Re: [xmca] Question about ethos

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Mon Feb 27 2006 - 08:04:31 PST

The question is too vague for me, at least, Carol. I know the term from
Bateson, but in checking google he has used it in more than one way. And
others have used it as well.
Here is one google-derived entry. It is probably worth your while to check

Concept (from Greek) introduced into anthropology by
1934), and later used famously by
*Bateson* <>(1938),
*Geertz* <>(1957).
Ethos attempts to capture the emotional communality or "ambience"
that a group shares, as opposed to the
logical) communality, which Bateson called "
eidos", but some later researchers such as
use synonymously with
*culture* <>. It might, e.g.,
be meaningful to say that a group has an "agressive" ethos, though Bateson
has pointed out that such simple labels are probably insufficient to
characterize any real-world ethos, which would as a minimum be bi-polar (e.g.
"dominant-submissive"). Benedict spoke of ethos in terms of cultural
configurations. Later researchers have investigated linguistic analogies,
and (since the late 1970's) links between social memory, emotion and the
body (*Bourdieu*<>,
On 2/27/06, Carol Macdonald <> wrote:
> Dear Colleagues
> I am puzzling over something with my student Jaki: we are trying to
> understand the nature of ethos in CHAT. One the one hand it could be
> seen as a mini-variant of a culture (in a school in this case); but on
> the other it could be seen as an artefact . The second would be when an
> ethos is created to affect the values in the learning situation.
> Are there any thoughts out there, or perhaps something to which you
> could refer us?
> Thank you very much
> Carol Macdonald
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