Matching and Mismatching  Social Contexts

CPM Report No.: 10-224
By: Bruce Edmonds
Date: Nov. 2013

Final version published as:
Edmonds, B. (2013) Matching and Mismatching Social Contexts. In Dignum, V. and Dignum, F. (eds.) Perspectives on Culture and Agent-based Simulations, Springer, 149-167.(DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-01952-9_9)


Social Contexts are specific types of recognised social situation for which specific norms, habits, rules, etc. are developed over time.  The unconscious and embedded natures of these make them difficult to change –becoming deeply entrenched over time.  How cultures relate depends, in detail, on whether contexts in each culture are identified with ones in the other, brining with this identification engrained assumptions and expectations.  This chapter explores the implications of social context to the problem of integrating cultures, examining each of the possible subcases in turn.  It concludes by noting that how social contexts in different cultures map onto each other (or not) matters greatly in terms of both the outcomes of meeting cultures and the steps that might be taken to facilitate their integration.  However the possible interactions are complex and dynamic, so the chapter ends by considering simulations that might start to explore such complexities.

Keywords: social context, social simulation, cognitive modelling, context-dependency, integration, culture

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