An Invitation to Cognitive Sociology
By (author) Eviatar Zerubavel
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Social Mindscapes by Eviatar Zerubavel
Book DescriptionWhy 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 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 anecdotes 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 ways in which thought communities carve up and classify reality, assign meanings, and perceive things, defamiliarizing in the process many taken-for-granted assumptions.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674813908
(210mm x 140mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 30-Sep-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Eviatar Zerubavel
Hidden in Plain Sight, Hardback (May 2015)
Drawing on fascinating examples from the art world, optical illusions, and all walks of life, Eviatar Zerubavel investigates how what we notice or ignore varies across cultures and throughout history and how power structures attention.
Ancestors and Relatives, Hardback (January 2012)View all books by Eviatar Zerubavel
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.
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Author Biography - Eviatar Zerubavel
Eviatar Zerubavel is Professor of Sociology and director of the graduate program at Rutgers University.
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