To Marion Brady:
You reminded me of a project I worked on in 1974. Through Alvin Toffler,
we had a task to draft a set of junior-high textbooks on "world cultures".
The intention was to teach a model quite similar to yours, and use it to
understand four cultures. Toffler's part of the job was to add the time
dimension, a synchronic model. A textbook scare arose and the publisher
cancelled the job. Evidently the publisher or its critics figured that a
model that allows students to understand a culture on its own terms, and
find reasons for the way things are, implies relativism, and we can't have
that in the schools. If foreign cultures are to be dealt with at all, the
proper method is to decontextualize items, apply our own standards, and
don't examine the system of standards. That's not what you'd call an
education in systems thinking or hermeneutics.