Sociology Index

Culture and Cognition

There has been a budding of a new interest in culture that has revolved around the incantation of culture and cognition. Cultural cognition and the tendency of individuals to form beliefs about societal dangers reflect and reinforce their commitments to visions of the ideal society. Cultural cognition is one of the approaches designed to empirically test the cultural theory of risk associated with Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky. In any abstract, formal sense, it is hard to defend this as a new field, but in the sociological sense there is clearly something new afoot.

The study of culture and cognition is an attempt to look at patternings in subjectivity that arise because of the placement of that cognizing apparatus which we call the human mind in institutional settings. The substitution of “cognition” for “psychology” also seems to imply that conventional psychological models are considered to be exhausted. This interest is different from the sociology of culture and cultural studies generally conceived in two ways. First, it is not specifically concerned with Culture in the narrow sense of productions, but culture in the wider anthropological sense. Second, it is not interested in the vague, evanescent and global level of culture involving things such as symbols unless these can be made concrete and related to defensible models of cognition. This interest is also different from social psychology as currently constituted, basically because of a lack of interest in the problems that became central to social psychology as it currently stands.

Culture and Cognition: Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality (Cultural Sociology) 1st Edition. Kindle Edition. by Wayne H. Brekhus. How does culture shape our thinking? This lively and engaging book shows the many ways that culture influences our cognitive thought processes. Drawing on a wide range of fascinating examples, Brekhus takes us on a creative, diverse, and insightful tour of the sociocultural character of cognition. "Brekhus provides an accessible and wide-ranging review of the culture and cognition field. His book introduces readers to a variety of intellectual approaches that culture and cognition scholars employ to better understand the sociocultural dimensions of thought." - Karen Cerulo, Rutgers University.

Culture in Mind: Toward a Sociology of Culture and Cognition by Karen A. Cerulo. Rather than considering thought as just an individual act, Culture in Mind considers it in a social and cultural context. Covering such diverse topics as the nature of evil, the process of storytelling and the defining mental illness, these essays offer fresh insights into the functioning of the mind. Karen A. Cerulo is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University where she specializes in culture and cognition research.

Culture and Cognition, Implications for Theory and Method
Norbert Ross - Minnesota, University of Freiburg, Germany, Vanderbilt University, USA. This brief core text fills a void in the cross-disciplinary area of culture and cognition by providing a clear overview of approaches from varying disciplinary perspectives, discussing methodological problems as well as theoretical implications of these approaches. 

The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition. by Stephen T. Asma.

Culture and Cognition: Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality (Cultural Sociology) 1st Edition by Wayne H. Brekhus.
Wayne H. Brekhus's book introduces readers to a variety of intellectual approaches that culture and cognition scholars employ to better understand the sociocultural dimensions of thought.