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Culture and Cognition

Author(s): Paul DiMaggio


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Source: Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 23 (1997), pp. 263-287
Published by: Annual Reviews
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CULTURE AND COGNITION


Paul DiMaggio
University,
ofSociology,2-N-2GreenHall,Princeton
Department Princeton,
New Jersey
08544; e-mail:dimaggio@phoenix.princeton.edu

KEY WORDS: socialcognition,


socialclassification,
sociologyofculture, schemata

ABSTRACT
Recentworkin cognitive psychology andsocialcognitionbearsheavilyon con-
cernsofsociologistsofculture.Cognitive researchconfirmsviewsofcultureas
fragmented; therolesofinstitutions
clarifies andagency;andilluminates supra-
individualaspectsof culture.Individualsexperiencecultureas disparatebitsof
information thatorganizethatinformation.
and as schematicstructures Culture
carriedby institutions,
networks,and social movements diffuses,activates,and
selectsamongavailableschemata. Implicationsforthestudyofidentity,collective
memory, andlogicsofactionaredeveloped.
socialclassification,

INTRODUCTION
The studyof culturein everyday liferemainsa virtuosoaffair.Interpretive
studiesoffergreatinsightbutfailto buildon one another.Culturaltheory has
becomehighlysophisticated butnotfullyoperational. Theserichesreadythe
fieldfortakeoff, in Sorokin'sday (1957
likethestudyof social stratification
[1927]). Butbeforethestudyoflivedculturecan becomea cumulative enter-
prise,scholarsmustclarifythecognitive presuppositions behind their theories
ofwhatculturedoes andwhatpeopledo withit,andthefundamental concepts
andunitsofanalysis(Jepperson & Swidler1994,Wuthnow 1987).
Recentworkincognitive psychology andsocialcognition provides resources
forbothtasks. Afterdescribing recent convergence between cultural sociol-
ogyandpsychology, considers
thischapter lessons ofrecent work on cognition
forpresuppositionsaboutthenatureofculture;developsimplications ofthese
lessonsforsociological work on identity,collectivememory, social classifi-
cation,logicsof action,andframing; points keyproblems remain
and to that
unsolved.

263
0360-0572/97/0815-0263$08.00
264 DiMAGGIO

Ratherthanofferan exhaustive reviewof cognitivesociologyper se (see


Zerubavel1997) or workin psychology relevantto culture(see D'Andrade
1995), I emphasize tensionsand betweenrecentcognitive
affinities research
andworkinthesociologyofculture withtheaimofbringing theformerintothe
serviceofthelatter.I focusonhowpeopleuseculture,rather thantheproduction
of culture,ideology,or cultureembeddedin thephysicalenvironment. The
pointis notto psychologize thestudyofculture,butto lay a foundationfora
viewofculture as working through ofsharedcognitive
theinteraction structures
andsupra-individual cultural
phenomena culture,
(material media messages, or
conversation,forexample)thatactivatethosestructures to varyingdegrees.

SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY: POINTS


OF CONVERGENCE
A handfulof sociologistshaveappreciated thepotentialof cognitivescience
to informsociologicalworkon culture(Carley1989,Cicourel1973,Schwartz
1981,White1992),and somesocial constructionists haveanticipated impor-
tantresultsof cognitiveresearch(Berger& Luckman1967, Garfinkel 1987
[1967],Zerubavel1991). For themostpart,however, sociologistsof culture
haveignoredrelevantworkby cognitive social psychologists,
psychologists,
and public-opinionresearchers.This omissionreflects
a mismatch between
themodalintellectualstylesofhumanistic, oriented
interpretively culturalso-
ciologistsandexperimentallyoriented psychologists,
positivistic as wellas the
disappointinglegacyofParsons'efforts fusion,whichpsychol-
atdisciplinary
ogizedculture,reducingitto sharedvalues,norms,andattitudes.

Sociology:MoreComplexViewsofCulture
In recentyears,however, commongroundbetweensociologyof cultureand
psychologyhas grown. The majordevelopment withinsociologyhas been
a shiftto a morecomplexunderstanding of culture.Thirtyyearsago, most
sociologistsviewedcultureas a "seamlessweb" (Swidler1997),unitary and
internallycoherent acrossgroupsand situations.In effect, culturewas por-
trayedas a latentvariableinfluencingincommonsuchmanifestations as media
images,responses to attitude and
questionnaires, the values embodied in ev-
eryday practices.Individuals to
werepresumed acquire cultureinthe course of
socializationand,inthepopularoversocialized view (Wrong1961), to enact it
unproblematically. It followed fromthis
perspectivethatthere was littlereason
to worryaboutconstructs usedtostudyculture,foranykindof"cultural stuff"
couldserveas an indicator latentvariable.
oftheunderlying
By contrast, recentworkdepictscultureas fragmented acrossgroupsand
inconsistent acrossitsmanifestations (Martin1992). The viewof cultureas
CULTURE AND COGNITION 265

values thatsuffuseotheraspectsof belief,intention, and collectivelifehas


succumbedto one of cultureas complexrule-like thatconstitute
structures
resourcesthatcanbe putto strategic
use (Bourdieu 1990, Sewell 1992,Swidler
1986).
This shiftmakesstudying culturemuchmorecomplicated.Once we ac-
knowledgethatcultureis inconsistent-that people'snormsmaydeviatefrom
whatthemediarepresent as normal,or thatourpreconscious imagesanddis-
cursiveaccountsof a phenomenon maydiffer-itbecomescrucialto identify
unitsofcultural analysisandtofocusattention upontherelations amongthem.
ourmeasuresstopbeingindicators
In effect, ofa latentvariable(culture),and
theirrelationship to culturebecomesanalogousto thatof education,income,
andplaceofresidencetosocialstratification: separatephenomena, analytically
relatedtoa commontheoretical therelations
construct, amongthema matter for
empiricalinvestigation (D'Andrade1995notessimilartrends inanthropology).
Similarly, once we acknowledge thatpeoplebehaveas if theyuse culture
itfollowsthatthecultures
strategically, intowhichpeoplearesocializedleave
muchopportunity forchoiceandvariation. Thusourattention turnstowaysin
whichdiffering culturalframesor understandings maybe situationallycued.
Addressing such issues requiresmore elaborateand contestablepsychological
presuppositions thandidtheculture-as-latent-variableview.

