Roots of Human Sociality
Culture, Cognition and Interaction
This book marks an exciting convergence towards the idea that human culture and cognition are rooted in the character of human social interaction, which is unique in the animal kingdom. Roots of Human Sociality attempts for the first time to explore the underlying properties of social interaction viewed from across many disciplines, and examines their origins 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 12 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?
This book makes the case that the study of these sorts of phenomenon holds the key to understanding the foundations of human social life. The conclusion: our unique brand of social interaction is at the root of what makes us human.
Nicholas J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson are at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
* Introduction: Human Sociality as a New Interdisciplinary Field
N.J. Enfield and Stepehn C. Levinson
* Part 1: Properties of Human Interaction
* On the Human 'Interaction Engine'
Stephen C. Levinson
* Interaction: The Infrastructure for Social Institutions, the Natural Ecological Niche for Language, and the Arena in which Culture is Enacted
Emanuel A. Schegloff
* Human Sociality as Mutual Orientation in a Rich Interactive Environment: Multimodal Utterances and Pointing in Aphasia
* Social Actions, Social Commitments
Herbert H. Clark
* Part 2: Psychological Foundations
* Infant Pointing at 12 Months: Communicative Goals, Motives, and Social-Cognitive Abilities
* The Development Interdependence of Theory of Mind and Language
Janet Wilde Astington
* Constructing the Social Mind: Language and False-Belief Understanding
Jennie E. Pyers
* Sylvia's Recipe: The Role of Imitation and Pedagogy in the Transmission of Cultural Knowledge
György Gergely and Gergely Csibra
* Part 3: Culture and Sociality
* The Thought that Counts: The Interactional Consequences of Variation in Cultural Theories of Meaning
* Cultural Perspectives on Infant-Caregiver Interaction
* Joint Commitment and Common Ground in a Ritual Event
William F. Hanks
* Habits and Innovations: Designing Language for New, Technologically Mediated Sociality
* Part 4: Cognition in Interaction
* Meeting Other Minds through Gesture: How Children Use their Hands to Reinvent Language and Distribute Cognition
* The Distributed Cognition Perspective on Human Interaction
* Social Consequences of Common Ground
* Why a Deep Understanding of Cultural Evolution is Incompatible with Shallow Psychology
* Part 5: Evolutionary Perspectives
* Culture and the Evolution of the Human Social Instincts
R. Boyd and P. J. Richerson
* Parsing Behavior: A Mundane Origin for an Extraordinary Ability?
Richard W. Byrne
* Why Don't Apes Point?
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Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series
544pp, bibliography, index
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|The publication of this book is a sign of an important new development, which will recast anthropology. We have here a number of disciplines which, having previously shunned each other, are now genuinely working together in order to understand the specificity and the nature of human social life.|
Maurice Bloch, London School of Economics