The Derivation Of Cultural Diversity

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  2. April 1, 2013 6:29 pm

The Derivation Of Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is derived from external meanings ascribed to the physical variations displayed through genetic traits. Processes of phenotypical variation convey information about environmental adaptation and gene flow. Visible variation occurs naturally in several ways.

Acclimatization is the most immediate source of physical variation, usually taking place at the individual level. This is short-term, and often reversible. Developmental adaptation is a slower, long-term process of physical variation, which can span days, years, and lifetimes. These often bring permanent, transmittable changes. The multilevel process of physical variation is genetic adaptation, which is a macro-generational, irreversible sequence of evolution. While acclimatization and developmental adaptation influence individuals and groups, genetic adaptation typically affects populations.

Globally, the levels of diversity between all cultures are staggering. As a product of personal enculturation processes, individuals become overly accustomed to the established rules and standards of their own society. Anthropology often seeks the underlying universality of all societies. Whether the existence of diversity pertains to spoken languages, religious beliefs or entire societal constructs, there is still a core principle of functionality within all cultures. Attributions of value occur solely within the individuated parameters of each society.

Race is a primary example of physicality becoming superimposed with unconnected societal meanings. The concept of race is a cultural construct, as opposed to an objectively immutable trait. Although initially institutionalized as science, it has since been discredited. The 19th century originated countless inane theories on the topic, including anthropometry and various absurd classification systems. There was never scientific consensus on the numerical value of races, and there is as much observable diversity within supposed races as there are between them. Physical traits associated with race are not singularly bounded or distinctly determined; instead, these characteristics consist of a combination of polygenic interactions and developmental differences. All humans are a result of genetic mixing, and no exact lines can ever be drawn between individuals of the same species.

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