Articles on Culture

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The key to becoming the dominant species on the planet. Gabriel-Alexandre Decamps

What makes us human: genetics, culture or both?

In Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, a group of our ape-like ancestors encounter a towering black rectangle somewhere in an African desert. Something in them changes. A seed is sown. Everything…
Three-quarters of Indians say cricket helps the relationship between India and Australia, a new survey has found. Flickr/Foxypar4

It’s not just cricket: Indians have their say on Australia

Australia should work harder on its official and unofficial diplomacy to strengthen its ties to India, after a new survey…
Many non-western cultures recognise states of mind that look like mental illness but don’t fit DSM categories. Todd Huffman

Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. There’s an old saying that psychology…
Like the cultural forms that came before them, videogames overlap with everything. Axel Pfaender

Freeplay reminds us videogames matter: the ‘culture’ debate is over

Last week’s Freeplay Independent Games Festival in Melbourne served as a reminder that videogames – all videogames – are culturally significant. Freeplay, which gives people from Australia’s videogame…
Germaine Greer is right: female genital mutilation and female genital cosmetic surgery are both “cultural” issues. bombhead

Female genital cosmetic surgery: a labial obsession

On last night’s Q&A, feminist campaigner Germaine Greer suggested a comparison between practices of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) in Western nations…
While FGC is common in Africa, the practice is illegal in many Western countries. Flickr/tlupic

Time for change: the harms of female genital cutting

Female genital cutting (FGC) – also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision – is widely practised in Africa and has been described by UNICEF “one of the worst violations of the…
The true value of art cannot be measured by economic standards. Flickr/TruShu

Game of funds: return of the culture wars?

In 2012, public debate over the value of art and culture has reignited as conservative state governments in Victoria and Queensland cut arts funding from their budgets. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s…
The length and width of countries might influence their cultural diversity … or not. byJoeLodge

Does the shape of countries shape their destiny?

Might the destiny of nations be controlled by the underlying shape of their geography? This is the subject of a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors…
“Hipsters” are mocked at the moment, but do we even know who they really are? Wikimedia Commons/Jack Newton

Looking beyond the parody to define the hipster

The term “hipster” has become increasingly prominent in Australia’s urban lexicon this year. Even the Sydney Morning Herald has caught on, writing about “Hipster Housing”, featuring a young bespectacled…

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