文章摘要
罗康隆,何治民.论民族生境与民族文化建构[J].民族学刊,2019,10(5):14-23, 99-100
论民族生境与民族文化建构
On Ethnic Habitat and the Construction of Ethnic Culture
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.05.02
中文关键词: 民族生境  自然生境  社会生境  文化建构
英文关键词: ethnic habitat  natural habitat  social habitat  cultural construction
基金项目:
作者单位
罗康隆 吉首大学历史与文化学院 
何治民 吉首大学人类学与民族学研究所 
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中文摘要:
      民族学经过一个多世纪的探索,逐步地达成了一个共识,建构一种文化并不是一件轻而易举的事情。文化是指导人类生存发展延续的信息系统,文化的建构是以所处自然生态系统为底本,以并存的社会生态系统为参照,文化这一信息系统不断偏离与回归所处自然生态系统与社会生态系统,在世代延续过程中逐步认知、积累其成败的经验与教训,并在传承的过程中不断地完善和丰富起来。民族以文化为分野,不同民族所处自然环境与社会环境互有差异,这就形成了民族生境的差异性,而民族生境的差异性也同样会建构出不同民族文化事实体系的差异性来。
英文摘要:
      Through more than a century of exploration, ethnology has gradually reached a consensus that it is not easy to construct a culture. Culture is the information system that guides the survival, development and continuation of human beings. The construction of culture is based on the corresponding natural ecological system and takes the coexisting social ecological system as its reference. The information system of culture is constantly deviating from and returning to its natural and social ecosystems. In the process of continuation, culture gradually recognizes and accumulates the experiences or lessons of successes and/or failures, and constantly improves and enriches itself in the process of transmission. Ethnic groups are defined by their culture. The differences in the natural and social environment of ethnic groups form the differences in ethnic habitats, and the differences in ethnic habitats also constructs different ethnic “cultural fact systems”. The understanding to the word “habitat” in the field of ethnology has undergone a constant process of enrichment and improvement. The early ethnographers understood the habitat of a specific ethnic group only as a pure natural environment. With the deepening of ethnological research, people gradually realized that the external natural environment of an ethnic group is not a purely objective natural space, but is the result of human processing and transformation. And, as the natural ecological system is processed and transformed it becomes social. It is through a specific ethnic culture that an artificial system is modeled, and we call such artificial systems the social habitat of a specific ethnic group. In this way, the habitat of an ethnic group consists of two parts, natural and social, and only the combination of the two results in the complete habitat of the ethnic group. Thus, the habitat of an ethnic group is a combination of its natural and social habitats. Therefore, we use the concept of “ethnic habitat” to bridge the previous situation in which ethnographers split “culture” and “environment” into two parts, and do our investigation by integrating them into a whole. The habitat of an ethnic group must have the following three characteristics: Firstly, the habitat of an ethnic group has social aspects. An ethnic group does not make full use of their objective external environment, but selectively makes use of the parts that are easy to use under the guidelines of culture according to the needs of their own development. This is the cultural strategy of a specific ethnic group. Secondly, the habitat of an ethnic group has specific cultural aspects. If we consider that the external environment that has a relationship with a particular ethnic group is no longer a purely objective external world, but is one that reveals traces of the group’s cultural selections, coping mechanisms, the way the group processes and sorts out, as well as divulges the unique living space which is coordinated and systematized by the group, then we know that such living spaces are not only the product of the society, but also reflect the needs of the society. They are closely integrated with the society and become an organic part of the ethnic society. Thirdly, the ethnic habitat is characterized by being systematic. As the result of the cultural rules which influence ethnic habitat, the relationship between the ethnic group and those elements in its external environment will inevitably manifest a hierarchical difference. Ethnic groups in different habitats will create their own cultural facts. Members of the same ethnic group select, cope with and utilize their habitats on the basis of their culture in order to create all living conditions necessary for all members to maintain the continuation and development of the ethnic group. Thus, habitat, culture and ethnic group form a chain. Within this chain, culture is the key element. The natural habitat is not only the element that provides the support or survival of a specific culture, but it is also the object that both processes the culture and a factor that restricts the specific ethnic culture. From the very beginning, the construction of an ethnic culture is based upon the natural habitat on which it relies. The diversity of natural habitats found on the earth essentially determines the diversity of the livelihoods of people living in different parts of the earth. The diversity of human culture is not only the result of man’s response to natural habitat, but it is also the product created from man’s subjective agency. In the process of constructing the ethnic culture, the restrictions of the social habitat on placed on the construction of the ethnic culture construction is more direct if compared with natural habitat, and it furthermore lacks stability. The pace of change of the social environment is much faster than that of the natural habitat. The social habitat of an ethnic group can be very different within a few decades, and it is difficult to find a social habitat which shows no change for hundreds of years. So, the impact of social habitat on a particular ethnic group is not only more direct, but also profound. However, such influences will not disturb the structure of the inherent culture of a specific group. This is because in any “cultural fact system” of an ethnic group, the corresponding cultural factors have to survive within the network of other cultural factors, and the result of such influences can be shown as the recombination and reconstruction of the cultural factors of the group. Through the reconstruction by the culture of this ethnic group, it has been integrated into the inherent “cultural facts system”. This has led to reforming cultural elements within the cultural network of the ethnic group in response to new social habitats. Its ultimate goal is to construct a more effective “cultural fact system” in order to deal with its own habitat more effectively.
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