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Culture in Minds and Societies
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Culture in Minds and Societies
Foundations of Cultural Psychology


July 2007 | 434 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Culture in Minds and Societies: Foundations of Cultural Psychology makes a decisive break from the post-modernist theoretical framework that considers knowledge as local and situation-specific. It restores the goal of construction of general knowledge to the social sciences. While recognizing the uniqueness of all human personal experience from birth to death, it emphasizes the universality of cultural organization of human minds and societies. The newly-developed hybrid of psychology, sociology, anthropology, history – cultural psychology – is fitting ground to research how human beings are social in their deeply subjective worlds. In the substantively inter-disciplinary framework of cultural psychology, the focus on phenomena becomes central to the investigation. The key to human culture is in the construction of signs – visual and verbal – and the regulation of human actions through hierarchies of signs.

Socially, human beings are semiotic actors – their actions are mediated by signs as they explore the realms of life space. In terms of cognitive processes, human beings create new solutions to life's problems that cannot be based fully on life experiences nor derived from general social representations. The book focuses on the construction of semiotic methodology for the social sciences. Empirical evidence from the world over brought into discussion in order to demonstrate the basic humanity that is present and expressed in many different forms.

In short, this book presents a new look at the relationship between people and society, produces a semiotic theory of cultural psychology and provides a dynamic treatment of culture in human lives.

 
Foreword S Anandalakshmy
 
Preface
 
Approaches to Culture: Semiotic Bases for Cultural Psychology
 
Society and Community: Interdependence of Social Webs
 
Making Oppositions: Dialogical Self and Dualities in Meaning Making
 
Minimal Communities and their Organization: Kinship Groups, Families and Marriage Forms
 
Culture Wholes on the Move: Maintenance and Crossing of Boundaries in the Semiotic Universe
 
Thinking as a Cultural Process
 
Semiotic Fields In Action: Affective Guiding of the Internalization/Externalization Process
 
Methodology for Cultural Psychology: Systemic, Qualititative and Idiographic
 
Conclusion: Culture in Minds and Societies
 
References
 
Index

The book makes a decisive break from the post-modernist theoretical framework that considers knowledge as local and situation-specific, restores the goal of construction of general knowledge to the social sciences.

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