Psychology:MoreComplexViewsofCognition
Suchquestionsmakeitsensibleforsociologists ofculturetoturntopsychology
forinsightintothemechanisms through whichsharedcultureentersintocog-
nition.Yetnothing guarantees whohavetheirownresearch
thatpsychologists,
agendas,can helpus. Thirty yearsago, behaviorism madepsychology essen-
tiallyirrelevant
tothestudyofculture.Twenty yearsago,psychologists casting
offtheyokeofbehaviorism focusedprimarilyon theacquisitionofskillsand
to mostsociologistsofculture.Even a dozenyears
capacitiesoflittleinterest
ago, theimplications forculturalsociologyofmanyoftheideas andresearch
traditionsthataremostusefultodaywerestillunclear.
Whathas happenedto makepsychology usefulto sociologistsof culture?
First,psychologistshaverejectedbehaviorism, acceptedanddemonstrated the
existenceofmentalstructures usedtoperceive, process,andretrieveinforma-
tion,and foundwaysto makeinferences aboutsuchstructures. Second,just
as sociologicalresearchhasdemonstrated andfragmenta-
culture'scomplexity
tion,psychological researchhas demonstratedthecomplexity ofmemory and
providedglimpsesof thepartitioning ofmentalstructures bydomain.Third,
recentfoci of psychologicalresearch(schemata,categories, mentalmodels,
andso on) aremuchricherincultural thantheformaloperations
content orin-
tellectualcapacitiesthatoncepreoccupied and developmentalists
cognitivists
266 DiMAGGIO

(Rogoff& Chavajay1995). Fourth,somepsychologists havetakennoticeof


suchsociologicaltopicsas cross-culturaldifferences in cognition (Shweder&
Bourne1991,Markus& Kitayama1991),elite/popular interaction in cultural
change(Moscovici1984),and"distributed cognition" (i.e. thesocialdivision
ofcognitivelabor)(Resnicketal 1991,Salomon1993).
In additiontoexpanding thegroundsofsharedinterest betweenthetwodis-
ciplines,suchdevelopments havealso softenedtwoimportant epistemological
differences. Whereasmostsociologistsof culturehave been steadfastly an-
tireductionist,
resisting efforts
toportray cultureas theaggregate ofindividual
subjectivities,
psychology hasfocusedupontheindividual.Increasingly, how-
ever,as I shallargue,psychological researchbolstersandclarifies theviewof
cultureas supra-individual, andevenaddressessupra-individual aspectsofcog-
nitiondirectly [as in workon pluralistic
ignorance (Miller& Prentice1994)].
Second,somesociologistsofculturerejectedthesubjectivist focusofpsy-
chologicalresearch, callinginsteadforresearchon external aspectsofculture
amenabletodirectmeasurement (Wuthnow 1987). Inrecentyears,cognitivists
havedevelopedingeniousempirical techniques (reviewedinD'Andrade1995)
thatpermitstrong inferencesaboutmentalstructures, goingfartowardclosing
theobservability gap betweenexternal andsubjective aspectsofculture.
Of course,thefitbetweenthedisciplinesmustnotbe exaggerated.Most
of whatpsychologists do is irrelevantto sociologistsof culture,and much
oftheculturesociologists'studyis supra-individual. Commongroundhas in-
creasedbutwillremainlimited bythedifferent subjectmatters ofthedisciplines
(Zerubavel1997),whichwillremaincomplements rather thansubstitutes.

COGNITIVE PRESUPPOSITIONS
OF CULTURAL SOCIOLOGY
Sociologistswho writeaboutthewaysthatcultureentersintoeverydaylife
necessarilymakeassumptions aboutcognitive processes.If we assumethata
sharedsymbolevokesa senseofcommonidentity (Warner1959),thata certain
frameprovokespeopleto thinkabouta social issue in a new way (Gamson
1992),thatlessonsaboutthestructure ofspace andtimelearnedin schoolare
generalizedto theworkplace(Willis1977),orthatsurveyscan measureclass
consciousness(see Fantasia'scritique1995),we arethenmakingpowerful cog-
nitiveassumptions.Such assumptions, whilemetatheoreticalto sociologists,
are keenlyempiricalfromthestandpoint of cognitivepsychology.It is cru-
cial,then,toevaluateourassumptions (or adjudicatedifferences
amongthem)
by microtranslatingpresuppositions(Collins1981) to thecognitiveleveland
assessingtheirconsistencywithresultsofempirical researchon cognition.
CULTURE AND COGNITION 267

CoherencevsFragmentation
Manysociologistshave come to rejectthelatent-variable viewof cultureas
coherent, integrated, andambiguousin favorofrepresentations ofcultureas a
"toolkit"(Swidler1986) or"repertoire" (Tilly1992): a collectionofstuff that
is heterogeneous in content andfunction. Yetmuchempirical workon culture
stillpresumesthatcultureis organizedaroundnationalsocietiesor cohesive
subnational groupings, is highlythematized, andis manifested insimilarways
acrossmanydomains(Hofstede1980,Bourdieu1984).
Is culturea latentvariable-a tightnetwork ofa fewabstract centralthemes
and theirmoreconcreteentailments, all instantiated to variousdegreesin a
rangeof symbols,rituals,andpractices?If so, thenwe wouldexpectto find
thatgroupmemberssharea limitednumberof consistent elements-beliefs,
attitudes, typifications,strategies-andthattheinclusionofanyoneelementin
thecollectivecultureimpliestheexclusionofinconsistent elements.
Or is culturea grab-bagof odds and ends: a pasticheof mediatedrepre-
sentations, a repertoire of techniques, or a toolkitof strategies?If so, then
we mightexpectless clustering ofcultural elementswithinsocialgroups,less
stronglinkagesamongtheelements, andweakerpressures fortheexclusionof
inconsistent elements.
Researchincognitive psychology strongly supports thetoolkit overthelatent-
variableviewandsuggeststhatthetypicaltoolkitis verylargeindeed.Partic-
ularlyrelevant hereis research(summarized by Gilbert1991) on howpeople
attribute accuracyorplausibility to statements offactandopinion.Consistent
withSwidler's(1986) contention that"all peopleknowmoreculturethanthey
use,"Gilbertreports that"The acceptanceofan idea is a partoftheautomatic
comprehension ofthatidea,andtherejectionoftheidea occurssubsequent to
andmoreeffortfully thanitsacceptance."In otherwords,ourheadsarefullof
images,opinions,andinformation, untagged as totruth value,towhichwe are
inclinedto attribute accuracyandplausibility.
Researchonmemory tellsa similarstory, revealing thatinformation (includ-
ingfalseinformation) passesintomemory without being"tagged"as tosource
orcredibility, andthatactiveinference is requiredto identify thesourceofthe
information whenit is recalled. Such inferences maybe incorrect, yielding
misattributions ofsourceandcredibility (Johnson et al 1991).
This workhas severalimportant implications forstudents ofculture.First,
itrefutes thenotionthatpeopleacquirea culturebyimbibing it(andno other)
through socialization.Instead,itdirectsthesearchforsourcesofstability and
consistency in ourbeliefsandrepresentations, first,to schematic organization,
whichmakessomeideas or imagesmoreaccessiblethanothers;and,second,
to cues embeddedinthephysicalandsocialenvironment.
268 DiMAGGIO

