal their close affiliation with the promoters of left-wing agenda to be considered impersonal/objective social scientists.

What also hampers the academic legitimacy of ‘cultural studies’ is that there is no well-established and scientifically valid research-methodology to this discipline. As it was noted by Frow and Morris (1993): “Lacking an established methodology and even a well-defined object, it (cultural studies) draws eclectically and energetically upon a variety of theoretical sources” (p. xxvii). This, however, appears to be only the half of the problem. The actual problem, in this respect, is the fact that as time went on, the discipline of ‘cultural studies’ has grown limited to researching the relevant subject matters from specifically culturally-relativist perspective, while denying the discursive legitimacy to other methodological approaches.

The reason for this is simple – the provisions of cultural-relativism are being consistent with the foremost theoretical premise of multiculturalism, which even today enjoys the status of officially endorsed political ideology in most Western countries, with its advocates never ceasing to promote an idea that highly secularized (euro-centric) conventions of Western living simply do not apply to newly arrived ethic immigrants: “Cultural relativism holds that a moral agent’s behavior is to be evaluated in reference to a culture. If his culture accepts it, it is moral. If his culture rejects it, it is immoral” (Park 2011, p. 160). Therefore, it will not be much of an exaggeration to suggest that ‘cultural studies’, in its present form, do in fact contribute to the process of Western societies growing progressively affected by ever-escalating racial/cultural tensions among the citizens.

After all, if Muslim culture does endorse the practice of cutting the throats of live sheep, as not only something perfectly normal but as the integral part of celebrating Eid al-Adha (religious holiday), why should not practicing Muslims be allowed to proceed with such their practice at the centre of London, for example? Or, why should not Sikh-immigrants in Australia or Canada be allowed to carry concealed daggers in public, which they insist represents their ‘God-given right’?

Or, why should not the members of Black gangs be allowed to practice initiation-killings of innocent bystanders, to which they usually refer as simply the part of ‘African cultural tradition’? These rhetorical questions expose the conceptual fallaciousness of cultural-relativism, as the by-product of social scientists’ intellectual arrogance. After all, for any sober-minded individual there can be no doubts as to the fact that the earlier mentioned cultural (or rather savage) practices stand in striking opposition to the ideals of Western/civilized living. This is exactly the reason why, as time goes on, more and more native-born Westerners grow utterly weary with the ‘celebration of diversity’ on the part of ethnic immigrants, especially given the fact that this ‘celebration’ often proceeds at their expense as taxpayers.

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At the same time, it would be wrong to suggest that the academic concept of ‘cultural studies’ is being inheritably erroneous as ‘thing in itself’. After all, the awareness of what constitutes the specifics of individual’s cultural affiliation does provide researchers with the insight on the qualitative essence of his or her behavioral attitudes. However, in order for the discipline of ‘cultural studies’ to become truly beneficial, in academic and social senses of this word, it would have to part away with the theoretical premise of cultural-relativism. Instead, cultural researchers would have to concern themselves with exploring people’s cultural affiliation as one among many emanations of their existential psyche, the workings of which have long ago been proven to relate more to the concept of biology rather than to the concept of sociology. After cultural researchers adopt scientific approach towards analyzing the significance of people’s culture, based upon recent discoveries in the fields of biology, medicine and psychology, they will be able to gain an insight on the actual nature of a variety of socio-cultural phenomenons.

For example, it does not represent much of a secret that the newly arrived ethnic immigrants from the Third World often praise themselves on possession of ‘spirituality’, while criticizing native-born citizens on the account of their ‘consumerist-mindedness’, ‘perceptional materialism’ and ‘godlessness’. And, as practice shows, the majority of cultural researchers, closely affiliated with political left, fully support the validity of immigrants’ claims, in this respect. This partially explains why, as of today, the very notion of scientific progress is often being referred to as ‘euro-centric’ and therefore – ‘evil’. If this would not be the case, such Hollywood movies as ‘Avatar’ would not be becoming utterly popular with the viewing audiences.

Nevertheless, when assessed through methodological lenses of biology/anthropology, people’s culture-based endowment with ritualistic ‘spirituality’ appears to be indicative of their intellectual primitiveness. After all, one’s willingness to proceed with strongly defined ‘spiritual’ mode of existence is being motivated by his or her deep-seated anxiety to ‘blend’ with the environment, which is nothing but the rudiment of such individual’s evolutionary underdevelopment: “Identity appears in (spirituality-driven) collective representations… as a moving assemblage or totality of mystic actions and reactions, within which individual does not subjectualize but objectualize itself” (Bruhl 1928, p.120). Yet, it was specifically on the account of our early ancestors being able to actively oppose the surrounding environment that the emergence of human civilization became possible, in the first place. This is why the foremost ideological dogma of contemporary ‘cultural studies’, as to the fact that just about all the emanations of people’s cultural uniqueness deserve to be celebrated, cannot be thought of representing an undeniable truth-value. Apparently, being culturally unique does not necessarily mean being socially productive

I believe that the line of argumentation, deployed throughout casebook’s analytical part, fully support the validity of its initial thesis. Apparently, there are in fact many good reasons to think of ‘cultural studies’ as being potentially capable to benefit the society. However, as I pointed out earlier, this academic discipline would have to become fully scientific.

References:

Ang, I 2006, ‘From cultural studies to cultural research: Engaged scholarship in the twenty-first century’, Cultural Studies Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 183-197.

Bruhl, L 1928, The soul of the primitive, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London.

Chodos, B 2011, ‘Diversity revisited’, Inroads, vol. 1, no. 28, pp. 33-35.

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Frow, J & Morris, M 1993, Australian cultural studies: A reader, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Park, S 2011, ‘Defense of cultural relativism’, Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture & Axiology, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 159-170.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, April 9). Cultural Research and Its Usefullness in Daily Life. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/cultural-research-and-its-usefullness-in-daily-life/

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