lunedì 2 ottobre 2017

Anthropology of Globalization for Global Governance #3

02/10/17 We had our third class this morning and it was a bit of a mess. Too many things I wanted to say, too many questions and requests of diversion by the terrible GG students.
This is the file of the lesson, but, in general, here you can find the whole folder with all the lessons. My suggestion is you store this address for future consultation.
Since we have stated last time that culture is acquired knowledge (contrasting to any other innate form of knowledge) the point we wanted to reach was about the consequences of that being acquired. Why should we pay attention to the fact that culture is acquired while - say - blinking is innate? Can’t we simply find a way to measure the total amount of knowledge and make use of that?
In fact, we had to admit that acquired and innate knowledge entails tremendously different consequences in the way that knowledge is stored and transmitted.
The case of the hive (with disappearing flowers) and the case of the “primitive tribe” (with fading away rabbits) were told to get to one point: acquired knowledge is more flexible (innovation spreads much easily than any biological change, in the sense that cultural innovation is basically irrespective of any given natural environment) and more fragile in its transmission. Once your species “decided” (as humans did many many years ago) that you rely mostly on acquired knowledge, you have to create complex forms for inter-generational maintenance, since each new generation has to start from scratch when dealing with their skills.
We insisted on the fact that it is almost impossible to locate the border between innate and acquired knowledge, in the sense that even the most evidently innate forms of human behaviour, (like breathing or walking on two legs!) must be activated according to a cultural style, which is not something added to the pure substance of a cultural event, but is an integral ingredient, like accent for language. We have no other way than learning a language with an accent or another, and that soon becomes part of what we think is our essence (even though it is clear it is not “essential” at all, being acquired).
Since we have a serious problem with transmitting acquired knowledge to the next generation (learning/teaching is a dual active process, those who learn must actively participate in the action, they cannot just “be exposed” to knowledge in order to acquire it) that entails that we should not think of any forms of knowledge as acquired “once for all” along an evolutionary path! Even though we may think that we have reached an important further path in the progress of knowledge, we have to be aware that is always reversible, and the next generation may easily undo what the previous has carefully produced (example of gender equality in USA).

QUESTION ONE: Think of other cases like biking in Amsterdam the way we discussed in class: cultural habits that may deeply change from one generation to the other (smoking in public, tattooing, just for you to know what I’d like you to talk of).

Then we began to analyse a bit more in detail the meaning of that “acquisition”. How do we learn some cultural stuff? We started from the opposition between formal and informal forms of acquisition. I insisted mostly on the fact that informally acquired knowledge tends to hide itself to our awareness, thus becoming naturalised, that is forgotten in its acquired nature. We began to debate the complex issue of taste, and to introduce the right direction our next class you may try to answer this

QUESTION TWO: are you aware of something you normally consider innate, but now you begin to suspect it could be mostly acquired? In other words, report some naturalized forms of behaviour (if you focus on what you like and dislike it would be relatively easy to detect those naturalised patterns of action).

QUESTION THREE: I know that at a certain point in class I suggested the specific topic we were debating would perfectly work as a homework question, but I can’t really recall what that point was all about. Could you drop me a line to remind what we were talking of and what was my suggested question?

64 commenti:

ALICE97 ha detto...

An example of cultural habit that has changed within generations is the way in which homosexuality is seen. If we think about it in ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality was seen as something absolutely acceptable and normal. If we ask to our grandfathers about it, we can easily notice that for that generation homosexuality is still a taboo subject.

An action that we consider innate but is actually an acquired habit that became naturalized, meaning that we have learnt it up to the point that it became spontaneous is, for example, waving our hand to greet someone. It looks as something absolutely spontaneous but it is an action that we have learnt to do up to the point it became automatized. In a different country there might be another way for saying hello to someone. In Japan for example you just feeble signal with your head and don’t wave your hand at all.

Another question suggested as a homework was to find other forms of social knowledge that would need to be renovated when transmitted through generations. In my opinion, one example could be law. It is obviously a social knowledge that man created in order to grant a certain stability to a community life. Within centuries, society has massively changed in many aspects. Laws in general have to keep pace with the metamorphoses of societies, or else it would be obsolete and incompatible.

gloria paronitti ha detto...

QUESTION 1: An example that comes to my mind is women's way of dressing. More precisely I am thinking to clothes such as bikinis or miniskirts. During the whole human history strict rules were imposed on woman about the way they should dress and behave. We all know for examples that they couldn't show their ankles, they had to wear shirts buttoned till the neck and they could not show completely their arms. So we can imagine the shock of seeing woman wearing such skimpy clothes. I read on internet that for example in 1907 an Australian swimmer was arrested since during a competition she wore a swimming suit that left her neck, arms and legs uncovered. Or that the French tailor, Louis Reard, that first created the bikini in 1946 didn't find any model that was willing to wear his creation, so he was forced to ask to a stripper to wear it. In Italy, a few years later, policemen could fine women wearing it on the beach. Nowadays this is unthinkable in many countries, bikini is the type of swimming suit most worn by girls around the world. Also in this case, new generations clashed with the previous one in order to make them accept habits that were reflecting a changing reality. This resulted however in a very long process, and some kind of clothes are still not seen positively by some people.

gloria paronitti ha detto...

QUESTION 2: Trying to follow the hint on the brackets, I thought that something that I really like is the sea. I always thought it was something natural for me, a characteristic of my person. After our talk in class I understood that also preferring the sea to the mountain or to the city is a matter of tastes. My love for the sea is not innate but acquired: maybe because of people that influenced my tastes since I was very young so that I cannot remember this process, or maybe because I acquired this consciousness thanks to the experience, associating the sea to beautiful experiences or positive feelings. Another matter I am thinking about is the way we reason. To think in my opinion is an innate capacity of man. But what about the contents of our reason? This, as the preference for the sea, is influenced by many things that surround us: family, friends, media, education, where we live and how we live in general. We think that our thoughts are the pure result of our minds, but taking a closer look, we realize that even if they come out from us they are shaped by our personal story.

elettra schininà ha detto...

1. Cultural habits that deeply change from one generation to the other. One of the examples that you wrote in the question is the habit of tattooing, I'm in love with this art and I really appreciate that it is one of the examples that you have mentioned over hundred of others one.
We can clearly say that tattooing has been practiced throughout the world for many centuries. It has been used for a multitude of cultures, both for ancient and contemporary ones : like the tattoos of the Timucua warriors(1562), or the tattoos over the faces of the Maori ( XIX sec.). Since the 1970s, tattoos have become a mainstream part of Western fashion, common among both sexes, to all economic classes, and to age groups from the later teen years to middle age. Within the Time, this habit has changed. In each country the tattooing has done its own path: in the United Kingdom continued to be practiced more than in Italy. For example I have half family from Sud America and the other one from South Italy... guess which half of the family don't like at all tattoos? It was easy, the part from my father, who's from Sicily. On the other hand my mother, who's from Argentina, has worked as tattoo artist. She has 4 tattoos, I have 2, and two of my brothers have about 15 tattoos. Then I think that the changes of cultural habits take a really long time and it don't only depend on the generation we are, but also from the own culture we're from.

2. One thing that comes up to my mind reading this question is the dress sense. During these lectures I understood that mostly of the knowledges and habits that I usually have are acquired knowledges and not innate. I like a certain type of clothes, and till now it was easy for me to think that it was an innate sense of my character. Instead it is not like this. I'm growing up in Italy, in Rome, in a specific part of Rome, which is the North of the city. Growing in this "environment" I've always seen a certain type of clothes, a specific type of attitude. In all the shops there is more or less the same dress sense. Than I like these clothes, I've seen my mother wearing them, my sisters and my friends. So it is not an innate knowledge, but it is acquired from the habits that are around me. More specifically I choose my clothes, but these chooses are sketchily by the environment I live in.

Sonia Matera ha detto...


Generations are very different and their cultural habits change constantly over time.
My grandparents always tell me their love story and one of the essential parts of it is the exchange of letters. While for them, the so called “Baby Boomers”, it represents a normal habit, for my generation, the “Millennials”, it is something unusual. We do not know what it feels like to wait for a letter, we are too used to instant messages. With the new technology, it is faster and easier to call a person, to send a message or an email and we are always connected with the outside. If someone from my generation send letters to his or her friends, he or she would be targeted as an old-style person. Unfortunately, we lost this habit.
Another example is the traditional Italian cooking. Always taking into consideration the Baby Boomers and the Millennials, it is evident a big gap between the two in terms of cooking styles. The older Italian generations know how to cook the traditional recipes, how to do homemade pasta and they are used to cook most of the times by themselves. Young generations are loosing this habit, most of them do not know how to cook the dishes of the Italian tradition and prefer to buy the food.


I have always been good in math and I have always thought it was a sort of innate ability. My idea was that I was born with this special talent. After the Anthropology of Globalisation classes I reconsidered my assumptions.
What if what I have always considered an innate ability is instead acquired?
Maybe my parents made me play with logical games and with numbers when I was young and this made me develop better some capabilities.
Another example is the passion for wine. It was natural for me to think that my interest in wine was something inherited from my parents. In reality it could be an acquired one. As before, there should have been something that made me grow this passion.
As for mathematics and wine, the same applies to being good in dancing. One cannot consider it an innate ability because it requires an activation by the society, by taking classes or learning how to follow the music.

Riccardo Santini ha detto...

Society and culture are not static. We tend to renew and reshape our world according to new factors which come up in a specific period of history.
As a matter of fact, cultural habits may deeply change from one generation to the other. What first comes to my mind when talking about this, is the gender issue, which has always been a critical aspect of culture.
Historically, women have been seen as housewives, whose main responsibility is to take care of the house and family, whereas men have to work and strive to earn as much as possible. Women therefore developed skills such as cooking, gardening and general caring for the house.
This image soon became a stereotype, defining what would be the roles of men and women in the society. However, during the 20th century, women managed to gain more freedom, starting to work in fabrics in order to replace men who fought in the wars.
Then, society was finally able to realize that the differentiation of social treatment for men and women was disrespectful, and extremely sexist.
The labor market witnessed a great expansion, and women gained formal job positions. The workforce today is joined by millions of young woman, who obtained college degrees and strive to have a job.
Cultural habits therefore change over time. We are still in a deep period of transformation, but the gender issue is currently been reinterpreted and we no longer live a ‘’man’s world’’ as a large number of women seized new opportunities and joined the urban labor force.
The issue of gender equality is being addressed in what we call the ‘’Global North’’, made up of the most industrialized nations as gender inequality and human rights in many countries are still far from being acknowledged.

On the debate innate vs acquired knowledge, there are some issues that may interpreted according to one’s point of view.
A big question we keep asking is ‘’Are we born with personality?’’
Our inner nature defines who we are. Innate traits are an important aspect of ourselves, that we may struggle to change in order to reach the best version of ourselves. That is why I often wonder if we are born already ‘’programmed’’ for some traits with respect to other ones. First, I used to think we have some traits we inherited that we must accept, but then I started questioning whether a person’s personality is truly innate. We all have natural instincts – be them love, affection or even envy and anger – which defines the way we act, but isn’t it true that our life experience has changed or altered some of them?
Linking to the formal and informal forms of acquisition, I recognize that some traits we have adopted are actually taken from what we learnt from others.
I love to believe that change is possible, so that we can grow. We are provided with enough reason and intelligence to be able to distinguish between good and bad paths of behaviors. We are not static objects which cannot be moved or reshaped. We are complex human beings, highly influenced by our surroundings and by the social bonds we create and that eventually mold our personality.

