The Psychology of Culture: A Course of Lectures


This work presents Sapir's most comprehensive statement on the concepts of culture, on method and theory in anthropology and other social sciences, on personality organization, and on the individual's place in culture and society. Extensive discussions on the role of language and other symbolic systems in culture, ethnographic method, and social interaction are also included. Ethnographic and linguistic examples are drawn from Sapir's fieldwork among native North Americans and from European and American society as well. Edward Sapir (1884-1939), one of this century's leading figures in American anthropology and linguistics, planned to publish a major theoretical state - ment on culture and psychology. He developed his ideas in a course of lectures presented at Yale University in the 1930s, which attracted a wide audience from many social science disciplines. Unfortunately, he died before the book he had contracted to publish could be realized. Like de Saussure's Cours de Linguistique Generale before it, this work has been reconstructed from student notes, in this case twentytwo sets, as well as from Sapir's manuscript materials. Judith Irvine's meticulous reconstruction makes Sapir's compelling ideas - of surprisingly contemporary resonance - available for the first time.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2002