Relationship Thinking: Agency, Enchrony, and Human Sociality by N. J. Enfield

Relationship Thinking: Agency, Enchrony, and Human Sociality

byN. J. Enfield

Hardcover | December 10, 2013

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In Relationship Thinking, N. J. Enfield outlines a framework for analyzing social interaction and its linguistic, cultural, and cognitive underpinnings by focusing on human relationships. This is a naturalistic approach to human sociality, grounded in the systematic study of real-time datafrom social interaction in everyday life. Many of the illustrative examples and analyses in the book are a result of the author's long-term field work in Laos. Enfield promotes an interdisciplinary approach to studying language, culture, and mind, building on simple but powerful semiotic principles and concentrating on three points of conceptual focus. The first is human agency: the combination of flexibility and accountability, which defines ourpossibilities for social action and relationships, and which makes the fission and fusion of social units possible. The second is enchrony: the timescale of conversation in which our social relationships are primarily enacted. The third is human sociality: a range of human propensities for socialinteraction and enduring social relations, grounded in collective commitment to shared norms. Enfield's approach cuts through common dichotomies such as "cognitive" versus "behaviorist", or "public" versus "private", arguing instead that these are indispensable sides of single phenomena. The result is a set of conceptual tools for analyzing real-time social interaction and linking it withenduring relationships and their social contexts. The book shows that even - or perhaps especially - the most mundane social interactions yield rich insights into language, culture, and mind.

About The Author

N. J. Enfield was trained in Asian Studies and Linguistics at the Australian National University (ANU) and Melbourne University, before joining the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 2000. His research on language, culture, cognition, and social interaction has...
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Title:Relationship Thinking: Agency, Enchrony, and Human SocialityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:December 10, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199338736

ISBN - 13:9780199338733

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Relationships1.1 The data of relationships1.2 Context1.3 Relationship thinking1.4 Enacting relationships and relationship types1.5 Relationship-grounded society2. Sociality2.1 Human social intelligence2.2 Social motivations2.3 Tools for assessment and management2.4 Semiotic process2.5 Norms and heuristics2.6 Communication as tool use2.7 Two primitive imperatives for communication3. Enchrony3.1 Enchrony and its scope3.2 Causal frames for understanding meaning3.3 Normative organization4. Semiosis4.1 Anatomy of the semiotic process4.2 Flexibility in semiotic processes4.3 Inference as a semiotic process4.4 Cultural epidemiology as a semiotic process4.5 Elements of the semiotic process and their possibilities4.6 Payoffs of this framework4.7 The Saussurean sign: a convenient untruth4.8 A frame-content dynamic4.9 Meaning as a public process5. Status5.1 Status predicts and explains behavior5.2 Entitlements, commitments, enablements5.3 Relationships as statuses6. Moves6.1 Moves are composite signs6.2 Composite utterances are interpreted as wholes6.3 Turn-taking: moves in linguistic clothing6.4 The move as a privileged level of semiosis7. Cognition7.1 Behavior-reading7.2 Cognition and language7.3 Psychology as interpretative heuristic7.4 Fear of cognition?8. Action8.1 Natural action versus social action8.2 Courses of action8.3 Speech acts and actions-en8.4 Categories of action-en?8.5 A composite notion of actions-en8.6 Ontology of actions-en8.7 A generative account of action-en9. Agency9.1 Flexibility and accountability9.2 Agent unity heuristic9.3 Joint agency9.4 Distributed agency10. Asymmetry10.1 Propositions and the relativity of knowledge10.2 Epistemic Authority10.3 Distribution of agency in practice10.4 Sources of Asymmetry10.5 Our imperfect communication system11. Culture11.1 Cultural systems11.2 The Kri house as a system context for social relations11.3 Ritual in communication11.4 Kri residence11.5 Practical interpretation of the Kri residence: to follow a norm11.6 Spatial distribution and diagrammatic iconicity11.7 Sanction of norms: making the tacit explicit11.8 Everyday ritual and social relations12. Grammar12.1 Language as a system12.2 Syntagmatic relations: grammar for turns12.3 Paradigmatic relations in linguistic grammars12.4 Markedness: special effects of choice within a system12.5 The Lao system of person reference12.6 Default reference to persons in Lao12.7 Pragmatically marked initial references12.8 Grammar expresses social relations under the radar13. Knowledge13.1 Common ground13.2 Sources of common ground13.3 Fuel for Gricean amplicative inference13.4 Grounding for inferring13.5 Audience design13.6 Affiliation and information13.7 From information to social relationsConclusionReferencesIndex