Social Mindscapes

An Invitation to Cognitive Sociology

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674045439

Category: Psychology

Page: 176

View: 8992

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Why do we eat sardines, but never goldfish; ducks, but never parrots? Why does adding cheese make a hamburger a "cheeseburger" whereas adding ketchup does not make it a "ketchupburger"? By the same token, how do we determine which things said at a meeting should be included in the minutes and which ought to be considered "off the record" and officially disregarded? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Eviatar Zerubavel argues that cognitive science cannot answer these questions, since it addresses cognition on only two levels: the individual and the universal. To fill the gap between the Romantic vision of the solitary thinker whose thoughts are the product of unique experience, and the cognitive-psychological view, which revolves around the search for the universal foundations of human cognition, Zerubavel charts an expansive social realm of mind--a domain that focuses on the conventional, normative aspects of the way we think. With witty anecdote and revealing analogy, Zerubavel illuminates the social foundation of mental actions such as perceiving, attending, classifying, remembering, assigning meaning, and reckoning the time. What takes place inside our heads, he reminds us, is deeply affected by our social environments, which are typically groups that are larger than the individual yet considerably smaller than the human race. Thus, we develop a nonuniversal software for thinking as Americans or Chinese, lawyers or teachers, Catholics or Jews, Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers. Zerubavel explores the fascinating ways in which thought communities carve up and classify reality, assign meanings, and perceive things, "defamiliarizing" in the process many taken-for-granted assumptions.
Release

Time Maps

Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226924904

Category: Social Science

Page: 194

View: 2007

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The pioneering sociologist and author of The Seven Day Circle continues his analysis of time with this fascinating look at history as social construct. Who were the first people to inhabit North America? Does the West Bank belong to the Arabs or the Jews? Why are racists so obsessed with origins? Is a seventh cousin still a cousin? Why do some societies name their children after dead ancestors? As Eviatar Zerubavel demonstrates in Time Maps, we cannot answer burning questions such as these without a deeper understanding of how we envision the past. In a pioneering attempt to map the structure of collective memory, Zerubavel considers the cognitive patterns we use to organize the past and the social grammar of conflicting interpretations of history. Drawing on fascinating examples that range from Hiroshima to the Holocaust, and from ancient Egypt to the former Yugoslavia, Zerubavel shows how we construct historical origins; how we tie discontinuous events together into stories; how we link families and entire nations through genealogies; and how we separate distinct historical periods from one another through watersheds, such as the invention of fire or the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Time Maps extends beyond all of the old clichés about linear, circular, and spiral patterns of historical process and provides us with models of the actual legends used to map history…brilliant and elegant."-Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz
Release

After Bourdieu

Influence, Critique, Elaboration

Author: David L. Swartz,Vera L. Zolberg

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781402025884

Category: Social Science

Page: 371

View: 3018

DOWNLOAD NOW »

critical evaluations of his work, notably papers by Rodney Benson, 4 Rogers Brubaker, Nick Crossley, and John Myles. Indeed, it is the 1985 article by Rogers Brubaker that can truly be said to have served as one of the best introductions to Bourdieu’s thought for the American social scienti?c public. It is for this reason that we include it in the present collection. Intellectual origins & orientations We begin by providing an overview of Bourdieu’s life as a scholar and a public intellectual. The numerous obituaries and memorial tributes that have appeared following Bourdieu’s untimely death have revealed something of his life and career, but few have stressed the intersection of his social origins, career trajectory, and public intellectual life with the changing political and social context of France. This is precisely what David Swartz’s “In memoriam” attempts to accomplish. In it he emphasizes the coincidence of Bourdieu’s young and later adulthood with the period of decolonization, the May 1968 French university crisis, the opening up of France to privatization of many domains previously entrusted to the state (l’état providence), and, most threatening to post-World War II reforms, the emergence of globalization as the hegemonic structure of the 21st century. An orienting theme throughout Bourdieu’s work warns against the partial and fractured views of social reality generated by the fundamental subject/object dichotomy that has plagued social science from its very beginning.
Release

The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology

Author: Wayne H. Brekhus,Gabe Ignatow

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190945486

Category: Social Science

Page: 712

View: 6221

DOWNLOAD NOW »

