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The interaction of discourse, cognition and culture

AARON V. CICOUREL
Discourse Studies
Vol. 8, No. 1, SPECIAL ISSUE: Discourse, interaction and cognition (February 2006), pp. 25-29
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24049505
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

The kinds of social interaction necessary for the existence of human cultural practices and institutions and the human ability to change and survive depended on at least four (among other) conditions: biological brain evolution, cognition/affective processes, ethnographically-based cultural beliefs and practices, and the kinds of interpersonal relations that motivate or constrain social interaction. Thus human biological and cultural evolution could not have occurred without the interaction of brain processes, cognition/affective mechanisms, language, cultural beliefs, and social organization. No single one of these elements could have emerged without the others. We know little about how the four elements evolved, but can at least speculate about the necessity of each for human development. For example, the kinds of socialization experiences and skills infants acquire gradually to be called competent 'adults,' and how adult status begins to fade towards the end of life as adults seek to retain the properties that sustain human life.

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