Where Durkheim and Marx, for example, saw culture more as a means of control, we now see culture as being in a constant state of transition and the human subject’s role is one of action, encouraging change over stagnation.New definitions of ‘culture’ have moved beyond expressing only the identity of a community, to “the processes, categories and knowledge through which communities are defined as such: that is, how they are rendered specific and differentiated” (Donald & Rattansi, 1993, p. If the key to understanding culture(s) is to ask how they are different, we can see the way that cultures use signifying systems as having new importance.This comment stirred a debate about immigration in a country which is home to approximately 4 million Muslims.In Britain the BBC reported a similar statement from David Cameron who linked multiculturalism to terrorism.Hall (2000) proposes a theorisation of identity as a form of self-representation that is able to constitute us as new kinds of subjects, and thereby enable us to discover places from which to speak.This transforming of identity opens up new trajectories for speaking which in the arts may be expressed through embodied forms such as gestures of movement, sight and sound.
A discussion of the unresolved tensions between biculturalism and multiculturalism in a society where different ethnicities try to assert themselves is also one of the main themes of this compilation.
Culture is created by human interaction, which in turn shapes how human beings see the world.
‘Culture’ is the filter through which we interpret our daily experiences, and our perceptions of the ‘real’ are a product of negotiated and socially created meaning.
Elliot Eisner in his response to draft document (personal communication, August 3, 1999) stated that “Because New Zealand is multicultural you have a golden opportunity to illustrate the impact of culture on the forms humans use in the arts to establish community, to celebrate major events in their lives, and to generally enrich life.
Yours is a living laboratory of such possibilities and those possibilities should be exploited.” The arts are powerful agents for the development of knowledge and understanding, for the nurturing of sensitivity and imagination, and as a rubric for socio-cultural representations of meaning and ceremony.