The Meaning of Things
Domestic Symbols and the Self
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Meaning of Things by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Book DescriptionThe meaning of things is a study of the significance of material possessions in contemporary urban life, and of the ways people carve meaning out of their domestic environment. Drawing on a survey of eighty families in Chicago who were interviewed on the subject of their feelings about common household objects, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton provide a unique perspective on materialism, American culture, and the self. They begin by reviewing what social scientists and philosophers have said about the transactions between people and things. In the model of 'personhood' that the authors develop, goal-directed action and the cultivation of meaning through signs assume central importance. They then relate theoretical issues to the results of their survey. An important finding is the distinction between objects valued for action and those valued for contemplation. The authors compare families who have warm emotional attachments to their homes with those in which a common set of positive meanings is lacking, and interpret the different patterns of involvement. They then trace the cultivation of meaning in case studies of four families. Finally, the authors address what they describe as the current crisis of environmental and material exploitation, and suggest that human capacities for the creation and redirection of meaning offer the only hope for survival. A wide range of scholars - urban and family sociologists, clinical, developmental and environmental psychologists, cultural anthropologists and philosophers, and many general readers - will find this book stimulating and compelling.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521287746
(228mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 30-Oct-1981
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Running Flow, Paperback / softback (January 2017)
The ability to enter into a flow state of mind will help any runner overcome the psychological barriers associated with a race. With Running Flow, pioneering flow researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi gives you tools and strategies for experiencing the power of flow.
Flow, Paperback (July 2008)
Originally published: New York: Harper & Row, 1990.
Experience Sampling Method, Paperback (September 2006)» View all books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Brings together the theoretical foundations and practical applications of this indispensable methodology. This title provides information for anyone interested in how people go about their daily lives.
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Author Biography - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Eugene Halton is Professor of Sociology and American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to being coauthor of The Meaning of Things, he is author of Bereft of Reason (1995, 1997), Meaning and Modernity (1986), and a forthcoming book on American culture.
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