demarcation

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Culture" is to be understood as a relational demarcator whose usage is an inscription of differential positions and hierarchical identities--a tractable device which can be used to demarcate whatever a particular set of interests dictates should be set apart from something else; included or excluded from the rest.
Deployed as a synonym for race, the traditional demarcator for difference in US society, and ethnicity, the sophisticated multifarious variant of "race," "culture" functions in this discourse as a referential demarcator measuring the distance these Others stand in relation to the Caucasian mainstream, inscribed in its turn as the "culture-free" norm.