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Patterns of Culture

According to Ruth Benedict the integration in a culture is brought about by its content being arranged into a permanent or semi permanent design or style. Such a design she called pattern.

Within a culture there would be the style of each large segment and these segmental styles would come together into super style which would be the design of the culture as a whole. This is called the configuration.

All styles are harmonious with each other and blend into a harmonious configuration. This harmony arises out of a main tendency or trend which every culture exhibits in all its aspects. This main tendency or trend is the genius of a culture. It is this genius or spirit of a people which brings about integration in their culture, the integration of form. In human society this genius may be one of the two possible types – the Apollonian or the Dionysian. Apollonian is derived from Apollo the sun God of the ancient Greeks and Dionysian is derived from Dionysius, the turbulent Greek God of drink and carnivals. The Apollonian genius represents the principle of calm composure and the same would characterise all aspects of the culture concerned and bring about its integration. The Dionysian genius represents the principle of storm and would bring about integration and harmonious blending of a culture by pervading all its aspects.