Much research has demonstrated that human behavior can never be fully accounted for by deliberate rationality, as much of what happens in the human mind occurs outside of our awareness and beyond conscious control. Contemporary dual-process theories attempt to detail this duality of the human mind by distinguishing between two fundamentally different types of cognitive processes: on the one hand the nonconscious, automatic, and intuitive; and the conscious, deliberate, and rational on the other. These models also attempt to describe how the two types of processes interact with each other, and how various contextual factors influence their relationship. Dual-process models of cognition have proven useful in many fields of study, yet sociological use of these models to understand the micromechanisms of culture have been largely limited until very recently. This chapter aims to provide insight into dual-process models of cognition and their close resemblance with many core cultural theories, which already employ dual-process reasoning without recognizing or integrating their insights with each other or those of the cognitive sciences. It is argued that by developing a more integrated and interdisciplinarily accessible vocabulary, we can readily integrate and make better use of insights from dual-process models of cognition. Finally, important implications for our understanding of culture and for future research are discussed.
Henri C. Santos, Igor Grossmann, and Michael E. W. Varnum
This chapter discusses how differences in social class affect a variety of psychological processes and outcomes. In particular, it discusses how relatively higher class individuals are more likely to focus on the self—that is, emphasizing personal goals, feelings, and interests—compared to working-class individuals, who pay greater attention to the social context and their relationships with close others. In support of this claim, it discusses evidence of social class differences in values, neural processes, and higher level reasoning. It also explores the dynamic nature of the social class construct, looking at the difficulties people encounter when shifting to a relatively higher class and the historical trends that suggest global shifts in social class structure within societies. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of understanding social class when looking at various psychological outcomes. At the same time, they challenge researchers to consider the complexity of social class when studying its effects.
Within the human mind, are there multiple, qualitatively different systems? Are there different processes of learning and performance that have radically different characteristics? If so, what are these? How do they differ from each other? How do they interact and integrate? There have been various speculations in this regard, often centered on two (or more) interacting systems within the human mind. This chapter reviews arguments in favor of two-system views and discusses the interaction and integration of the two systems in terms of different learning directions going from one system to the other. It also outlines the overall cognitive architecture that encompasses and structures these aspects.
This chapter critically reviews work of three representatives of the French tradition of psychologically informed sociology: Marcel Mauss, Pierre Bourdieu, and Loïc Wacquant. It considers both the institutional backgrounds to these scholars’ encounters with psychology and cognitive science and main aspects of the conceptual and methodological evolution that has occurred between Mauss and Wacquant, particularly as regards their use of the habitus concept. Finally, it considers the influence of French psychological sociology on contemporary cognitive sociology, surveying some of the theoretical and methodological innovations that have resulted as well as possible avenues for further development of these interdisciplinary fields.
Although on the periphery of the migrant-receiving world as traditionally conceived, Russia is well entrenched in the global migration crisis. Migration crisis in Russia is largely a political construction, yet it is often framed as any other type of crisis (e.g. terrorism, geopolitical conflict, economic crisis), marked by a perception of existential threat, urgent public pressure, and uncertainty. This discussion of Russian policymakers’ approach shows how routinizing crisis decision making, through repeated reactionary moves that are institutionalized into law, creates continued crisis feedback loops that reinforce short-term policy horizons and fails to address long-standing demographic and labor market problems related to migration.
Elise Paradis, Warren Liew, and Myles Leslie
Drawing on an ethnographic study of teamwork in critical care units (CCUs), this chapter applies Henri Lefebvre’s ( 1991) theoretical insights to an analysis of clinicians’ and patients’ embodied spatial practices. Lefebvre’s triadic framework of conceived, lived, and perceived spaces draws attention to the role of bodies in the production and negotiation of power relations among nurses, physicians, and patients within the CCU. Three ethnographic vignettes—“The Fight,” “The Parade,” and “The Plan”—explore how embodied spatial practices underlie the complexities of health care delivery, making visible the hidden narratives of conformity and resistance that characterize interprofessional care hierarchies. The social orderings of bodies in space are consequential: seeing them is the first step in redressing them.
Gordon P. D. Ingram
Analysis of the development of gossip and reputation during childhood can help with understanding these processes in adulthood, as well as with understanding children’s own social worlds. Five stages of gossip-related behavior and reputation-related cognition are considered. Infants seem to be prepared for a reputational world in that they are sensitive to social stimuli; approach or avoid social agents who act positively or negatively to others, respectively; and point interaction partners toward relevant information. Young children engage in verbal signaling (normative protests and tattling) about individuals who violate social norms. In middle childhood, the development of higher-order theory of mind leads to a fully explicit awareness of reputation as something that can be linguistically transmitted. Because of this, preadolescents start to engage in increased conflict regarding others’ verbal evaluations. Finally, during adolescence and adulthood, gossip becomes more covert, more ambiguous, and less openly negative. The driving force behind all these changes is seen as children’s progressive independence from adults and dependence on peer relationships.