Second,learningthatpeopleretain(and storewitha defaultvalueof "cor-


rect")almosteveryimageor idea withwhichtheyhave come intocontact,
renders intelligible
otherwise anomalousresearch findingsaboutinconsistency
in expressionsof attitudesacrosstime,culturalvolatility in periodsof rapid
change(e.g. thefalloftheSovietsystem), andthesusceptibility ofattitudes to
framing effects
(Sniderman & Piazza 1993).
Third,theresearch explainsthecapacityofindividualstoparticipate inmulti-
pleculturaltraditions,evenwhenthosetraditionscontaininconsistent elements.
Fourth,itestablishes thecapacityofpeopleto maintain distinctiveandincon-
sistentactionframes, whichcanbe invokedinresponsetoparticular contextual
cues. Fifth,thisworkraisesthepossibility thatsocializationmaybe less ex-
perientiallybased,andmoredependent uponmediaimagesandhearsay, than
manyofourtheories (forexample,Bourdieu'shabitus[1990]construct) imply.
Suchinferences as thesego beyondthescopeofcognitive studies,tobe sure,
and muchrideson theprecisewaysin whichschematic organization imposes
orderuponstoredknowledgeand memory.Nonetheless, recentcognitivere-
searchstrongly reinforcesthe"toolkit"
as opposedtothe"latent-variable" view
of cultureand,at theveryleast,places theburdenofproofon thosewhode-
pictcultureas strongly constraining
behaviororwhowouldarguethatpeople
experience cultureas highlyintegrated,
thatcultural
meanings arestrongly the-
matized,thatcultureis binding, andthatculturalinformation acquiredthrough
experienceis morepowerful thanthatacquiredthrough othermeans.

andAgency
Institution
Cognitiveresearchcan also enhanceourappreciation oftheviewthatculture
both constrainsand enables (Sewell 1992). Although positionhas become
this
catechismic
virtually amongsociologistsof culture, we knowlittleaboutthe
conditionsunderwhichoneortheotheris thecase. Manysociologists believe,
followingGramsci (1990), thatculture,embedded in language and everyday
practices,constrains people's capacityto imaginealternatives to existingar-
rangements. Atthesametime,we knowthatpeopleactas iftheyuse cultural
elementsstrategically to pursuevaluedends(Bourdieu1990). Cognitivere-
searchcannotanswertheessentially sociologicalquestionofwhenculture does
each,butitcan providedirection tothesearch.
Thefinding thatcultureis storedinmemory as anindiscriminatelyassembled
andrelatively unorganized collectionof oddsandendsimposesa farstronger
organizing burdenon actorsthandidtheearlieroversocialized view.Theques-
tion,then,is howtheactororganizestheinformation thatshe orhe possesses.
Psychological researchpointsto twoquitedifferent mechanisms or modesof
cognition.
CULTURE AND COGNITION 269

AUTOMATICCOGNITION The first, andmostimportant, whichI referto as au-


tomaticcognition is "implicit,unverbalized, rapid,andautomatic" (D'Andrade
1995). Thisroutine, everyday cognition reliesheavilyand uncritically upon
culturally availableschemata-knowledge structuresthatrepresent objectsor
eventsand providedefaultassumptions abouttheircharacteristics,relation-
ships,andentailments underconditions ofincomplete information.
Psychological researchon schematais central totheinterests ofsociologists
bothmethodologically (due to advancesin techniquesthatrevealtaken-for-
grantedassumptions to whichsubjectsmaynothaveeasy verbalaccess) and
substantively, forwhatit tellsus abouthowcultureworks.Indeed,forsome
purposes,it maybe usefulto treattheschemaas a basic unitof analysisfor
thestudyof culture,and to focuson social patterns of schemaacquisition,
diffusion, andmodification (Carley1991makesa relatedargument).
Schemataarebothrepresentations ofknowledge andinformation-processing
mechanisms. As representations, theyentailimagesofobjectsandtherelations
amongthem. Psychologists use thetermbroadly[some wouldsuggesttoo
broadly(Fiske& Linville1980)]. It can referto simple,highlyabstract con-
cepts[forexample,container (D'Andrade1995)];toconcrete activities
(buying
chewinggum),or to complexsocial phenomena (groupstereotypes or social
roles). Eventschemataor scripts(Abelson1981,Garfinkel 1987) constitute
an important class of schemata.Special attention has also beengivento self
schemata(Milburn1987,Markus& Kitayama1994,Markusetal 1997),cultur-
allyvariablerepresentations oftheselfthatprovidestability bothtoindividual
behavioracrosstimeandto socialinteractions within thegroup.
Schemataare also mechanisms thatsimplify cognition.Highlyschematic
cognition is therealmofinstitutionalized culture,oftypification,ofthehabitus,
of thecognitiveshortcuts thatpromoteefficiency at theexpenseof synoptic
accuracy(Berger& Luckman1967,Bourdieu1990,Kahnemanet al 1982).
Muchcognitive research demonstrates that"schematic material dominates other
material inaccuraterecall,inintruded recall,inrecognition confidence, inrecall
clustering and in resistanceto disconfirmation.... Schemataalso facilitate
inaccurate recallwhentheinformation is schemaconsistent" (Fiske& Linville
1980: 545). In schematic cognition we findthemechanisms bywhichculture
shapesandbiasesthought.

People are morelikelyto perceiveinformation thatis germaneto existing


schemata VonHippeletal (1993) report thatexperimentalsubjectsaremore
likelytoperceivecorrectlytermsthatareschematically
relevantthanthosethat
are not. Information embeddedin existingschemataand information thatis
schema-dissonant arebothmorelikelytobe noticedthaninformationorthogo-
(Schneider1991). Suchlaboratory
nal to existingstructures resonate
findings
270 DiMAGGIO

withresultsinhistorical studies:forexample,thegrad-
sociologyandcultural
ual and of
acceptance information
halting about NewWorldbyearlymodern
the
mapmakers (Zerubavel1992);thewaysinwhicharchaicphysicalmodelscon-
strainedmedicalscientists' ofnewevidenceaboutsyphilis
interpretation (Fleck
1979); and thepenchantof malebiologistsforseeingdominancehierarchies
whentheywatchapes andelephantseals (Haraway1991).

People recallschematically embeddedinformation morequickly Mostpsy-


chological evidence is based on laboratory whichrevealthatsub-
experiments,
jectsremember longer lists
of words,or ambiguous
interpret stimulimoreaccu-
rately, andretrieveinformation about a storytheyhave heardmore effectively
ifitis relevant
topreexisting mentalstructuresthatrendertheinformationinter-
pretable(Sedikides& Skowronski 1991). Butagain,thereareintriguingsocio-
logicalparallelsin studiesthatreport differences
cross-cultural indescriptions
ofthecontent ofthesamenovel(Griswold1987),television program (Liebes
& Katz 1990),or movie(Shively1992) thatreflect collectivepreoccupations
("chronicallyactivated mentalstructures" inpsychologicalparlance).
People recall schematically
embeddedinformation moreaccurately When
Freemanetal (1987) askedmembers ofa faculty
workshoptolistthepeoplewho
hadattendedtheprevious theyfoundthatlong-term
meeting, attenderscorrectly
recalledparticipantswho regularly
attended,butforgottheinfrequentatten-
ders.Usinga verydifferentmethod(analysisofWatergate Neisser
transcripts),
(1981) reportedthatNixon aide JohnDean remembered schema-consistent
eventsmoreaccurately thaneventsthatwereschema-inconsistent.

