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Relating to Environments

A New Look at Umwelt

Edited by:
Rosemarie Sokol Chang

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A volume in the series: Advances in Cultural Psychology: Constructing Human Development. Editor(s): Jaan Valsiner, Clark University.

Published 2009

Jakob von Uexkull founded Umwelt research with a clear idea – that humans are not qualitatively different than other species. Umwelt, literally “outer-world”, is the study of the organism in relation to the world around it, as well as the meaning that the world holds for that organism. Thus the world is a truly subjective place.

While von Uexkull’s theory has entered into the social sciences via semiotics, and biology via ethology, the authors of these chapters go between and beyond these disciplines to examine everything from cells to spiders to humans and culture. The authors adopt the framework of Umwelt theory to examine unique aspects of the natural world by relating the inner world of the subject and the objects to which that organism attends.

Introduction, Rosemarie Sokol Chang. Series Editor’s Preface: The Culture of Relating. Part I: Pre-cultural Backgrounds: Environment as Linked to the Behaving Organism. From Cellular to Human Worlds, Brady Wagoner and Phillip Rosenbaum. Complexities, Confusion, Choices: Reencountering Uexküll, Roger Bibace. The Wisdom of the Web: Learning from Spiders, Jaan Valsiner and Emily Lescak. Part II: Turning to Humans: Culture Enters the Story. The Umwelt and Emotional Experience, Glenn Weisfeld. From Mother’s Mouth to Baby’s World and Back Again: Shaping One’s Attachments Through Vocalization, Rosemarie Sokol Chang. The Mating Game: The Extension of Umwelt in the 21st Century, Sarah L. Strout and Leila Samii. Part III: The Meaning-making Minds on Social Borders. The Living, the Un-Living, and the Hard-to-Kill: Acting and Feeling on the Boundary, Alessandra Zimmerman and Jaan Valsiner. Signifying Girlhood: Cultural Images of Girlhood and Semiotic Meaning-making by Girls in the 21st Century United States, Jessica L. Willis. Heimweh or Homesickness: A Nostalgic Look at the Umwelt That No Longer Is, Rainer Diriwächter. A Unified Topological Approach to Umwelts and Life Spaces, Lee Rudolph. Conclusion, Rosemarie Sokol Chang. Contributor Biographies and Contact Information.

> Cultural Psychology

Arguing and knowing: A Developmental Approach (In Development)

Becoming Other: From Social Interaction to Self-Reflection

Otherness in Question: Development of the Self

Transitions: Symbolic Resources in Development

Semiotic Rotations: Modes of Meanings in Cultural Worlds

Discovering Cultural Psychology: A Profile and Selected Readings of Ernest E. Boesch

Trust and Distrust: Sociocultural perspectives

Innovating Genesis: Microgenesis and the Constructive Mind in Action

Rethinking Language, Mind, and World Dialogically

Living in Poverty: Developmental Poetics of Cultural Realities

Methodological Thinking in Psychology: 60 Years Gone Astray?

Constructing Patriotism: Teaching History and Memories in Global Worlds

Apprentice in a Changing Trade

Cultural Psychology and Psychoanalysis: Pathways to Synthesis

Cultural Dynamics of Women's Lives

Researcher Race: Social Constructions in the Research Process

Culture and Social Change: Transforming Society through the Power of Ideas

Cultural Psychology of Human Values

Dialogic Formations: Investigations into the Origins and Development of the Dialogical Self

Interplays Between Dialogical Learning and Dialogical Self

Cross-Cultural Psychology: Why Culture Matters

Crossing Boundaries: Intercontextual Dynamics Between Family And School

Lives And Relationships: Culture in Transitions Between Social Roles

Dialogical Approaches to Trust in Communication

Fooling Around: Creative Learning Pathways

Culture and Political Psychology: A Societal Perspective

Biographical Ruptures and Their Repair: Cultural Transitions in Development

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