SOC483Y1 Lecture Notes - Loose Coupling, Mary Douglas, Social Cognition

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9 Nov 2012
School
Department
Course
SOC483Y1- Culture and Cognition
Lecture 1- Wednesday September 14, 2011
What is culture and cognition? = Study of patterns and thinking and acting in particular
institutional settings. Thinking and acting go together bounded by place in which we act.
Those institutional settings will bound the way we act…
Anchor on some empirical data…
It is easier when we study or look at smaller environments to see patterns those people share in
those environments
We can define this area of culture and cognition as looking at how actors use culture through
shared cognitive schema
How actors use culture through shared cultural scheme embedded in institutional settings
What do we mean by culture? In terms of what goes on in our minds, patterns of thinking,
cognitive patterns differ… those we share with other people
Sociologists try not to speculate how do we get at what goes on inside our minds?
Neuroscience relied on to see what goes on in the mind
Sociologists look at other things that show some evidence on how and what people are thinking…
we can look at certain norms- repertoires of actions (different ways people act) these ways of
thinking (subjectivity not used in this area as a term) but think of studying some form of
subjectivity developed maintained or changed in institutional settings… sometimes they can be
small like a peer group and sometimes large as UofT.
Also cognitive sociology culture and cognition is still a new area, not much defined/consensus… -
there are some specific things about this area: of course we assume acting and thinking go together,
focus on that…
3 things characterize this area - 3 levels of analysis
1. Actions or practices:
2. Cognition
3. Social structures: include different kinds of institutional settings, can be small influx peer
group
We will try and see in all discussions how the 3 are interconnected
Contemporary society understanding- the relationship is more complex than we have assumed
*how culture and how cognition work how the two work
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Document Summary

= study of patterns and thinking and acting in particular institutional settings. Thinking and acting go together bounded by place in which we act. Those institutional settings will bound the way we act . It is easier when we study or look at smaller environments to see patterns those people share in those environments. We can define this area of culture and cognition as looking at how actors use culture through shared cognitive schema. How actors use culture through shared cultural scheme embedded in institutional settings. In terms of what goes on in our minds, patterns of thinking, cognitive patterns differ those we share with other people. Neuroscience relied on to see what goes on in the mind. Also cognitive sociology culture and cognition is still a new area, not much defined/consensus - there are some specific things about this area: of course we assume acting and thinking go together, focus on that .

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