So, instead of a “melting ice “, we could see American Samoa as a kind of tile mosaic. On its useful surface, the bright focus of each culture contributes to a pattern in which all elements work together. It appears that this is how cultures work all over the world. They have a power in themselves, which resists dilution and homogenization. This power is based on the close relationship between the cultures and their members. In this identity lies strength; this strength is the reason we should celebrate, rather than challenge, diversity of culture in every group and individual. Culture is adaptive, integrated, and always changing.
It shares these characteristics with organic life. In other words, with systems oriented towards survival. Customs that diminish the survival chances of a given society are not likely to persist. Those which enhance survival chances of a given society are not likely to customs are tried and honed as aids to survival, the mechanisms of human understanding move them constantly into integration with other facets of society. Thus change occurs in culture in an organic way. Humanities and its Cultural Explanation The humanities are involved in cultural understanding in ways with roots as deep as humankind.
The mental capacity of humans today connects us absolutely with the mental capacities of our remotest ancestors. We share not only our ability to think and reason, but also the capacity for aesthetic and moral sensibilities. The humanities, the storehouse of values and traditions that form the foundation of society, work to make clear these shared capacities, these shared understandings. The humanities, in effect, help us to understand other cultures, including the cultures of the past. They do this by showing the shared intellectual and artistic heritage with which people of all cultures have made sense of the world.
For that is indeed what human beings do in culture. They make particular kinds of sense of the world, and they share it through expressive forms, for enjoyment as well as for survival. A good name by which the humanities operate is expressive culture. Expressive culture is the communication of ideas and feelings about the world through an artistic medium. Whatever the form, painting, sculpture, dance, music, or folklore. Its intention is communication. Expressing ourselves culturally is part of what makes us human beings. Immensely flexible, ever changing and vital to the continuation of self and society. Expressive