Symbolic Anthropology

Back to Inspired by... Anthropology

Symbols play an important role in my work. There is a branch of anthropology that not only looks at symbols as topic of interest, but actually explains entire social structures in terms of symbols. They can be seen as part of the observable characteristics and language of a culture or practice. Any given symbol communicates something about the social structure in which it originates, and does not carry an isolated meaning by itself. Both its meaning and its interpretation is derived from relationship to other symbols and the social context. Therefore, symbols say something about what is valued and also what lies underneath, beyond and around that. 

 

Culture as a River | Anthropology of the Body and the Senses | Symbolic Anthropology

See also Inspired by... Symbols, Stories and Imagination