Is one the act of one individual; the other the act of a collective?
What is a cultural phenomenon like music?”
It is not merely that the artist or artiste has more of an impact over time; this, too, requires an act in the collective, to change attitudes and habits—or to change those habits themselves.
For example, during the late seventies the “dance craze among the younger generation of teenagers was a great scandal,” says Daniel. It was a cultural phenomenon. But it needed, in order for it to work, the support of the “young people’s unions, the student unions, who worked with the press to give publicity to the new craze, to the students, and then to the parents.”
The result is that there is a continuous battle between the collective (which is the group or the culture itself) and the individual(s). The individual needs to be protected to survive, for the collective may soon disintegrate. The collective does not care very much about it, because it can survive, because this was the way it has to survive.
The result of all this is a constant change of culture, as is seen in every generation. “The process of collective evolution happens over generations to make the present period culturally more complex than any other one.”
The new cultural phenomena, we could say, are the consequences of the past cultural phenomena. This is what makes the past culture unique in history.
One must have good knowledge of the collective to be able to recognize its uniqueness. The collective (this could be a whole nation) has always tried to do what the individual (this could be all the individual persons or all the group) wouldn’t do. “It takes longer and more difficult to make changes (to society). There is much more of a risk and a challenge for the individual, as he is not always ready to step in at a moment’s notice to save what he has created.”
But “in the same way, collective creativity is more productive than the individual creative energy.”
When the collective thinks it is doing something useful the individual will probably not notice, just as it is harder to notice a big, fat apple when it has been eaten.
This is why cultural institutions make it hard to stop a “cultural phenomenon” by calling it inane, “idiotic”, “fantastic,” or “inhuman” (that one, too).
For a Cultural Myth? Or?
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