HUMN 124 Boas Paper

Submitted By Yemmika
Words: 473
Pages: 2

HUMN 124 – In Class Paper: Boas

Although a stable culture may sound appealing to most, progress is actually found within an unstable culture. Stability is dependent upon the isolation of a culture. Habitual behaviors are kept tradition being passed on throughout generations. But instinctual behaviors are the common ground between all cultures, such as our basic needs to survive. The introduction of another culture destabilizes both allowing for progress and innovation through their differences.

Individuals behave according to the automatic reactions set by their culture. Conformity and stability are inseparable, while non-conformity breaks these traditions. The rate of change within a culture depends upon its stability. Undisturbed, stable cultures process changes slowly. This allows for repetitive actions within an isolated culture that may be perceived as instinctual but are more likely learnt traits. Imitation and example are the only forms of learning in an unchanging culture. The introduction of another set of traditions and behaviors compromises the stability of a culture. As instability progresses the rate of changes becomes more rapid. The culture assimilates to its new condition in which the rate of progress will once again stabilize. Historically this is demonstrated through European settlers amongst aboriginal primitive communities. Communication, access to goods and materials, technique in building and harvesting, social behaviors and value placement are all some examples of the changes within these primitive communities after the de-stabilization of Europeans. Changes may also occur at different rates within a culture. Some aspects of an original culture may remain virtually unchanged after destabilization while others progressed greatly.

Instinctual behaviors although are unchanging within any culture as they are a necessity to our survival. These organically determined behaviors are not learned traits but simply a response to external environmental stimuli. Breathing,…