The Challenge of Enculturation on Art

The Challenge of Enculturation on Art

Lindsay Grace (University of Illinois and Illinois Institute of Art, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-352-4.ch018
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Enculturation is the act of passing cultural ideologies from one person to the other. It is what breeds innovation instead of new creation. It is the disease of derivation, instead of the birth of creativity. This chapter assumes the practical perspective of critical anthropological distance to understand the culture of art. Such critical evaluation should illuminate the distinct characteristics that encourage patterns. In the tradition of anthropological and sociological study of existing culture, this chapter seeks to illuminate the distinguishing characteristics of contemporary art production and offer perspective on the critical creative process. It takes new media art as its case study because it serves as a cross-cultural intersection of scientific invention and artistic innovation.
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Background: Research In Multiple Disciplines

Anthropological and sociological analysis of the culture of art is not a novel practice. Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste serves as an argumentative base within the social sciences for the relationship of cultural standards and art value. The book includes an analysis of the economy of cultural worth that proves relevant more than twenty years after its publication. In the introduction of his work he states “scientific observation shows that cultural needs are the product of upbringing and education:” (Bourdieu, 2007, p9). It is this observation that functions as one of the foundations for this chapter. If culture is provided by education, than an analysis of education may illuminate how the creative process is affected.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Innovator: An individual who continues a tradition within the sciences or art.

Acculturation: Change that occurs through the modification, adoption, or adapting a neighboring cultures characteristics.

Innovation: The derivation of creative efforts that builds, modify, or is directly reliant on an existing artifacts.

Enculturation: The transparent integration of a culture’s beliefs into one’s personal beliefs

Extra-Cultural: The values, beliefs and habits which rest outside the perception, or acknowledgement of the given culture.

Invention: The creation of objects, ideas, or other items not previously conceived.

Inventor: An individual who defines a scientific or artistic approach.

Art Culture: The value systems, beliefs, and habits of the society of artists.

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