YOU SAID : My personal position is that culture itself doesn't exist, it's just our theoretical construct to deal with why people act as if it existed.
Why you don't write a book on this idea? Maybe some millions will rush to buy it.Does anybody in this forum could agree to that ?
About mimesis and its fashion I never said that TRUTH IS MADE OF FASHION. Unfortunately fashion is putting false ideas in the actuality. One of them has been MIMESIS meaning that when there is not ORIGINALITY must be imitation. Now , this idea has been simply replaced by SIMULATION that is a heavier case of MIMESIS. To say it better SIMULATION IS THE TECHNOLOGICAL PERFECTION OF THE OLD MIMESIS. Ufortunately simulation is brought by fashion to the most of our post modern life manifestations ( including some discussions also here in this forum).
To come back to your quotation on culture I insist that what u define as culture in reality is nothing else than CULTURAL SIMULATION ( MIMESIS if u prefere). BUT REAL AND ORIGINAL CULTURE MUST BE RESEARCHED FAR FROM BLOGS AND ETHNOLOGICAL DISSERATIONS, and maybe this is for the best.
I am not a great fan of the Culture concept and I try not to use it. The major problem for me is how we should delimit one culture from another culture in time and space. It is easier to defend a culture concept if you have a narrow time span, as most social anthropologists have. Through a snapshot in time it is easier to categorize phenomena in the world, they only have a spatial distribution.
"My personal position is that culture itself doesn't exist, it's just our theoretical construct to deal with why people act as if it existed."
Well, all of our categories and terms are really only constructions that we use to explain complex processes. It is important not to confuse the construct with the process that it is created to explain, I agree with that. But if you think of culture (simply put) as patterned learned behavior, I think the concept holds up pretty well. It might be incredibly complex and difficult to explain, but that does not mean that this process does not exist.
I pretty much understand what a culture is when someone discuss it and I can separate Maya culture from Aztec culture but that is because we tend to think in spatial terms, like the analogy of the tides which is a flow of change moving across spatial boundaries. That of course happens but as an archaeologist I am concerned about the temporal dimension as well. Cultures tend to be given certain essential properties that remain from the past. This property is not described or explained in so general terms that it can be seen across great temporal "lengths". For me culture tends to become quite general and therefore lack explanatory powers. In my view, a post-subjectivist anthropology goes hand in hand with a post-cultural anthropology.
Luka states that "culture....is not just pretty difficult to nail down, it is impossible to nail down."
In the end, we have to bite the bullet and say what we have learned. It is not enough to say that it is complicated; it is up to us figure out how to deal with the complexities. In the end, we have to describe what this particular society and culture is about. That is what our job as ethnographer is.
However, looking for more general patterns requires confidence that our case studies of particular societies are sound, evidence-based, and reliable. Otherwise we are building on sand.