Language helps us determine how we see and think about the world. Language restricts the thought of people who use it and the limits of one's language become the limits of one's world.
Written description and interpretation of a culture and a set of cultural practices
How symbols shape the ways people see, feel, think about the world
”Standard average European" cultures are in a mental straight-jacket in which events are packaged in boxes, such as days, hours, minutes: a length of time, he argued, "is envisioned as a row of similar units, like a row of bottles."
In every culture, certain symbols acquire greater significance
These symbols serve as major vehicles for conceptualization of notions such as justice, freedom, peace, success
These symbols both articulate and reinforce key ideas or feelings
Ferdinand de Saussure
•Swiss linguist, father of semiotics
•Understands culture as a system of signs
•Widely influential French structuralist from the 1950s and 1960s
•A key concept of his approach is “the arbitrariness of the sign”
•People have the ability to assign meaning to anything they experience in an arbitrary fashion
•The period between states
•The limbo during which people have left one place or state but haven’t yet entered or joined the next one.
•suggests three phases in rite of passage -- ritual for transition:–Separation from an existing identity–Transition (liminal stage)–Reintegration to society with new status
1.Life-cycle ceremonies: birth, puberty, marriage, death
2.Rituals of affliction: performed when a crisis occurs: in the face of illness, war, injury, bad luck, etc