There is a theme in the “What is Culture? What is Cultural Theory?” reading that I just can’t get through. It states that “culture tends to be opposed to the material, technological, and social structural” (Smith). We didn’t get a chance to discuss this reading in class, and maybe I’m going beyond (or completely missing) the context, but those three terms of opposition (material, technological, social structure) bring one simple notion to mind… they are culture.
When I think of American culture in particular, those behaviors and interests that define us as a collective, I can’t help but imagine an interaction with a cell phone, an ipod, or the web. These technologies and devices come to mind long before literature or theater or music (except for the music on an ipod). As the definitions of “culture” shift from intellectual development and “the Arts” to the broader “way of life,” why is technology, and the resulting social structure, being opposed?