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Kulturbrille

Category
Culture
Kulturbrille

Definition

Recognizing the phenomenon that all of us see the world through our own tinted lenses which we are largely ignorant in our wearing of them. To those with similar lenses (cultures), we have a sense of familiarity and safety, while with others we feel detached and afraid.

Origin

From the German Kultur ("culture") and Brille ("glasses" or "spectacles"), coined by the anthropologist Franz Boas as a reminder to help prevent making normative observations about cultures and practices they encountered (source).

Everyday Use

The framing that we can't see are by definition the most difficult to recognize. These are the types of challenges that we can almost never tackle head-on — we have to come at them from an angle. Whether it's recognizing that we come from a place of privilege, or of unquestioned perspective, or psychologically we accept that the narrator in our head is telling the story accurately (particularly when it brings shame and embarrassment) — these are the lenses we have to acknowledge, reckon with, and even remove.