By Margaret Mead
A research of the iteration hole
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Extra info for Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap
It is living true that the continuity of all cultures depends presence of at least three generations. characteristic of postfigurative cultures is The on the essential the assumption, ex- that their members of the older generation in their every act, way of life (however many changes may, in fact, be embodied in it) pressed by past, before is unchanging, eternally the same. In the the present extension of life span, living great- grandparents were very rare and grandparents were few. Those who embodied the longest stretch of the culture, who were the models for those younger than themselves, in whose slightest tone or gesture acceptance of the whole way of tained, were few and tireless and hale.
As no man same river twice, so there is always a some procedure, some custom, some belief, ac- steps in the possibility that ceded to a thousand times, will rise into consciousness. This chance increases when the people of one postfigurative culture are in close contact with those of another. Their sense of what indeed constitutes their culture is accentuated. In 1925 after a hundred years of contact with modern cultures, Samoans talked continually about Samoa and Samoan custom, rebuking small children as Samoan children, combin- remembered Polynesian identity and their sense of the contrast between themselves and the colonizing foreigners.
Defined by suffering and is by pride in the can be maintained in suffer, is earlier heroic suffering of under circumstances few tremendously du- exile it. A rable communities, such as those of the Jews and the Arme- have displayed a persistent sense of national identity through hundreds of years of persecution and exile. nians, But the prototype postfigurative culture is the isolated primi- tive culture, the culture in which only the accommodating memories of its the past. quietly Among on the members are there to preserve the story of preliterate peoples, there are shelf to give the lie to some no books to lie revision of past his- The voiceless stones, even when they are carved and shaped by the hand of man, can easily be fitted into a revised version of how the world has always been.