People mayfalselyrecallschematically embeddedeventsthatdid notoccur


Freemanet al's (1987) informants remembered regularattendersas presentat
themeetinginquestionevenwhentheyhadn'tbeenthere.Whensubjectsare
toldtocode small-group interactionsandthengivenquestionnairesaboutchar-
acteristics
ofgroupmembers shortly thepost-hocevaluations
thereafter, yield
muchhighercorrelations of schematicallyrelatedbehaviors(e.g. criticizing
orexpressinghostility)thando thereal-timecodings(Shweder1982). Similar
confusionof schematicrepresentations forrealeventsmaybe observedin at
leastsomereports ofsatanicchildabuse(Hacking1995)andinsomeofformer
PresidentReagan'sspeeches.
The parallelwithsociologicalaccountsof institutionsis striking.Typifi-
cations(mentalstructures)influence interpretation,
perception, planning, and
action(Berger& Luckman1967,DiMaggio& Powell1991). Institutionalized
andbehaviors(i.e. thosethatarebothhighlyschematic
structures andwidely
shared)aretakenforgranted, reproducedineveryday action[Giddens'"struc-
(1984)] andtreated
turation" (Meyer& Rowan1977). Indeed,an
as legitimate
CULTURE AND COGNITION 271

eminent psychologist(Bruner1990:58)has writtenexplicitlyofthe"schema-


tizingpowerofinstitutions."
Thusthepsychology ofmentalstructuresprovides
a microfoundationtothesociologyofinstitutions.
Researchonsocialcognitionenhancesourunderstanding ofhowculturecon-
strainsbutdoesnotsupporttheories
thatdepictcultureas overwhelminglycon-
straining.
Instead,consistent
withcontemporary sociologicaltheorizing,
work
inpsychology providesmicrofoundational
evidencefortheefficacy ofagency.

DELIBERATIVE COGNITION In contrastto automaticthought, psychologists


notea quitedifferent formof cognition, whichis "explicit,verbalized,slow,
and deliberate"(D'Andrade1995). Whensufficiently motivated, peoplecan
overrideprogrammed modesofthought tothinkcritically
andreflexively.
Such overridesare necessarilyrarebecausedeliberationis so inefficient
in
itsrejectionoftheshortcutsthatautomatic cognitionoffers.Consequently, the
keyquestionis whypeopleareeverdeliberative. Psychologists haveidentified
threefacilitating
conditionsin studiesthatintriguinglyparallelworkin the
sociologyofculture.
AttentionPsychological researchsuggeststhatpeopleshiftintodeliberative
modesofthought relativelyeasilywhentheirattention is attracted
toa problem.
Forexample,experimenters cancreatefalserecollectionsofa videotapeorstory
amonglaboratory "witnesses"bypresenting inaccurate information or asking
leadingquestions(Loftuset al 1989). But whenthetaskis changedto ask
subjectsto thinkcarefully aboutthesourceof particular bitsof information,
theexperimental effectis diminished or eliminated(Johnson et al 1993). In
experimental studiesofattitude-behavior consistency, merelyincreasing self-
awarenessbyplacinga mirror inthefaceofthesubjectas heorshecompletes an
attitude
questionnaire significantlyincreasestheattitude-behavior correlation
(Abelson 1981:722). Such resultsparalleltheinsightsof studentsof social
movements, who have studiedagenda-building and who have also notedthe
effectivenessas an organizingdeviceof refraining issues in ways thatcall
attention
toproblems salienttomovement (Snow& Benford1992).
participants
Motivation People mayalso shiftfromautomaticto deliberative cognition
whentheyare strongly motivatedto do so by dissatisfaction
withthestatus
quo or by themoralsalienceof a particular issue. For example,although
racistschemataare accessibleto mostwhiteAmericans, whitescan override
suchschemata tosomeextent through awareness andreflexivity
(Devine1989).
Marx's theoryof class consciousness-whichcontendsthatphysically prox-
imateworkers facingimmiseration will overcomefalsebeliefsthrough inter-
actionandreflection-isa classicsociologicalcounterpart(and see Bourdieu
1974).
272 DiMAGGIO

Schemafailure Finally, peopleshifttomoredeliberative modesofprocessing


whenexistingschematafailto accountadequatelyfornewstimuli.Research
on thepsychology of intergroup relationssuggeststhatpeoplein taskgroups
codeothers
initially onthebasisofstereotypes butshifttomoredeliberate evalu-
ationswhenfacedwithverystrong inconsistent
evidence(Schneider1991:536,
Bergeret al 1980). Moscovici,whoseDurkheimian social psychology dif-
fersin manyrespectsfromotherpsychological accountsofmentalstructures
(Farr& Moscovici1984,Augoustinos & Innes1990),arguesthatcollectivities
confronted withdisjunctive socialchangeconstruct newsocialrepresentations
(oftenanchoredin analogiesto pre-existing schemata,and oftenconstructed
deliberatively
byexperts inthesocialsciencesandmassmedia)inordertointer-
pretnewstimuli.Sucharguments areparalleledinGarfinkel's (1967) breaching
experiments, whichforcibly andpainfully overrode automatic and
processing,
in Swidler'scontention thatideologiesandotherconsistent culturalformsare
moreinfluential duringunsettled times(1986, Jepperson & Swidler1994 on
constitutive
vs. strategicculture).
Psychologistsmay notethatI have paid scantattention to activedebates
aboutthe natureof mentalstructures and have drawntoo sharpa contrast
betweenautomatic anddeliberative processing.Researchon culture, however,
can alreadybenefitfromwhatresearchon cognition has resolved.The notion
of schemais a fairapproximation ofphenomena identifiablein fuzzyoutline,
if notsharprelief,by experimental methods;researchon schemataadvances
sociologicalunderstandings ofculture,especiallyinstitutions;andresearchon
automatic vs deliberativeprocessing mayhelpsociologistsdetermine whatto
do withthewidelybelievedbuttheoretically inertnotionthatbothinstitution
and agencyarecentralto sociallife.

Cultureas Supra-Individual
Itis nonewstosociologists
thatculture atthecollectivelevel.
exists,suigeneris,
(The positiontakenhere-thatcultureis also manifestin people'sheads-is
probably morecontroversial.)
Nonetheless,psychologicalresearchcanhelpus
character
appreciateseveralaspectsofculture'ssupra-individual thatsociolo-
gistsofculturesometimes neglect.

PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE A livelybranchof social-psychological research


derivesfromRobertK. Merton'snotionof"pluralistic ignorance" (1957): the
idea thatpeopleactwithreference to sharedrepresentationsofcollectiveopin-
ion thatare empirically inaccurate.Such research directs us to distinguish
betweentwosenses whichculture supra-individual: an aggregateof
in is as
oras sharedrepresentations
individuals'beliefsorrepresentations, ofindividu-
evidence
als' beliefs.Substantial indicatesthatthelatterdeviatessubstantially
CULTURE AND COGNITION 273

fromtheformerwithsignificant consequencesandthatthisprocess
behavioral
autonomy
a basisfortherelative
represents ofsocialnorms(Miller& Prentice
1996,Noelle-Neumann 1993).

INTERGROUP CONTRAST AND POLARIZATION The existenceof group-level


cultures(sharedunderstanding partlyindependent ofindividualbeliefs)is also
suggestedby thetendency of groupsto adoptpublicpositionsmoreextreme
thanthepreferences oftheirmembers, especiallywhenactingwithreference
group.Whatis striking
to a contrasting is notpolarizationperse, butthecul-
ofpolarizedstances(representations
turalavailability ofcollectiveopinion)on
whichmembers ofeachgroupcan converge (Tajfel1981).

SCHEMATA AS CULTURE Not all schemataare culturalto the same degree.


