Talk:Cultural literacy

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 Definition The ability to converse fluently in the idioms, allusions and informal content which creates and constitutes a dominant culture. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Education and Sociology [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

I tried to start this with the sub-pages method, but after editing and saving the checklist, I could no longer return to the metadata in order to complete the talk and main pages. Please help.

I'm tempted to paraphrase much of Hirsch's own original material from the 1987 book and the introduction to the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. As I start filling out more material and inserting the citations, I'll be eager for guidance. Peter Shank 17:47, 20 March 2008 (CDT)

First, getting to metadata can be a bit strange. You need to go to the talk page, then click the "M" in a circle, which opens the metadata page. Next, you must explicitly edit and save the metadata.
In this area, I find the most insightful work comes from the cultural anthropologist Edward T. Hall, who, aside from the insight, is a vivid writer. While some of his work deals with linguistic context, he also originated the idea of proxemics, or the cultural aspects of the physical distances between members of the culture as they interact, and, indeed, how the culture addresses ideas such as personal space and waiting (or not) in line. Hall also did a good deal of work on cultural contexts of time: punctuality for one, whether it is customary to focus on many or one task at a time, etc.
A more specialized area comes from Dave Grossman (http://www.killology.com). A retired Army officer and social scientist, he has done a considerable amount of work about factors such as the willingness or unwillingness to do violence at different interpersonal distances; there is a significant difference between firing a long-range weapon and killing someone with bare hands. This gets into the historical aspect that many soldiers do not shoot, or shoot in the air. New operant training methods used in the military seem to eliminate much of the hesitancy.
There are also trade or professional cultures, which may be extremely high context, as in conversations among physicians. Often, if one understands every technical word, the discussion cannot be followed, because the conversation jumps from idea to idea in a seemingly random way, but actually with very clear scientific relationships. One of the more accessible examples of clinical conversations is in Michael Crichton's early nonfiction book, Five Patients. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:02, 22 August 2008 (CDT)
Not sure how 'killology' is related to cultural literacy, but it does sound very much like the "runaway trolley" problem used by ethicists (Wikipedia has a pretty good summary) to poke people into accepting the principle of double effect. As to the article, I'm interested that it mentions E.D. Hirsch, Jr. He writes about hermeneutics too. --Tom Morris 20:20, 22 August 2008 (CDT)
Killology includes some culturally defined aspects of violence. For example, in many Arab cultures, personal combat with knives, over matters of perceived honor, are not uncommon -- but the same cultures are largely unfamiliar with unarmed combat. Another culturally defined aspect is the extent to which the average individual has been exposed to violent injury and the manner in which they react to it, which, of course, can be affected by training -- people with medical training are acting to stop massive bleeding, while an average citizen might be retching or fainting.
Howard C. Berkowitz 22:20, 22 August 2008 (CDT)