When: A Conversation about Culture

Robert Borofsky, Fredrik Barth, Richard A. Shweder, Lars Rodseth, Nomi Maya Stolzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


For decades now culture has been a topic anthropologists argue about: WHAT it does or does not mean, IF it should or should not constitute a central concept of the discipline. This essay steps outside these arguments to rephrase the issue and our approach to it. It explores WHEN it makes sense to use the cultural concept: Should we proceed inductively or deductively in constructing connections between the concept and our data? And instead of assertions by one author, it utilizes a debate format to collectively raise possibilities to ponder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-446
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropological analysis
  • Culture
  • Deduction
  • Induction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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