The Jealous Potter

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As Lévi-Strauss freely explores the mythologies of the Americas, with occasional incursions into European and Japanese folklore, tales of sloths and squirrels interweave with discussions of Freud, Saussure, "signification," and plays by Sophocles and Labiche. Lévi-Strauss critiques psychoanalytic interpretation and defends the interpretive powers of structuralism. "Electrifying. . . . A brilliant demonstration of structural analysis in action. . . . Can be read with pleasure and profit by anyone interested in that aspect of self-discovery that comes through knowledge of the universal and timeless myths that live on in all of us."—Jonathan Sharp, San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle "A characteristic tour de force. . . . One remains awed by him."—Colin Thubron, Sunday Times "With all its epistemological depth, the book reads at times like a Simenon or a Lewis Carroll, fusing concise methodology with mastery of style."—Bernadette Bucher, American Ethnologist "[An] engagingly provocative exploration of mythology in the Americas. . . . Always a good read."—Choice "A playful, highly entertaining book, fluently and elegantly translated by Bénédicte Chorier."—Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, New York Times Book Review

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... Culture has long been studied by anthropologists (e.g., Levi-Strauss, 1988), sociologists, and psychologists (e.g., Triandis, 1995). Since Hofstede (1991) metaphorically defines culture as "the software of the mind" he adds that culture is "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another" (Hofstede, 1991, p.5). Cultural differences may manifest themselves through such facets as symbols, heroes, rituals, and values (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990). ...
The study investigated individual and team productivity as a function of two managerial practices-reward allocation and task design-which serve as motivational determinants in teamwork, and their interaction with the dispositional variables of Individualist (or independent) and collectivist (or interdependent) self-construal (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). People with individualist self-construal see themselves as autonomous from others and self-reliant, and emphasize personal interests, internal attributes, and uniqueness. People with collectivist self-construal conform to expectations of others and the social norms, and emphasize connectedness, social context, and relationships. The study tested the general hypothesis that congruence among self-construal and the levels of interdependence among team members (the latter being determined by the nature of the team's task and reward structures) is positively related to the task performance of individuals and teams. Specifically, it was hypothesized that people with strong individualist self-construal would perform better and perceive higher quality team processes under low levels of task interdependence and when rewarded individually as compared to people with low levels of individualist self-construal. On the other hand, people with strong collectivist self-construal would perform better and perceive higher quality team processes under high levels of task interdependence and with team based rewards as compared to people with lower levels of collectivist self-construal. The experiment was a mixed factorial design with two manipulated variables (task interdependence: high, low; reward interdependence: individual, group), and two measured continuous variables (individualist and collectivist self-construal) using 52 three-person teams working in a laboratory setting on a verbal performance task. Results demonstrated that at the individual and team levels of analysis, performance was best when self-construal was congruent with the levels of task interdependence and, partially, with the levels of task and reward interdependence. Hypotheses regarding team processes and individual satisfaction were not confirmed. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Kinship systems cannot be analysed as straightforward translations of the ‘facts of nature’ when those facts are limited to the production of a child by a heterosexual couple. Based upon analyses of three New Guinea societies (Gimi, Daribi, and Iatmul), I suggest that kinship systems take account – often by denying – certain ‘facts’ of human reproduction when those facts are extended beyond coitus and parturition to include both the very long period of infantile dependence upon one significant caregiver (always the mother in the societies in question and nearly universally) and the subsequent requirement for the child to be extracted from a dyadic maternal universe. Separation from mother is as critical to the survival and development of the individual as is the original prolonged and intense attachment to her.
For a number of reasons, systems designers have recently shown considerable interest in ethnography. For the most part, this has been used as a method for the specification of end-user requirements for systems. In this article, I argue that most of this interest is predicated in a misunderstanding of ethnography's role in social science. Instead of focusing on its analytic aspects, designers have defined it as a form of data collection. They have done this for very good, design-relevant reasons, but designers do not need ethnography to do what they wish to do. In the central part of this article, I introduce and illustrate an approach to analytic ethnography in human-computer interaction. In the latter sections I take this approach and show how it opens up the play of possibilities for design. These possibilities are illustrated by counterpoising a summary logic of organizational structure such as that associated with the calculus of efficiency and productivity with the local logics of daily organizational life.
Conference Paper
We present in this paper an object oriented modeling and simulation software implementing an extension of the DEVS formalism allowing to deal with dynamic variable structures applied to the analysis of folktales. This software is based on the DEVS (Discrete Event System specification) formalism in order to propose: (i) the modeling of a given myth issued from the oral literature of a given culture; (ii) the simulation of the corresponding myths transformations as described by Claude Levi Strauss when he dealt with the Mythical Thought; (iii) the simulation of different codes as defined by Claude Levi Strauss (cosmological, culinary, ...) through a given myth. The resulting software has been realized using the PythonDEVS kernel. The validation of the implemented software is performed on a set of folktales issued from the Corsican mythology.
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