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Download A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning (Publications of the by Claudia Strauss PDF

By Claudia Strauss

ISBN-10: 052159541X

ISBN-13: 9780521595414

"Culture" and "meaning" are vital to anthropology, yet anthropologists don't agree on what they're. Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn suggest a brand new thought of cultural that means, person who supplies precedence to the best way people's reports are internalized. Drawing on "connectionist" or "neural community" versions in addition to different mental theories, they argue that cultural meanings aren't fastened or restricted to static teams, yet neither are they consistently revised or contested. Their technique is illustrated by means of unique study on understandings of marriage and ideas of good fortune within the usa.

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33 This is not confused, just wrong, as much of the rest of this book will undertake to show. For the time being, an example Spiro (1993) gives from his fieldwork in Burma will help make this point. Spiro went to Burma to learn how a society functions when people believe the Theravada Buddhist doctrine of Anatta (no self), which can be described as follows: "Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the existence of such a Soul, Self, or Atman. " (Rahula 1959:51; quoted in Spiro 1993:119) After Spiro had spent a few months in Burma, however, he found that he 34 Background had to change hisfieldworkplans because the Burmese villagers he talked to had not internalized the doctrine ofAnatta.

Regard the subject/object dichotomy as a strange and contingent, if not violent, philosophical imposition" (1990:144; see also 1990:10). This is consistent with Foucault's claims that not only were new kinds of subjects, but also new kinds of ideas about individuals, created in the modern West. However, here we have to depart from the agreeable, both-sides-are-right stance we have taken so far in this chapter. This denial of the difference between the inner world of subjects and the outer world of objects goes too far; furthermore, the anthropological record does not support the idea that most people in the Anthropological resistance 29 world see no difference between persons (and their inner thoughts, feelings, and motives) and the world outside them.

Our more general point is that explaining Sherpa sibling rivalry requires a theory, whatever that theory proves to be, that addresses how people are socialized, the sorts of understandings and needs they gain as a result of this socialization, and the implications of this process for the way they go on to socialize their children. 17 Significantly, Ortner frames her 1990 paper in the terms provided in Geertz's early "Religion as a cultural system": The lines are being drawn in the debate over the role of culture in history.

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