By Claudia Strauss

ISBN-10: 052159409X

ISBN-13: 9780521594097

ISBN-10: 052159541X

ISBN-13: 9780521595414

"Culture" and "meaning" are crucial to anthropology, yet anthropologists don't agree on what they're. Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn suggest a brand new conception of cultural which means, one who provides precedence to the best way people's reviews are internalized. Drawing on "connectionist" or "neural community" types in addition to different mental theories, they argue that cultural meanings should not mounted or restricted to static teams, yet neither are they continually revised or contested. Their process is illustrated through unique study on understandings of marriage and concepts of luck within the usa.

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In a well-known case study, Clifford presents this point of view clearly for the Mashpee Indians: Metaphors of continuity and "survival" do not account for complex historical processes of appropriation, compromise, subversion, masking, invention, and revival. " The Indians at Mashpee made and remade themselves through specific alliances, negotiations, and struggles. " (1988a:338-9) He makes the same point more generally for everyone's culture: "Culture is contested, temporal, and emergent" (1986:19).

According to these critics, whatever the motivation for earlier cultural research, it tended to support Western European imperial projects by painting images of people who were stuck in the past and needed outside assistance to become "unstuck" (Rosaldo 1986). Yet, as James Clifford argues in a critique of Edward Said's Orientalism while we should reject past descriptions of culture as static coherent wholes, it does not follow that we should ban cultural descriptions. 22 It is true that all representations are partial (we can never tell the whole truth), but it does not follow that all representations are false (that we are not telling part of the truth).

She takes even Lutz to task for implying that the Ifaluk have selves who use words in certain typical ways (Kondo 1990:40-1). Kondo's own Japanese study, however, goes on to do the same sorts of linguistic analyses and shows that while her neighbors and coworkers in Tokyo assumed people to be highly interdependent, they still could distinguish self from other and inner thoughtfeelings from the outer world. Consider the following summary of the lectures she and some coworkers heard at a company-sponsored outing to an "ethics center": The most relevant term in our discussion of the center's theories of selfhood .

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A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning (Publications of the Society for Psychological Anthropology) by Claudia Strauss


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