Edward T. Hall: Beyond Culture (1976)

14 May 2014, dusan

“Edward Hall’s fifth book is both a summary of many themes first raised in his volume on proxemics in 1959 and a fresh insight more reminiscent of a psychologist than an anthropologist. The psychological flavor appears epigramatically in a double index to the book. First there is the ‘Index of IDEAS and techniques of TRANSCENDENCE’. Immediately following is an ‘Index of Themes’ in addition to the normal index one finds in most textbooks. The indexes signal a selfconsciousness of the main proposition advanced by Hall, viz., ‘What is called for is a massive cultural literacy movement that is not imposed but springs from within.’ This movement of the collective individual would begin to relieve the two cultural crises in the contemporary world of human experience. One crisis is the population/environment connection and the other, ‘equally lethal’, is man himself.

The analysis offered by Hall covers 15 chapters beginning with the paradoxical nature of culture, where persons and their mechanical/technological extensions are confused. In a populist flourish, Hall labels this tendency the ‘E.T. screen’. An Extension Transference emerges where one intellectually confuses an extension with the process extended. Hall readily admits this issue is not new, being the focus of the Korzybski heritage of General Semantics. Yet, Hall does make the heuristic point that culture per se is now a prime, systematic example of ET.” (from a review by Richard L. Lanigan, American Anthropologist, 1978)

Publisher Anchor Books, 1976
ISBN 0385124740, 9780385124744
320 pages

Review (Marc R. Tool, Journal of Economic Issues, 1977)

PDF (29 MB, no OCR)
See also his monograph The Silent Language, 1959.

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