"Strauss and Quinn's impressive book sets out a theory of culture that is both highly plausible and easily accessible to linguists. This is due in large part to the fact htat its approach is consistently synthetic, both in that it seeks to find common ground among different anthropological approaches to the much contested concept of culture, and in that the authors hope to build bridges between anthropology and other disciplines concerned with human thought and behavior...it constitutes a fascinating variant in the recent explosion of interdisciplinary research on the mind and brain. Linguists (and anyone else) with a broad interest in culture, cognition, or meaning will find the book well worth reading...the book is clearly written, well argued, and solidly supported by often fascinating micro-analyses of American culture." Anthropolological Linguistics
Anthropologists must draw on modern psychological theories of cognition in order to understand how the shared schemas of a culture are learnt, and come to shape everyday actions and decisions. Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn review a range of current psychologic al theories of cultural meaning, many unfamiliar to anthropologists, and formulate a new approach which draws particularly on 'connectionist', or 'neural network', modelling This is illustrated by original research on understandings of marriage, and ideas of success, in the United States.