Philippe d’Iribarne, Theorising National Cultures, AFD, 2014.
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While there has probably never been such great interest in the cultural aspect of social life, there is intense debate over the notion of culture. We clearly need a conception which, without being blind to what differentiates societies, gives the creative ability of actors its rightful place. But what sociological entity can one be dealing with?
A crucial point concerns the difficulties associated with the use of the same word “culture” to refer to very different types of entities. A socially situated “culture”, specific to an organisation, a social group, a particular field of action, is constantly being created in relation to social strategies and combats for identity. A national “culture”, common to those who have very diverse social situations, and which escapes their strategies, can only be something different. This publication is devoted to discovering this sociological entity, which has until now not been identified, by relying on a series of field research work conducted in both countries in the North (France, USA, Germany, etc.) and South (Mexico, Morocco, India, China, Cameroon, etc.). It highlights the way in which the social life of each people is haunted by its own specific core concern.