An anthropologist compares three diverse societies in this groundbreaking, “unique and important” cultural study (The New York Times). A remarkable introduction to cultural studies, Patterns of Culture made history in exploring the role of culture in shaping our lives. In it, the renowned anthropologist Ruth Benedict offers an in-depth look at three societies—the Zuñi of the southwestern United States, the Kwakiutl of western Canada, and the Dobuans of Melanesia—and demonstrates the diversity of behaviors in them. Benedict’s groundbreaking study shows that a unique configuration of traits defines each human culture and she examines the relationship between culture and the individual. Featuring prefatory remarks by Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, and Louise Lamphere, who calls it “a foundational text in teaching us the value of diversity,” this provocative work ultimately explores what it means to be human. “That today the modern world is on such easy terms with the concept of culture . . . is in very great part due to this book.” —Margaret Mead
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
Dan Rose draws on the fact and metaphor of colonization to demonstrate that the central motive in the contemporary United States has been—and continues to be—the corporate form. The author contents that the purpose of the corporate structures underlying American life is to create new resources, new products, new landscapes, new ideas, and new markets. Through written rules and unwritten customs, these corporations determine who we are and what we can do.
How does culture shape our thinking? In what ways do our social and cultural worlds enter into our mental worlds? How do the communities we belong to influence what we notice and what we ignore? What cultural variation do we see in cognition? What general patterns do we see across this diversity and variation? In this lively and engaging book, Wayne H. Brekhus shows us the many ways that culture influences our cognitive thought processes. Drawing on a wide range of fascinating examples, such as how members of different subcultures perceive danger and safety, how cultures variably classify and perceptually weight race, how social actors use and present identity as a strategic resource, and how people across different organizational settings experience time, Brekhus takes us on a creative, diverse, and insightful tour of the sociocultural character of cognition. Culture and Cognition: Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality offers an invaluable survey of a wide-ranging body of research in the sociology of culture and cognition that will be an inviting resource for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and established research scholars alike.
"Archaeological data are uniquely suited to testing models of cultural evolution. This volume provides an excellent summary of the state of the art in this new field."--Robert Boyd, coauthor of "Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution"
A Study of Contemporary Cultural Patterns in the United States
Author: Judith R. Blau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Social Science
This book systematically examines prevailing cultural patterns in contemporary American society. Using information on several thousands of cultural organizations, including opera and chamber music companies as well as cinemas and live rock concerts, Professor Blau examines the geography of culture, the changing demands for culture, the interdependencies among cultural organizations of different kinds, the nature of labor markets for artists, and the effects of arts subsidies on nonprofit cultural establishments over a ten year period.
Demonstrating how practitioners in the emerging field of "cultural epidemiology" describe human health, communicate with diverse audiences, and intervene to improve health and prevent disease, this book uses textual and statistical portraits of disease to describe interdisciplinary collaborations. Interpreting epidemiology as a cultural practice helps to reveal the ways in which measurement, causal thinking, and intervention design are influenced by belief, habit, and theories of power.
In recent decades, historians and social theorists have given much thought to the concept of "culture," its origins in Western thought, and its usefulness for social analysis. In this book, Susan Hegeman focuses on the term's history in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. She shows how, during this period, the term "culture" changed from being a technical term associated primarily with anthropology into a term of popular usage. She shows the connections between this movement of "culture" into the mainstream and the emergence of a distinctive "American culture," with its own patterns, values, and beliefs. Hegeman points to the significant similarities between the conceptions of culture produced by anthropologists Franz Boas, Edward Sapir, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead, and a diversity of other intellectuals, including Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Dwight Macdonald. Hegeman reveals how relativist anthropological ideas of human culture--which stressed the distance between modern centers and "primitive" peripheries--came into alliance with the evaluating judgments of artists and critics. This anthropological conception provided a spatial awareness that helped develop the notion of a specifically American "culture." She also shows the connections between this new view of "culture" and the artistic work of the period by, among others, Sherwood Anderson, Jean Toomer, Thomas Hart Benton, Nathanael West, and James Agee and depicts in a new way the richness and complexity of the modernist milieu in the United States.
Metaphor, Culture, and the Making of a Religious Concept
Author: Joseph Lam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sin, often defined as a violation of divine will, remains a crucial idea in contemporary moral and religious discourse. However, the apparent familiarity of the concept obscures its origins within the history of Western religious thought. Joseph Lam examines a watershed moment in the development of sin as an idea-namely, within the language and culture of ancient Israel-by examining the primary metaphors used for sin in the Hebrew Bible. Drawing from contemporary theoretical insights coming out of linguistics and philosophy of language, this book identifies four patterns of metaphor that pervade the biblical texts: sin as burden, sin as an account, sin as path or direction, and sin as stain or impurity. In exploring the permutations of these metaphors and their development within the biblical corpus, Patterns of Sin in the Hebrew Bible offers a compelling account of how a religious and theological concept emerges out of the everyday thought-world of ancient Israel, while breaking new ground in its approach to metaphor in ancient texts. Far from being a timeless, stable concept, sin becomes intelligible only when situated in the matrix of ancient Israelite culture. In other words, sin is not as simple as it might seem.