Francesco Bono ha detto...

QUESTION 1: Dancing is one of the cultural habits that mostly changed comparing our generation with the one of our parents. First of all, they used to go to discos in the afternoon, whereas we don’t go there before 23:00/24:00. While we don’t go to discos to dance, but we do strange movements, we jump to survive in a chaos of hundreds of people and we shout to exceed the deafening volume of music, our parents really used to dance. They always tell me they met each other dancing a slow dance, which entails knowing how to dance it and the access to the necessary space to do that. This brings me to analyse the most important change: the music they used to dance compared with the one we now “jump”. Pop music is what discos generally put on, but while before songs had a real and sometimes passionate lyrics, nowadays songs seem always the same, focusing on the beat which follows an always repeating rhythm, more than on the lyrics. Yet, the scenario I described for nowadays discos is the one I want to find when I go out for “dancing” and I wouldn’t have fun the same if I danced the same songs as my parents did!

QUESTION 2: Maybe what I always supposed to be innate in me is my interest towards politics and more in general towards the world around us. However, it is now possible for me to analyse all the several informal systems of transmission, each of them referred to my childhood. At the elementary school, my teacher used to teach period analysis on the articles of the Italian Constitution; it made me unconsciously realised the importance of standing for our own rights and being aware of them. Then, looking at my father reading newspapers, I was indirectly involved in that reading asking him to explain all those things I found so difficult at that age. Moreover, what I hated the most was not being able to understand adults chatting about politics and society, especially those at the radio which is always turned on in my home. A lot of indirect teaching then, which made me develop great passion towards these topics, and led me to Global Governance.

ALICE97 ha detto...

An example of cultural habit that has changed within generations is the way in which homosexuality is seen. If we think about it in ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality was seen as something absolutely acceptable and normal. If we ask to our grandfathers about it, we can easily notice that for that generation homosexuality is still a taboo subject.

An action that we consider innate but is actually an acquired habit that became naturalized, meaning that we have learnt it up to the point that it became spontaneous is, for example, waving our hand to greet someone. It looks as something absolutely spontaneous but it is an action that we have learnt to do up to the point it became automatized. In a different country there might be another way for saying hello to someone. In Japan for example you just feeble signal with your head and don’t wave your hand at all.

Another question suggested as a homework was to find other forms of social knowledge that would need to be renovated when transmitted through generations. In my opinion, one example could be law. It is obviously a social knowledge that man created in order to grant a certain stability to a community life. Within centuries, society has massively changed in many aspects. Laws in general have to keep pace with the metamorphoses of societies, or else it would be obsolete and incompatible.

Lucia von Borries ha detto...

Question 1:
One example that came to my mind is letter writing. Since technological advancements allowed us to make use of quick and convenient ways of communication, like e-mail, text-messages and social media platforms, within two generations we moved from people like my grandfather who sends me handwritten letters to Rome to my cousin who has never sent a letter in his life. I personally only write letters for special occasions, like birthdays or postcards, otherwise I communicate online. There is something sentimental and intimate about handwritten letters, but for younger generations the idea of waiting days for a long and thoughtful reply seems foreign in today’s fast-pace society. My grandparents’ generation is often unwilling to work with modern technology, saying it is too complicated so they stick to things that feel familiar, like letter writing.

Another example is the Tattoo-culture in South Korea. I didn’t want to focus on this, because you mentioned tattooing in your post, but this is a more prominent example of what you were talking about in class. During the colonialization of Korea by the Japanese in the first half of the 20th Century tattooing was used as punishment against selected Korean citizens. Because of this tattooing had a bad connotation in the later generations. It was associated with criminals and seen as a reminder to the country’s traumatic history. Today tattooing is still technically illegal in South Korea. Only individuals with a license to practice medicine can tattoo in the country. But since the start of the 21st Century more and more illegal underground studios have been popping up, influenced by the western trend. The historical events aren’t present in the mind of the younger generations so demands for a change in legislature which legalizes tattooing have been getting louder. Still tattoos are mostly frowned upon by the older generations, which proves the generation conflict.

Question 2:
One example for naturalized behavior for me is my passion/talent for language and writing. From an early age I was curious about reading and stories. Even though we all read in my family my parents have always pointed out that I am the one paying special attention to articulation and writing creative stories from an early age. I always assumed that this is something natural that I was born with but now after the 3rd class I feel like the general idea of talent is closer related to naturalized acquired knowledge. I used to fall asleep listening to audiobooks for years when I was a child and I spent hours reading every day in primary school, teaching myself because I was envious of my older sister who was unwilling to read her books to me. We were also only allowed to watch certain movies after reading the book first, because my parents wanted to make sure we were not getting scared. My mother would read bed-time stories to me and my siblings and we had family-traditions surrounding certain books. These influences shaped my passion for language and articulation.

Marianna Sabatini ha detto...

QUESTION 1: The way we think about the modern shopping centre can be an example of a cultural habit that has changed over time. Nowadays the shopping centre is considered as a place for socialization beyond its real use of being a place where it is easy and convenient to go shopping. We find normal to spend our Saturdays or Sundays there whereas the "squares" or the "Corso" of the city were our parents and grandparents' ideas of meeting places.

QUESTION 2: I have always thought that a child with a strong talent for - for example- playing instruments or singing has something innate inside, that he was just born like this, but after this last class I think that he has more probably naturalized a knowledge that he acquired, that could have been formal or informal. We can find many examples around us of sons or daughters following in the footsteps of their mothers or fathers' jobs, just think about how many famous actors or singers have their fathers or mothers which were also actors or singers. They have lived for so many years in a certain environment that they just think that environment is a natural part of them since the beginning of their lives.
This is probably why I like so much music and same for my brother, since my dad has plenty of CDs of any kind of music and used to play them every day at home or in the car.

Claudia Schiavelli ha detto...

It's pretty known that language evolves extremely rapidly in its content, but also in its prime use: addressing to someone else. What I am talking about is the manner that young people used to address their parents, which is now fading away.
Calling your father "sir" and your mother "mother" did not simply imply great respect and differentiation between two generations, it clearly set a boundary in emotional relationships. In a sense, looking back to the past where the children weren't thought as something to be pampered and ought to act as "little adults", we see a great improvement in the importance that it's now given to the act of raising them without imposing or rushing anything on them. That resulted in a change of reciprocity: children abolished titles and devotion to their parents to favor a more equal and fair relationship. Unfortunately, that is now exceeding on the other side since kids no longer mind their language while talking to someone older, especially their parents, therefore they stopped minding the due respect that comes with ages, creating themselves that barrier that was previously abolished.
Such a complex change that revolves around language, feelings, and behaviors is going to pass to future generation in this roller coaster of extremes between undoubted respect and irreverence.

Even those things we believe to have a certain inclination for or come to us as simple and effortless do not fall under the category of what is innate, they were simply implanted in our "knowledge box" in an informal way. The fear humans feel towards animals is clearly connected to what you got used to when you were a kid. Children who find themselves in a close relationship with animals since a young age tend not to fear their unexpected moves or their casual roughness. While a child who has always been kept away from animals, usually because parents reflect their own fear of being hurt, will probably be uncomfortable around animals. That was my case until five years ago. My mother feared dogs and passed that onto me but getting a dog of our own changed my perspective completely and made it unimaginable for me to fear such lovely creatures.

emmanuel Krah Plarhar ha detto...


Many cultures have changed over time but what i would like to talk of is the modern family. Modern families nowadays mainly consist of the Nuclear Family which is made up of the Father, Mother and their children but traditional families in the past were extended. Everybody in the household lived together which even included grandparents, cousins and aunties. Due to the change of culture and the change in life people like to live alone in privacy and do their personal stuff. A typical example i would give is the Modern American Family which is Nuclear. Many people can debate about its advantages and disadvantages. For example in the Traditional Family which included everybody children did not only learn knowledge from schools but also learnt different knowledge from different kind of individuals in their household but now the modern families give them access to their parents only.
Another cultural change is transportation. Ancient people used to walk, then later used horses and donkeys. They built coaches and later developed cars which is used by everyone. All these passed through a transformation and it shows how culture has changed over time.


I always thought acting was one thing i got from my Dad since he usually says that it is his nature to act but i got to know from our 3rd class that acting is not innate but rather acquired. My Dad studied arts when he was in school which made him acquire certain skills and knowledge from that. I have realised that my studies in General Arts in High school has also given me some skills which importantly is acquired. I have also realised that informal ways of acquiring it also counts. Some ways like watching the movies, theater shows also contributed to it which i did not know until the 3rd lesson. Although it wasn't formal thus taught in the classroom, it has also contributed to the process of culture acquisition.

Oliver Tomassi ha detto...

Question 1
It is always interesting to understand the changes in behaviour that occur through the generations. I believe that these changes depend on what the beliefs of the current generation are. For example, keeping fit or playing sports wasn't a popular habit before World War I. Before the "sports boom" going for a jog was a very uncommon habit. In fact, it is only after the economic boom following the conflict that people had more time to spend in leisure activities and sports. Furthermore, the Fascist and Nazi regimes promoted physical activity for healthy bodies. Thus, I believe this dramatic change happened mostly due to the increase in awareness of the health benefits of practicing physical activities. By looking at past cultural developments like these and by understanding them, one could wonder what will the future habits be. By drawing on a similar pattern to physical activity, I would not be surprised if mindfulness meditation became a popular habit in the future since recent studies show the benefits it entails.
Question 2
By looking at professionals like sportsmen, musicians, craftsmen or jugglers performing, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that their skills are mostly natural, but this is not the case: skills, as a form of knowledge, are acquired through practice. I believe the same holds true for social skills: the ability of speaking to other people, the ability of creating bonds and connections with others are forms of acquired knowledge. It is usually difficult to spot this since the learning process is informal and one does not usually realise that when he is interacting with someone he is gathering information on the person he is interacting with. This information is stored and will be used at a later stage when interacting with the same or a different person. It is the informality of this process of learning which may trick people into believing that social skills are innate and not acquired, but in reality every person learns how to interact from their past experiences as musicians or sportsmen learn through practice.

Marco Siniscalco ha detto...

One example that came to my mind is tattooing. This cultural habit has been practised across the world since at least Neolithic times, as evidenced by mummified preserved skin, ancient art, and the archaeological record. Tattoo is among humanity’s first and most widespread art forms. Cultures from every inhabitable continent have embedded lasting dyes in their bodies for more than 5000 years - as rites of passage, mystical wards, status symbols, or just as personal decoration.
For instance, Otzi, the well-known Neolithic Ice Man, was characterized by a series of carbon-based tattoos used to relieve joint pain and were therefore basically therapeutic; various pre-Columbian cultures of Peru and Chile used tattooing to symbolize their leadership; Native American tribes practised tattooing as religious emblems or as medals of victory in war.
Tattoos exist in almost every culture around the globe, changing in style in response to cultural changes and the time period.

After the 3rd class, I start thinking that something I usually believe as natural, could be mostly acquired. As the Professor said, informal knowledge tends to hide itself to our awareness, thus becoming naturalised, that is forgotten in its acquired nature.
For instance, eating is an action that seems completely natural, but we learn to eat properly when we are children thanks to the stimuli we receive from our parents.
Another example could be swimming. Generally, the act of swimming gives the impression to be innate, but only by taking specific courses and receiving lessons a person will be able to swim in an appropriate way.

