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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    Default boundaries around catergories

    This has examples of snow names and car names.
    1. What does "boundaries around categories" mean? It's quite vague. does it mean like snow for Eskimos can have five names like "snowu, snowt, snowi, snowha, snowuw" for each type of snow, so there's only 5 boundaries?
    2. What does "relative importance" mean? Does it mean snow has relatively more importance for Eskimos, while cars have more importance for Canadians? I can't never get it.

    jomo-31
    ex)Each culture will establish its own rules to set the boundaries around categories, thus what one "knows" is influenced by what one is taught to filter out of one's overall perceptual field. These culturally defined boundaries are set by the criterion of relative importance. For example, it is well known that Eskimos have different words for many different kinds of snow. To an Eskimo, whose survival depends on his being able to be very precise about the condition of snow, the distinctions of snow take on great significance. On the other hand, if an Eskimo who had lived his entire life in the Arctic paid a visit to a large city in Canada, he would be impressed by the many vehicles he saw in the street....He would be really surprised to see that every vehicle has its own name, such as truck, taxi, car, or trailer.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: boundaries around catergories

    A boundary defines what is inside and what is outside of a category. A culture and its needs sets the importance of one thing to another, or its relative importance.

    One person may not be all that interested in sports, for example. Knowing someone is a football player or a hockey player may be all he needs to or cares to know about the subject.

    For another person, they would be interested in knowing not only if the person played football, but if he played offense or defense. If defense lineman, linebacker or secondary. If secondary, safety or corner. If safety, free safety or strong safety.

    One person's football player is another's strong safety.

    Cultures are the same way. Vocabulary and categories of things experienced in normal life depend on the environment and culture. Eskimos need to know different names for snow, Hawaiian islanders not so much.

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: boundaries around catergories

    Thanks a lot!!! What you told me is similar to what I thought. OK, one last question. What does "what one is taught to filter out of one's overall perceptual field." mean? Depending on what they are interested, do they select only the things out of everything that surrounds them?

    ex)..to set the boundaries around categories, thus what one "knows" is influenced by what one is taught to filter out of one's overall perceptual field. These culturally defined boundaries are set by the criterion of relative importance

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: boundaries around catergories

    Yes, basically. You become "trained" to not notice things in your environment that are unimportant to you, or so ubiquitous that you no longer notice them.

    If you came to the US, you would probably notice that there are a lot of big pickup trucks and SUVs. To Americans this is normal and not normally mentioned.

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