Culture and Cognition: Implications for Theory and Method

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9780761929079: Culture and Cognition: Implications for Theory and Method
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Culture plays an important role in our everyday lives, yet the study of cultural processes and their impact on thinking and behavior is still in its infancy. Research in anthropology generally lacks the clarity and specificity of cognitive processes and is therefore usually ignored by most psychologists. On the other hand, most cognitive research in psychology either ignores culture as an important factor to be taken into account or treats culture as yet another independent variable.

 

Recent trends indicate an increasing interest in "culture" as a topic of psychological inquiry. Culture and Cognition: Implications for Theory and Methods combines the study of culture with an understanding of relevant cognitive processes and the challenge of studying high-level cognition as embedded into culture. Author Norbert Ross engages both anthropology and psychology, with the belief that any successful research in culture and cognition must embrace insights from both fields.

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About the Author:

Norbert Ross (Ph.D., University of Freiburg, 1998) is at Vanderbilt University. Prior to his current position, he was a research assistant professor at Northwestern University, where he co-founded the Program in Culture, Language and Cognition, a cross-disciplinary program that targets teaching and research. He is Affiliated Researcher at the Program in Cognitive Studies of the Environment (Northwestern University) and the Centro Estudies Indigenas in San Cristobal de Lasa Casas, Mexico. He has taught classes at Northwestern University, the University of Freiburg, the College of the Menominee Nation, and the UNACH (Mexico). Ross’s research focuses on cultural differences, within cultural differences as well as the acquisition of cultural knowledge among children, and he has received several NSF/NIH grants. He has published two books in Germany, including a case study of cognitive aspects of intergenerational change among the Lacandon Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. He is also author and co-author of several research articles in major journals of anthropology, psychology and the general sciences. These include articles in The Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences, Current Anthropology, Human Organization, Cognitive Development, and The Psychology of Learning and Motivation.

Review:

"Norbert Ross is a fine scholar, and the book does something useful and new.... an important contribution by a respected researcher who knows what he is talking about and who has done creative basic work in the field."

--Roy D'Andrade

"The subject matter is very timely for such a book. The field of culture and cognition is in a state of considerable flux, and it requires the kind of knowledge that Ross has not only of cognitive anthropology but of cognitive psychology to make a synthesis and to develop guideposts and steer the field towards viable future objectives. Ross possesses complete familiarity with the literature.... This should make for an excellent contribution."

--Douglas White

"In view of a current trend to integrate knowledge re 'culture' and 'cognition' in psychology (particularly marked) and anthropology, there is a growing demand for good textbooks in these fields. The ideas proposed by Ross are interesting and potentially productive."

--Chizuko Izawa

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