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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Glen Fisher's innovative book Mindsets: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations offers an insightful analysis of the roles of culture and perception in international relations. Using practical examples, Fisher offers concrete suggestions for examining international relations issues from a perspective revealing the significance of hidden forces at work Glen Fisher's innovative book Mindsets: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations offers an insightful analysis of the roles of culture and perception in international relations.

Using practical examples, Fisher offers concrete suggestions for examining international relations issues from a perspective revealing the significance of hidden forces at work in global events. Mindsets is a powerful tool for anyone—from those involved in training or an academic program to military officers addressing changing military missions to professionals pursuing foreign area specialization programs. Even to the average reader interested in international affairs. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published December 1st by Nicholas Brealey America. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1.

Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mindsets 2ED , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. More specific questions can also be answered e. In sociology, the analysis of collective mindsets is part of an institutional analysis of societies, dealing especially with cognitive and normative institutions.

For Scott, cognitive elements constitute the social meaning of reality and the frames through which reality is perceived. Cognitive institutions provide a taken-for-granted perspective, natural habits and acknowledged rules about how to understand the world see Scott , p.

Normative institutions introduce collectively acknowledged rules about what is perceived as right and wrong and the obligations guiding action idem , p. Thus, collective mindsets are important elements of cognitive and normative institutions, providing the cultural repertoire of how to perceive problems and how to solve them. Any institutional analysis therefore relies at least on assumptions about the underlying knowledge stocks in a given culture at work and the collectively acknowledged rules. However, rarely, are these knowledge stocks and underlying cognitive and normative rules systematically analyzed or mapped.

More often, they are derived from a general understanding of the culture, form theory or formal institutions at work without any sound empirical proof. Against this backdrop, the article introduces the "Deutungsmusteranalyse" 2 , i. This is its main objective. The CMA is related to the reconstruction of social meaning and collectively acknowledged rules that cannot be stated from an "objective" observation post, but has to be reconstructed from the viewpoint of a member of the respective culture.


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In the frame of interpretive sociology, it has a particular status, not just because it entails a reconstruction of the subjective individual meaning, but because of the intersubjectively shared social meaning. The CMA is neither interested in individual attitudes and action orientations and how they are related to the social status in a society nor in the "objective" meaning of the formal structure of institutions.


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Its purpose is to reconstruct the collectively acknowledged cultural sense-making, the knowledge inventory and the normative rules behind the individual attitudes and opinions see Ullrich , p. The CMA is not just focused on explicit statements, arguments and ideas, but also on the "tacit knowledge" Polanyi , that is collectively shared, the hidden knowledge "frames" Goffman that are at work in a culture.

Thus, the focus of the CMA is on the collectively accepted, explicit and tacit knowledge frames that constitute social meaning in a given culture and instruct individual meaning, attitudes and action. To introduce the CMA as a tool that can contribute to the analysis of cognitive and normative institutions, we start off with a chapter in which the sociological tradition and theory behind the CMA is depicted.

In this section we also portray the German debate on the use of the method and the two basic versions that are applied 2. In the subsequent chapter, the application of the CMA is made more concrete, as we outline sampling methods, the type of survey and methods of analysis linked with the CMA 3. Using a case study that examines the neoliberal financial market mindsets of Brazilian Top Managers, and how these are represented in interview statements, we apply the CMA method by explicating and illustrating each step in the analysis 4.

The concluding remarks discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the method and sums up how it contributes to institutional analysis 5. The sociological approach and two versions of collective mindset analysis. The CMA is a qualitative method originating in Germany. It is supposed to contribute to institutional analysis of societies and is rooted in the sociology of knowledge. It was originally invented by Oevermann a; b in Germany, and further developed by Ullrich , Schetsche , Sachweh and others. The method is based on the frame of institutional action theory, which asks what are the culturally inherited rules that people use, when faced with the challenge of how to act.

In the tradition of institutional theory, it is neither based on Rational Choice and on methodological individualism nor on system theory and methodological holism. Its purpose is to reconstruct and map the knowledge stocks in use, the rules of interpretation and action in a respective culture during a specific period of time. The idea of "collective mindsets" has its roots also in the classics of sociological literature, that focused on the importance of "societal or cultural knowledge" or "social facts" Durkheim.

