Schooling The Symbolic Animal

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This anthology introduces some of the most influential literature shaping our understanding of the social and cultural foundations of education today. Together the selections provide students a range of approaches for interpreting and designing educational experiences worthy of the multicultural societies of our present and future. The reprinted selections are contextualized in new interpretive essays written specifically for this volume.

Author Biography: Bradley A.U. Levinson is assistant professor of education and adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Indiana University.

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Editorial Reviews

The editors develop an ingenious framework, flesh it out, and then place its pieces in a neat mosaic with clarifying introductions for each of the five sections.
— R.O. Ulin
Anthropology & Education Quarterly
Levinson and his coworkers have put together a useful and interesting book, consisting of a good sampling of what anthropologists interested in education have said, canted towards those who have said it in recognizable anthropological terms, and with some regard for the canons of anthropological discource. We can applaud this effort.
Contemporary Sociology
The selections are well chosen, including both older familiar articles and the work of contemporary scholars studying the problems of modernity, cultural change,a nd diversity. The essays of the editors are useful, tying the material into a comprehensive, unified book that should be welcome addition to courses in the sociology of education, and similar courses.
Amy Stambach
Beginning and advanced students alike will find much to learn from this rich and stimulating collection of essays. Written by many of the most articulate and visible scholars in the field, the twenty-four essays and five thematic chapters in Schooling the Symbolic Animal are testament to the vigor, diversity, and critical thinking of anthropological and sociological thought on education.
Hugh Mehan
Schooling the Symbolic Animal is the definitive collection exploring the social and cultural foundations of education in pre-modern, modern and 'global' societies.
Kathryn Anderson-Levitt
Nicely balances classics, many judiciously trimmed, with well chosen new pieces. . . . It promises no easy fixes for educational problems—just a way of seeing that can change everything students used to think about learning and schooling.
Often arresting and challenging . . . remarkable collection. . . . The editors develop an ingenious framework, flesh it out, and then place its pieces in a neat mosaic with clarifying introductions for each of the five sections. The articles offer a fresh look at the education of Americans. This collection is well-suited for advanced and graduate studets in education.
CHOICE - R.O. Ulin
The editors develop an ingenious framework, flesh it out, and then place its pieces in a neat mosaic with clarifying introductions for each of the five sections.
Henry Trueba
Extraordinarily stimulating and refreshing with its unique feature of bringing giants in the field of educational anthropology and sociology to dialogue with our contemporary scholars on issues that transcend time, disciplines, and national boundaries. This book offers one of the best introductions to the contributions of social science to the study of education.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742501195
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley A. U. Levinson is assistant professor of education and adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Indiana University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Whither the Symbolic Animal? Society, Culture, and Education at the Millennium 1
Sect. I The Symbolic Animal: Foundations of Education in Cultural Transmission and Acquisition 13
1 The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man 25
2 Culture is Ordinary 31
3 The Education of the Samoan Child 36
4 Stalking with Stories 41
5 Education and the Human Condition 53
6 The Nature of Education 57
7 Why Do Frenchmen? 62
8 Becoming a Marihuana User 66
Sect. II Culture, Modernization, and Formal Education 75
9 The Shaping of Men's Minds: Adaptations to Imperatives of Culture 83
10 Formal Schooling and the Production of Modern Citizens in the Ecuadorian Amazon 108
11 Transmitting Traditional Values in New Schools: Elementary Education of Pulap Atoll 123
12 The Cultural Transformation of Western Education in Sierra Leone 137
Sect. III School Practice and Community Life: Cultural Congruence, Conflict, and Discontinuity 159
13 What No Bedtime Story Means: Narrative Skills at Home and School 169
14 Understanding Cultural Diversity and Learning 190
15 Formation and Transformation of Funds of Knowledge among U.S.-Mexican Households 207
16 Habitus and Cultural Identity: Home/School Relationships in Rural France 223
Sect. IV Cultural Production and Reproduction in Contemporary Schools 237
17 Ability Grouping as a Self-fulfilling Prophecy: A Microanalysis of Teacher-Student Interaction 248
18 Beneath the Skin and between the Ears: A Case Study in the Politics of Representation 259
19 Moments of Discontent: University Women and the Gender Status Quo 280
20 Class and Gender Dynamics in a Ruling-Class School 296
Sect. V New Directions in the Study of Culture, Learning, and Education 315
21 "Those Loud Black Girls": (Black) Women, Silence, and Gender "Passing" in the Academy 327
22 Tying Things Together (and Stretching Them Out) with Popular Culture 344
23 Fieldwork in the Postcommunity 358
24 The Fax, the Jazz Player, and the Self-storyteller: How Do People Organize Culture? 369
Afterword: Implications for Educational Policy and Practice 378
Index 383
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    Posted January 29, 2014


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