The relationship between everyday experience and culture - seen as a set of ideas, values, or symbolic codes - has challenged social scientists, especially anthropologists, for more than a century. In this volume, leading social scientists present and discuss recent conceptions of culture and explore their implications for understanding different aspects of subjective experience, social practice, and individual behavior. The focus of the volume is on the role of symbols and meaning in the development of mind, self, and emotion. The contributors examine such questions as what is the content of culture and how does it interact with cognitive, social, and emotional growth; how are ideas related to attitudes, feelings, and behavior; how are concepts and meanings historically transmitted. They also explore methodological and conceptual problems involved in the definition and study of meaning, and revisit the perennial problem of 'relativism' in light of recent advances in semantic analysis and in culture theory.
As a comprehensive and critical account of current knowledge and research in the field of culture theory, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience of anthropologists, psychologists, philosophers, historians, and linguists, as well as those interested in hermeneutics and a science of subjectivity.