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01 JANUARY 2013

The Value of Culture: Culture and the Anthropologists

"Melvyn Bragg continues his exploration of the idea of culture by considering its use in the discipline of anthropology. In 1871 the anthropologist Edward Tylor published Primitive Culture, an enormously influential work which for the first time placed culture at the centre of the study of humanity. His definition of culture as the 'capabilities and habits acquired by man' ensured that later generations saw culture as common to all humans, and not simply as the preserve of writers and philosophers."

(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)

"The Value of Culture: Culture and the Anthropologists", Radio broadcast, Episode 2 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Monday 01 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.

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TAGS

187119th centuryanima • animism • anthropologist • anthropologybelief systemsbeliefsborrowing • borrowings • capabilities and habits • Charles Lyell • civilisation • complex societies • cultural characteristics • cultural evolutionism • cultural relativismcultureculturescustoms • development of religions • early cultures • Edward Tylor • ethnographersethnographic study • evolution of culture • faith • force of habit • habithabitshistoricismhistoricist • human behaviours • human culture • human customs • human customs and behaviours • humanity • idea of culture • Indigenousleisure timematerial cultureMelvyn Bragg • Pitt Rivers • prehistory • Primitive Culture (book) • primitive cultures • religion • religious belief • science • scientific study • social anthropologysocietysoul • study of humanity • survivals • symbolic behaviourThe Value of Culture (radio)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 MARCH 2012

Babakiueria: the colonialisation of European Australians by Indigenous Australians

"Presenter Duranga Manika (Michelle Torres) describes her fascination with white people and their customs and explains how she spent six months living with a 'typical white family' (Tony Barry, Cecily Polson, Kelan Angel, Margeurita Haynes). She also asks members of the general public for their opinions on white people and speaks to the Minister for White Affairs (Bob Maza).

[Geoffrey] Atherden's script takes stereotypes of Australian culture and, with tongue–in–cheek humour, views them as though for the first time, as mysterious, alien and strange. Here, the barbecue is singled out. Elsewhere Manika describes the football match as ritualised violence and betting at the TAB as a religion, while a police commissioner calls the Anzac Day March a ritual where white people 'honour their warrior ancestors' but wonders why it can't be done at home.

Presenter Duranga Manika's ethnographic study of white people simplifies, patronises and mystifies her subjects. Every mundane detail of this one family's everyday life is invested with serious cultural significance. Bob Maza's Minister for White Affairs compresses a history of government treatment of Indigenous Australians into one self–satisfied, authoritative figure. It is interesting that while these characters treat 'white' culture with such fascination, they treat 'black' culture as such a given that the audience does not find out much about it."

(Kate Matthews, Australian Screen)

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17881986Aboriginalalien and strangeANZAC • ANZAC Day • ASO • audio and visual heritageaudiovisual archiveAustraliaAustralian cultureAustralian Screen • authoritative figure • Babakiueria • barbecue • Barbecue area • BBQ • belongingblack culture • Bob Maz • Bob Maza • Cecily Polson • colonial misrecognition • colonisationcultural anthropologycultural critiquecultural perspectivecultural significanceculture and customsethicsethnographic studyethnography • Euro-Australians • European Australians • fictitious land • First Australiansflagfootball • for their own good • gambling • Geoffrey Atherden • government treatment • humourIndigenousIndigenous AustraliansIndigenous peopleinvasion • Kelan Angel • Margeurita Haynes • Michelle Torres • Minister for White Affairs • mockumentary • National Film and Sound Archivenative peopleNFSApatronisingpostcolonial • powerboat • racial inequality • racial profiling • religionritual • ritualised violence • role-reversal • satiresatiricalsettlementstereotype • TAB • tongue-in-cheek • Tony Barry • typical white family • untamed land • white culture • white people • white settlement

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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