The Cultural Characteristics of the Pre-Modern Levant – Københavns Universitet

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The Cultural Characteristics of the Pre-Modern Levant

Seminar ved Professor Terje Stordalen, Oslo Universitet.

Characteristics of Cultural Production in the Iron Age Southern Levant

In everyday English the phrase cultural production denotes either “the social processes involved in the generation and circulation of cultural forms, practices, values, and shared understandings” or, alternatively products from the culture industry. The second is not relevant for the Iron-Age Levant, and the subject matters of this talk simply are the characteristics of the processes that generated and circulated things, practices, values, and shared perceptions in the Southern Levant – and also the conditions that helped building these characteristics.

In the academic world, however, there is one additional, and more specific, level of reference for the phrase cultural production: it remains associated to the works of the French social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu and in particular to his book The Field of Cultural Production. Bourdieu developed certain theories on the distribution of power that manifests itself in cultural production and products, power relations and attitudes that becomes internalised in individuals as habitus and may be decoded by analysis of the cultural, social and financial capital of the field of production. In my exploration of the characteristics of  ancient Levantine cultural production, and the conditions under which it occurred, I am going to make use both of the everyday and the Bourdieusian aspects of the phrase.