Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition and Interaction

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The book attempts for the first time to explore the underlying properties of social interaction viewed from across many disciplines, and examines their origin in infant development and in human evolution. Are interaction patterns in adulthood affected by cultural differences in childhood upbringing? Apes, unlike human infants of only twelve months, fail to understand pointing and the intention behind it. Nevertheless apes can imitate and analyze complex behavior—how do they do it? Deaf children brought up by speaking parents invent their own languages. How might adults deprived of a fully organized language communicate? The book makes the case that the study of these sorts of phenomena holds the key to understanding the foundations of human social life. The conclusion: our unique brand of social interactions at the root of what makes us human.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845203948
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/17/2006
  • Series: Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Properties of human interaction
• Levinson—On the human "interaction engine"
• Schegloff—Interaction: The infrastructure for social institutions, the natural ecological niche for language, and the arena in which culture is enacted
• Goodwin—Human Sociality as Mutual Orientation in a Rich Interactive Environment: Multimodal Utterances and Pointing in Aphasia
• Clark—Social actions, social commitments—Part II: Psychological foundations
• Liszkowski—Infant Pointing at Twelve Months: Communicative Goals, Motives, and Social Cognitive Abilities
• Astington—The developmental interdependence of theory of mind and language
• Pyers—Constructing the social mind: Language and false-belief understanding learners of an emerging sign language
• Gergely and Csibra—Sylvia's recipe: The role of imitation and pedagogy in the transmission of cultural knowledge—Part III: Culture and sociality *Danziger—The Thought that Counts: Interational Consequences of Variation in Cultural Theories of Meaning
• Gaskins—Cultural Perspectives on Infant-Caregiver Interaction
• Hanks—Conviction and common ground in a ritual setting
• Keating—Macro and micro matters: Exploring connections between everyday interactions and the emergence of shared practices—Part IV: Convergence of minds
• Goldin-Meadow—Gesture's role in communicating with language and without it
• Enfield—Social consequences of joint attention: investing in common ground *Hutchins—The distributed cognition perspective on human interaction
• Sperber—Why a deep understanding of cultural evolution is incompatible with shallow psychology
• Part V: Evolutionary perspectives
• Boyd and Richerson—Culture and the Evolution of the Human Social Instincts
• Byrne—Parsing behaviour. A mundane origin for an extraordinary ability?
• Tomasello—Why don't apes point?

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