Joseph M. Whitmeyer
Conceptions of the human individual lie at the heart of all group process theories. Applying evolutionary reasoning—reasoning concerning what predispositions are likely to have evolved—to those conceptions can make the conceptions more accurate and thus improve theories based on them. This chapter discusses exchange processes, identity processes, and status processes. For exchange processes, evolutionary reasoning suggests numerous predispositions that would affect exchange, many to cope with the problem of cheating by others and ourselves. In fact, evolutionary reasoning suggests that concerns with our own identity may exist principally to improve our exchange outcomes. Concerning status processes, evolutionary reasoning suggests that awarding prestige must have evolved in the context of exchange, such that the person receiving prestige also incurs performance obligations. These points and others lead to several suggestions of areas for future research and specific predictions.
Kevin M. Beaver, Eric J. Connolly, Joseph L. Nedelec, and Joseph A. Schwartz
There is a great deal of interest in examining the genetic and environmental architecture to aggression, violence, and antisocial behaviors. This interest has resulted in hundreds of studies being published that estimate genetic and environmental effects on antisocial phenotypes. The results generated from these studies have been remarkably consistent and have contributed greatly to the knowledge base on the etiology of antisocial behavior. This chapter reviews the research on the genetic basis to antisocial phenotypes by presenting the results related to the heritability of antisocial phenotypes. It also discusses some of the molecular genetic association studies as well as genome-wide association studies that focus on the development of antisocial behaviors. In doing so, it also reviews findings related to gene–environment interactions. The chapter concludes by discussing some of the ways in which these findings could be used for intervention and prevention programs.
Olga Kornienko and Douglas A. Granger
A consistent focus of research has been on understanding how social relationships shape the activity of the biological stress response system. Progress has been made in characterizing these dynamics at the level of the individual, but significantly less is known about the role of social networks as a proximal ecology in which the stress response system is activated and contributes to human development. The focus of this chapter is on adolescence—a developmental period in which social relationships with peers represent both sources of social stress and opportunities for social buffering. It is proposed that considering peer social networks in which adolescents are embedded will augment understanding of the social context of psychosocial processes, including social status, rejection, isolation, bullying and victimization, and support, that are related to psychobiology of stress.
Abigail C. Saguy
The past two decades have seen an explosion of research on “fat frames.” Scholars have found that medical researchers and the pharmaceutical industry have dominated such debates, whereas fat rights activists have struggled to get their message out. Media scholars have found that the news media primarily frame fatness as a medical problem and public health crisis that people bring on themselves through poor food choices and physical inactivity. In contrast, the news media rarely discuss fatness as a form of diversity or condemn weight-based discrimination. Research has further shown that the news media emphasize individual blame and responsibility for “overweight” and “obesity.” Finally, experimental research has shown that people who read news media reports on an “obesity epidemic” caused by poor individual choices express more anti-fat prejudice than people who do not read such reports. This chapter examines the methodology and major findings of these strands of research and identifies fertile avenues of future research.
Daniel E. Adkins, Kelli M. Rasmussen, and Anna R. Docherty
It is well established that extreme social adversity can lead to negative health outcomes decades after the resolution of the precipitating environmental insult. Although the underlying mechanisms through which such adversity gets “under the skin” to become biologically embedded have long been considered a black box, recent research has indicated an important mediating role for epigenetic mechanisms—molecular modifications that regulate gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. With technical and scientific developments now enabling genome-wide epigenetic studies in humans, behavioral researchers have an unprecedented opportunity to empirically map the ways in which social dynamics become epigenetically embedded, influencing downstream gene expression, health, and behavior. This chapter examines the current state of social epigenetics research and discusses the opportunities and challenges facing this emerging field.
This chapter re-examines foundational philosophical controversies about the meaning of taste and reflects on how tastes have been understood by sociologists. It argues these insights, while revealing the social patterning of tastes, have also obscured the extent to which tastes are bound up both with sensory experience and with the process of learning the management of the body and its responses to the world. It concludes that, while the substantive weight of the sociological study of tastes has concerned itself with questions of the aesthetic and to the identification of different dispositions held by individuals and groups in relation to aesthetic judgment, there is value, in understanding contemporary cultures, to building up those accounts of taste that are more oriented to questions of the ascetic and to the role of restraint and training in the development and cultivation of tastes.