Cover of Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology
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1. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Asunción López-Varela Azcárate Introduction
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2. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Asunción López-Varela Azcárate The Impact of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe and Beyond
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What is the role of the Social Sciences and Humanities (known collectively as SSH) in the journey to the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What is the impact of these disciplines for the challenges the world faces, supposedly defined by a highly dynamic phase of industrial and social restructuring, where the adaptive capacity of societies needs to be enhanced by specific skills and techno-social dependencies? What is the role of SSH in building cognitive competences, and new professional paths? This paper, part of the special focus of the Annual Review of New Directions in the Humanities, seeks to unveil the importance of SSH disciplines to the major STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Although disciplines and research in Social Sciences and Humanities play a fundamental role in the production of knowledge relevant to society, the last decade of the 20th century has seen a continuous trend towards their devaluation. After a relatively glorious period during the first half of the century, when SSH disciplines still held a relative social influence, the arrival of digital technologies in 1990s, accelerated their decline. This article traces a brief overview of this decline and explores some of the causes as well as the challenges in valuing SSH. Focusing mainly on Europe, the paper presents the attempts, on behalf of the European Commission, to correct this decline. It also outlines some new ideas that could help a true integration and transfer of knowledge across STEM AND STEAM disciplines, such as the creation of specific 'missions'. Precisely, one of the diagnoses of the Horizon 2020 experience in Europe has been that investment in research is not effectively linked to the solution of specific problems. Thus, it is necessary to put in motion co-creation mechanisms among research disciplines and advance in the establishment of intersectoral bridges, bringing SSH research closer to the industry and other social sectors in order to solve the pressing challenges we face (climate change, mass migration, economic crisis, etc.)
3. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Simon C. Estok Art, Ethics, Responsibility, Crisis: Literature and Climate Change
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Literature has an ethical obligation to respond to the climate change crisis, and scholars have a responsibility to understand how these responses work. Neither the humanities nor the sciences have a good record when it comes to encouraging people to limit their desires, their consumption, or their growth. While there may be genetic reasons for this failure, calls for humanity to limit itself need better responses. Literature can help us to respond better to climate change, but only if we reconceptualize narrative and accord to it the importance it once held as a source not only of entertainment but of knowledge necessary for our very survival.
4. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Susan Petrilli Language, Communication, and Gifting with Genevieve Vaughan
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This essay presents Genevieve Vaughan’s writings on language, communication and social praxis for social change. Mothering/being-mothered is thematized, in the framework of gift logic, as a core practice characterizing human relationships, shedding new light on the properly human in terms of gift economy values.
5. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Xiana Sotelo How Can ‘Race’ Be Transcended in Cross Cultural Dialogues?: Applying Critical Thinking to Show Human “Races” as Artificially Constructed
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In line with the cross ethnical alliances that the Eurasian community (from Asia) stands for, in this paper we interrogate the possibility of meaningful ways to transcend ‘race’ through the application of critical thinking skills. The methodology proposed combines a brief historical summary of how race has been articulated in history and in science until the discovery of Human DNA with some references to the field of Race Studies. As a social value category, it will be demonstrated that ’race’ has no scientific evidence. In the pursuit of objectively demonstrating that what unites us as humans is much more than what separates us, critical thinking can help us to go beyond nationality and transcend classifications. In doing so, a critical mindset will be underlined as a necessary requirement to increase the degree of rigorous and truthful information generated from the sciences and humanities in the advancement of one human race within Eurasian community and beyond.
6. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Marta Silvera-Roig Global Crisis: War Against an Invisible Enemy?: Don’t Blame the Metaphor
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Much has been written since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. The way in which we refer to this and other diseases has been commented and criticized in the media and in public online forums. Several linguists have referred to the different metaphors with which we refer to the disease appealing to our social responsibility towards the words we use to refer to sensitive subjects and have compiled alternative forms to “the war metaphor”. There is a linguistic, political, and even health concern about the possible consequences of referring to Covid-19 as a war. However, the conceptual metaphor DISEASE IS WAR is ubiquitous, the key is: it is conceptual, it is a metaphor of the mind and not of language. Moreover, its variations and changes are a reflection of human creativity, but there is nothing wrong with the metaphor per se. In any case, it is a means to criticize certain discourses and there, as in everything, the context of the communicative act is ineludible. In this article we will see some examples of how we refer to SARS-CoV-2 in different media and explain the ubiquity of the metaphor. We shall also note that there is nothing wrong with the metaphor itself, which is, in fact, based on a biologically hooked form, present in human cognition, to refer to something that threatens us and that we must avoid or combat.
7. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Huiyong Wu A Cultural Interpretation of the Holistic Success and Individual Obedience of China’s Fight against COVID-19 Crisis
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Possibly the main reason why China can completely control the COVID-19 pandemic is that it can use state power to implement holistic and systemic deployment, integrate all resources, and form an efficient and refined grassroots management system. The sense of responsibility of the Chinese people has been a very important factor. The obedience of individuals in China does not come from the authority imposed by any external agent. It stems from its Confucian traditions and the positive pursuit of common ways of self-recognition and self-realization. These traditional values are very different from the Western individualistic construction of modernity. China’s cultural orientation may not be replicated by other countries, but its way of shaping the people's sense of social responsibility and the holistic way of handling crises should be worthy of study and reference.
8. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Ana Calvo Revilla Social Criticism and Ethical Aspects in Patricia Esteban Erlés and Abert Soloviev’s Hypermedial Short Stories
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In online communication, writers incorporate into fictional representation imaginaries that arise from the interaction between various artistic manifestations (text, photography and illustration). This paper explores the work of two spanish authors, Patricia Esteban Erlés and Albert Soloviev in order to study the social impact and ethical aspects of hypermedial short stories in the virtual space, since their works function as vehicles for social criticism. At the same time, the paper addresses fundamental questions associated with the understanding and interpretation of hybrid narrative microtexts.
9. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Jinghua Guo Inter-Artistic Plague Narratives and the Cultural Differences between China and the West
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Artistic representation is an instrument of historical memory that, unlike history, serves to transfer the emotional imprint that historical records leave behind for the sake of objectivity. Art memorializes achievements and success, but also tragic moments of death and destruction. Cultural differences between China and the West lead to varied perspectives and patterns of expression in the Fine Arts. This paper offers several examples showing how art has dealt with epidemic and pandemic. No one is immune to such tragedies in our increasingly globalized world. By looking back at the memories recorded in artistic representation, we can learn from the past and cooperate in order to face future crises successfully. However, cooperation is only possible if we are aware of cultural differences. This paper provides a brief example on how Chinese and European art face inter-artistic plague narratives in different ways.
10. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Mohammed M. Hassouna Escaping Epidemy: Andrée Chedid’s The Sixth Day
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In early 2020 COVID-19 turned the whole world into place of horror, capitals into ghost-towns, and hospitals into tombs. But this was not the first time the world was hit by such a catastrophic pandemic. Many countries have hit by innumerable plagues, epidemics and pandemics. It is important to keep these terrible incidents in the collective memory so that precautions are taken and they do not happen again. In 1947, a huge spread of cholera hit Egypt leaving thousands of death and infected as well as a disastrous impact on the socio-economic life of the country. Writer Andrée Chedid sheds light on this epidemic in her novel The Sixth Day, which discusses a wide range of issues at a time when class division dominated in the country. The novel is a testimony to the poor medical condition of the Egyptian countryside.
11. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Qingben Li The COVID-19 Crisis and Social Responsibility of New Media Art
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Through a large number of data analysis, this paper analyzes the different influences of COVID-19 on the traditional art and the new media art in China. China’s industries of new media art have made a rapid development during the pandemic. The industrial growth of the new media art has enabled them to play an important role in safeguarding employments, and to assume greater social responsibility in fighting the epidemic. With the help of internet technology, new media art can quickly adjust to the broadcast plan, timely send excellent artistic content to the audience who stay at home through the network, and help them vent their fear and soothe their wounded hearts in face of the pandemic.
12. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Aigerim Belyalova, Byong-Soon Chun Organizational Culture and Social climate in Kazakhstani Higher Education Institutions during the COVID-19 Crisis: KazNU Case Study
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the current characteristics of organizational culture and climate in Kazakhstani higher educational institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. Materials for the study were collected from interviews and online discussions published on the website of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU). In addition, results from the social monitoring systems of the university’s educational activities as well as an official survey have been used. The study offers details of how Kazakhstani universities dealt with the crisis by presenting KazNU case study. The paper presents the responsible actions developed at the university as well as the problems faced by students and teachers. One important lesson to be learnt is that educational organization needs to be more comprehensive, caring for appropriate technical equipment, helping develop skills for staff and students, and include vulnerable groups of the population.
13. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
G. Kentak Son Cultural Race and an Inclusive Nationalism Sun Yat-sen’s (1866-1925) Nationalism during China’s Modernization
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Sun Yat-Sen was a Chinese philosopher and politician, who served as the provisional first president of the Republic of China, and first leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China). He argued that common blood, language, customs, religion and livelihood were the five essential elements that constituted a nation. Sun was influenced by social Darwinism in his understanding that socio-cultural forces could override the innate characteristics of race. Thus, he employed racially defined nationalism by invoking anti-Manchuism. Although China’s modernisation in the first decades of the 20th century was attributed to Sen, this paper shows that his insistence on the consanguine Han race produced inconsistencies, as his racially defined nationalism and republicanism were mutually exclusive, the latter being based on the inclusion of all citizens regardless of their ethnic background. Indeed, modern nations are constituted by both naturally inherited and culturally acquired qualities of the people. Since China consists of many ethnic groups, Sen’s emphasis on consanguine Chinese race has produced a racially exclusionary nation and has caused racial conflict.
14. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Soon-Ok Myong LeninKichi and the Silenced Collective Memory of Soviet Koreans
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This paper investigates the contexts on the grand narrative and the memory manipulation of the media in the case of Soviet Korean migrants. The study focuses on the forced migration of Soviet Koreans and how their memories were covered up by dominant Soviet narratives. Specifically, the paper explores LeninKichi, a Korean newspaper that became the mouth of institutional power. The research brings to light part of the history of Soviet Koreans migrants, whose memories were buried by a socio-cultural system that encouraged narratives of victory and progress through an oppositional symbolism of glorious patriots versus enemies and traitors.
15. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Weijie Song The Metamorphoses of Smokestacks
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This paper examines Chinese imagery of smokestacks both as a concrete object and an abstract concept emerging from early futurist eulogy to modernist allergy, and from Maoist propaganda to post-Fifth Generation environmental reflections. In the Republican era, writers from the Creation Society eulogize the smokes of steamboat smokestacks as beautified symbols of modern civilization. Yet members from the Beijing School convey their concerns about the Janus face of industrialization and environmental impairments (towering smokestacks as the target). After 1949, smokestacks are eulogized as an icon of socialist industrialization and pervade cinematic productions, literary imaginations, and artistic exhibitions. Since the 1980s, smokestacks have been gradually understood as vestiges of problematic socialist practice. The growing ecological deterioration in the 21st century propels public intellectuals and film directors to expose industrial pollution and to invoke environmental protection. Yet another type of representation arises in the post-Fifth Generation films, where smokestacks are visualized as a token of the “insulted and injured” working class, individual discovery, and collective sentiment worn out by the post Mao-Deng global developmentalism and social injustice. The metamorphoses of smokestacks in literary, cinematic, and artistic imaginations envision and exhibit the structural transformation of modern Chinese environmental and ecological consciousness.
16. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Agus Sachari, Arianti Ayu Puspita, Desy Nurcahyanti Girilayu Batik Motifs and their Forms of Symbolic Contemplation
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This article discusses the factors that confer a contemplative atmosphere to the village of Girilayu (Central Java Province, Indonesia) and stimulate local artisans to create batik motifs that contain symbolic philosophical meanings that confer ethical values to batik making while adapting to contemporary design and technological processes. Since 2016, Mbok Semok batik has struggled to preserve local traditions and patterns that stimulate contemplation in its designs. The paper is based an ethnographic approach involving data collection from Girilayu batik artisans; later analyzed using a phenomenological approach in order to describe the correlation between design and contemplative philosophical meaning in Mbok Semok. Thus, the paper functions as an example of the need to articulate local ethical practices with technological change in a way that grounds harmony in human relationships with the environment and the supernatural beyond.
17. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
María del Mar Rivas-Carmona The Power of (Re)Creation and Social Transformation of Binomial ‘Art-Technology’ in Times of Crisis: Musical Poetic Narrative in Rozalén’s ‘Lyric Video’ “Aves Enjauladas”
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The epidemic outbreak of the coronavirus has meant a sudden, temporary ceasing of activities as we knew them. The health crisis has led to a social and economic crisis, and these circumstances have revealed solidarity on a global scale. In moments of separation, when culture has brought us closer together, the global phenomenon of charity songs has emerged, generating financial aid for scientific research and care for the most vulnerable people. This work focuses on a charity song turned into a hymn, a narrative poem in the first person that tells everyone's common story, “Aves enjauladas” (‘Caged Birds’) by the Spanish singer-songwriter Rozalén. This paper carries out a linguistic, stylistic and audiovisual analysis of this multimodal event, which has been transmitted through a ‘lyric video’ and spread in a vertiginous way on digital platforms and social networks, reaching millions of views. Ultimately, the paper analyses the spiritual and material impact, the body and soul of this living poem, taking a still photograph of the artistic recreations and musical, visual, pictorial and pedagogical ‘echoicities’ of this work (Balsera & López, 2015), as well as appreciating its material socio-economic repercussions in the real lives of families at risk of exclusion.