Nicolas Dietrich ha detto...

Question 1:

Firstly, let me underline the fact that I’m not an Italian student (although my family possesses Italian roots) but I’m actually from Switzerland. Even if both nations are extremely close in terms of cultural habits, some differences deserve to be distinguished and I will thus develop the following examples from a Swiss perspective. It is to notice that it’s relatively delicate to speak about one unique Swiss culture given the consequent cultural disparities between each linguistic region. Just to illustrate a difference in cultural habits between both countries: smoking in public areas (except in restaurants and bars) is completely legal and tolerated in Switzerland.

From my point of view, a cultural habit which has considerably evolved since the time my parents were my age is the ecological awareness. As analyzed with the bikes in Amsterdam, the ecological awareness begun after the end of World War II and has never stopped to grow so far. A concrete case to show this phenomenon is waste recycling. When at the time of my grand-parents all the waste was basically thrown away regardless if it was paper, metal or plastic, almost everybody nowadays recycles his waste. This willingness to recycle can be explained by several reasons. By taxing really high the trash bags (more than 5 Euros for a big bag in some regions), the State has clearly the willingness to fight against waste. On the other hand, the consequences of climate changes in Switzerland are quite visible. Indeed, whereas we were used to have very cold winter with a lot of snowfalls and huge glaciers, we get less and less snow and the total area of glacier is reducing drastically. I think these concrete and visible examples have a huge impact on changes in cultural habits in Switzerland. Last but not least, I am one of the first generations who had classes about ecology at primary school and now most of the young generation is aware of this problem and wants to act in a good way.

Nicolas Dietrich ha detto...

Question 2:

After having understood the difference between acquired and innate knowledge, we saw in class that the acquired knowledge could be divided in two main categories: formal and informal. Formal knowledge means every knowledge learned in a “aware learning process” i.e. when we know the content of what we learn, for example a professor teaching mathematics to his students. Oppositely, informal knowledge is every naturalized knowledge, which signifies that we are not aware of learning it. Moreover, this knowledge tends to hide itself.

Many topics deserve to be developed but one caught my attention. In fact, it’s a really controversial one and not easy to talk about: homosexuality. After having heard to many stupidities and backward thinking about it, I did some basic researches on the internet and it’s really hard to draw some conclusions on it. To be franc, I’ve never had an opinion about this delicate topic and I won’t obviously have one after finishing to write this example. I think homosexuality is the perfect example of something which “may be” innate but in the same way terribly influenced by the society where the individuals live and grow in. Indeed, in extremely conservative society, the probability to have homosexuals is lower than in progressive areas such as Western Europe. I’m not saying there would be less “potential homosexuals” than in the West. I would say rather there are much less possibilities than these people accept the idea that they could basically love a person of the same gender, because they have a terribly social pressure on their shoulders and can, in some countries for example, be punished by the law or be rejected by their family. As mentioned in class, love is an extremely complex, but it is in every case influenced by the environment where people live. I think we can say the same for homosexuality.

Silvia Marcelli ha detto...

Q.1 An example that I can think of talking about cultural habits that change from generation to generation is the beard-mode. After more than a decade of depleted bodies and unbridled fur coat, the beard is overwhelmingly reappeared on the face of men, so much to become vital lymph for the economy. Nowadays wherever you go in the city center you can find hundreds of barber shops, which have had an exponential growth in the last years, where the beard is treated like you were dealing with an artwork. However, we must say that this trendy has assumed a completely different shape compared to one of the past years. Indeed during the 60's among the so-called hipster, the beard was fundamental in order to replay that very lifestyle. While later it went increasingly diminishing, until now. I have directly witnessed this generational difference: every time my family and I go visit my grandma she alway complained with my brother for his beard that according to her is too long ( which is not actually). Although it must be said that the beard-mode plays different roles and meaning according to each culture. Indeed in Africa and East Asia countries, especially the poorer ones, the culture of the beard has always been very similar to the one we are adopting in Europe right now, like we were using their cultural styles as a model to follow. So we can affirm that such habits do not change just among generations but also from culture to culture.

Q.2 An action that to me use to appear innate but now I realize to be acquired, is my way of talking. However, by that, I do not mean the language that I learned or the dialect of the city in which I was born and raised, but rather the actual and personal way that each one of us use to express themselves, from the single gestures while we are speaking up to the voice tone we use in different situations. Indeed I have been noticing that my way of expressing is very similar to my dad's: we both try to push the discussion on the "irony field", being very often sarcastic while answering. Furthermore the voice tone that I use while exposing my personal point of view on something, especially when I really care about the topic, is once again very similar to my father's one: we both used a very deep intense voice, in that way we appear secure of what we are saying, hiding to the others our doubts and insecurity. I always thought that I was born with such characteristics, that were part of my behavior and way of relating myself to the others, but it turned out to be false. By observing my father I can say that these characteristics were imprinted in my brain while I was growing up, just spending time with my father. This acquired knowledge becomes part of yourself in such a natural way that makes you think it has always been yours since you were born, while it is actually larned by someone else.

martina forbicini ha detto...

Question 1 As we have discussed in class, social knowledge has to be transmitted: in fact, it needs a constant maintenance in the process of transmission from one generation to the other. Anyway, a social behavior once acquired doesn’t have to be considered as something that will be kept forever: it can undergo several changes, depending on the different generation dealing with it. What comes to my mind when I reflect on cultural habits that have deeply changed throughout generations is, for instance, the way we get informed nowadays in comparison to how it happened in the recent past. If for our grandparents, the usual and common way to get information was going to the newsagent and buying the daily newspaper, probably reading it and discussing it in a bar with friends or at home with family, now this is mostly considered as a waste of time and money. Young people can get access to news simply checking their smartphone and tablet: they do it for free, without even moving from their chair but only getting connected to the Internet. Moreover, if we take into account human diet, we’ll notice the impressive increase of people concerned with eating healthy and therefore choosing to become vegetarian or vegan or at least avoiding the consumption of huge quantities of meat as opposed to what used to happen in the past years when meat was a sort of food for privileged ones. Also, the opinion about piercing or dyed hair has developed towards a less critical but way more tolerant approach: a man or a woman with blue hair and a concrete number of earrings do not provoke such a scandal anymore as it could have happened in previous “purer” times. Other examples can be represented by activities such as driving without the seat belt on or driving and talking at the phone without using headphones or riding a motorbike without wearing a helmet: each one of them is considered too dangerous to be still accepted and transmitted. This is at the core of evolutionism: on a cultural point of view, being evolved means that we’re more advanced than our ancestors (whether we’re talking about technology, health, new fashions or safety).

martina forbicini ha detto...

Question 2 The difference between innate and acquired knowledge can sometimes be difficult to understand: while the latter can be usually spotted easily, since it belongs to a self-aware and self-evident form of acquisition of knowledge, the former tends to hide itself through the process of naturalization. In fact, it is normally acquired in an informal context: consequently, it seems to be embodied knowledge but it has been learnt in such a way that we have lost the awareness of the process of learning. Thanks to these few first lessons about Anthropology of Globalization, I’ve been encouraged to deepen my reflections about the issue to the point that I’m more conscious about something I used to consider innate, but now I started to suspect it could be mostly acquired. An example can be described by gesticulating: there are those populations which tend to use more gestures than others while they’re talking but without being aware of moving their hands and arms. Especially, Italians are the ones addressed the most with this feature: it’s something I always do but I never realize I’m actually behaving in this way. This action clearly highlights how the process of naturalization works: we learn something but since we do not realize we’re learning it, we begin and keep believing that it’s part of our nature. Another example that comes to my mind regards the process of socialization itself: Aristotle used to say that “man is by nature a social animal” pointing out the need for each individual to live in society with other human beings. But what if this basic behavioral pattern is acquired rather than innate? Men have started to live together since they first appeared on earth: there are practical reasons behind this choice, such as a facilitated way to survive through cooperation in a community; but the so called “misanthropes” would not agree with the Greek philosopher. Therefore, there are those who prefer loneliness and somehow isolation from the collectivity: this observation could explain why we should talk more of an inclination to live in a collectivity and establish relationship with other people rather than a habit we were born with.
Question 3
In the middle part of the lesson, we were talking about the necessity for humans of transmitting acquired knowledge: we focused on its flexibility and its fragility; the suggested question regarded elaborating examples of social knowledge that has to be maintained through generations.

clara saglietti ha detto...

Question 1:
Joe Cocker used to sing: “Every generation has its way, a need to disobey”. This may be true regarding cultural habits, but the name of the song is “N’oubliez jamais”, do never forget. In fact, cultures change from one generation to the other, but even when there is a drastic refusal of a previous habit, like in the case of some medical practices proved wrong and harmful, the old aspects do not suddenly disappear, but survive as a form of resistance or memory, before fading away in a long period of time.
Let’s consider two different cases: “ochobo” and religion. The first one is a Japanese cultural practice of maintaining a small and delicate female mouth. It created some problems for women when they had to eat in public, in particular with big sandwiches. That is why a burgers company invented the “liberation wrap” that covers their face while eating, showing the picture of a close mouth to those who observe. Therefore, the tradition is apparently respected, but at the same time people are free to overcome its negative aspects: it is a sort of evolution of the initial concept without going directly against it.
In the case of religion, instead, there is a general trend of refusal, with an increase in the percentage of atheist population, but at the same time this do not provoke the end of religious practices as there are still a lot of people following their creed, maybe not in public forms. The social relevance of religion is simply decreasing and maybe in the long term will have less and less importance, but it is impossible to stop in a definitive and sudden way something of deeply rooted as culture can be.
From this point of view, culture’s flexibility is both a form of fragility and of “antifragility”. According to the statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb, fragile is something that is damaged by volatility, meaning unexpected events or shocks, and its opposite is not robust or resilient that indicate the ability of returning to the previous state absorbing the shock, but antifragile, a word he coined for things that gain and get better thanks to volatility and adaptation capability. Culture is constantly changing, evolving positively or negatively, but it does never remain the same after something happens or simply time passes.

clara saglietti ha detto...

Question 2:

Humans are characterised by a huge amount of acquired, naturalised knowledge wrongly considered innate.
For animals, it is mostly a matter of genes and influence of the external environment and for the more developed ones also of experience and education received. However, it is mainly a kind of informal education, like kittens who know how to hunt only if they grow up with the mother and learn it by playing. There are others, like dogs, who can be formally trained, but humans are those with the highest level of formal knowledge achievable. Furthermore, we tend to consider as normal many tastes, abilities and skills simply because they are spontaneous for us and we do not remember to have learnt them. A person may think that his hate for onions is due to an inner rejection to it, but maybe it is simple caused by some habits developed during childhood or by the association to something else, like an allergy to garlic. Or it is common to think that we are good in doing some activity, that can be sport, maths, playing an instrument, dealing with animals, with disables and so on, without having studied in a formal way how to do so and therefore consider it as our innate ability.
The psychologist Eric Berne in “Ciao…e poi?” and in “A che gioco giochamo?” explained the reasons behind such tendency describing the brain as divided in 3 structures: the parent, who represents the formal and informal education received by our parents, teachers and figures relevant for our life, the child, the instinctive part that still behaves as children do, and the adult, the one that acts and judges objectively considering past experiences and the peculiar situation. Both parents and the context in which the child grows up contribute to shape his “script”, meaning that the stimuli, education, values we receive and the experience we make both consciously and unconsciously manage to form our first personality and influence its future development. Then it is the role of the adult to “play” with this script, but even if he is not determined, he is strongly conditioned by it.

