The Meeting pp 273-307 | Cite as

Meetings, Culture, and Society

  • Helen B. Schwartzman


In this book, I have suggested that there is a systemic relationship between meetings, culture, and society. Meetings do not merely exist in a sociocultural context because they frequently play an important role in constituting such systems for participants. At the same time, they provide individuals with multiple opportunities for making sense of such systems and negotiating as well as commenting on their place within it. Of course, as this event is typically defined in a great many societies, individuals in meetings are also attempting to accomplish specific culturally defined tasks (e.g., to organize a work group, to make a decision about where to move camp, to decide on a new leader) as they are also attempting to achieve specific individual desires and interests. I have illustrated this view of meetings by examining their significance in detail in an American mental health organization—Midwest Community Mental Health Center.


Public Meeting Council Meeting Meeting Form Egalitarian Society Hierarchical Society 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen B. Schwartzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Center for Urban Affairs and Policy ResearchNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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