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Idioculture is defined as “a system of knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, and customs shared by members of an interacting group to which members can refer and employ as the basis of further interaction” ( Fine 1979 : 734). Termed by Gary Alan Fine, idioculture respecifies the content of culture by focusing on the level of small groups and the social interactions therein. Developed before the sociology of culture gained popularity in the discipline and at a time in which macro, structural, political, and economic approaches were dominant and culture was seen as a vague, amorphous, fractured, “indescribable mist” ( Fine 1979 : 733), idioculture makes the culture concept useful by focusing on empirically observable group interactions as the locus of cultural creation. To reground culture in group interactions, Fine draws from the symbolic interactionist tradition and research on group dynamics. While the idioculture concept respecifies culture at the group level, it also identifies the process through which elements become a part of an idioculture. To become a part of an idioculture, an item must be Known, Useable, Functional, Appropriate, and Triggered (KUFAT). An item must be a part of a known pool of background information. If the item is not known by at least two group members, it cannot become a stable basis of ongoing interaction. Though the focus of idioculture is local, the “known” ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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