obvious things

One of the difficulties of getting farther into your field of study is, you start to take certain ideas so much for granted that you don’t remember anymore where you picked them up. And then you find yourself wanting to cite a source for one of those ideas, and you don’t have the slightest clue who writes about such things.

Where by “you” I mean “me.”

So, O my fellow anthropologists, please help me out: I need a good citation for two particular concepts in acculturation. One is that you learn by imitation, following the examples of the people around you. The other is that when you behave in a certain way, non-explicit social feedback tells you it is Good Behavior or Bad Behavior, and thus you are subtly encouraged toward the good behavior. (I’m pretty sure Judith Butler hits these ideas in the context of gender — am I right? I still haven’t gotten around to reading her — but it would be good to cite someone who talks about it more broadly.)

Failing sources, I’d even appreciate being reminded of what formal terms there are for those two concepts. I know the ideas, but I’m failing to sound official about them.

0 Responses to “obvious things”

  1. drydem

    Concept 1: mimesis
    Concept 2: this is negative and positive reinforcement in psychology, but it functions in anthropology as well.
    Judith Butler in Gender Trouble talks about both of these things, Michel Foucault does as well in Discipline and Punish and History of Sexuality: Vol. 1

  2. Anonymous

    Not long ago, there was a link posted at Ozarque’s to a site quoting Hall re ‘high-context’ and ‘low-context’ cultures, and doing business in Japan.

    If that’s not enough to find it, I’ll look later.

    Imo the worst of both worlds is where you’re supposed to figure out the rules (or the heirarchy) without asking — AND loudly scolded if you guess wrong.

    (bemusedoutsider not logged in)

  3. kleenestar

    You might be looking for the work of Bandura, particularly on learning by imitation. I think he doesn’t get so much into social feedback, but he does a lot on observational learning and social modeling.

  4. Anonymous

    testing this one…

    Very interesting… as always! Cheers from -Switzerland-.

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