Some schematareflectuniversal
cognitiveprocesses(forexample,basicobject
whereasothersmaybe quiteidiosyncratic.
categorization), Manyschemata,
however,and theschemataof greatestinterest to sociologistsof culture,en-
act widelyheldscriptsthatappearindependent of individualexperience.For
example,theresearch,citedabove,thatfoundcoherencein ratingsof small
groupbehavioremerging onlyafterthefact,led theauthor(Shweder1982) to
speculatethatmuchofwhatpassesas clinicalresearchon personality is really
ofpersonhood
aboutculturalconstructions (andsee Meyer1986).

COHERENT CULTURES AS EXTERNAL TO PERSONS Despitethischapter'sfo-


ofculture,
cus on subjectiverepresentations we mustnotforgetthatrelatively
coherent culturalformsexistindependentlyofpersonsinthebroaderenviron-
ment.Indeed,one of themorenotablecharacteristics of modernsocietiesis
theexistenceofa culturaldivisionoflaborin whichintellectual
producersin-
tentionallycreateanddiffusemyths,images,andidea systems(Douglas 1986,
Farr& Moscovici1984,Swidler1997). Otherrelatively coherentrepresenta-
tionsexistless formallyas narratives invokedin public
or storiesrepeatedly
discourse(Dobbin1994,White1992).

AN INITIAL SYNTHESIS Some would arguethatwhatevercoherenceexists


flowsfromsuchexternally availablesources,i.e. thatculturalcoherenceis
entirelyexternalto theperson. As we have seen,however,such a position
pushesthehealthyshiftfromthelatent-variableto thetoolkitone steptoofar.
Instead,theresearchreviewedheresuggeststhatcultureworksthrough thein-
teractionofthreeforms.First,we haveinformation,distributed
acrosspersons
(Carley1991). Such distribution butnothighlydifferentiating,
is patterned,
mannerin whichbitsofcultureareaccumulated
due to theindiscriminant and
storedin memory(Gilbert1991). Second,we havementalstructures, espe-
ciallyschematicrepresentationsof complexsocial phenomena, whichshape
274 DiMAGGIO

thewaywe attendto,interpret, remember, andrespondemotionally to thein-


formation we encounter andpossess.Suchschemataaremoreclearlysocially
patterned thanarememory traces.Finally,we havecultureas symbolsystems
external totheperson,including thecontent oftalk,elements oftheconstructed
environment, mediamessages,andmeaningsembeddedin observableactivity
patterns.
Cultureinheresnotin theinformation, norin theschemata, norin thesym-
bolicuniverse, butintheinteractions amongthem.As we haveseen,schemata
structure ouruseofinformation. Butpeopleacquiremanyschemata throughout
theirlives,and someoftheseareinconsistent bothin contentand in implica-
tionsforbehavior.How is itthatpeopleinvokeoneamongthemanyschemata
availabletothemin a givensituation?
To simplify greatlyin orderto focusupontheaspectof theprocessmost
relevantto thesociologyofculture, selectionis guidedbyculturalcues avail-
able in theenvironment. Althougha fewschematamaybe chronically avail-
able,moreoftentheyareprimedoractivated byan externalstimulus orframe
(Sedikides& Skowronski1991, Barsalou 1992, Gamson1992:6-8, Schud-
son 1989). Framingeffects in socialsurveys-e.g.thefinding thatwhitesare
morelikelytoacceptnegative stereotypesofAfrican-Americans ifthequestion
is precededby a neutralreference to affirmativeaction(Sniderman & Piazza
1993:102-104)-are familiarexamples. But schematacan also be activated
through conversation,mediause,or observation ofthephysicalenvironment.
Understanding theinteractionbetweentwodistributions-of theschematathat
constitute people's culturaltoolkits,and of externalculturalprimers thatact
as framesto evoke(and,in evoking,exerting selectionpressuresupon)these
schemata-is a centralchallengeforsociologistsofculture.

APPLICATIONS
This sectionreviewsworkon cognitiveaspectsof thesociologyof culture
in lightof theperspectivedevelopedhere. The topicsare identity,
collective
memory, logicsofaction,andframing.
socialclassification,
Identity
has becomeone ofthemostactiveresearchfieldsin thesociologyof
Identity
kindsofcollective
betweentwoquitedifferent
culture.Itis usefultodistinguish
identity:theidentities ontheonehand,andcollectiveaspectsof
ofcollectives,
theidentities ofindividualson theother.
IDENTITIES OF COLLECTIVES At the supra-individual level,collectiveiden-
Researchat thislevelportrays
of a collectivity.
tityis a sharedrepresentation
as highlyconstructed
collectiveidentities (Anderson1983), through explicit
CULTUREANDCOGNITION 275

messagesandmoresubtleelementssuchas anthems andflags(Cerulo1994).


Collectiveidentities
arechronically as groupsvie to producesocial
contested,
representationscapableofevokingschemata favorabletotheiridealormaterial
(Moscovici1984,Zerubavel1994,Friedland& Hecht1996).
interests
Anotherline of research,activein bothpsychology and sociology,views
thatvarycross-culturally
andselvesas collectiverepresentations
identities and
Markuset al (1996) reviewresearchon differences
historically. inthecultural
construction inEastAsianandWestern
ofidentity societies.Meyer& Jepperson
(1996) contendthatthemodernself(anditsvariations indifferentpolities)is a
constructedidentityendowedwithagencyinrelationto thecollectivity.

COLLECTIVE ELEMENTS IN INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES Muchresearch on collec-


tiveidentityis actuallyaboutthemorecomplexissueofthewaysinwhichsocial
identities
enterintotheconstitution ofindividualselves.Social identity
theory
viewsindividual identitiesas comprising identity-sets
prioritized basedonpar-
androle-based
ticularistic groupaffiliations
(Stryker1986). Self-categorization
theoriesalso portray collectiveidentities
as invokedby conditions thatmake
particularidentitiesespeciallysalient(Tajfel& Turner1986). In thisview,
individualidentitiesreflectelaborated
group-identityschematainproportion to
strengthandrecencyofactivation. Viewingidentitiesas context-dependentin
thiswayis consistent withobservations ofthevolatilitywithwhichidentities
maygainandlose salienceduringperiodsofintergroup conflict.

