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Title: The cultural mistake
Keywords: Clash, Civilizations, Culture, Essentialism, Determinism, Kuhn
Issue Date: 21-Feb-2006
Citation: LAU CHEK WAI (2006-02-21). The cultural mistake. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This is a philosophical critique of Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and challenges three components of cultural essentialism (which forms the basis of his idea): cultural fixity, cultural homogeneity and cultural determinism respectively. The first claim is that there is a core set of cultural beliefs that remains immutably important and defines the civilization. The beliefs may be submerged but will resurrect in time. The second is that this set of beliefs is subscribed to by people of similar cultural descent, even if they migrate to other countries and in times of crisis, diasporas and kin countries will band together with the parent state. The third is the belief that these cultural values will determine how countries act towards each other and conflicts will inevitably arise because of incommensurability of values. I will give greater role to transformative leadership in an alternative theory of culture, incorporating Thomas Kuhn's theory of science.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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