Culture as Ecosystem: Interdisciplinarity in an Era of Deterritorialization

By John Esposito.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This conversation across disciplinary borders seeks to elucidate assumptions regarding the rapid pace of cultural change in the contemporary world. Although there is much debate between modern and postmodern perspectives on this phenomenon, they both assume that cultures are essentially static entities, which must respond to forces emanating from without. When culture is construed as a living organism, however, change can more easily be understood because natural systems freely exchange information with other systems while maintaining their internal coherence. Taking the widespread cultural disturbances in Japan over the past 150 years as its point of departure, particularly those concerning food production and consumption patterns, this interdisciplinary model helps shed light on how global forces are interacting with the long-held practices, beliefs, and values of an ancient society. The picture thus emerging is one of decay and growth in which indigenous cultural forms and imported signs and symbols vie for hegemonic ascendancy.

Keywords: Culture, Ecosystem, Interdisciplinarity, Deterritorialization, Japan, Food

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 568.021KB).

Dr. John Esposito

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Language, Communication, and Culture/ Language Education and Research Center, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan

John Esposito is an Assistant Professor of English at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan, where he teaches courses in Language and Culture, Critical Discourse Analysis, Curriculum Development, and Creative Writing. His research interests include the linguistic and semiotic representation of nature in mass media texts; the relationship between cultural practices and ecological principles; and the role of systems thinking in international education reform.


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