3 Societal culture
Culture, in the sense we are using it here, is an anthropological term that, in essence, defines the individuality or uniqueness of a society, organisation or social group. It is to be distinguished from the common western usage of the term, in which a ‘cultured’ person is well-educated and knowledgeable about the arts, literature, music, and history, and (perhaps slightly less so) about science and geography.
The following activity will help you to focus on societal culture more closely.
Watch the video clip below, which is commenting on aspects of education in Singapore. As you watch, make notes on what it says about the societal culture in Singapore.
Transcript: Education in Singapore
Between the commentary and the interview with Clive Dimmock there are several points made about the societal culture. The overwhelming one is the centralisation of education policy, and the rules and regulations the school leaders are expected to follow. The point is made that the exact way that the rules are followed in a particular school is very much for the leader to decide, but nonetheless, as government employees, they are part of a very hierarchical system.