CollectiveMemory
Collectivememoryis the outcomeof processesaffecting, respectively,the
information to whichindividuals haveaccess,theschemataby whichpeople
understand thepast,and theexternalsymbolsor messagesthatprimethese
schemata.Like collectiveidentities, researchon collectivememory portrays
thephenomenon in bothsupra-individualandindividualterms.
processesthatmaintain
Severalscholarshavestudiedinstitutional orsuppress
information as partofpublicculture,suchas factors
determining thereputation
andpopularity ofparticular personsor artworks(Fine 1996,Griswold1986,
Lang& Lang 1988). Muchresearch, however, focusesupontheschematic level,
studying struggles to definethewaysin whichmembers ofa societyinterpret
widelysharedinformation abouttheirpast,eithertrackingchangein theways
in whicha personor publicfigureis understood overtime(Schudson1992,
Schwartz1991) or analyzingconflict overalternativevisionsof a collective
past(Maier1988,Zerubavel1994).
Littleresearchhas focusedon theinteraction betweenindividualand col-
lectivememories.An exceptionis theworkofSchuman& Scott(1989), who
use surveymethodsto explorethepossibility thatthehistoricaleventsthat
276 DiMAGGIO

generations
menandwomenofdifferent remember their
mostvividlystructure
socialissues.
ofcontemporary
understanding

Social Classification
The studyofsocialclassification-the socialconstruction anduse ofcategory
schemes-hasburgeoned inthelastdecade.Someworkhasanalyzedprocesses
inhistorical
ofclassification time,describing theemergence ofa strongly clas-
highculture(DiMaggio 1982),ortheuse ofsocialcategorization
sifiedartistic
intheformation andimplementation ofsocialpolicies(Starr1992). Ofparticu-
is Mohr's(1994) analysisof"discourseroles,"whichusesstructural
larinterest
equivalenceanalysisto identify theimplicitclassification of social problems
andclientgroupsembeddedin self-descriptions ofsocial-service andpoverty-
relieforganizationsin earlytwentieth-century New YorkCity.
Otherresearch has focuseduponsocialdifferentiation inshorter timespans.
Zelizer(1989) describestheprocessbywhichwomenfindwaysto differenti-
ate evenmoney,theuniversalmediumof exchange,in orderto imbueit with
social meaning.Lamont(1992) analyzesthebasesuponwhichmenofdiffer-
entregionaland nationaloriginsmakesocial distinctions thatreinforce their
senseofsocialhonor.Gieryn(1997) describesboundary workwithinscientific
communities, examining howscientists respondwhenthestrong classification
science/nonscience is threatened.
Zerubavel,one of fewsociologiststo studyclassification froma cognitive
perspective,pointsoutthatthedriveto partition a continuous worldappears
to be a humanuniversal, thoughthenatureofthecategoriesconstructed may
varysignificantlyamonggroups(Zerubavel1991,1997,Douglas1966). Rosch
(1978), whoseworkhas dominated psychological thinking on thetopic,pro-
poses (withmuchexperimental support)thatcognition is mostefficient when
we chunkmanyseparatefeatures(bitsof information) together by thinking
witha prototype (completementalimage)ofan object.Prototypical constructs
emergeatthemostefficient levelofabstraction:i.e. whereanincreaseinspeci-
ficityprovidesthegreatestmarginalincreasein information. Thus we have
prototypes for"chair"butnot"furniture" or "divan,"and for"bird"butnot
for"animal"or"sparrow." Although thelevelatwhichobjectprototypes form
appearsto be relativelyuniversal,thespecificcontent ofa prototype reflectsa
mixoftypicality andavailabilityin a givenlocation(D'Andrade1995).
Roschappliedhermodelofprototypes to relativelysimpleconcepts.Self-
categorizationtheory drawson theprototype model(Hogg& McGarty1990),
butitremainsto be seen ifcomplexsocial constructs arerepresented in such
unambiguous terms.If so, application to roleanalysismaybe useful,in light
parallelbetweenRosch'scharacterization
of an intriguing of a prototype as a
CULTURE AND COGNITION 277

ofsocialroleas
andNadel's (1957) classicdefinition
coreofessentialfeatures
anda penumbra
ofa coreofentailments
consisting ofoptionalfeatures.

LogicsofAction
Manyauthorshaveusedtheexpression "logicsofaction"to referto an inter-
dependent setofrepresentations orconstraints thatinfluence actionin a given
domain.Sometimes, ofcourse,thetermis usedas a synonym for"idealtype"
(Orru1991) or,in rational-actor approaches, toreferto situational constraints
thatinduceparallelbehaviorsamongplayerswithsimilarresourcesgivenpar-
ticularrulesofthegame(Block 1990,Offe1985).
morecultural,
A richer, senseoflogicshasemerged inrecentworkinpolitical
economy, a viewthatembedsthemintheinteraction betweenmentalstructures
instantiatedin practicalreason(Bourdieu1990),on theone hand,andinstitu-
tionalrequirements on theother.Friedland& Alford(1991:248-49) provide
themostthorough expositionand definition, describing "institutionallogics"
as sets "of materialpracticesand symbolicconstructions" thatconstitute an
order's"organizing
institutional principles"andare"availabletoorganizations
and individuals to elaborate."Accordingto Friedland& Alford,theselogics
are"symbolically grounded, organizationallystructured, defined
politically and
technicallyandmaterially constrained."
Similarimageryis apparentin Boltanski& Thevenot'snotionof modes
of justification(1991), institutionallylinkeddiscoursesembodyingspecific
orientationstowardactionand evaluation.Empiricaldevelopment of similar
ideas can be foundin Fligstein's(1990) workon "conceptions of control"in
corporate governance, andin Stark's(1990) analysisofshopfloorpoliticsin a
Hungarian socialistfactory.
Such workrequiresa taxonomy each ofwhichentailsa dis-
ofinstitutions,
tinctivelogic. (For Friedland& Alford,theinstitutions are capitalism,the
state,democracy, family, religion,andscience,each ofwhichhas itsownax-
ial principleand linkedroutinesand rituals.)Conflicteruptsfromtheclash
of institutionallogics,as whena wifeviewsherhouseholdlaborthrough a
marketplace logicofexplicitexchange, whereasherhusbandimposesa family
logicofselflessserviceuponthesituation.
The notionoflogicsis immensely appealing.First,itproposesthatexternal
ritualsand stimuliinteract withinternal mentalstructures to generateroutine
behavior. Second,it is consistent withtheview thatcultureis fragmented
amongpotentially inconsistentelements,withoutsurrendering thenotionof
limitedcoherence,whichthematization of clustersof ritualsand schemata
aroundinstitutions provides. Third,it providesa vocabularyfordiscussing
culturalconflictas confrontation betweeninconsistent logicsofaction.
278 DiMAGGIO

At thesametime,theworkremainsfrankly exploratoryandcalls attention


to gaps in ourcurrentunderstanding whichneither
of cultureand cognition,
psychology norsociologycanaddress.Thesearethetopicsofthenextsection.

KEY PROBLEMS IN THE STUDY


OF CULTURE AND COGNITION
logicscan be reinterpreted
The notionofinstitutional as an effort
to thematize
schemataandlinkthemto socialstructure. In ordertoexploittheinsights this
perspectiveoffers, ofcultureneedthreethingsthatwe nowlack:-an
students
understandingofhowschemataaggregate tomorecomplexcultural structures,
ofcultural
or"logics";anunderstanding change,which,inturn, requiresa clear
understandingofthewayinwhichactorsswitchamonginstitutional logics;and
a theoryof analogy,whichis necessaryif we are to understand processesof
schematic thatthematization
generalization andswitching bothrequire.
Aggregation
ModelsofSchematic
Perhapsthehighest ofcultureandcognition
forstudents
priority is to develop
modelsofthematization, bywhichI meanthewaysinwhichdiverseschemata
aggregate tomoregeneralandsociologically interesting likethought
constructs
styles,stories,logics,paradigms,andideologies.Thereareseveralcandidates
forsuchmodels.

