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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The new models of culture have opened different possibilities for the explanation of action, and they present interesting challenges to the familiar ways of understanding agency. In this article, the Boasian model and the functionalist model of culture are elaborated. The neo-Boasian model, the epidemiological model, and practice theory can map the contemporary literature. Practice theory tries to split the difference between theories that treat social structures as the primary determinant of action and those which prioritize individual choices. With respect to the structure-and-agency issue, both epidemiological models and practice theories have something analogous to structure, even if they have dispensed with a conception of culture/society as a system of rules. Contemporary models of culture are a fertile ground for redeveloping the epistemological and metaphysical issues of the social sciences.

Keywords: culture, social sciences, Boasian model, functionalist model, neo-Boasian model, epidemiological model, practice theory, contemporary models

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