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A topological approach to cultural dynamics

Objective

The mathematical analysis of dynamics has opened up the possibility of innovative approaches to the study of culture, enabling not simply the numerical manipulation of cultural data, but offering tools, models and concepts for the understanding of the intensities of cultural change.

The proposed Coordinated Action, A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics (ATACD) aims to provide an infrastructure for the sharing and consolidation of topological approaches to the study of cultural dynamics across disciplines. Put simply, topology is the study of structural invariance under deformation. What makes it especially useful in the study of cultural dynamics is that it captures almost everything in our intuition of continuity. And what makes it a distinctive approach to the study of cultural dynamics vis-a-vis other approaches to the study of culture is that it provides tools for the understanding of culture that are neither typological nor topographic.

This means that it makes possible the study of:
- cultural change as normal and immanent rather than exceptional and externally determined;
- cultures as constituted in relations rather as having some essential properties;
- cultures as intensive, not extensive, that is, cultures are defined by their possibilities for change rather than their size or location.

A topological approach to cultural dynamics thus provides a set of tools and concepts to think about different levels and kinds of change - learning, transmission, and innovation - as normal, relational and intensive. The approach is especially useful at the present time of rapid cultural change as it makes possible the study of values but avoids normative judgments.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/mathematical analysis

Call for proposal

FP6-2005-NEST-PATH
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CA - Coordination action

Coordinator

GOLDSMITHS COLLEGE
Address
Lewisham Way, New Cross
London
United Kingdom

Participants (20)

ASSOCIATION POUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DÉVELOPPEMENT DES MÉTHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS
France
Address
Boulevard Saint-michel, 60
Paris
COPENHAGEN BUSINESS SCHOOL
Denmark
Address
Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg
LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
United Kingdom
Address
Houghton Street
London
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Loughborough University
Loughborough
PANTEION UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL & POLITICAL SCIENCES
Greece
Address
136, Syngrou Ave.
Athens
SONY FRANCE S.A.
France
Address
20-26 Rue Moel
Clichy La Garenne 92110
STICHTING HOGESCHOOL ROTTERDAM
Netherlands
Address
3000Bg
Rotterdam
STICHTING V2_ ORGANISATIE, INSTITUUT VOOR INSTABIELE MEDIA
Netherlands
Address
Eendrachtsstraat 10
Rotterdam
THE PAISSIY HILENDARSKI UNIVERSITY OF PLOVDIV
Bulgaria
Address
24 Tzar Assen Street
Plovdiv
UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE EDUCACION A DISTANCIA
Spain
Address
Bravo Murillo, 38
Madrid
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI, "L'ORIENTALE"
Italy
Address
Via Chiatamone 61/62
Napoli
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA "LA SAPIENZA"
Italy
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma
UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI BOLOGNA'
Italy
Address
Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes, 585 (Vicerecetorat De Politica Internacional)
Barcelona
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
Address
Gower Street
London
UNIVERSITY OF AARHUS
Denmark
Address
Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus
UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
Address
Spui 21
Amsterdam
UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
United Kingdom
Address
University Road
Leicester
UNIVERSITÄT BASEL, INSTITUT FÜR SOZIOLOGIE (UNIVERSITY OF BASLE, INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY)
Switzerland
Address
Petersgraben 27
Basel
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
Address
Muntstraat 2A
Utrecht