ATOMISTICDECOUPLING isthateveryday
Thenullhypothesis ispop-
thought
ulatedbyrandomly invoked, looselycoupledschematawithlittleornohigher-
is simplyimposedposthoc bycultural
If so, thematization
levelarchitecture.
specialistsorembeddedintheenvironment andineverydayroutines.
Although
thisviewis inconsistentwithmostworkinthesociologyofculture, andwould
seemill-equippedtoexplaineitherexperimental onschemata
research ormacro-
culturalchange,itcannotnowbe disconfirmed absolutely.

NESTED HIERARCHY At theoppositeextremeis theview of cross-cultural


thatculturecomprisesa hierarchy
psychologists of nestedschemata,arrayed
fromabstractto concrete,withthelatterentailedby theformer.For exam-
ple, Markus& Kitayama(1994) viewa widerangeof cognitivedifferences
betweenJapaneseandAmericansas flowing fromfundamental in
differences
Althoughtheyprovidecompelling
self-schemata. in-
evidenceof significant
tergroup one neednotassumeas muchcoherenceas theydo.
differences,
and
evidencethatinformation
DOMAIN-SPECIFICITYThereis considerable
todifferent
schematapertaining areasofmem-
lifedomainsis storedindistinct
with
ory, schematic occurring
integration within domains
specific (Hirschfeld
CULTURE AND COGNITION 279

& Gelman1994). In thisview,clustersofschemataarecoherent onlywithin


limitedboundaries;takentogether, thedomainsare "morelikethecollected
denizensofa tidepool thana singleoctopus"(D'Andrade1995:249).
Thisviewhas considerableexperimental support,
thoughthereis littlecon-
sensusas to thesize or characterof thedomains. It is tempting to equate
"domain"withtheinstitutionalrealmsidentified
byFriedland& Alford(1991)
or Boltanski& Thevenot(1990), and to positthatculturallyspecific"logics
ofaction"arethusembeddedin schematic organization,
butthereis atpresent
littleifanyempiricalwarrantfordoingso.

IDENTITYCENTRALITY Someevidencesuggests
thataffectively
hotschemata
aremoresalientandhavemoreextensive entailments
thando emotionally
neu-
tralstructures.
Workon identity(Wiley& Alexander1987,Hogg & McGarty
1990) suggeststhepossibility
that"theself"maybe an emotionally
supersat-
uratedclusterofschematatending towardconsistency
andstability
overtime.
Schematathatareembeddedintheself-schemata, then,aremorecloselyartic-
ulatedwithotherschematathanthosethatarenotincorporatedintotheself.

ROLE CENTRALITY By analogy,one can viewrolesas situationally evoked,


emotionally partialidentities
activated, thatprovideintegrated
chunksofschem-
aticorganizationandpermit compartmentalization ofdifferentculturalcontents.
This perspectiveis appealingbecauseit identifiesa mechanism (i.e. roleac-
tivation)connecting schematic triggeringto contextualvariation,
andbecause
itis consistent
withevidencefordomain-specificity ofschematic organization.
Moreover, becauserolesareembeddedin distinctive rolerelations,thisview
pointstowardan integration of culturaland network analysiswithina single
framework (McCall 1987).
Whichof thesemodelsof schematicthematization bestdescribesthepro-
cessesbywhichpeopleintegrate schematais atpresentanybody's guess. Sig-
nificantmatters-the extenttowhichideologyenters intoconsciousexperience,
thepatterning of culturalstylesor orientations,
and thestabilityof cognition
acrosscontext-rideon itsresolution.

CulturalChange
A secondpriority forsociologistsof cultureis to createtheoriesof cultural
changethatintegrate
ideasfromresearch onculture andcognitionwithmacroso-
At leastfourdifferent
ciologicalperspectives. changeprocessesarecrucialto
understand.

TRIGGERING I have arguedthatcultureenters


THEORYOF ENVIRONMENTAL
intoeverydaylifethrough
theinteraction
of environmental
cues and mental
I havefurther
structures. suggested,
bycombining theoriesin
logic-of-action
280 DiMAGGIO

sociologyand domain-specificity thatculturalunder-


theoriesin psychology,
standingsmaybe fragmented bydomain,so thatwhenpersonsorgroupsswitch
fromone domaintoanother, attitudes,
theirperspectives, anddis-
preferences,
positionsmaychangeradically.Itfollowsthatlarge-scale changesmay
cultural
be causedby large-scale,more-or-lesssimultaneous frameswitchesbymany
interdependentactors.
At themicrolevel,we need a betterunderstanding of how and whypeo-
ple switchamongframes,logics,or domains(White1995; froma rational
choiceperspective, Lindenberg& Frey1993). The paradigmatic workon this
comesfromlanguage,whereresearchon code-switching has documentedthe
circumstances(ordinarily changesin context, conversation or topic)
partner,
changeinlanguageordialect(Gumperz1982). Atthemacrolevel,
thattrigger
thechallengeis to createmodelsthatlinkenvironmental changetopatternsof
switching(White1995).

THEORYOF SCHEMAACQUISITION, DIFFUSION,AND EXTINCTION Psycholo-


gistshavecastsubstantial lighton theacquisitionof schematabyindividuals
duringdevelopment (Nelson& Gruendel1981,Hirschfeld 1994). Sociolo-
gistsof cultureshouldturntheirattention to factorsleadingto changein the
distribution and levelof activation of culturalrepresentations or schematain
thepopulation.Suchchangemayoccurifdifferent cohortsacquireparticular
schemataat varying rates;or if changesin thedistribution of environmental
cues lead to enhancedactivation or deactivation of particular schematathat
havealreadybeenacquired.
Diffusionmodelsof thesortthathave been used to studytheeffectsof
mediaexposureon theadoptionofnewtechnologies orbeliefsmaybe useful.
Diffusionshouldbe mosteffective whereresonanceexistsbetweenthenew
culturalelementandexisting schematic organization (Sperber1985).
Work in the historicalsociologyof cultureprovidessome guidance.
Wuthnow's (1989) macro-theory ofideologicalchange,whichpointstotheim-
portance ofecological effectson thelifechancesofnewbeliefs,maybeusefully
transposed tomoremicrolevels.Tilly(1992) hasdevelopedandimplemented a
valuableapproachtostudying changeovertimeincontentious movement reper-
toires. Buchmann& Eisner(1996) presentevidenceof accelerating change
in thepublicpresentation of selvesduringthesecondhalfof thetwentieth
century.
A particular challengeis tounderstand cognitive aspectsofmajorcollective
eventsin whichlargenumbers ofpersonsrapidlyadoptorientations thatmight
haveappearedculturally alientothemajority ofthema shorttimebefore.Some
religiousrevivals,theemergence ofcapitalism thefalloftheSovietUnion,
after
andsomespiralsofethnicantagonism aredemanding cases ofthiskind.
CULTURE AND COGNITION 281

