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A topological approach to cultural dynamics

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.

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Coordinator

GOLDSMITHS COLLEGE

Address

Lewisham Way, New Cross
London

United Kingdom

Administrative Contact

Celia LURY (Professor)

Participants (20)

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ASSOCIATION POUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DÉVELOPPEMENT DES MÉTHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS

France

COPENHAGEN BUSINESS SCHOOL

Denmark

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

United Kingdom

LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom

PANTEION UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL & POLITICAL SCIENCES

Greece

SONY FRANCE S.A.

France

STICHTING HOGESCHOOL ROTTERDAM

Netherlands

STICHTING V2_ ORGANISATIE, INSTITUUT VOOR INSTABIELE MEDIA

Netherlands

THE PAISSIY HILENDARSKI UNIVERSITY OF PLOVDIV

Bulgaria

UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE EDUCACION A DISTANCIA

Spain

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI, "L'ORIENTALE"

Italy

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA "LA SAPIENZA"

Italy

UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI BOLOGNA'

Italy

UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA

Spain

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITY OF AARHUS

Denmark

UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM

Netherlands

UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITÄT BASEL, INSTITUT FÜR SOZIOLOGIE (UNIVERSITY OF BASLE, INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY)

Switzerland

UTRECHT UNIVERSITY

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 43415

  • Start date

    1 April 2007

  • End date

    31 March 2010

Funded under:

FP6-POLICIES

  • Overall budget:

    € 643 797

  • EU contribution

    € 643 797

Coordinated by:

GOLDSMITHS COLLEGE

United Kingdom