Culture and Cognition

In Wayne Brekhus’ “Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity” the language of identity is further defined through an evaluation of gay status and how it is represented in our culture.  Brekhus theorizes that the neutral territory of suburbia is just a good a place as anywhere to analyze Gay identity citing that the more ostentatiously gay communities do not necessarily house the more authentically gay but may produce a louder identity just by way of nature.  Brekhus dissects Gay identity into three different sub-types based on the density, duration and motivations of each category.  He does a great job highlighting each groups identity management and work even showing conflict in these respects between each group.  I thought of his concepts applied to various other types of identities (bi-racials, artists, classic car enthusiasts) and noticed that although the main focus of the text was on Gay suburbia his theories could be applied universally.  I feel that the one place where his research falls short is that his focus seemed to be mainly on men.  I think perhaps having a few interviews with female subjects would’ve given a clearer perspective when speaking of the Gay community. 

Above I have created an infographic about the three categories that Brekhus outlines in his book.  Please take note that the background acts as a map of sorts with a rainbow-colored city on one side and suburbia on the other so the placement of each representative is intended to further emphasize the origin of these identities.  Along with the pie charts, the border for each category also indicates the density and duration of each identity.  For example, the integrator’s border extends from “suburbia” with a thin rainbow colored line throughout indicating low density with palpable consistency.  View Larger

In Wayne Brekhus’ “Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity” the language of identity is further defined through an evaluation of gay status and how it is represented in our culture.  Brekhus theorizes that the neutral territory of suburbia is just a good a place as anywhere to analyze Gay identity citing that the more ostentatiously gay communities do not necessarily house the more authentically gay but may produce a louder identity just by way of nature.  Brekhus dissects Gay identity into three different sub-types based on the density, duration and motivations of each category.  He does a great job highlighting each groups identity management and work even showing conflict in these respects between each group.  I thought of his concepts applied to various other types of identities (bi-racials, artists, classic car enthusiasts) and noticed that although the main focus of the text was on Gay suburbia his theories could be applied universally.  I feel that the one place where his research falls short is that his focus seemed to be mainly on men.  I think perhaps having a few interviews with female subjects would’ve given a clearer perspective when speaking of the Gay community. 

Above I have created an infographic about the three categories that Brekhus outlines in his book.  Please take note that the background acts as a map of sorts with a rainbow-colored city on one side and suburbia on the other so the placement of each representative is intended to further emphasize the origin of these identities.  Along with the pie charts, the border for each category also indicates the density and duration of each identity.  For example, the integrator’s border extends from “suburbia” with a thin rainbow colored line throughout indicating low density with palpable consistency. 


Here is a video overview of the theories covered in Richard Nisbett’s Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why.  Nisbett takes Eastern and Western Society and analyzes it among the context of history while connecting there original beliefs with today’s cultural cognition.  His interpretations are compelling in that they leave no stone un-turned in his evaluation of these culture’s logic. 


The Adventures of Sociology Guy: Danger in the Social Minscape

The harrowing Adventures of Sociology Man highlights the power of Social Optics as a filter to our perception, the Social Gate of Consciousness as a means of sifting through the massive amount of information the world pervades us with and the Social Division of the World which categorizes us by our social meanings. In this episode, Sociology Man finds that his enemy’s social memories, a mix of perception meets our occasional reminiscing, uncover a deeper side of him. (please click the book to read)