- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Cognitive Sociology and the Cultural Mind: debates, directions, and challenges
- Cognitive Sociology: between the personal and the universal mind
- Critical Theory and Cognitive Sociology
- Pierre Bourdieu as Cognitive Sociologist
- Embodied Cognition: sociology’s role in bridging mind, brain, and body
- The Old One-Two: preserving analytical dualism in cognitive sociology
- Can Carnal Sociology Bring Together Body and Soul?: or, who’s afraid of christian wolff?
- Cognitive Sociology and French Psychological Sociology
- Cognitive Science and Social Theory
- Dual-Process Models in Sociology
- Bridging the Vocabularies of Dual-Process Models of Culture and Cognition
- Metaphorical Creativity: the role of context
- Priming and Framing: dimensions of communication and cognition
- Cognitive Linguistics
- Class, Cognition, and Cultural Change in Social Class
- Cognitive Dichotomies, Learning Directions, and the Cognitive Architecture
- What Is Cultural Fit?: from cognition to behavior (and back)
- Productive Methods in the Study of Culture and Cognition
- An Assessment of Methods for Measuring Automatic Cognition
- Methods for Studying the Contextual Nature of Implicit Cognition
- Social Mindscapes and the Self: the case for social pattern analysis
- Charting the Emergence of the Cultural from the Cognitive with Agent-Based Modeling
- Sociology of Attention: fundamental reflections on a theoretical program
- Risk, Culture, and Cognition
- Cultural Blind Spots and Blind Fields: collective forms of unawareness
- The Sacred, Profane, Pure, Impure, and Social Energization of Culture
- Cognition and Social Meaning in Economic Sociology
- Scientific Analogies and Hierarchical Thinking: lessons from the hive?
- Getting a Foot in the Door: symbolism, door metaphors, and the cognitive sociology of access
- Foregrounding and Backgrounding: the logic and mechanics of semiotic subversion
- War Widows and Welfare Queens: the semiotics of deservingness in the US welfare system
- Perceiving and Enacting Authentic Identities
- Cognitive Migrations: a cultural and cognitive sociology of personal transformation
- The Experience of Time in Organizations
- Silence and Collective Memory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the ways individuals account for cognitive migrations—significant changes of mind and consciousness that are often expressed as powerful discoveries, transformative experiences, and newly embraced worldviews. It outlines three ideal typical forms of cognitive migration: awakenings, self-actualizations, and ongoing quests. Building on prior approaches to such personal transformations, it develops the notion of cognitive migration to argue the following set of interrelated points. First, cognitive migrations take autobiographical form, which is to say they manifest as the narrative identity work of individuals who undergo them. Second, such narrative identity work provides a reflexive foundation for an individual’s understanding of self and identity in relation to other possible selves and identities—for seeing oneself as a relationally situated character. Third, individuals who articulate cognitive migrations use the plot structure and cultural coding at the root of their narratives to express their allegiance to a new sociomental community. They thereby take on new cognitive norms and identity-defining conventions while rejecting potential alternatives, locating themselves within a broader sociomental field. The spatial metaphor of cognitive migrations draws explicit attention to the broader sociomental field in which such radical changes of mind take place. Finally, such narrative identity work links self-understandings to the often-contested meanings of broadly relevant issues, events, and experiences; when individuals account for their cognitive migrations, they also advance claims that reach well-beyond their personal lives.
Thomas DeGloma is Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He specializes in the areas of culture, cognition, memory, symbolic interaction, and sociological theory. His research interests also include the sociology of time, knowledge, autobiography, identity, and trauma. DeGloma’s book, Seeing the Light: The Social Logic of Personal Discovery (2014), which received the 2015 Charles Horton Cooley Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, explores the stories people tell about life-changing discoveries of “truth” and illuminates the ways that individuals and communities use autobiographical stories to weigh in on salient moral and political controversies. DeGloma has also published articles in Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Forum, Symbolic Interaction, and the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, along with chapters in various edited volumes. He is currently working on his second book, which explores the phenomenon of anonymity and the impact of anonymous actors in various social situations and interactions. He served as President of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (2017–2018) and Secretary of the Eastern Sociological Society (2016–2019).
Erin F. Johnston is the Jim Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her research focuses on experiences of personal transformation, and seeks to illuminate how the process of self-change unfolds in relation to the cultural resources made available in different organizational contexts. She has written about the rhetorical conventions underlying Pagan practitioners’ narratives of conversion (Sociological Forum, 2013), the aspirational nature of identity in spiritual communities (Religions, 2016), and about how novices learn to overcome failures and obstacles in the process of learning new spiritual disciplines by drawing on shared interpretive resources (Qualitative Sociology, 2017). Erin’s current book project, Learning to Practice, Becoming Spiritual: Spiritual Disciplines as Projects of the Self,draws on her fieldwork in two communities—an integral yoga studio and a Catholic prayer house—to reveal how these organizations enable the formation of new spiritual selves in and through the process of apprenticeship. Her latest research project examines the dynamics of identity formation among emerging adults on structured “gap year” programs.
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