(By Keith McNeese)
I have found myself often at odds with the world and the way in works and functions. As a recent post-graduate, I will admit that having been sprang into reality, I have been dazed and confused, seeking a way to make sense of the subtle nuances and behaviors around me. And while I haven’t gotten the opportunities to apply my degrees in the Humanities and Pre-Pharmacy in a blue-collar way, I have found that they’ve helped me make sense of the ordinary, mundane life surrounding me. Recently I was offered two positions through different companies. After a string of entry-level jobs which I am overqualified for, I decided, hell, here are two opportunities, I may as well see what they are about and what they have to offer. One was with a Fortune 500 company, and one was with Covance, a research company. Both of which, by the way, turned out to be complete shams. Point aside, I suppose I will get to the purpose of this article, and that is addressing the concepts of enculturation, cultural programming, and social engineering.
Because I was ask to write a research paper about the topics of The Humanities vs. The Sciences, I began picking the brains of some of my friends who had studied both branches of those academic routes. Having also studied both, I didn’t trust myself enough to be completely objective when coming to a premise or conclusion of that topic. I spoke to one of my friends who is majoring in philosophy about the concept of Humanities vs. Science, and he and I both came to the conclusion that really, there is no truth in that Scientific approaches vastly differ from Humanistic approaches. Amongst our discussion, we also began incorporating classical theorems which are relative to modern and post-modern theorems. He pondered if “Tabula Rasa necessitates empiricism.” And whenever I refreshed my mind on Tabula Rasa, it seemed to me that it was no different than enculturation or cultural programming
People often operate from the idea that their preferences, ideas, and thoughts are original concepts, unique and tailored to their individuated egos. From what I have studied, and while I am not claiming this to be true, nothing could be more fallacious. These things aren’t internal at all. From the courses that I had studied, these concepts are more often than not absorbed from our external environment, internalized, and then projected onto the world as an entirely personal and original experience. These things are often absorbed into us during our enculturation and cultural programming process during our formative years.
People are all products of their culture, whether that is a sub-culture, or pocket culture of a specific culture. Too, we must not forget online cultures. Since humans have permeated the online realm, we, too, begin establishing online structures. Again, as I write this, I am not operating from the idea that this theory is fundamentally true, as it is still a theory, so don’t take my word as overwhelming fact and exception to all scientific truths, obviously there is some fundamental biology that can determine these things, too. However, in my comparative research, more often than not, it appears to be the base. Then again, most individuals don’t like to think of themselves as being programmed, and oftentimes more than not, people confuse programming for mind control, but that isn’t the case, either.
My philosopher friend then proposed the idea of deviancy to me, one which I agreed with. However, being morally relative as I am, we all deviate from our cultural programming and enculturation, no different than the concept of reaction formation in Psychoanalytical Psychology. So my question is this: does anyone else find cultural programming, enculturation, and social engineering to be valid in their experiences? And if so, how is that reflected on a daily basis in your surroundings?