Question 3:
I agree with Martina and Alice: I think it was a further reflection on the example of biking in Amsterdam, highlighting the importance of social knowledge that need to be maintained and transmitted from a generation to the following one.

Giorgia Morucci ha detto...

when dealing with generational clashes, one example soon comes to my mind:my mother always complains about "millennials" not being able to cook, nor to do the washing up, nor to pay bills (just to list a few). She once told me that when she was young, schools were the main places where kids could learn very practical and technical skills such as paying a bill, sewing, how to change a light-bulb. I am perfectly aware of the fact that many practical skills are lacking nowadays, due to the fact that the current generation relies on google whenever they need to solve a problem. As a matter of fact, this new technological environment has made knowledge disposable.
-Step 1: you have a problem you are not able to solve
-Step 2: you search on google for solutions
-Step 3: you execute what you have found without even thinking about what you are doing
-Step 4: as soon as the problem has been solved, you dont remember anymore what you have done
-Step 5: no new knowledge has been acquired.
Therefore, the current generation is neither willing nor encouraged to hand on the tradition of practical skills because with one click they can have access to the whole world!

Riccardo Poggioli ha detto...


Cultural habits have developed through together with the evolution of the society and its changings. One of the cultural feature that reshaped our daily life is the mobile phone and its compulsive use, these devices with the passing of the years have become always more advanced, and nowadays they allow us to do almost everything. My generation even if it’s not the millenials one, could be considered as the one born with the mobile phone,or for us the the use of the mobile phone is considered as something that is not difficult, it’s a natural behaviour. Behaviour that is not common for the older generation, because older people maybe are not used to have in the hands such a technological device. Mobile phone allow us to be always in touch with everyone in every moment of the day. The fact of being available 24 hours per day in my opinion reduce our ‘freedom’, since everyone know that can always contact you, and somedays it’s hard to find a moment for yourself. Talking with my parents I asked them how it was life without the mobile phone at twenty years old. They answered me that the only two ways to get in touch were the house phone or the pay phone. I smiled and I thought how strange could be for me and my friends trying to live without mobile phone for one week, using the same means that my parents used. I am curious to see if I will survive without my beloved mobile phone


During these three lectures I am starting to acquire more consciousness about the differences between the acquired and innate form of knowledge, before the beginning of this course I totally ignored the distinction between these two categories. For me a great example could be the feeling that I have when I am in the water, like if I was born within it. Being in the sea for me it’s something that I have always considered natural and within me. But now that I have started learning the differences between these two types of knowledge I realized that my attitude towards the water is not natural. In fact my behaviour was affected during the childhood,when my parents decided to bring me to a swimming course, after an initial period of struggling I started to love the contact with the water. The years spent in the swimming pool for the swimming course and later for waterpolo made me love and feel completely natural within it, assuming a behavior that maybe it’s not common for everyone. Because of that I began asking myself If I would have enjoyed e the sea or the swimming pool as I am doing now even if I had not attended the swimming course and later waterpolo.

Sara Massimi ha detto...

My grandma always told me that at her times things were really different, as a matter of fact, think just at how the behavioral norms are changing regarding to how we have dinner with our parents and how parents had dinner with our grandparents. With the advancements and progresses in technology also our cultural habits and norms regarding dinner time are changing. There was a time in which (especially for Italian families in which the food is a fundamental part of our own culture) dinner was the time in which families gather themselves together and talked about the day. Also, now a day, I perceive that my father, for example, look at dinner time as that sacred moment in which we must be all together. How all of this is changing? Well, as I mentioned before, the advancements in technology are more and more isolating people even though they maybe are at the same table. Without talking about the most extreme part of this discourse in which everyone eats at a different time because of some different factors that could be the jobs or everything else, let’s take my example and that one of my grandma. At my grandma’s times dinner was the sacred moment in which the family could communicate, shared experiences or simply talk. While on the other hand, with the simple introduction of a television (not to talk about smartphones) the fundamental point of dinner time, i.e. communication, is totally and completely lost because of a screen that catches everyone’s attention.

Sara Massimi ha detto...

There is an example that came up to my mind because of my own personal experience: accents. During my small life, me and my mother always thought that I had a good “ear for languages” let’s say because of my easily adaptation not only to different languages but also different accents and dialects. I should make an example at this moment, at 10 years old I went to a WWF, one-week camp, in Tuscany, at Orbetello without my family and just with a group of children from different parts of Italy, especially from Tuscany. After 1 week I came back home speaking with the Tuscan accents, thus not pronouncing Cs etc. What is the point of my story? After those lessons with professor Vereni, what me and my mother thought was a good ear for languages and accents is just due to the fact that also what I though as an innate thing such as accents is instead an acquired knowledge, therefore, it is easy losing one accent and get another one because we simply acquired it. As a matter of fact, thinking about it, also my grandma (that is from a small village in the province of Avellino, thus she should have a strong accent that is actually a mix between napolitan and pugliese, thus a really strong accent indeed) when she went to the boarding school in Arezzo, when she was back her accent was completely lost. Therefore, what i thought was an innate thing such as accents, in reality is acquired.

Lucia von Borries ha detto...

Dear Professor,

I missed the lecture and just finished listening to it.
I have difficulties understanding the part where you said that culture is symbolic.
You were talking about something related to natural disposition and unnatural environments when you gave the example of the gym.

I didn’t quite understand the conclusion behind it.
How do we define a natural environment?
Does it mean that we have to keep in mind in what environment a natural disposition is activated or that they are influenced by it?
How does it relate to the fact that culture is symbolic?

Hopefully you can answer my questions either here or we can talk about it before/after class.
Thank you.

Tamoi Fujii ha detto...

Question 1:
Different generations can have very different patterns of action, which mainly comes from the early age, when people learn to live through informal and formal education at home and at school.
Learning by heart is an example of practice, which is rapidly being abandoned by youth all over the world. It is not anymore deemed necessary to learn formulas, poems, and dates by heart, since these are pieces of information easily retrievable through smartphone. An outstanding example is that of Japanese and Chinese youth, which do not learn the order and shape of the strokes in the ideograms as diligently as they used to, since what they only need is the pronounciation and to recognized the correct sign, as they pop up on the screen.

Question 2
Something I considered natural until recently is the taste for spicy things. Taste is always cultural, but the taste for spiciness is particularly strange, since spicy things do not have any particular nutritional value, and very spicy stuff can be dangerous. The only explanation for humans eating habanero, or other spices, is that we acquired this taste from our forefathers, who started eating pepper with no explanation.

Rebecca Biraschi ha detto...

It would be wrong to think that a social behaviour once acquired lasts for ever. Cultural habits change from one generation to another because of the change in necessities, the transformation of environment, the advent of new technologies, and the spread of new values and ideals.
Think of how communication and relations between different genders have changed from our grandparents' time. At their time communication between a man and a woman was almost impossible. It was obstructed by the lack of advanced technologies, but above all by values strongly rooted in society, which imposed modesty and discretion. The possibility to meet the beloved were few and were limited to public events.
Nowadays, is difficult for us to think of human relations in that way. Values of the past had been replaced by new ideals, which allow and encourage relations between genders considering them equal. Obviously most of the current values have been brought by the advent of new technologies, which help the creation of connections and bonds among people.

I consider myself to be a friendly and extrovert person, opened to talk with different people and to make new encounters. Being honest, I have always thought that these were natural characteristics, innate features of my person. However, this lesson made me doubt about the nature of these characteristics that I have always thought to be innate: what if they were acquired?
I am born in a numerous family composed of 11 people, therefore I have always had company and I have always had someone to talk to, to play with and to learn from. In addition ospitality has always been a pilar value in my family, and this has turned my house to be the place of numbers of encounters with friends, and people, since I was young. So, it is not surprising that my inclination in being curious, enthusiastic and willing to know and to stay with people is acquired, being the result of the environment in which I am grown.

elisa felici ha detto...

Cultural habits are flexible to changes and sensible to external inputs, such as the passing of time. A common costume that I believe has changed within the last 50 years is the habit of wearing hats.
For decades, if not centuries, man could not think of leaving their houses without wearing their hat. And I still observe my grandfather, who at 82, never leaves his home without his own, now modern and sportive. Nowadays this habit has almost completely disappeared. My generation does not wear hats, nor did my parents.
Back then I believe it was not simply the hat as an object that meant. It conveyed a message, it stated something. A hat could speak for itself indeed: revealer of social status, one could be a noble man or a worker, provider of political perspectives, ideas. It was a symbol, and that influenced our communication codes. For hats not only hid the head, but beneath it also faces changed. It spoke its own language: wearing a hat, changing your hat, taking it off, it conveyed a message. And every single man wore a hat. Think of the paintings from the XIXth century, expressionists representing everyday life scenes. Man were wearing hats. The proletariat representation in the italian painting “The Fourth Estate”. Pictures from the 20’s, the Wall Street crash in 1929, 30’s, 40’s, throughout the mid of the XXI century. Then something changed. Was it the cultural and sexual revolution of the 60’s, that will of breaking away from the past: the statuesque figure of men changed, they did not need the symbol of the hat to send any message whatsoever, that meaning had no meaning anymore. Who does commonly wear hats now? They have become a special object, sending a specific new message: a very old-fashioned person, or a very fancy one

Most of the thing we do every day, we do them unconsciously. The way we approach to people, the way we interact and react to them. Nothing seems to dictate or orientate our emotions, or chemistries. We simply act the way we fell, or at least, we believe it to be so. And sure thing, it is puzzling to stop and realise that these ways, so unique and particular as mush as we are singular, are nothing but seised knowledge, acquired through whoever surrounded us in that specific moment, in that particular place. What allows us to be Me, here, could be radically different if only one person did not happen to cross our path at that certain moment. The very fact that we tend to smile whenever we meet someone could be an example of a naturalised form of behaviour. No one really teaches you how to use/do it. However it could be said that smiling is deeply cultural; and that would be correct too. But for sure, we do not think before smiling, we do not plan to, it just happens, unconsciously.
Another behaviour that is indeed mostly acquired is the pronunciation of words. The way we spell them, the way we stress the letters. Totally acquired inputs received by any sound that surrounds us. And no one really taught us how to. One may argue about our parents when they were trying to grab a sounding like “mom” word from our mouths. But that was our own ability to emulate and reproduce that sound. Speaking the way we speak is something that we unconsciously do. So unconscious that we could think of it as innate. But it is no innate behaviour, if not a well built tower of experiences. The only natural/biological element that may shape the way we talk is the structure of our mouth, or tongue. People with a large tongue, and a too small mouth, tend to have difficulties in clearly pronouncing some sounds. Or lisping: even if surrounded by the best “S” sound pronouncer, someone who lisps could never pronounce a proper “s”. But, there is then a proper way of pronouncing the “s”? We will leave it for futures comments.

