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By Urs Fuhrer

Cultivating Minds is a ground-breaking unification of the tips of Simmel and modern views in cultural psychology. The theoretical framework proposed relies on an integration of middle philosophical, sociological, and mental principles from the highbrow traditions of pragmatism, socioculturalism, constructivism, and transactionalism. the first concentration of this paintings is on cultivation as a metaphor for identification formation. in accordance with this concept, every human agent is an energetic manufacturer of its personal improvement and id. The cultivation version expands latest sociocultural views through elaborating additional how an individual's cultivation of the sociocultural setting is mediated via artefacts and gadgets, an idea exemplified via the id procedures tested by means of graffiti artists. the assumption of the aesthetic brain has profound implications not just for cultural psychology but additionally for theories of id and, in fact, improvement. It impacts the best way we comprehend the formation of the self and, in any case, the expansion of the individual. the result's a idea which captures the convergence among identification, tradition and improvement in new and far-reaching methods.

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His reputation and works, his lands and horses, and yacht and bank account . . If they wax and prosper, he feels triumphant; if they dwindle and die away, he feels cast down. (James 1890: 279–80) A good deal of research supports James’s intuitions regarding the close connection between possessions and the self (cf. Belk 1992, Csikszentmihaly & Rochberg-Halton 1981, Dittmar 1992, Habermas 1996), social-psychological (Hormuth 1990), and developmental issues (Fuhrer & Josephs 1999). People spontaneously mention their possessions when asked to describe themselves.

In Boesch’s theorizing, culture forms action fields that determine opportunities, effects and meanings of personal activities. Action fields are thus not only “environments;” they rather reflect the subject’s representation of those aspects of the material and social environment that are relevant to personal goals. The valences and boundaries that constitute fields of action are intrinsically related to the goals, purposes, and beliefs of individual actors. Changes in social rule systems, however, alter the range of possible actions, and eventually create new types of acts.

People may be particularly prone to acquire and exhibit such signs and symbols when their identities are tenuously held or threatened (see Wicklund & Gollwitzer 1982). These functions support Sartre’s (1956) claim that people accumulate possessions to enlarge their sense of self. Second, possessions also extend the self in time. Most people take steps to ensure that their possessions and mementos are distributed to others at the time of their death. Although some of this distribution reflects a desire to allow others to enjoy 16 The semiotic mediation of the self the utilitarian value of these artifacts, Belk (1992) has argued that this dispersal also has a symbolic function.

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