How We Think They Think: Anthropological Approaches to Cognition, Memory, and Literacy

How We Think They Think: Anthropological Approaches to Cognition, Memory, and Literacy

By: Maurice E. F. Bloch (author)Paperback

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These essays by one of anthropology's most original theorists consider such fundamental questions as: Is cognition language-based? How reliable a guide to memory are people's narratives about themselves? What connects the "social recalling" studied by anthropologists to the "autobiographical memory" studied by psychologists? Now gathered in accessible form for the first time and drawing frequently upon the author's fieldwork among the Zafimaniry of Madagascar for ethnographic examples, the twelve closely linked essays of How We Think They Think pose provocative challenges not only to conventional cognitive models but to the basic assumptions that underlie much of ethnography. This book will be read with interest by those who study culture and cognition, ethnographic theory and practice, and the peoples and cultures of Africa.

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About Author

Maurice E.F. Bloch is professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics.


Cognition * Language, Anthropology, and Cognitive Science * What Goes Without Saying: The Conceptualization of Zafimaniry Society * The Cognitive and the Ethnographic * Domain Specificity, Living Kinds, and Symbolism Memory * Internal and External Memory: Different Ways of Being in History * The Resurrection of the House * Time, Narratives, and the Multiplicity of Representations of the Past * Autobiographical Memory and the Historical Memory of the More Distant Past Literacy * Astrology and Writing * Literacy and Enlightenment * Knowledge, Literacy, and Schooling Among the Zafimaniry of Madagascar * Why Do Malagasy Cows Speak French?

Product Details

  • publication date: 24/07/1998
  • ISBN13: 9780813333748
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 216
  • ID: 9780813333748
  • weight: 319
  • ISBN10: 0813333741

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