Cultural Meanings and Social Institutions

Social Organization Through Language

  • David R.┬áHeise

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. David R. Heise
    Pages 1-9
  3. David R. Heise
    Pages 11-16
  4. David R. Heise
    Pages 17-40
  5. David R. Heise
    Pages 41-61
  6. David R. Heise
    Pages 63-78
  7. David R. Heise
    Pages 79-95
  8. David R. Heise
    Pages 97-118
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 119-124

About this book


Employing three methods of assessing meaning, this book demonstrates that the thousands of human identities in English coalesce into groups that are recognizable as role sets in the contemporary social institutions of economy, kinship, religion, polity, law, education, medicine, sport, and arts. After establishing a theoretical and a methodological framework for his empirical work, David Heise presents the results obtained when meanings are assessed via dictionary definitions, collocates, and word associations. A close comparison of the results reveals that similar outcomes are obtained through each of these three different approaches of defining meaning. The final chapter summarizes the study, considers the benefits and limitations of studying society via language, and applies the results to describing how individuals operate social institutions via their daily social interactions. Aspects of this book will be of interest to social psychologists, sociologists, and linguists.


social institutions social identities word meanings dictionary definitions contextual associations word associations multivariate analyses social interaction symbolic interaction

Authors and affiliations

  • David R.┬áHeise
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-03738-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-03739-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site