In recent years there has been a growing interest in cognition within sociology and other social sciences. Within sociology this interest cuts across various topical subfields, including culture, social psychology, religion, race, and identity. Scholars within the new subfield of cognitive sociology, also referred to as the sociology of culture and cognition, are contributing to a rapidly developing body of work on how mental and social phenomena are interrelated and often interdependent. In The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology, Wayne H. Brekhus and Gabe Igantow have gathered some of the most influential scholars working in cognitive sociology to present an accessible introduction to key research areas in a diverse field. While classical sociological and newer interdisciplinary approaches have been covered separately by scholars in the past, this volume alternatively presents a broad range of cognitive sociological perspectives. The contributors discuss a range of approaches for theorizing and analyzing the "social mind," including macro-cultural approaches, interactionist approaches, and research that draws on Pierre Bourdieu's major concepts. Each chapter further investigates a variety of cognitive processes within these three approaches, such as attention and inattention, perception, automatic and deliberate cognition, cognition and social action, stereotypes, categorization, classification, judgment, symbolic boundaries, meaning-making, metaphor, embodied cognition, morality and religion, identity construction, time sequencing, and memory. A comprehensive look at cognitive sociology's main contributions and the central debates within the field, the Handbook will serve as a primary resource for social researchers, faculty, and students interested in how cognitive sociology can contribute to research within their substantive areas of focus.
Release

Culture and Cognition

Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality

Author: Wayne H. Brekhus

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745698220

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 3662

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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.
Release

The Elephant in the Room

Silence and Denial in Everyday Life

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199884846

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 8180

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The fable of the Emperor's New Clothes is a classic example of a conspiracy of silence, a situation where everyone refuses to acknowledge an obvious truth. But the denial of social realities--whether incest, alcoholism, corruption, or even genocide-is no fairy tale. In The Elephant in the Room, Eviatar Zerubavel sheds new light on the social and political underpinnings of silence and denial-the keeping of "open secrets." The author shows that conspiracies of silence exist at every level of society, ranging from small groups to large corporations, from personal friendships to politics. Zerubavel shows how such conspiracies evolve, illuminating the social pressures that cause people to deny what is right before their eyes. We see how each conspirator's denial is symbiotically complemented by the others', and we learn that silence is usually more intense when there are more people conspiring-and especially when there are significant power differences among them. He concludes by showing that the longer we ignore "elephants," the larger they loom in our minds, as each avoidance triggers an even greater spiral of denial. Drawing on examples from newspapers and comedy shows to novels, children's stories, and film, the book travels back and forth across different levels of social life, and from everyday moments to large-scale historical events. At its core, The Elephant in the Room helps us understand why we ignore truths that are known to all of us.
Release

Hidden in Plain Sight

The Social Structure of Irrelevance

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199366632

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 9181

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Many of us take for granted that what we perceive is a completely accurate representation of the world around us. Yet we have all had the experience of suddenly realizing that the keys or glasses that we had been looking for in vain were right in front of us the whole time. The capacity of our sense organs far exceeds our mental capabilities, and as such, looking at something does not guarantee that we will notice it. Our minds constantly prioritize and organize the information we take in, bringing certain things to the foreground, while letting others - that which we deem irrelevant - recede into the background. What ultimately determines what we perceive, and what we do not? In this fascinating book, noted sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel argues that we perceive things not just as human beings but as social beings. Drawing on fascinating examples from science, the art world, optical illusions, and all walks of life, he shows that what we notice or ignore varies across cultures and throughout history, and illustrates how our environment and our social lives - everything from our lifestyles to our professions to our nationalities - play a role in determining how we actually use our senses to access the world. A subtle yet powerful examination of one of the central features of our conscious life, this book offers a way to think about all that might otherwise remain hidden in plain sight.
Release

Ancestors and Relatives

Genealogy, Identity, and Community

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0199773955

Category: Reference

Page: 226

View: 8421

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Noted social scientist Eviatar Zerubavel casts a critical eye on how we trace our past-individually and collectively arguing that rather than simply find out who our ancestors are from genetics or history, we actually create the stories that make them our ancestors.
Release

The Clockwork Muse

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674744292

Category: Reference

Page: 123

View: 1052

DOWNLOAD NOW »

For anyone who has blanched at the uphill prospect of finishing a long piece of writing, this book holds out something more practical than hope: it offers a plan. The Clockwork Muse is designed to help prospective authors develop a workable timetable for completing long and often formidable projects.
Release

Taken for Granted

The Remarkable Power of the Unremarkable

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691202435

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 2646

DOWNLOAD NOW »

How the words we use—and don't use—reinforce dominant cultural norms Why is the term "openly gay" so widely used but "openly straight" is not? What are the unspoken assumptions behind terms like "male nurse," "working mom," and "white trash"? Taken for Granted exposes the subtly encoded ways we talk about topics like race, gender, sexuality, and social status, offering a provocative look at the word choices we make every day without even realizing it. Eviatar Zerubavel describes how the words we use provide telling clues about the things we take for granted. By marking "women’s history" or "Black History Month," we are also reinforcing the apparent normality of the history of white men. Zerubavel shows how this tacit normalizing of certain identities, practices, and ideas helps to maintain their cultural dominance—and shape what we take for granted.
Release