• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

An Invitation to Cultural Psychology looks at the everyday life worlds of human beings through the lens of a new synthetic perspective in cultural psychology – that of semiotic dynamics.

Based on historical work from many different fields in the social and behavioural sciences, and the humanities too, this perspective applied to cultural psychology suggests that human beings are constantly creating, maintaining and abandoning hierarchies of meanings within all cultural contexts they experience. It's a perspective that leans heavily on the work of the great French philosopher, Henri Bergson, only now being realised as a core basis for human cultural living.

Jaan Valsiner is the founding editor of the major journal in the field, Culture & Psychology, and Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology. He is the first Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University in Denmark, where he leads Europe's first Research Centre on Cultural Psychology.

Weaving Social Textures Together: Personal and Collective Culture in Action
Weaving social textures together: Personal and collective culture in action

Our social sciences have a “blind spot”—to consider whatever is viewed as “social phenomena” as these are thus labeled—to be functional in their social contexts. The ghost of the idea of natural selection seems to remain functional—if a social mechanism is working now, it must be functional as it must have been selected “in” in the course of history. However, looking from the angle of irreversible time it cannot be so. What is functional now needs to have developed with a foresight that it can adapt to multiple not yet known future conditions. Since these conditions cannot be pre-known, the functional mechanisms need to be set ...

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