Ruth Benedict Essay

322 Words2 Pages
In Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict, the concepts of human nature and social coordination/organization are utilized to define several aspects of our culture. Human nature, according to Benedict, is a direct result of the individual’s experience in their culture. She claims that human nature arises out of the pure interaction between a human being and his or her own culture to which they are accostumes. In her words, “what was subtracted from society was added to the individual and what was subtracted from the individual was added to society” (251). In this sense, who humans beings are, what they believe, and how they came to be, have all been influenced by society. Society has formed human nature to a point that is hard to argue against. ELABORATE/MORE EVIDENCE. To determine the social coordination/organization of society, Benedict stems many of her claims from observations of three groups: the Zuñi, Dobu, and Kwakiutl. In order to determine social coordination/organization, Benedict claims, “we need detailed information about contrasting limits of behaviors and the motivations that are dynamic in one society and not in another” (229). This means that it is of the upmost importance that, in order to eliminate and organize aspects of society, we need to understand what has functioned. To do this, “situational results” (236) are necessary. These results have the ability to predetermine a specific mode of conduct, as well as “a set of tendencies” (236) in society. But in order to completely structure society and culture, “selection is the first requirement” (237). This idea is illustrated by the three cultures and their distinct practices of mourning, marriage, puberty rites, and economics (244). Another way in which society is organized and coordinated, according to Benedict, “selection is the first requirement” (237) from the “great arc” (24). All differences in
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