Posts Tagged ‘culture’
The way in which the ruling ideas of a social system are related to structures of class, production and power, and how these are legitimated and perpetuated, is fundamental to the sociological project. In this second edition of this classic text, which includes a new introduction by Pierre Bourdieu, the authors develop an analysis of education (in its broadest sense, encompassing more than the process of formal education). They show how education carries an essentially arbitrary cultural scheme which is actually, though not in appearance, based on power. More widely, the reproduction of culture through education is shown to play a key part in the reproduction of the whole social system.
This volume explores the patterns and dynamics of the network society in its cultural and institutional diversity. By network society, we refer to the social structure that results from the interaction between social organization, social change, and a technological paradigm constituted around digital information and communication technologies. We start from a rejection of technological determinism, as technology cannot be considered independently of its social context. But we also emphasize the importance of technology as material culture by focusing on the specific social processes related to the emergence of this new technological paradigm. Thus, while several chapters focus on the social uses of the Internet, this is not a study of the Internet. Instead, observa- tion of the practices of the Internet is our entry point to understand the diffu- sion of networking as an organizational form and to examine the complex interaction between technology and society in our world. Using an historical parallel, the equivalent would be to study the diffusion and uses of the electri- cal engine and the electric grid to understand the development of industrial society.
This book is an attempt to answer two questions: “Why do psychologists find it so difficult to keep culture in mind?” and “If you are a psychologist who believes that culture is a fundamental constituent of human thought and action, what can you do that is scientifically acceptable?” The answer to the first question involves an excursion into the history of psychology, exploring the way in which experimental science became divorced from the historical sciences. In addressing the second question, Michael Cole builds upon the “cultural-historical” school of Russian psychology and advocates a methodology based upon field studies. In an increasingly diverse society, the neglect of cultural differences or their banishment as “extraneous variables” should be troubling to psychologists, and Cole’s prescriptions for a new “cultural psychology” are most welcome. Culture is back in psychology. Michael Cole, one of the most significant contributors to this movement, gives a thoughtful synthesis of his three decades of theoretical and empirical research in this book. Though mild-mannered in his writing, Cole’s proposal amounts to nothing less than a radical restructuring of the entire discipline of psychology as a scientific enterprise. Whether one agrees with him or not, anyone interested in the culture–mind relation should read it cover to cover. In fact, any psychologist, basic or applied, will be richly rewarded by a close reading of it…Cole’s cultural psychology is an impressive achievement with a promising future.
This volume brings together articles from The Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition. The selected articles are important benchmarks in the recent history of research and theory on the cultural and contextual foundations of human development. The central theme of this discussion can be posed as a question: How shall we develop a psychology that takes as its starting point the actions of people participating in routine, culturally organized activities? The discussion is organized in terms of a set of overarching themes of importance to psychologists and other social scientists: The nature of context; experiments as contexts; culture-historical theories of culture, context, and development; the analysis of classroom settings as a social important context of development; the psychological analysis of activity in situ; and questions of power and discourse. This text will appeal to graduate students and professionals in psychology, anthropology, education, and child development.
Most previous research on human cognition has focused on problem-solving, and has confined its investigations to the laboratory. As a result, it has been difficult to account for complex mental processes and their place in culture and history. In this startling – indeed, disco in forting – study, Jean Lave moves the analysis of one particular form of cognitive activity, – arithmetic problem-solving – out of the laboratory into the domain of everyday life. In so doing, she shows how mathematics in the ‘real world’, like all thinking, is shaped by the dynamic encounter between the culturally endowed mind and its total context, a subtle interaction that shapes 1) Both tile human subject and the world within which it acts. The study is focused on mundane daily, activities, such as grocery shopping for ‘best buys’ in the supermarket, dieting, and so on. Innovative in its method, fascinating in its findings, the research is above all significant in its theoretical contributions. Have offers a cogent critique of conventional cognitive theory, turning for an alternative to recent social theory, and weaving a compelling synthesis from elements of culture theory, theories of practice, and Marxist discourse. The result is a new way of understanding human thought processes, a vision of cognition as the dialectic between persons-acting, and the settings in which their activity is constituted. The book will appeal to anthropologists, for its novel theory of the relation of cognition to culture and context; to cognitive scientists and educational theorists; and to the ‘plain folks’ who form its subject, and who will recognize themselves in it, a rare accomplishment in the modern social sciences.
Three-year-old Kwara’ae children in Oceania act as caregivers of their younger siblings, but in the UK, it is an offense to leave a child under age 14 ears without adult supervision. In the Efe community in Zaire, infants routinely use machetes with safety and some skill, although U.S. middle-class adults often do not trust young children with knives. What explains these marked differences in the capabilities of these children?
Until recently, traditional understandings of human development held that a child’s development is universal and that children have characteristics and skills that develop independently of cultural processes. Barbara Rogoff argues, however, that human development must be understood as a cultural process, not simply a biological or psychological one. Individuals develop as members of a community, and their development can only be fully understood by examining the practices and circumstances of their communities.
This paper seeks to outline and evaluate Pierre Bourdieu‘s work as it has appeared most recently in feminist studies and the field of gender and education. In particular, it suggests ways in which Bourdieu’s theoretical insights could be seen to more effectively contribute to cutting edge debates in both social theory and feminist thought regarding concepts such as agency, identity and domination. It also argues that a more creative and empirical engagement with the recent work of Bourdieu, alongside an interdisciplinary reading of more recent cultural and social theories of power, would be a fruitful way forward in advancing a feminist sociology of education. In the present historical moment and against the tide of postmodern and post-structuralist feminist accounts, Bourdieu is often read as a determinist who has little to offer contemporary feminist debates or who argues that masculine domination is too tightly woven to social practices of a given field. In short, this paper argues that such a view is not only a misreading of Bourdieu’s work on fundamental theoretical grounds, but fails to acknowledge the ways in which his more recent work on masculinity addresses both the cultural and social conditions underlying contemporary forms of symbolic domination. In short, the paper argues that Bourdieu’s theory offers an analytical breadth and range beyond the scope of anything that a normative, liberal account of masculine domination could provide.