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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 Jan 11.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Vanina Leschziner

SOC483Y1- Office Hours Thursday 1-3pm Jean Lave Introduction: Psychology and Anthropology I,” chapter 1, “Inside the Supermarket (Outdoors) and from the Veranda,” chapter 5 in Cognition in Practice (Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 6-18, 97-123, 148-169. - A new way of understanding cognition at the time she wrote - 1988 book came out - Book is influential - Hutchin’s “Cognition in the Wild” – navigation - Lave developed new perspective called “cognition in practice” or “situated learning” Situated Learning – written much about learning - Why cognition in practice- well her big argument was people studied cognition in labs but labs do not have proper conditions to study cognition because so artificial - Mental processes we make and invested we are in the beginning and finishing those cognitive processes has much to do for us and what is at stake - But if our own lives we may have more involved practice - She studied what was once studied in controlled laboratory experiment environment – if experiment would give up easily… - “Adult Math Project” done in California- people bad in math – but when she followed them in the grocery store or in other studies, when they had to do hard math operation, they were very good – so why is it people are bad at taking tests and bad in experiment but good in own life engagement/activity - That is when the idea of cognition and practice came about – that notion always associated with work – move cognition outside laboratory (for Lave) - Lave has a whole theory about how to understand cognition and even culture which she may not write much about but provides an understanding for culture and cognition Rosch and D’andrade – many of those readings were what Lave is criticizing – they were cognition in a lab – especially Rosch’s – D’andrade had a lot to do with problem solving – cognitive literature has to do with problem solving in artificial conditions (lab conditions) - All of our findings will be misleading if we do not study in everyday lives - She argues people perform differently in both conditions this has to do with what is at stake for these people – how people perform differently between different operations they do to engage what is the best value - She also studied people doing Weight Watchers (had to count calories) similar to grocery store The Introduction - Lave reviews some stuff we started talking about – relate to Bourdieu - We saw with Cerullo discussing habitus = “synthetic social theory” – practice theory – which Lave reviews - She does a brief overview of how anthropology has studied thinking- and culture in general – talked about in the first class - Lave is critical of this perspective- begins with the idea of “socialization” – as it relates to cognition - Study of culture and cognition via: SOCIALIZATION- connect to Durkheim “collective consciousness” – Parsons too – critique of functionalism – Lave says this is implicit in cognitive studies- may not talk about socialization, Durkheim, functionalism – the idea is somehow incorporated (those that are dominant in our culture) Socialization fell apart – then move to ritual - Then studied as “RITUAL” -- They were interested in rituals because they thought they were the most powerful per formative actions, a reproduction of practice and beliefs through rituals. That rituals are essential for construction of norms – this was the terrain of anthropologist Mary Douglas and Levy Strauss - Geertz – no intra-cultural differentiation – it is ritual that reinforces ideas – everyone time we do a ritual we engage those ideas Anthropologists then moved to more traditional – they began to study everyday practices, what they do on daily basis- enact those ideas through those practices Lave and others say cognitive anthropology/psychology derives from this that the idea in so far cognition follows culture- culture shapes the way we think, stable – this is based on linguistic models (stable and non-changing – widely shared, stable not much intra-cultural diversity) same idea transposed culture would not change so there would be a constant just as language is a constant. Strauss- form + cognition (structure first then cognition) + Saussure too Lave adds – she is the first one we are reading to point to this that there is a problem in seeing culture as constant in a given place but that non of the past studied theories attended to the role of “setting” – the setting is always irrelevant according to Durkheim/ Foucault/ Levi Strauss (for understanding culture and cognition) and thus this is what Lave brings to the table! Goffman is interested in social relationships, talks about setting, how we understand things but he is more about how we perceive those situations in which we find our selves and not basic problem solving and is more frame analysis, kinds of frames and ideas that organization a particular interaction – Goffman interested in face to face interaction what guides frames! while Lave is more interested in specific individual - Lave misses frames and ideas we use to understand particular situation that affect setting - We never see the setting in a physical sense - In Goffman we see the social situation but never the physical setting - Same with front stage/back stage – not divided by physical setting but rather the how we perceive them Lave would advise getting out of mess via “synthetic social theory” – dual theories – the names associated are Bourdieu and Giddens but also talks about Sahlins / Geertz “Synthetic social theory” – dialectical relationship between subject and object – how to understand how relationship goes both ways Lave in her study – she draws on those synthetic social theories because they give her an understanding of interaction between individuals in society- cognition and culture- relying on those theories she develops s
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