Durkheim put it as "Collective Representations" ; , that are collective cognitive structures in a given society, which are supposed to change according to the collective rules of this society. In another frame of sociological theory, Pareto was addressed "derivations", that provide seemingly reasonable frames of explanations to conceal the "irrational causes" behind Pareto Max Weber stressed the role of ideas in history, pointing out, how they can push societal change in the frame of institutions and interests Weber Last, but not least Karl Mannheim developed, in his sociology of knowledge, the perspective that every form of knowledge is dependent on social position in a society and the social strata that we are part of Mannheim Thus, according to Berger and Luckmann , habitualized actions, which "retain their meaningful character for the individual although the meanings involved become embedded as routines in his general stock of knowledge, taken for granted by him and at hand for his projects into the future.

Habitualization carries with it the important psychological gain that choices are narrowed. While in theory there may be a hundred ways to go about the project of building a canoe out of matchsticks, habitualization narrows these down to one. By habitualization, the knowledge stock of a given society is generated and reproduced, providing routines and rules of interpretation patterns, schemes and action scripts.

It is constituted by collectively acknowledged ideas, practices, and scripts that can be enacted by actors, when dealing with the necessity to act. By this enactment, the cultural inherited ideas, practices, and scripts are reproduced or changed, once a significant number of actors within a particular culture, transforms the knowledge stocks in use. In a sociological approach, the objective of the CMA is to identify, reconstruct and map these knowledge stocks and their changes. The sociological CMA addresses "objective problems" in a given society, culture or economy and the cultural repertoires available to cope with these "objective problems" see Oevermann a; b.

The CMA can also be applied in political science to analyze the line of argument in a political discourses Francis ; Lepsius ; ; ; Stachura , in media studies to the content analysis of media discourses e. In sociology, the "Deutungsmusteranalyse", i. CMA, first elaborated by Oeverman in Overman a , was revised by Oevermann in Overmann b and reconstructed as a new, "light version" by Ullrich in For the purpose of this article, we concentrate on the two sociological variants, and demonstrate the application of the "light version" of Ullrich with some modifications introduced by us for international comparative research.

Back then, the term was used in the sense of "conceptual order" Oevermann a; b. An unpublished text of Oevermann was enough to revive a discussion on the concept. This text was written as part of a research project on the topic of "parental home and school" in According to Oevermann b, p. Among other things, the methodological aim was to break through the standardization within the quantitative paradigm - especially with regard to the arbitrary configuration of items - to enable the sociologist to account for the actual and complex motivations at work, in the background of a specific response.

These complex motivations were considered as the structure of a collective unconscious ibidem. Right from the start, Oevermann idem , p. For all the basic existential problems of a society that come up time and time again, potential solutions are to be found in the collective patterns of interpretation, to which all sufficiently socialized actors can turn in times of crisis and uncertainty.

These patterns of interpretation are routines; they operate and evolve like implicit theories - without it being necessary to consider their validity during the application. Due to their problem-solving capability, they stand the test of time and consequently take on a life of their own. This aspect is well illustrated by the following example: Starting from a very common action problem - e. The need for routines is extremely high for parents who try to do a good job, and so is the likelihood that their search for orientation will lead them to adopt traditional solutions - i.

The traditional way is not necessarily the easiest path that the parents thus choose, but it is a relief not having to think every step through in all of its consequences, especially when there is not much time to think. In contrast to the manifold objective action problems, we may therefore expect - like Oevermann idem - to find collectively established patterns of routine interpretation that are rooted in the respective environments and realms of experience. These routines allow for diverse action problems to be dealt with on a daily basis.

For Oevermann ibidem , interpretation patterns are predominantly cognitive representations - in the sense of Popper representations of world 3 i. These cognitive representations embody knowledge idem , p. It is therefore not possible to survey patterns of interpretation with a quantitative questionnaire. However, like any form of knowledge, the cognitive representations embody the experience of dealing with problems and crises that are passed on, by drawing on collective stocks of knowledge ibidem.

Patterns of interpretation fall in this category of tacit knowledge, according to Oevermann. However, we must distinguish patterns of interpretation from the category of "latent meaning structures" within the framework of objective hermeneutics.


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Latency refers to the methodological approach of the researcher, who has to render them accessible and manifest during the research process without being able to observe them directly Oevermann et al. To be precise, the patterns of interpretation are the implicit representations of latent knowledge stocks. According to Oevermann, the patterns of interpretation is influential for everyday cognition.

The patterns themselves remain "tacit knowledge"; structures that require a logical architecture of arguments, built to sustain the respective practice or course of action Oevermann b, p. They require a certain consistency and instructiveness for troubleshooting, which is why they are anchored in cultures, environments and lifestyles, and vary according to these. They form a cognitive element of the collective knowledge stocks and thus survive or change only collectively. As tacit knowledge, they generate individually different problem solutions, opinions and attitudes.

