Magazine article Liberal Education

From the Editor

Magazine article Liberal Education

From the Editor

Article excerpt

A window onto human experience, cultural analysis extends the ways we can know. The exploration of cultural studies in the Featured Topic section provides rich insights into this relative newcomer to the academic disciplines. For those of us who have been bemused, at best, or alarmed, at worst, by the much-publicized culture wars in recent years, these articles will prove enlightening as to the state of the questions then raised. They will not answer all those questions, and, indeed, may raise more, but they go a long way to sorting out not only questions about cultural studies but also about "the complexity of forces and processes" that are the object of learning. They piqued my interest in learning and testing the ideas.

Of particular interest is Paul Smith's assertion that "the process by which culture inflects the material world is actually the same process as that by which the material world shapes culture and our experience." I think, for example, of the cultural symbols and rituals that are part of the texture of ordinary life.

Among the rites of summer, the Olympic Games, viewed by peoples around the world, engage both participants and observers in rituals that express and, by Smith's account, effect shared meaning and values. …

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