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John Douglas Rhoades

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 27: Communication and Symbolism

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Communication and Symbolism
Communication and symbolism

Communication and symbolism are the two cornerstones of cultural anthropology. Their analyses will continue to occupy a major portion of the field throughout the 21st century and, in fact, as long as there are humans and anthropologists. Humanity exists in continual processes of inter- and intracommunication as for all life forms, but for humans these processes are crucially important. The essential nature of our existence is created and maintained through the special means by which we communicate-language. Language enables humans to exist in a complex and seemingly limitless symbolic world that, while related in many interesting ways with the world of other life forms (growth and mortality, diurnal and seasonal cycling), is distinctively separate and unique to humans. Cultural anthropology ...

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