Giorgia Morucci ha detto...

as discussed in class, knowledge is a tricky issue: sometimes the line which divides innate knowledge from the acquired one may be blurred. As a matter of fact, we have the misconception that some specific kinds of knowledge, such as taste, are innate because we have always had them since birth, but they are in reality acquired, meaning that they have been shaped by some external factors.
I will provide a personal example that will show how innate and acquired knowledge often overlap. Singing is one of my greatest passions. Even if I have been taking singing lessons for only 4 years out of 21, I have been singing since I was in the crib. for this reason, I have always thought that singing for me belonged to the innate category of knowledge. Nonetheless, after the last lesson I started to think about some possible factors which may have influenced me. I discovered that, since the first day of my life, my parents used music whenever I started to cry, in order to calm me. Therefore, my parents have played a fundamental role in shaping my passions, because I got so used to listening to music that I made it one of my greatest passions.

JINGYUAN LI ha detto...

Question 1
The first thing that came to my mind is the way of texting, which was totally different from my parents generation. In China, in the 90s century, usually those who had a cellphone would be regarded as a rich person cause cellphone was obviously not so well accepted at that time. The main texting way at that time was using pager, sending short enough message to the information exchanging point, and then the one that you wanted to contacted with could receive that precise message. They quite enjoyed that way of communicating, however let’s see today, with the app of texting, Whatsapp, iMessanger, we could express ourselves quite well to those we want to contact with at any time. The saluting progress on nowdays smartphone is at maximum 3 seconds. Even the old fashioned SMS are so much more efficient than pager. And I can clearly see that my parents’ generation are trying to catch up of this, in China, more and more people use Wechat (Whatsapp in China) to chat and communicate, I can also see my mother’s company is using this App for informing daily meeting notification.

Question 2
The thing that comes to my mind is the “language learning ability”. Among my friends, I’m always famous to have the talent of learning a new language. They usually use the word “ talent” to describe this, thus in some sense I feel maybe learning a new language in fast way is really one of my talent, and something innate. However, a research reminded me that , actually i had such a talent was not because I was born this way, because my parents can only speak dialects of our region or at most they can speak Mandarin Chinese. For me, I touched English when I was 8 years old for my parents thought English was really important, fortunately i quite enjoyed that language studying process which left me a pleasant impression of this subject. From then on, I began to practice very hard and got more passion on the language learning field. So that’s also why I learned Italian also very fast. However, now I prefer to say this ability is acquired instead of innate one.

Francesca Scanavini ha detto...

An example of social knowledge that I think is changing from the past generation to the current one it is related to the role and figure of the women in Italian families. I believe that a lot of stereotypes and traditional thinking attached to women are today being approached in a more critical way than before. Women of the past generations have always been taught to be the only ones in the family’s environment to be responsible for domestic work such as cooking, cleaning the house, taking care of children, without really having the chance to choose for their lives. I think today, even if still there are a lot of women still subject to this cultural constraint, young women of the 21st century are freer from this “ duty” that our mothers still carry on. Often, it is hard for us to feel completely free to not take entirely on us the burden of certain tasks because we feel like we are escaping from a responsibility. But anyway, the fact that today we can work outside the housing context as much as men, makes us in a more equal position also at home. Why should a woman, who works the same hours of a man, who sometimes also owns more than him, still have the implicit duty to continue to “work” home?
For what concerns the second question, I’ve always thought that the things that like to do in my life belong to me since ever. For example, I’ve always imagined that my passions for dancing, listening to music, reading books were all innate passions and preferences that were part of my personality. However, now, after having attended last class, I’m starting to look at those tastes in a different way. Probably, I really like dancing and listening to music because my father used to put music on the stereo of the living room almost every night after dinner so that I undirectly “learned” to like music and dancing. This could have happened either for imitation or because I was exposed to them in the early ages of my life. Thus, this early approach could be the reason for the occurrence of this informally acquired knowledge. However, if all the tastes were created by acquired knowledge, why my sister which has grown in my same environment and has been exposed to my same conditions does not have my same passions? Perhaps, because our tastes are both influenced by the external environment and also by some innate penchants? Taking as another example food’s tastes. Personally, I like everything except for honey. What does this fact tell us? Maybe that since I was little I was taught to be open to new things, to try, to experiment and therefore, taste unknown dishes. This can show that also tastes could be strictly related to culture and so, acquired knowledge.

Lavinia D'achille ha detto...


Thinking about cultural habits that may have changed from the days of our grandfathers what comes to my mind is the way women used to dress.
Previously women had to respect a very strict dress code which included long skirts and “decent” clothes. Nowadays girls and women more in general are totally free to wear what they prefer without worrying about what people may think about them.
In the past, people used to judge women according to what they were wearing in every situation such as at the beach or simply along the street. Of course, this is a change of cultural habits that took a long time that’s the reason why girls who belong to new generations take wearing a miniskirt as a natural thing.
Nevertheless, our grandmothers are still influenced and tied on habits of their times. If we think about the way in which today girls dress to go to school (wearing for example mini dresses or tops) our grandmothers probably could not even think about dressing like that.


Our nature as human beings and the way in which we behave according to the situation we face may appear to us as something innate, for example, our shyness or our stubbornness and more in general the way in which we approach people.
I always thought that being a silent and introvert person would be something rooted in me as innate, as my nature. But the so-called “nature” in this sense doesn’t exist because the real maker of our personality is the environment around us.
Therefore what I have got from this lecture is the fact that we as human being are a sort of “white page” of a notebook that has to be written through experiences and the fact that the line between innate and acquired knowledge is very vague.
Giving a practical example that can somehow make things more clear, I would say that I have always been good at creative works but after having considered what we said in this lecture I started considering this kind of “gift” as something acquired maybe when I was very young and not as an ability that I had since I was born.

Chiara Muzi ha detto...

1 The continuous development of technology and our growing reliance on the Internet deeply change our cultural habits. I was born in 1997 and during the entire length of the elementary school, I used to do my researches on books and encyclopaedias. When I was in middle school everyone was starting to have access to the internet but still,there was diffidence towards the web, especially if you had to do an important research for school. Less than a generation after, this cultural habit has totally disappeared: my sister, who’s eleven years younger than me and is now attending elementary school can surf the net with no problems and uses it for her school researches without any kind of diffidence. Maybe her generation will consider their ability to use the smartphone as innate since they were exposed to technology since their birth and no great formal teaching was given to them to learn how to use a smartphone.
2 As an Italian the first example that comes to my mind for this question is my love for pizza: I really don’t remember when I have tasted pizza for the first time, whether I liked it or not or if I learned to appreciate it with time (like it happened for Japanese cuisine): to me loving pizza is innate, part of my DNA, but now I understand that is not quite so; I often wondered why people do change their tastes as they grow up: they acquire and sediment knowledge over time and this process ends up with you believing that it was innate to like cabbage all of a sudden. Focusing on a particular behaviour (to give a more serious example) I will take something that I do a lot while speaking: moving my hands restlessly. Before understanding the clear difference between innate and acquired I would have surely said that gesticulating was surely part of my personality and that no one had taught me to do so.
3 I guess you were referring to transmission of knowledge from one generation to another, the fragilities it entails and how could new generations be willing to learn from their fathers.

Arianna Patrizi ha detto...

In my opinion one of the most cultural habits which has been radically marked by times’ changing is travelling.
Travelling is defined as the act of going from one place to another and its interesting to see how this basic concept has totally changed in terms of costs, times, transports and easiness.
Nowadays, take a journey is definitely something faster even from the moment of planning it, thanks to the technological instruments that we have.
We can decide to book a room or a flight on the spot, just with a click.
Moreover, while at the beginning travelling was a luxury that only a restricted elite of people could afford, today is suitable for almost everybody and incredibly cheap compared to some decades ago.
Speaking in terms of times, distances have definitely narrowed:
In few hours we can go to overseas countries that our grandparents could only see from the world map.
On the contrary, from a negative perspective, it has also to be said that the idea of “adventure” which was originally associated to the one of the travel, is slowly disappearing because of all those new technologies which allow us to move and live in a “foreign” place, without actually leaving our comfort zone.
In conclusion, i would say that basically the changes in the way of travelling are the outcome of an unstoppable technological progress which entails positive and negative aspects and that perfectly demonstrates how cultural habits are not stuck in time as they could seem.

Today’s class made me seriously doubt about those things that i have always associated to the innate sphere of myself which instead could be just the outcomes of deep and strong influences that have shape my personality.
For example i have always considered my love for literature and poetry as a matter of tastes and personality, so basically something that i owned in my “DNA”.
On the contrary, it is very likely that the fact that my father studied Literature at the University, driven by a strong passion, and that he always helped me in studying it since the primary school has definitely contributed in making this passion grow in me.
He has always encouraged me in trying to explain my feelings through poetry and others written forms, he has always told me poems that he loves and tried to make me understand the big power which words can have.
Thus, even if maybe i had a sort of predisposition for literature, the environment in which i grew up has played a big role in outlining this passion.

Ilaria Miligi ha detto...

Question 1: Habits and ways of behaving don’t remain unchanged during the different eras. Society and the way of communication between individuals has profoundly changed over time, and the relationships too. Also the intimate relationships between the members of the family had changed a lot. If we look at the extremely respectful way that the sons were obliged to use when talking with their parents, or if we look at the amount of topics that were strictly forbidden, today things are really changed. And this is an example of habits that over time had been almost subverted. The barriers between sons and parents in the past made up of respect and continuous formal behaviors had now been subverted, and the modern way of being parents has an other meaning totally different from the one from the past. Today is more appreciate the fact that the parents could manage to become friends of their sons, and nowadays this kind of attitude is surely one of the best. Both parents, usually, tend to reach this kind of friendly relationships and sons too desire this kind of relationship, based on openness, confidence, confidentiality and of course respect too.
Question 2:
If we think about the action of cooking, the ingredients or the food or the way of cooking them too can be different of course, according to different cultures. But the action of cooking is something acquired of course from our culture, from our habits and traditions. Sometimes we take for granted and obvious the fact that we know how to cook some particular dish, and this action seems to us naturalized, neither acquired.

Ganna Korniychenko ha detto...

1. For what concerns cultural habits that deeply changed from one generation to another I would like to mention how the world changed after the 18th of July of 1997 when a prototype of the modern blog was created by Dave Winer in America . The software was able to give the possibility to people to share their ideas in a different way. The naturalized way of communication simply face to face shaped into a new tool able to reach many many around the world only with a post. What is amazing is that a part from written thought, ideas and proposals bloggers can nowadays share picture and other animate figures to describe better any kind of content they like to share. So the way to share increased a lot its audience thanks to this tool and this lead to a huge transformation on how communication is perceived. Before people was used to radio or tv. Even if the web was already spread in many parts of the world it was not sufficiently interactive on the contrary blog allows people to counter ideas , add new ones or simply congratulate with a comment the owner of the blog. The digital progress unavoidably shapes our cultural habit and in this particular case the way we share with others. It makes possible to reach more people and create complex interaction which allows to create more cultural exchange and could be a tool in order to open minds.

Gana Korniychenko ha detto...

