Incomplete Sharing and Cultural "Explanations"
The fact that there are demonstrated limits on the sharing of culture in this community's most closely associated group, the nuclear family, provides a well-marked opportunity to study culture's functioning with the invocation of "shared beliefs and values" clearly an insufficient explanation of what is observed. The basis for such an invocation has been removed by a series of studies showing culture's elements to be only partially shared (see Roberts 1951; Wallace 1970; Schwartz 1978; Willis 1972; Pelto and Pelto 1975; Swartz 1982; D'Andrade n.d.; Holland 1987a ; and others). How culture works despite its incomplete sharing, including incomplete sharing within statuses, is only beginning to be investigated (e.g., Gearing 1976a and 1976b and Holland 1987b , for a mainly cognitive approach).
Even if culture were fully shared by everyone or, at least, fully shared within particular status groupings, the nature of the relations among its parts and the sources of its effectiveness would still call for close study. The dynamics of culture, the processes whereby it guides the behavior of individuals and serves as a foundation for social relations, have never received much attention beyond broad characterizations such as their being controlled by evolution, diffusion, or environmental adaptation.