Islands of Meaning - Islands of Meaning Zerubavel Argues We...

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Islands of Meaning Zerubavel Argues… We transform the natural world into a social world when we create entities that order our lives and shape the way we act and interact with each other. We create categories of objects, acts, events, processes and people that help us to reduce complexity of life via mental processes. Without categorization, our perceptions of the world would be meaningless, perhaps chaotic. “Islands of meaning” are created via two processes “In order to carve out of the flux surrounding us meaningful entities with distinctive identities, we must experience them as separate from one another.” We lump things together that we perceive as similar. We split things apart that we perceive as different. We perceive gaps between entities such as murder and arson, felonies and misdemeanors, foxes and camels, artists and scientists, luxury and necessity, dignity and insult. Our perceptions of voids makes continuous experiences into discrete entities or “islands.” Islands of Meaning Create Social Order Defining experiences as ‘Holidays,’ ‘reunions,’, traditions and ‘parties’ orders or influences who we invite to participate as well as who is excluded.

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