THEORY OF DELIBERATIVE OVERRIDING It is important


tounderstand notonly
howcultureconstrains, buthowpersonsandgroupscan transcend thebiasing
effectsof cultureon thought.Workon thisproblembypsychologists (noted
earlier)mustbe supplemented by researchon thetypesof social interaction
thatlead largenumbersof peopleto questionand,ultimately,to revisetheir
schematic ofsocialphenomena.
representations
Analogyand Generalization
Relatedtothestudyofchange,butso important thatitwarrants a sectionofits
own,is theproblemofanalogyandgeneralization. Sociologicaltheoriesthat
portray personsas activelyincorporating cultureintocognitiveorganization
invariablyrelyon somenotionlikethehabitus,whichBourdieu(1990) refers
to as a "systemof durabletransposable dispositions."The keyquestionfor
all of thesetheoriesis: Underwhatconditions are dispositionsor schemata
abstractedandtransposed fromone domainto another?
Almostall culturalchangeentailsthetransfer of some bodyof ideas or
imagesfromone content areato anotheron thebasisof similarity judgments.
Indeed,anyattempt to characterizethecultureof a group peopleinabstract
ora
terms-i.e.,anyanalyticeffort at thematization-takes forgranted thatactors
havethecapacityto drawanalogiesbetweenclassesofobjects,actors,events,
oractions,andthereby tounderstand themin similarways.
Thinkofcultureas a network ofinterrelatedschemata, withanalogiesas the
"ties"thatcreatepathsalongwhichgeneralization andinnovation occur.How
arenew"ties"created?The literature providesat leastthreealternatives.
FEATURE CORRESPONDENCE In themoststraightforwardmodels,twoschem-
ata orrelatedstructures
lendthemselves
toanalogy(andthustogeneralization
acrossdomains)insofaras theyshareparticular features(Lakoff& Johnson
1980) thatcreatea correspondencebetweenthem. Thus Swinburne'sline,
"whenthehoundsof springare on winter'straces,"is meaningful because
of thecorrespondencebetweentemporaland spatialpursuitand betweenthe
destructive ofhoundson haresandofspringon winter.Twoproblems
effects
withthisviewarethatthecorrespondence
itselfis constructed thaninnate;
rather
and thatanalogicalpowerwouldnotseemto varywiththeextentof overlap
betweentenorandvehicle.
STRUCTURE-MAPPING pointtheexistenceof
This viewtakesas its starting
someformofcontent-related Analogiesconnectnotsim-
domain-specificity.
plyschematabutwholedomains(Tourganeau & Sternberg 1982),derivingtheir
powerfromthenetwork ofentailedcomparisons The mostpow-
theytrigger.
erfulanalogiesconnectdomainsthatarestructurallyhomologous.Putanother
acrossdomainsis a function
way,generalizability notof theextentto which
282 DiMAGGIO

theyshareparticular
features
in common,butoftheextentto whichrelations
amongfeaturesarestructurally
similar(Gentner1983).
EMOTIONAL RESONANCE Someresearch suggeststhataffectively
hotschemata
aremorelikelytobe generalizedacrossdomainsthanaffectively neutral
sche-
mata. For example,analogiesare likelyto be drawnbetweensituations that
elicitstrong
emotionalreactionsofa similarkind(Abelson1981:725).
POLYSEMY AND SEMANTIC CONTAGION A finalpossibility is thatpolysemous
expressions-those withdistinctmeaningsthatresonate withmultiple schemata
or domains-facilitate analogicaltransfer.
Bakhtin'swork(1986) on textual
is suggestive
multivocality inthisregard,as is White's(1992) workon stories
and rhetorics.Ross (1992) portraysmeaningas emerging fromtherelations
of wordsto one anotherin speechand to activitiesin real time. Because
theseconstantlychange,meaningsarerarelyfixed,butinsteadadapt,diverge,
and spreadacrossdomainsthrough semanticcontagion.This perspective is
attractive
particularly becauseitacknowledges endemicchangeinlanguageand
othersymbolsystems andbecauseitembedsgeneralization insocialinteraction.

SYMBOLS, NETWORKS,AND COGNITION


Cognitive aspectsofculture areonlyone-and notnecessarily thelargest-part
ofthesociologyofculture'sdomain.Butitis a partthatwe cannotavoidifwe
are interestedin howcultureentersintopeople'slives,foranyexplanation of
culture'simpacton practicerestson assumptions abouttheroleof culturein
cognition.I havearguedthatwe arebetter offifwe makesuchmodelsexplicit
thanifwe smugglethemin through thebackdoorandthatworkin cognitive
psychologyand social cognition,althoughanimatedby different questions,
offerstoolsthatwe sociologists can use topursueourownagendas.
Ultimately,thechallengeis tointegrate themicroperspectives onculturede-
scribedherewithanalysesofcultural changeinlargercollectivities overlonger
stretchesoftime.I havearguedfora perspective thatprivilegesschemata andre-
latedconstructs as unitsofanalysis,andattends tomechanisms bywhichphys-
ical,social,andculturalenvironments activatetheseschemata.
differentially
Thisargument has beggedthequestionofwhichaspectsoftheenvironment
aremostworthy ofstudy.Without denying theunquestionable importance of
researchon howmediaandactivity structuresinteractwithsubjective cultural
representations,I shallconcludebycallingbriefattention tonewresearch onthe
relationshipofcognitive andsymbolic phenomena tosocialstructuresportrayed
as socialnetworks.
Some researchers havefocusedon cognitive representationsofsocialstruc-
ture.[Fiske& Linville(1980) claimthatschematheory is especiallyrelevant
CULTURE AND COGNITION 283

to therepresentation of socialphenomena; andsee Howard(1994).] The idea


thatsocial structuresexistsimultaneously through mentalrepresentations and
in concretesocial relationswas centralto Nadel's (1957) role theory.Both
theorists(Emirbayer & Goodwin1994,Orr1995,White1992)andresearchers
(Krackhardt 1987) areexploring theimplications ofthisview.
Networks arecrucialenvironments fortheactivation
ofschemata, logics,and
frames.In a studyof theParisCommune,Gould(1995) arguesthatpolitical
protestnetworks did notcreatenewcollectiveidentities, butratheractivated
identitiesthatcommunards alreadypossessed.Bernstein (1975) demonstrates
theimpactofnetwork structureson individuals'tendency toemploycognitive
abstraction.Erickson(1996), studying securityguards,findsa correlationbe-
tweenthecomplexity of social networks and thediversity of conversational
interests.Vaughan(1986) describeshow people questioning marriagealter
customary patternsofsocialrelationsinordertocreatenew,independent iden-
titiesas prologueto separation.Such studiespointto a new,morecomplex
understanding of therelationship betweencultureand social structure built
uponcarefulintegration of microand macro,and of cognitiveand material,
perspectives.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thanksare due to thestudents in myPrinceton graduateseminaron culture


and cognitionforinsightful discussionsof muchof theworkreviewedhere;
tomypsychology colleaguesMarciaJohnson, Dale Miller,andDeborahPren-
tice,who providedvaluableguidancein myefforts to come to speedyterms
withculture-relevant
literatureincognitiveandsocialpsychology; andto Bob
Wuthnow, Dale Miller,EviatarZerubavel, RogerFriedland, andJohnMohrfor
topresent
opportunities thesethoughtsatmeetings andworkshops atPrinceton,
Rutgers,SantaBarbara,andtheASA meetings.Forvaluablereadingsofear-
I am indebted
lierdrafts, to RogerFriedland, MicheleLamont,Diane Mackie,
CalvinMorrill,AbigailSmith,AnnSwidler,andEviatarZerubavel.

VisittheAnnualReviewshomepage at
http://www.annurev.org.

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