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Rituals of gender a study of etiquette public symbols and cognition


American Anthropologist 90(2): 372-384
Rituals of gender a study of etiquette public symbols and cognition
The purposes of this article are embodied in three questions central to the development of symoblic anthropology. How does one identify the alleged symbolic message in public rituals, and does this meaning have some sort of empirically demonstrable analogue in the minds of the actors, or consequences for their behavior ? Second, can these questions be answered by a method of interpreting symbols that is empirical and that utilizes clearly specified and replicable procedure? Finally, is it legitimate to attribule symbolic meanings to behavior if the participants themselves are not aware of such meanings? If nonconscious meaning exists, does it have any effect on attitudes and motivation for behavior? Analysis of data, derived from responses to Osgood's Semantic Differential relating to concepts of gender and manners between the sexes, provides affirmative answers to the questions raised above.

Accession: 006345874

DOI: 10.1525/aa.1988.90.2.02a00080

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