Culture in Mind: Cognition, Culture, and the Problem of Meaning

Paperback | October 1, 1998

byBradd Shore

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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 thisexciting 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 questionof 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 ofbaseball 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 notrecognized. 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.

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From the Publisher

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 thisexciting new book, anthropologist Bradd Shore ha...

Bradd Shore is at Emory University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 1.1 inPublished:October 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126629

ISBN - 13:9780195126624

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Table of Contents

PART I: The Problem of Culture in Mind1. The Psychic Unity Muddle2. Rethinking Culture as ModelsPART II: The Cognitive Landscape of Modernity3. Mind Games: Cognitive Baseball4. Playing With Rules: Sport at the Borderlands of Time and Space5. Interior Furnishings: Scenes from an American Foundational Schema6. Technologic Trends: The Neuromatic Frame of MindPART III: Rethinking "Primitive Classification"7. Totem as Practically Reason: Rationality Reconsidered8. Kwakiutl Animal Symbolism: Food for ThoughtPART IV: Dreamtime Learning9. Dreamtime Learning, Inside-Out: The Narrative of the Wawilak Sisters10. Dreamtime Learning, Outside-In: Murngin Age-Grading RitualsPART V: The Problem of Multiple Models11. Tropic Landscapes: Alternative Spatial Models in Samoan Culture12. When Models Collide: Cultural Origins of AmbivalencePART VI: Culture in Mind13. Culture and the Problem of Meaning14. Analogical Transfer and the Work of Culture

Editorial Reviews

"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 and Films