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Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity: Rethinking Culture in Terms of Complexity Theory

Steen Bergendorff

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ISBN 10: 0739128973 / ISBN 13: 9780739128978
Published by Lexington Books, 2009
New Condition: New Hardcover
From books4u31 (Asheville, NC, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity: ...

Publisher: Lexington Books

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity explores how people manage to live relatively simple lives while remaining seemingly unaware of the cultural complexity they produce while doing so. Using complexity theory, the book reconceptualizes culture as a complex dynamic system called cultural complexity, and argues that cultural complexity arises from persistent interactions among people and groups who act according to simple rules. The order produced is different from, and not reducible to, the interactions that created it. People only need simple rules of engagement in order to cope with their surroundings: rules that can be enacted through all kinds of strategies, and that together produce very complex emergent properties. Bergendorff argues that people do not need to know their entire "cultural order" and its formal logics to cope with everyday life. They do not need to be enculturated; they only need to be enskilled to act in everyday situations. Theoretically dense and rich, this book offers an innovative perspective on the concept of culture and the many ways that it is deployed and understood by its bearers.

About the Author:

Steen Bergendorff is associate professor in the department of society and globalization at Roskilde University.

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