The Humbleness of Interpretation

I consider culture as a corpus of problem-solving competencies commonly and reciprocally owned by a specific social group; a corpus, which is constituted by the different scenes of the social communication that defines the owner group, among the competencies given in the identity of the agents participating in the specific process. Therefore, the identities of culture and its agents reciprocally define each other. Through its life the agent participates in numerous problem-solving situations, so its own identity (as its own world) is built among the experiences gathered from these situations, and its own complex view of culture is constructed from its participations. This view is created from the series of participations with a reflection to the participation, and is mostly seamless for the agent. In contrast, an agent participating as an actor on a specific platform activates only the competencies considered relevant, and only those elements of the culture become explicit, which are obvious from the perspective of the given problem. Culture is reciprocal knowledge. The task of the researcher investigating culture – or rather his/her possibility – is to share this knowledge. However the researcher does not have access to the whole culture – only to some of these scenes at a varying degree. As a researcher I examine these scenes, I try to participate in these scenes, and I try to reconstitute these and the agents and competencies that are present on them, together with their relations. The medium of this reconstitution is not a text, but a hypermedia environment – which is also available online in most of the cases. Layman is not the best term, but I can’t find a better one for now – for me it indicates the person that participates in this reconstitution. It is different from the informant, because it mindfully reflects on the situation and the process, and it undertakes itself on the virtual platforms of reconstitution. This reciprocal participation requires humbleness from both parties.

Released: Replika 100, 49–53.