center, periphery, community

A rather classical way to describe civilization and society is to use a center-periphery model. This is the “all roads lead to Paris” idea wherein Paris is understood to be the cultural, economic, and political center of the nation-state. Anything that happens in the periphery is understood to be happening in relation or reaction to the center, and it is only deemed “high culture” or “important” once it has reached and been accepted by the cultural elites in the center. Otherwise, it remains hidden and obscured in the world of “folk.”