In order for them to change, they usually have to fail at solving the objective action problem - this failure is more than an individual exception from the rule and of collective relevance. Against this methodological background, the interest in collective mindsets draws on the insight that individual attitudes and action orientations depend on the collective "supply" with collectively acknowledged interpretations. After all, the general research question is raised, which rules of interpretation and action apply with regard to a specific collective knowledge in a given society.

The sociologist may uncover these rules through the method that is thus termed "collective mindset analysis". The focus is on the constitution of action orientations, on the conditions concerning the collective knowledge stocks see Ullrich , p. In the frame of action theory, those action orientations are assumed to be constituted through a combination and crossover of cognitive, normative, evaluative and expressive dimensions ibidem. These dimensions of the collective mindset need to be analyzed and demonstrated, how they are transformed in the framing of a situation and ultimately, translated into action orientations.

Unlike Oevermann, Ullrich emphasizes the manifest or even stereotypical character of collective mindsets. It is assumed that the collective mindset can also be a reflected explicit form of reasoning and justification, like a scientific knowledge background that organizes the line of argument.

Referring to Pareto, Ullrich called the individual adoption of collective mindsets, "derivations" ibidem. Actors use these derivations to explain and justify their actions in a way that can be understood by others. Thus, actors refer to legitimate forms of knowledge, i. However, only the derivations can be gathered and surveyed directly, not the knowledge stock of collective mindsets that lie behind ibidem , p. As a result, the CMA is an analysis of individual derivations, that need to be to be classified and typified using a method that helps to reconstruct the underlying cognitive, normative and evaluative logic in the line of arguments and upon which individual derivations are based.

On these grounds, the reconstruction of cognitive and normative rules can be a sound contribution to an institutional analysis focused on cognitive and normative institutions. This is not done by referring to a theory that instructs us in a deductive method about what lies behind those derivations. Rather, it is done by analyzing the self-representations of actors in an inductive method, reconstructing the knowledge stocks on the basis of the interview material available. For that starting point of qualitative research, Ullrich recommends methods of sampling, interview methods and methods of analyzing the interviews.

Unlike Oevermann, his recommendations do not lead to the reconstruction of single cases with a strong effort of hermeneutical interpretation of the "objective meaning" of language, but instead focuses on reconstructing socially shared meaning through a cross-comparison of sequences of many interviewees related to a particular problem of action. These sequences are analysed using categorization, classification and type casting methods. The method of Ullrich can thus be labelled a "light version" of Oevermann's CMA, because its methodological prerequisites are not as complex and its hermeneutic efforts are not as exhausting as in the case of Oevermann's CMA.

Given that Oevermann's hermeneutic method depends predominantly on language skills as well as idiosyncratic interpretations of single case studies, it does not seem not suitable for international comparisons with a greater number of interviews.

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The opposite is true for the CMA of Ullrich. Therefore, the focus of our paper is on the application and modification of Ullrich's CMA-approach to an international comparative research design. The CMA - method and methodology. Due to the fact that collective mindsets are forms of collective background knowledge in a given society, they need to be reconstructed using qualitative analytical tools.

In this frame of interpretive sociology, we have to decide on the sampling methods i , the type of survey; ii and the methods of analysis iii , to be employed. As a general rule, the CMA needs more than one or two cases to prove, how "institutionalized" a collectively established pattern of interpretation is.

This should not be misunderstood in terms of quantitative social research methods for we still operate with qualitative representativeness. Theoretical saturation is achieved once further analysis will not increase the variance in interpretation patterns or only by a little more. If only a few cases are available it is suggested to start with the method of minimal and maximal contrast. Following an interpretation generated by analyzing the first case, a very similar or a very dissimilar case is selected as the next case of analysis.

Comparison with the similar case raises the question in what aspects differences can be found. Comparing with the dissimilar case raises the question whether there are similarities. In doing so, the selection of cases is always theoretically founded. Concretely, this means that one is always reflecting upon which types of differentiation or dimensions might be evident in the collective mindsets after the first case, the second case, the third case and so on.

In the case of a greater sample of interviews - we have altogether interviews in eleven countries - a proportional quota sampling is an alternative, if data on the parent population are available. This is a non-probability sample in which the researcher selects people according to a theoretically chosen quota. The interviewees are selected into a sample on the basis of chosen characteristics in order to reach the same distribution of characteristics as in the parent population.