2. During the last lesson we distinguished innate and acquired knowledge. Sometimes it is possible to consider a behavior belonging to the innate category but in reality is not. I would like to mention some of my personal naturalized forms of behavior which are not innate but acquired. Everyday we are facing with different choices both in our houses and outside of it. Analyzing my character the largest percentage of my choices depends on my way of thinking. We can erroneously consider our point of view personal, individual until it turns out into a behavior similar to an innate one . This is not always true because we have a complex being and our mind elaborates and conserve many experience during the entire life which leads to the choices we take today in our present daily life. Examples could be tastes on cloths, food, social relationships (friends and love relationship), music and film preferences. Each choice has its roots deep in ourselves and it is due to experience, environment and education. All these factors shape human’s choices. It is true that many times instinct can play a big role but in my case is due more to a structures analysis of past experience and future consequences. The latter two are the result of 22 years of learning (even simple things) which all together today influence the choice process.

Sara di fabio ha detto...

A clear example of change regarding cultural habits is the one of social interactions. In today’s world most of the people interact using social networks, such as Whatsapp. Thus their words and emotions are filtered by digital devices. Although with the new technologies we manage to communicate and interact in the best way possible, linking people together no matter what distance, we should consider that real feelings cannot pass through the internet. Therefore, our words can easily be misunderstood and interactions are not so real as they seem to be. Whereas, thinking about two decades ago, it was not possible to access the internet by our phones, which were mostly used for calls and texts. Indeed, people were more willing to talk face to face. Moreover, when you speak with someone in the real world it is almost impossible to hide your feelings and emotions since you don’t have as much time as you have in the virtual reality to reflect on your answers. Eventually, we can argue that the clash among generations is born from the different ways people use to communicate. Futhermore, we can say that face to face interactions have been replaced by ‘screen to screen’ communications.

Talking about naturalized forms of behaviour what comes into my mind is ethics. I have always though that someone is born with some ethic principles which tend to manifest in his/her life. However, as we said in class for language, now I start to believe that ethical principles are not innate but we learn them from people around us, most of all our parents and relatives. For instance, I have always had a respectful behaviour towards nature, and I can see that my parents have the same, whereas I see some of my peers who don’t care at all. Nevertheless, in my opinion when we are child we are similar to blank sheet. Even if we may endorse ethical principles because of our innocent nature, these principles are going to manifest or not depending on the environment we grow up in, meaning that our values and our life are mostly dictated by what our parents/relatives though us.

Alessandro Germani ha detto...

Question 1
The example that we discussed in class about the difference of cultural habits between generations was about travelling within a city, Amsterdam. However, we can also analyse how the general idea of travel around the world changed generation after generation. While for Baby Boomers it was almost unthinkable to plan a trip and book the tickets without a travel agency, the most recent generations (Generation X but especially Generation Y, the so-called “Millennials”) are now used to book online, on websites or apps, after having compared different companies and prices.

Question 2
I have always considered my skill to recognise musical intervals as innate. I am able to listen to a melody, recognise the distance between the single notes which compose it and then, consequently, to reproduce it with a musical instrument, mainly guitar. I’ve never taken ear training lessons, but I’ve realised that this ability was developed through years of attentive and passionate listening. This, together with the development of technique through blues/rock improvisations, made me acquire new knowledge.

Lavinia Apicella ha detto...

Question 1: There are many habits that may change from one generation to another: for instance, smoking and dancing are some examples. Dancing in the 1950s was seen as something elegant and special, young people went to balls occasionally and dressed in a handsome way. However, this attitude towards dancing changed during the 70s and 80s, not only because the type of music that people listened to changed, but also because of the fact that dancing became associated to alcohol, smoking and drugs. Teenagers danced on the streets, during social protests, and it was seen as some “rebellious behaviour”. Nowadays we dance for many different reasons, but mainly for fun and to relax. When we say “dancing”, we rarely mean a special elegant occasion, but more often an opportunity to have fun and chill.
As we said in class, culture is acquired knowledge. But how do we acquire it? Through formal and informal ways. However, sometimes when we acquired knowledge in informal ways, we tend to forget how we learned it and assume that it is something innate and therefore tend to naturalize it. In class we discussed the issue of taste: is it natural or acquired? In my opinion, taste is on one hand something that could be considered natural since it is a matter of biological reaction to determined foods. However, taste is in fact something that we acquire during the course of our lives depending on the environment we grow up in and our habits. We may like or dislike certain particular tastes in different periods of time depending on the situation and the external influences. For example, when I was living in Sweden, I discovered that butter was a fundamental part of the Nordic cuisine, since people ate it with bread at every meal of the day. I too started eating butter often but I soon developed a refusal of its taste because me and my body weren’t used to it in such huge quantities. My Swedish friends, on the contrary, loved butter and thought that it was strange that I didn’t eat it anymore. Once my Italian parents sent me some “taralli” salty cookies because they knew I loved them. My Swedish family tasted them and didn’t like them at all because they weren’t used to such taste. So taste is definitely a matter of acquired cultural knowledge that we think is natural but we couldn’t be more wrong.

Lavinia Apicella ha detto...

Question 2: In class we mentioned the fact that tolerance towards difference is Italy is widespread. This brings us to reflect on the fact that actually our opinions, that we think are naturally ours, are the outcome of the social environment in which we live. In a sense we could state that all our opinions are acquired by us through informal forms of acquisition. For example, I believe in equality between all human beings and I think that war and racial discriminations should disappear. In my opinion, it is natural to think like this, but in fact my mental disposition and values/principles are the outcome of the society I live in, that has informally passed on this knowledge to me.
An example of a behaviour that I think is natural is walking: in my opinion, I walk at a normal speed and without particular modalities. However, many people have told me that I walk at a fast speed and in a special way. I had never noticed these details, because I thought that it was something natural. So, in conclusion, even walking is cultural knowledge acquired through informal means.

Zikang Zhang ha detto...

Question 1
Cultural habits may deeply change from one generation to the other. Since every generation has
Their own action. In the generation of my grandparent, they usually walk or ride the bike to school or to work. Walking and cycling is their way of travel. Even earlier, people do not have the means of transport, which they are only by walk or ride. To the present, the times changed, some people used to go out to drive, some people are willing to ride a motorcycle, some people prefer to take public transport etc. New means of transport to our daily life has brought more convenience.

Question 2:
Before that I thought I was naturally like to eat noodles. But after the class I found that, at home, parents will like cooking noodles more than rice. In China, due to the impact of climate, the north is easier to produce wheat, and flour (noodles) is made from wheat. I grew up in the north, growing up in this environment, I thought I was naturally like to eat noodles. However, the direct impact of the environment, which made me like the noodles more than rice. In addition, in southern China, the locals prefer to eat rice, also because of the local climate and environmental impact caused by, rather than innate. South is more warm, and rice is easier to produce, that’s why people who lives in the south prefer to eat more rice.

Cristina Bottoni ha detto...

Many people think that history is made of slow changes. That we have to wait many long years in order to see one king follow the other, to see one tree grow to the sky, to let one drop erode the rock. Probably once the history worked in this way. For many years the history made great changes, but slowly. Nowadays we live in a society that is changing and moving fast. The habits that we have now are quite different from the ones our parents had, and completely different from the ones your grandparents used to have. But I can also see the difference with my little sister: her habits are different from the ones I used to have, she is developing different ways of thinking and this is because the different kind of stimuli she receives. Habits, like as knowledge (the previous difference I made between innate and acquired) depends much on the environment we are in: we change with it, we adapt to it. We are what we are because of (or thank to if we want to see the situation in this way) the environment, the quickly changing environment, that has put us in front of many challenges during the last couple of million years. Here comes the point! If we adapt to the environment and the environment is changing, this means that we are evolving too. This explains why we change our habits from one generation to another. Everything we use know did not exist in the past: our cell phones, that have completely mutate the way we live were not used by our parents with the same frequency and were completely unknown for our grandparents (like all the technological stuff). The school system has also changed: before, going to school was not an obvious path as today, many people could not afford to send their children to get an education or preferred their children to help them with their jobs instead of going to school; today it is a natural process to send children to school and people do not even think about not to send them. Some decennials ago, the school was even stricter than today.
I said that the environment has changed and is changing, but not necessarily in a positive sense. Pollution is one of the main threats today, and this needs more attention to the way we act, produce waste and recycle it. A “problematique” that was almost inexistent years ago. Nowadays people have changed their habits (even if not enough) in order to limit pollution and incentivize recycling, behaviours that our grandparents did not had to observe.
In class I also made the example of the changing concept of what belongs to women and what belongs to men. In fact, during the last years the care of the body (a characteristic that before was only a women’s prerogative) started to be seen as something which could also belong to the sphere of competence of men. So they started to have some girly behaviours like shaving their eyebrows or dying their hair.

Cristina Bottoni ha detto...

Tastes affect greatly the habits and the traditions of the people. Mostly because people make different choices basing on their preferences (that are anyway innate but could be socially inducted). Our lives is shaped by the choices we make, but also by the choices others make. These latter influence your life (if you think at that last piece of cake you desperately wanted to take at the bar but then the person before you in the queue took in front of your eyes). Tastes cannot be considered completely innate but not even completely acquired.
Also fear could be considered some naturalized form of acquired behaviour. In fact, we are not precisely born with the fear of something, but we are naturally led to fear things (it is also our way to explain some things we cannot really handle by ourselves) for instance some monsters or some villain we read about in our books because we are taught to so by the story in our book. Another example are those things that our parents have always scared us on: “l’uomo nero”, the witches, “barbablù” with the promise that these guy would have come if we didn’t stop crying.

Giorgio Severi ha detto...

In my opinion an impressive change among generations occurred in the field of communications.
For my parents' generation the main way to communicate was using a landline telephone, I have a blurry memory of those english red telephone boothes, maybe seen in movies and photos, but mostly part of my parents traveling stories. Indeed the only way to communicate to their relatives they were alive after a long trip was searching for those two kind of phones. Then progressively the mobile phone entered in our lives and almost totally took over the fixed phones.
Nowadays everyone has his own mobile phone and is in every moment reachable, this revolution in communication brought an important change also in our approach to it. My grandmothers would not have been worried if they had not received a call from their sons during the day, now is totally different.
Moreover there is a further step in this change, the introduction of video-calls. Now everyone with a good internet connection is able not only to listen to, but even to see a person far from him.
This change strongly depends on the introduction of new technologies and probably the next generation will use a totally different way to communicate.

As thinking about something that I always considered innate, I looked for the passion of traveling.
Indeed I never wondered why I had that, neither where it came from or how it grew in me.
Now while questioning that passion I always thought as innate in myself, I start believing that is something I acquired during the years and through a long process.The curiosity of all the people near me about new countries and new cultures always sourrounded me and gradually I absorbed it. Moreover traveling has always been a moment of pleasure, relax, emotions and fun, this obviously played an important role. The pleasant feelings that I recalled everytime thinking about a trip and therefore the connected positive attitude towards it, together with the common idea that traveling is positive under several point of view, represented an informal acquisition of knowledge and in this way I looked at the passion for traveling as innate even if it was not.

Elsa Maria Festa ha detto...

