The Social and the Symbolic

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Bernard Bel
SAGE Publications, Mar 6, 2007 - Social Science - 481 pages
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This is the second book in the three-volume series Communication Processes.

Communication Processes, Volume 2 argues that communication, an exchange of symbols, is the essence of society and that this exchange is the foundation on which the human collective is based. It explores how the collective sense of self is defined either with reference to, or in defiance of, dominant existing traditions. The essays in the volume highlight the links between culture studies and the use of communication in binding together a community, also providing a voice to the unheard and unsung.

Beginning by describing the pertinence of communication to grasping the overall substance of social reality, the volume is divided into the following three parts:

- Fonts of Self Identity: this section looks at the emergence and construction of personal and collective identities through myths, linguistic innovations, religious idioms, stories and traditions of marginalized communities;

- Grounds of Work Relations: here, the contributors focus on occupations and vocations, with reference to the peasant and artisan communities from Western India;

- Bonds of Health Practices: the focus of this section is on healthcare practices and knowledge of traditional communities.

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About the author (2007)

Bernard Bel is a research engineer currently working at Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Université de Provence, a speech research laboratory of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris. Earlier, he was a member of the Groupe Intelligence Artificielle, Marseille II University. Between 1994 and 1998, he was deputed to Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi, to carry on projects in musicology and sociocultural anthropology. He has published numerous articles on both subjects and is currently involved in social activism for an improvement of birth practices in French-speaking countries, both as the webmaster of the Naissance portal http://naissance.ws and the secretary of Alliance Francophone pour l’Accouchement Respecté http:/ /www.afar.info.

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