• 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.

Sign Hierarchies: Their Construction, Use, and Demolition
Sign hierarchies: Their construction, use, and demolition

Creating hierarchical orders is nature's way of guaranteeing the survival of organisms. Starting from the simplest organism that consists of two cells relating to each other, we enter into the realm of emergent structures that, at some moment in biogenesis, move from re-acting to environmental influences to pre-acting towards them. That capacity culminates in the case of Homo sapiens that not only pre-acts but also pre-plans to pre-act, and reflects upon that pre-planning.

Multicellular organisms live according to some hierarchical order—the emerging functional organs in the anatomy are structurally related through such orders. Once the central nervous system emerges, it regulates the behaving of the organism as a whole.

The Nature of Hierarchical Models: ...
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