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Context-Specific Variation in Humoral Classification

Holly F. Mathews
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 826-847
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/679578
Page Count: 22
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Context-Specific Variation in Humoral Classification
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Abstract

Anthropological studies of classification Have focused attention on descriptions of the shared content of cultural categories rather than on the classification process itself. In this paper, data collected in Oaxaca, Mexico, are presented that demonstrate that humoral classification is organized by context such that the values assigned to items vary in accordance with the task to be performed. A variety of cognitive structures govern this process by providing individuals with different defining attributes for use in making classifications in specific contexts.

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