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Culture in Minds and Societies

Culture in Minds and Societies
Foundations of Cultural Psychology

First Edition

434 pages | SAGE India
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
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

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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Jaan Valsiner

Jaan Valsiner is Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is the founding editor (1995) of the Sage journal, Culture & Psychology.  And of The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology (2012). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Sciences  (Springer, from 2007). In 1995 he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize in Germany for his interdisciplinary work on human development, and Senior Fulbright Lecturing Award in Brazil 1995-1997. He has been a visiting professor in Brazil, Japan, Australia, Estonia. Germany, Italy, United Kingdom,... More About Author

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