Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity

Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity : Rethinking Culture in Terms of Complexity Theory

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Description

Simple Lives, Cultural Complexity explores how people manage to live relatively simple lives while remaining seemingly unaware of the cultural complexity they produce while doing so. Using complexity theory, the book reconceptualizes culture as a complex dynamic system called cultural complexity, and argues that cultural complexity arises from persistent interactions among people and groups who act according to simple rules. The order produced is different from, and not reducible to, the interactions that created it. People only need simple rules of engagement in order to cope with their surroundings: rules that can be enacted through all kinds of strategies, and that together produce very complex emergent properties. Bergendorff argues that people do not need to know their entire "cultural order" and its formal logics to cope with everyday life. They do not need to be enculturated; they only need to be enskilled to act in everyday situations. Theoretically dense and rich, this book offers an innovative perspective on the concept of culture and the many ways that it is deployed and understood by its bearers.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 22mm | 358.34g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739128973
  • 9780739128978

About Steen Bergendorff

Steen Bergendorff is associate professor in the department of society and globalization at Roskilde University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Cultural Issues Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Western Ontology and Cultural Malaises Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Contested Culture Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Complex Dynamic Systems Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Cultural Complexity Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Persistent Interaction and Cultural Complexity among the Mekeo, PNG 7 Chapter 6. Cultural Complexity and Change in Mekeo Society 8 Conclusionshow more