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Culture in Mind : Cognition, Culture, and the Problem of Meaning - Bradd Shore

Culture in Mind

Cognition, Culture, and the Problem of Meaning

Paperback

Published: 1st February 1999
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Despite the recognized importance of cultural diversity in understanding the modern world, the emerging science of cognitive psychology has relied far more on experimental psychology, neurobiology, and computer science than on cultural anthropology for its models of how we think. In this exciting new book, anthropologist Bradd Shore has created the first study linking multi-culturalism to cognitive psychology, exploring the complex relationship between culture in public institutions and in mental representations. In so doing, he answers in a completely new way the age old question of whether humans are basically the same psychologically, independent of cultures, or basically diverse because of cultural differences. The first half of the book emphasizes cultural models, from Australian Aboriginal rituals and Samoan comedy skits, to more familiar terrain, including a study of baseball as a cultural model for Americans. Along the way, the author sheds new and novel light on many familiar institutions, from educational curricula and shopping malls to modular furniture and cyberpunk fiction. These observations are then linked to theoretical developments in linguistics, semiotics, and neuroscience, creating a bold new approach to understanding the role of culture in everyday meaning making. The author argues that culture must be considered an intrinsic component of the human mind to a degree that most psychologists and even many anthropologists have not recognized. This new position of cultural models will make absorbing reading for psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, and philosophers, and to anyone interested in the issues of cultural diversity, multiculturalism, or cognitive science in general.

"A book of remarkable power and breadth, Culture in Mind addresses questions at the core of anthropological theory, and gives us a set of concepts and models we can really work with. Clearly argued and captivatingly developed through subtle analyses of ethnographic materials, the book resolves the old paradoxes of shared culture and motivated personal knowledge to build an account of meaning and cognition that will revitalize cultural anthropology."--Fredrik Barth "A book of remarkable power and breadth, Culture in Mind addresses questions at the core of anthropological theory, and gives us a set of concepts and models we can really work with. Clearly argued and captivatingly developed through subtle analyses of ethnographic materials, the book resolves the old paradoxes of shared culture and motivated personal knowledge to build an account of meaning and cognition that will revitalize cultural anthropology."--Fredrik Barth "In this important book, Shore argues that the dichotomy between the cultural and the physical is false....Academic and research libraries with anthropology collections will consider this a necessary purchase." --Library Journal From the Foreword by Jerome Bruner: "The historical separation of anthropology and psychology, whatever may have caused it, must surely be counted as one of the most stunting developments in the history of the human sciences. . .Culture in Mind must be counted as a major event in the reopening of the frontier between the two disciplines. . .You may not agree with Bradd Shore's premises in detail, or you may even see their broad outlines somewhat differently. But what is plain as day is that our ways of life as students of humankind will be changed by what he has to say." "Culture in Mind is an extraordinarily important book. The schism that Shore cites between the study of mind and the study of culture is all too real and unfortunate for the whole range of cognitive and social sciences. Until I read Shore's introduction, I had no idea why the schism existed. Now that I know, it all seems all the more unfortunate. Shore's book couldn't be more timely. . .I am delighted that this book has been completed." --George Lakoff, University of California, Berkeley "By covering a wide range of material, both theoretical and ethnographic (with examples drawn from American life, Samoa, Australia, and elsewhere), Shore brings a new angle and new passion to major topics. The result will be suggestive to advanced researchers, and both clear and exciting to upper-division undergraduates." --Choice "In following Shore's stimulating presentation, the reader will be led through an informative history of anthropology's century-long struggle with the question of whether there is a common human nature or instead countless varieties of human kind."--Science Books & Films

PART I: The Problem of Culture in Mind 1: The Psychic Unity Muddle 2: Rethinking Culture as Models PART II: The Cognitive Landscape of Modernity 3: Mind Games: Cognitive Baseball 4: Playing With Rules: Sport at the Borderlands of Time and Space 5: Interior Furnishings: Scenes from an American Foundational Schema 6: Technologic Trends: The Neuromatic Frame of Mind PART III: Rethinking "Primitive Classification" 7: Totem as Practically Reason: Rationality Reconsidered 8: Kwakiutl Animal Symbolism: Food for Thought PART IV: Dreamtime Learning 9: Dreamtime Learning, Inside-Out: The Narrative of the Wawilak Sisters 10: Dreamtime Learning, Outside-In: Murngin Age-Grading Rituals PART V: The Problem of Multiple Models 11: Tropic Landscapes: Alternative Spatial Models in Samoan Culture 12: When Models Collide: Cultural Origins of Ambivalence PART VI: Culture in Mind 13: Culture and the Problem of Meaning 14: Analogical Transfer and the Work of Culture

ISBN: 9780195126624
ISBN-10: 0195126629
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 1st February 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 15.57  x 2.62
Weight (kg): 0.6