Volltext: Patterns of culture

    
PATTERNS OF CULTURE 
of sexual and child-rearing adjustments. Marriage in each 
case must be understood in relation to other traits to 
which it has become assimilated, and we should not run 
into the mistake of thinking that ‘marriage’ can be under- 
|| stood in the two cases by the same set of ideas. We must 
    
allow for the different components which have been built 
up into the resulting trait. 
We greatly need the ability to analyze traits of our own 
cultural heritage into their several parts. Our discussions 
of the social order would gain in clarity if we learned to 
understand in this way the complexity of even our sim- 
plest behaviour. Racial differences and prestige preroga- 
tives have so merged among Anglo-Saxon peoples that we 
fail to separate biological racial matters from our most 
socially conditioned prejudices. Even among nations as 
nearly related to the Anglo-Saxons as the Latin peoples, 
such prejudices take different forms, so that, in Spanish- 
colonized countries and in British colonies racial differ- 
ences have not the same social significance. Christianity 
and the position of women, similarly, are historically inter- 
related traits, and they have at different times interacted 
very differently. The present high position of women in 
Christian countries is no more a 'result' of Christianity 
than was Origen's coupling of woman with the deadly 
temptations. These interpenetrations of traits occur and 
disappear, and the history of culture is in considerable 
degree a history of their nature and fates and associations. 
But the genetic connection we so easily see in a complex 
trait and our horror at any disturbance of its interrela- 
tionships is largely illusory. The diversity of the possible 
combinations is endless, and adequate social orders can 
be built indiscriminately upon a great variety of these 
foundations. 
  
 
	        
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