Q1 I was thinking about some cultural habits that I have experienced in some ways directly or indirectly and the case of hunting came into my mind. Hunting started for my father as a kind of family tradition, his family taught him to hunt when he was a young boy and he kept doing it. My father is well aware of the many questionable aspects of hunting as a sport but he continues to do it for certain reasons.Today hunting is mainly considered a sport and is still quite popular but major campaigns against it are strongly present, it has become a controversial issue. While, maybe, back in the past it was more rooted in the traditions and fewer people used to put it into question. It probably used to be considered an ordinary activity in order to provide food and therefore the many observations about the suffering of animals were neglected. Looking back in time we can say that hunting is a vital step of human history, it started as it was essential to hunt in order to survive, it was not really a choice.As civilizations developed and a structured society began to appear, hunting became the task of specific people. I find important to stress the fact that hunting as a sport or hobby is not something modern, it was seen as a sport since ancient history. It was a way to demonstrate who was the best and the strongest, it was a competition to prove that. During the Middle Ages hunting was essential to survive, at least for the poor people that took whatever could feed them. There was a great difference between what the rich and the poor people hunted and how. The society kept developing and together with industrialization came also a great change in what hunting represented. The authentic purpose of hunting wild animals in order to feed people started to vanish with the progressive development of large farms in which animals are raised for the only purpose of being killed to provide food.

Elsa Maria Festa ha detto...

Q2 Here among us, students of Global Governance, there are words that often return, characteristics that we say of having inside of us, almost as something that we have always had, something that is innate. A specific attitude toward the world that could be for instance expressed with the adjective “open-minded”. This is only one way of saying it, the concept can be expressed with many different other words. When we express our being open toward anything that the world contains, it seems like this unconditional curiosity is something we have always had inside of us. Maybe it is not true, this feeling could the product of the influences, of the education, of the experiences we lived. If I look back into my past I find it hard to identify specific events that made grow the curiosity I have toward the world, but if I reflect more in general I can see what has lead me to have this attitude. This “open-minded” essence is maybe not actually a real essence because, as the professor said, it is not essential at all, being acquired. The adjectives that we use to define ourselves could have been totally different if we were born in another part of the world, into another family, with different life experiences and so on. What seems clear is that we are greatly part of what we experience and taking things for granted is dangerous as it leads to misconceptions of reality.

Sara Marcucci ha detto...

Question one:
As we said in class, there’s no acquired knowledge that is assimilated once and for all: the process of acquiring is always reversible, as demonstrated by the differences between generations.
As an example, in class we talked about the cultural habit of biking in Amsterdam and how new generations would like to use electric cars in the city center, while old generations stick to the bikes.
There are many other examples that could be done, as the different perspective that old and new generations have of the importance of the separate collection.
Nowadays it is very common to do it and to hear about people doing it, as there’s a higher awareness of the importance of the environment. Twenty or thirty years ago there wasn’t any awareness, and people did not realize how negative their impact was.
The attention people paid to the environment has completely changed over the years; as new knowledge was acquired in the field, a lot of people started caring much more and changed their behavior.
Just as it happened for the smoking habit that was mentioned in the blog article: as people realized it was bad for their health, new laws were enforced, and now new generations do not perceive smoking in public as their parents and grandparents did at their age.

Question two:
The first example that comes to my mind is my taste in music.
I am part of a generation that likes house music, pop music and techno music. Many of my friends love dancing the techno music, which I literally cannot stand. I actually find it hard to find any contemporary songs I like. My mom worked in the music business for almost 20 years, and when I was a kid I used to wake up on Sunday morning listening to the Beatles, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King… and today I listen to that kind of music. I do not listen to Coez or to Tiziano Ferro.
Of course it’s not like I don’t listen to any other kind of music but that one, but that is the music I like the most, and I think it’s not just a matter of personal taste: the fact that I grew up listening to that genre has definitely had an impact on my tastes, so I think this is a naturalized form of behavior.

Melani Perera ha detto...


Yes it’s really true. Cultural habits that may deeply change from one generation to the other. Every generation has their own way. For an examples, songs we listen now and songs our parents and our grandparents like to listen when they were young, smoking in public, living with family etc. when I talked about my parents and about my grandparents generation smoking in public is normal to them. Even they did not care about that. But in our generation it is change. Actually in Sri Lankan young people do not like people who smoke in public because they know it is harmful, not only the smoker but also to the other people around smoker. Many people in my parents and grandparent generation used to smoke. But in my generation not like that. They mentioned smokers as a foolish people, so they shame to smoke in public. I think it is a good change. But there are some bad changes also. My parents and my grandparents listened to meaningful classical music and songs when they were young. That singers were also professional. But we do not have that opportunity because most of young people do not know the value of music. In this generation we have many young singers and musicians but many of them are not good creators. They find a melody and put some word whatever they want without any meaning. But many young people in my generation like to that kind of songs. So it is not good to our future music industry. These are some of cultural habits that change one generation to others.

Question 2:

When I see this question I realized this. I can sing very well since I was a child and my mother told me when I was her tummy she used to listen to songs and also sang songs in the church choir. Because of that I also can sing like her since I was child. She did not teach me to how to sing so it was my ability from birth. So I can say it is innate knowledge. But in that time I do not know more about music, the only thig I know is singing. So when I was in high school I used to study more about music. At first I only knew sing but since I began to study music as a subject, I learned a lot about music more than I know. So I can consider singing is my innate knowledge but if I think deeply actually now it is acquired knowledge to me. Because if I did not practice and did not learn more about music, I would have stayed in one place. But I studied further, so I was able to learn more. So I suspect now my music knowledge is mostly acquired.

alice occhilupo ha detto...

As we know, the way in which human beings transfer knowledge, is unique, it is communication. We do not need modification of the genes, like animals, in order to achieve change through generations. Nevertheless, communication is not an easy tool, it is essential but not easy to use, this is the reason why the new generation are not necessary better. For example, my generation is probably a lot more aware of the benefits of having a healthy diet, my generation has a lot more knowledge available about health nutrition, on the importance of a good nutrition and about the health consequences that a bad nutrition can bring. For example, the fact that the reduction of red meet can decrease the probability of having cardiovascular diseases and some other disease. However, in my opinion my grandmother, who is 87 years old, is still a lot healthier than me, because of the healthier food that she ate in the last 50/60 years. Our ancestor transferred the knowledge (which they gained through experience) on healthy diets to us; however, we have a different concept of it, for example we think that taking food supplements (minerals, vitamins, iron, etc.) means to be healthy, while for my grandma eating lots of vegetables means to be healthy, but the vegetables we eat now are way less healthy of the ones they use to it because of the treatment of the soil, the environment and so on. My point is that the old generation transferred us the knowledge of being healthy in the food sector and we may increased the knowledge in the field and we achieve the goals in different ways and through different tools but still doesn’t mean that our way is necessarily better.

alice occhilupo ha detto...


Since I was a child, I was very flexible and some of my mates were even more flexibe than me. I always thought I can train as much as I want but I'll never get to their point, because "its genetic". Actually when I stopped gymnastic I stopped being flexible as well and I realized how much flexibility had little to do with genitic but a lot to do with it, the way we learn how to be more flexible and how much we train our muscle memory is way more relevant. Now for sure I now that the level of flexibilty is given by the level of acquired knowledge you (and your muscle) have.

Shahmar Hasanov ha detto...

QUESTION 1: The main thing which has been changed in my culture is the communication way between parents and children. I mean, my father could not talk in the same friendly manner with his father as I’m talking with him nowadays.
And it’s not only my family example, it has changed for many people in my society. Before there was a certain strict distance in interaction of parents with their children. We can even make an analogy with Hofstede’s “Power distance” dimension.
Pointing out one main reason for this change is quite hard. Well, we can always rely on time and assume it’s the essential change-maker. However, it doesn’t give the precise answer to our question.
In my personal opinion, the vital conjecture was that the new generation of parents were more educated and can easily adapt to the realities of time, thus became closer mentally and emotionally with their children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that older generation of parents were loving their heirs as much as new, but it was harder for them to show this explicitly with their conservative view of life.
QUESTION 2:Singing - the first thing came to my mind. People were always saying that singing is the kind of innate rare talent. By hearing that a lot I started consequently believe in the truthiness and correctness of the given statement. However now I think singing is the outcome of long-hard work, perhaps accompanied by genetical talent or inherited ability, nonetheless without abundant days of vocal-training it would not have the same marvelous result.
Same approach should be attached to the writing skills of the person. I’m evaluating right now in my own experience that it’s hard for me to write in a creative with many fascinating words manner as I used to do. The reason behind that is intuitively simple, I stopped reading fictional literature, given more preference to technical information.

clara saglietti ha detto...

Errata corrige:
Reading the theory of Postsecularism by Eder and Habermas, I noticed that in my second example of question 1 I had an ethnocentric perspective, do not specifying that I was considering Christian Catholic religion in its traditional form.
Data show a general decrease of believers and practitioners in the West, but it is fundamental to analyse also the process of transformation started by the Catholic Church (which is trying to have a resonance at a global level thanks to media, changing its forms, dynamics and relations with the believers) and the interaction between the secular and religious power and among different religions.

Badriyya Soltanli ha detto...

I would like to highlight some important points mentioned in the class on this topic right before my example:
• renovation for each generation
• knowledge cannot be inherited
– Evolution in culture, natural, spontaneous change for a better. Knowledge through generation may be twisted, not transmitted on a right way and more.
– Decline on the average level of tolerance
– It is not always what you think, but the social environment > your opinions
Whatever I have mentioned above is very much connected with the example that I am going to write about. Azerbaijan is not the country that everybody knows too much or at all about. As an Azerbaijani I have had mix of cultures (Caucasian, Turkish, a bit of Euro&Russia) around all the time while growing up. There are so many funny and frustrating "cultural" was of behaviours that can possibly be mentioned, however I am going to be sticking with two of them. One is very famous for the Turkish culture is "Kiz isteme" which means asking the girl's parents permission for the marriage. This is a very traditional way which is still being quite enough practiced. The parents, elders are the crucial point for the marriages. Even we have a saying like "when two young people marry, their families also come together". This tradition, I would rather call it culture has been like this for years, but as we mentioned in the class transmission of any cultural heritage is very hard, if you want to do it, you should teach them, however it does not mean that the kids are willing to learn anything from the past.

Badriyya Soltanli ha detto...

Eating is a passion for me, any type, any cuisine. I am extremely curious when it comes to food. Being fed with the Caucasian, Middle Eastern kind since my childhood, obviously I have a close bound to my cuisine, however I cannot imagine my life without "sushi" anymore. Since 2014 I am a sushi addicted, but it feels like I have been born with that, feels it has become naturalized.

n my notes, I found the following which is probably the part that you have asked.
Fragility > the whole transmission process is quite fragile.
Once we learn how to transmit the innate knowledge, we can attend in the biological transmission. When you transmit the social, cultural values, obviously between the chains there are some parts missing. The first example came to my mind was the retelling "Dastan" (epos, tale) or simply stories. They continue being retold for years, ages and in most of the cases some parts are missing or have been totally altered. So, as a result we are never sure if the things we are talking about are totally correct or no.

Mohammad Almulla ha detto...

Question 1
Although the Amsterdam example is useful to write an answer to this question, it shows how bad my example would be compared to Amsterdam. As in the Arab world usually we are used that everybody uses cars, and so all of us cannot wait until we are 18 years of age so we are able to legally drive a car so usually as soon as a person reaches the age of 18 so we get our driving license and our car, in the case of Amsterdam everyone is eco friendly and driving cars but in the arab world everybody is driving cars and from an enviromental point of view that shows as a bad example but it is the general case as for example if a household is made up of four members the mother the father and for example their two children that are 18 or over the household will usually have three to four cars.

Question 2
To point out something according to taste which we usually discuss but we really don't think about it that much while discussing it. There are many occasions where the conversation of weather or seasons emerges and usually, my answer is that I like summer more than winter and actually it is something that I decided because mainly I would like to feel warm rather than feeling cold, it could also be because of the place I was born at or lived at where it is really hot there.

Question 3
In some part of the lecture, we were talking about how knowledge can be transmitted after obtaining it, and I will use the example of the video that was shown to use the one of glass making, where the guy has perfected his skill his knowledge and started transmitting that knowledge through practical way rather than theoretical way and the way we transmit knowledge depends on the situation and the type of knowledge we are trying to transmit.

Carlotta Frasca ha detto...

Q1: As for the first question we were challanged to think about cultural habits that may deeply change from one generation to the other. The first thing that popped into tmy head was mobile phones. We (meaning the 90's generation) live in symbiosis with our phones. We have out contacts, photos, memories, research tools and basically we can't live without it. Being a student now is way easier than before, if a fast research is necessary we just need two clicks to have multiple answers, whereas my parents had to actually go to the library, sit down and read entire books. I see a difference even in younger kids. My cousins that are 7, 8 and 9 years old, know more about phones and technology than I do, and their lifes rotates around it, and they rather play with phones than outside, as for that I'm feeling lucky that my childhood was outside rather than in front of an Ipad.

Q2: As I'm trying to think about something, the only thing that comes to my mind is the sense of guilt. I've always been a bad, and awful liar and even though it was a small lie I felt so bad about it to the point where I would tell the truth in order not to feel bad about myeself. As I was thinking about this, I thought It was thought to me by my parents, all the time that they told me to be honest of course helped, but as time passes, I'm actually thinking that characterizes me. It has always been within me and it is maybe a feature that I didn't need to learn because the sense of guilt lies inside me. So maybe it innate rather than acquired, as I, since I can remember, felt always the need to say the truth in order not to feel a bad person.

Selene G. ha detto...

Question 1:

Generations change and every generation has their own specific theme or even issue. Instead of talking something positive that has changed such as maybe the acceptance for other cultures or things such as tattoos. I have decided to talk about something that I find is a pity that it has changed in German culture. It used to be a regular habit of going to demonstrations. In fact, my parent’s generation used to go on the street almost every weekend to demonstrated against something going on such as nuclear energy. In our generation there are still plenty of reasons to go on the street and personally I do so from time to time. But with the generation before us it was almost like a ritual, as other people go to church. When talking to a friend from class she expressed the thought that the problems of today aren’t as concrete and easy to answer as they used to be and when it comes to nuclear energy this is more concrete. But isn´t the question such as; should Afghans be accepted or denied asylum in Germany, such a concrete question of yes or no? Many of the older generation say our generation isn´t political active anymore and I find that very sad. I wish our parents generation would still be as active as they once were to show and still teach my generation about the importance oh expressing your opinion in an open atmosphere. This could be done more in a informal and hidden knowledge such as the once we talked about in class.

Question 2:

While reading the second question about innate and acquired knowledge two things came to my mind which might be a bit rare and weird, this was food and drink. I love dark bread and I hate sparkling water, both things for me always considered as innate knowledge. But now that I think about it most of my foreign friends hate our bread and any German friend who has ever gone abroad misses German bakeries more then anything. Until today I would say that is what I miss the most from Germany as well. This, now that I think about it is probably something acquired due to the fact that for us dinner usually means having bread and cheese and sausages or that every German school kid gets a piece of bread to school (we even have special names for this: Stulle). Something I acquired from a different cultures and just realized this a few months ago is the hate for sparkling water. In Germany just like in Italy this is a very common thing to drink and I grew up with it just like every other German child. But since living in the USA for three years, were sparkling water is only something very new and very fancy, I hate it. I just simply can´t stand the taste anymore. This multicultural upbringing has let me get to acquire forms of behavior from different cultures without even realizing it.

Rossella rao ha detto...

An example that comes to my mind is the concept of tattoos and how it can vary from countries to countries and from generation to generation.
If we talk about the western culture, there was a time where people who were jailed had tattoos. And automatically, I believe, that the perception of a tattoo as a “bad thing”, that categorizes people from a certain background, started to spread. Even now, if I ask my dad what he thinks about tattoos he would answer me by saying that only certain people from a certain background would have tattoos. Now this concept has evolved and changed. I believe that in our generation, tattoos are seen as a form of expression, a form of art; but there is still, at the back of our “knowledge luggage” the awareness that it once was seen from a different point of view. This is to say that even if we have a radical change from generation to generation, sometimes the past practices or thoughts won’t fade away completely.
As I mentioned at the beginning many concepts do not vary only from generation to generation but from country to country as well. I am originally from Ethiopia and in Ethiopia we have local tribes that tattoo themselves as a symbol of beauty for women or a sign of heroism or courage for men. I feel like this concept of beauty will fade away with time as the upcoming generations are more “western –culture” oriented
As it is night and I feel sleepy, a random thought crossed my mind: why do we sleep at night? Is it innate for humans to sleep at night? Thanks to this class, and understanding the difference between innate and acquired, I came to a conclusion that human beings sleeping at night and not during the day is acquired knowledge. If we think about it, human beings, unlike specific types of animals, don’t have a predisposition to see in the dark. If we think about newborn babies, they do not have this knowledge of sleeping only at night, if fact they wake up until they don’t acquire this specific practice from their parents. As we said in class “culture is so liquid that we don’t know what we know”. We might acquire many things in informal ways that it seems like we were born with certain knowledge or skills. we tend to naturalized what we learned maybe because we the moment of acquisition was when we were children or maybe because human beings have a higher dispositio of learning and acquiring knowledge than animals.

Md Ashique Ali ha detto...

QUESTION ONE: Humans, their habits and lifestyle always change with time and generation gap, even we may notice changes within one generation. Let’s discuss, entertainments and changes between me and my grandparents. Various kinds of sports, public shows and festivals (occasional, religious and cultural) were entertainment sources for my grandparent, sports were physical, no ball, bat, stick or racket, they gathered in groups and played, but for men and women had separate games. Public shows were there, football, Tamasha and Nautanki (a form of theater), storytelling, circus, monkey or bear dances, wrestling, magicians and so on. The festivals were frequent, marriages, feast, Holi, Eid Al-Fitr, Independence Day, and many. Books, radio, newspaper, magazine were other medium. I feel connection somehow with that period, but the entertainment life has differed face of my age. There is cricket, football, TV, cinema, mobile, telephone and the latest one Internet, for me to entertain, but it doesn’t mean I have more fun than grandparents.

QUESTION TWO: Whenever I think my love towards literature, art and cinema, I feel doubt, is it innate or acquired? I always talk to friends; I love to read poems, short stories or novel writers, I watch classic cinema, and feel, a part of art or they always touch my heart. By the way, my love for art, literature and cinema is true, and I always felt, it is an innate behavior, but, since couple of years, I stated analyzing on this behavior and found, my parent used to narrate verbal stories in bed time, still I have some untouchable memories, there was no TV, then I was in a religious school, there were prohibition of any kind of technical (computers, TV etc.) education, but the only books. Therefore, I started grown up, and at the time of high school, I used to go to a book shop for some hours for three years, run by my maternal uncle. These reasons pushed me towards stories, and books, and I stared falling love, and the curiosity to watch cinemas came cause of stories. As cinema is a huge mixture of arts, forced me to come across with other kind of arts (dance, music, song and paintings etc.). In this way, I should count this behavior, in me, is acquired.

Iva Budakova ha detto...

I will start by the fact that cultural knowledge is transmitted. It is really interesting to see how cultural habits can be change from one generation to another. I will give a personal example from what I seen and know from my parents and grandparents which is the way of travelling. It might sound stupid but I think it is a major change. Since technology was growing so fast and is still growing, before the way of travel was not a major thing. It first started with driving cars and going only to close cities but now it has grown to “high level” I can say which are airplanes. For my parents and specially my grandparents traveling and visiting different countries was really hard so only a minority could have the privilege of exploring other places. Nowadays traveling with an airplane is a normal thing and we don’t even think about it as something which can be impossible or really hard to find. My grandparents didn’t had the opportunity to do it in their young years thought different reasons but mainly because, at that time technology weren’t improved and develop to the level which are developed now. I personally think that this change is really useful in order to open people’s eyes of seeing the unseen. Before my parents and grandparents couldn’t even imagine that after 20 or 30 years, they can go to the farthest point of the globe. Those cultural changes from one generation to another are expressed in improvement and development in not only technology but in social life as well. With this change the way of thinking becomes broader and I am happy to show my grandparents that traveling in places that they couldn’t think before, nowadays is actually possible.

I have been grown up in a see city and for that reason I have always felt a special connection with the see. I think I learned a lot from those classes because I have never thought before if those simple things like living in a city which is on the see can be learned or not. I have always thought that maybe i have inside the feeling of seeing and being actually so close to the see every day. But since we talked about it in class I understood that my knowledge can be acquired not innate. A lot of people have the same contact with the see but actually I thought that it is the other way around, meaning that people who grow near the see just have learned to live with it. I personally considered it as something which was given to me but now I see it as a process in which I am just used to and learn to live in without seeing it as something i was born with.

Grace Mageka ha detto...

Cultural Habits may change from one generation to another or can also repeat itself, for example there were some older fashion that our grandmother used to dressed up and when I look today I see exactly our grandmothers used to dressed up.
I dislike food with a lot of spices e.g pepper when I meet my friends from West Africa and India putting a lot pepper in their dishes gives me hard times to eat and by the way if you not want me to eat your food, you can add pepper. I am from a country where we do not eat spicy foods and this like I like food without spices. My friends like Ashique and Emmanuel they tell me they like spicy food and food without spices is not food.

RIAS UDDIN ha detto...

The family is always the central part of the social group in all Arabic nations, and it is significantly considered to be the primary system for security of the society. The Arabs’ interpersonal life has always involved catering to the needs of young people especially children and also for the ill, the senior and the physically challenged citizens. With that being said, it is vital for every Arab individual to pursue marriage to have a family. In the topic of marriage in the Arab culture, this is an event that marks the change of the bride’s life through the acceptance, honor, and blessing given to her by the society. This marriage between the husband and wife then becomes the economic and societal agreement of their families; and also a ritual that makes sexual intimacy legitimate in the society. For Arabs, this means more resources because it brings together what both of the families possess.

Laws for marriage in America are constituted by the state regime. In the traditional American wedding, the marrying couple professes their public declaration of their love and allegiance to each other with a pastor, priest or even a Judge officiating the event. This ceremony is typically done in front of their closest friends and family as witnesses to this once in a lifetime custom, and this practice originated in the old Roman period. Some weddings also include bridal showers, garter and bouquet tossing, exchanging rings and more.

Behaviours that have been developed as results of learning by the animal itself or teaching by someone else are the learned behaviors. Most of the mammals, especially humans and primates, show an array of learned behaviors. The involvement of the voluntary nervous system, especially the brain, is essential in learned behaviors. Most of the behaviors that humans show are learned behaviors. Speech, movement by walking, playing games, reading, writing, and many other behaviors of humans are learned behaviors. With the evolution being proceeded, animals with large brain capacities have been thriving as they could develop learned behaviours. These behaviours can modify the innate behaviours to yield better results than previous states. A child starts crying as an innate behaviour, but with age, the child learns that crying would benefit him/her. Therefore, the way of crying is modified according to the need of the child, so that, the treating would be aptly taken place.