The characteristics can be gauged by an inductive procedure. Nevertheless, this sampling method is already in between that of a qualitative and quantitative approach. Relying on the data of our standardized life course analysis in our case, the interview sample was selected using a proportional quota sampling method related to age, sex, education, and international activities of the CEOs. To use only theoretical sampling as well as to select a probability sample was not possible in this field of research because you cannot randomly select interviewees out of the target population of CEOs from the Top industrial companies.

To reach a qualitative representativeness of the sample, proportional quota sampling seemed therefore to be the best solution. This is a guided, semi-structured interview with questions, aimed at evoking statements, arguments, and justifications. These questions can even be confrontational and provocative, in order to generate arguments. However, unlike Ullrich, we do not think that one is in need of just one specific method for the interviews. As long as we do not use standardized surveys, one can apply various kinds of interviewing methods that generate narrations, descriptions, explanations, justifications and argumentations on the topics, we are interested in.

In principle, all texts and images generated by a given society, culture or economy can be objects of analysis for CMA.

There are no further limitations regarding the material. However, there is a condition if the material embodies a marginal text only. Therefore, standardized and partly standardized methods of data acquisition normally generate poorly suited material for CMA. In contrast, the density of material is huge if narrative or problem-based interviews are carried out. In particular there are available narrative texts by being not much penetrated by argumentation. This permits the identification of differentiations, fissures and inconsistencies more easily.

Mindsets 2ED: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations

An open-minded, even artificial naivety is a precondition for the approach and the question, which collective mindset is to be analyzed, is a question that emerges from the empirical material itself. In order to carry out rigorous comparison within an international project certainly necessitates working together with native speakers. They have to execute the analysis or at a minimum, must participate while analyzing for otherwise the cultural contexts in the text risks being inadequately explored.

Since narratives are resistant to routines, regularities and standard-operating-procedures biographical narration tends towards experiences and worth-telling occurrences that gain prominence in life, thus generating meaning, balance and evaluation. Thus in terms of phenomenology, "meaningful" occurrences and the experiences of narrators are adequate to use for CMA. Some examples of elements that discharge in narration as occurrences as well as experiences that lead to narration on self-experienced episodes from life are: perceptible processes of transformation, projects that have a beginning and a definite end, crises, fissures and turning points.

Concurrently, a problem-centered strategy of inquiry is appropriate for the subject. It allows interviewees to develop an "insider-perspective". A strategy of inquiry that is selective and problem-based, helps gain a view into the organizational self-awareness of actors. This is based, on the one hand on a theoretical scientific pre-understanding and, on the other hand, on an empirical comparative perspective. That is, the themes activated in the problem-centered part of inquiry are systematically adapted, revised, supplemented and extended in the course of the survey.

It is essential in any case to keep the aim of qualitative research in mind, which is to discover the unknown. Generating theory takes place during the research process, when procedures of action, meaning and perception are reconstructed. In the case of problem-based interviews, conversations combine - in terms of the research pragmatic - an open start plus a strategy of inquiry that generates narration with an initiation of conversation that is structured thematically by an interview guideline handled un-bureaucratically.

One must always keep in mind that collective mindsets are not attitudes, opinions or ideologies 3 of individual actors. On the surface of speech and texts, we will find opinions and attitudes. These are rather fast changing interpretation patterns, related to a wide range of topics and rooted in the psychological make-up of an individual personality. They can be changed individually.

They are easily figured out in empirical research. In contrast, collective mindsets are the collective forms of our background knowledge. They change according to our culture, and as part of the collective knowledge inventory, they cannot be changed individually. They are not rooted in the psychology of actors, but in the history of social groups, cultures or societies.

They are not talk, but the grammar of knowledge about how to solve social problems in a given society. They are not easily detected at the surface of everyday talk, but have to be reconstructed in an elaborate method of qualitative analysis. Thus, using the material of the transcribed interviews as a starting point, we now need to find out, what the background forms of collective knowledge are that lead to these narrations and argumentations related to the topics that we are interested in.

By applying methods of qualitative content analysis, we exercise eight steps of interpretation:. Selection: We select sequences related to specific topics according to our research interests ;. Reformulation: We summarize and reformulate the arguments, explanations, and narrations in the sequences by rephrasing them;. Abstraction: We abstract the logical and normative structure, by eliminating what is not necessary to understand the basic categories of the argument, description or narration;. Abstraction of order: We abstract the logical and normative order in the flow of arguments, descriptions or narrations; we identify, what is evaluated as good or bad and trace it back to the underlying norms behind that judgments;.

Comparison: According to our topics, we compare the chosen sequences in all interviews to identify the most common, shared and dominant cognitive and normative pattern;. Identification of Rules: Related to the social conditions, we identify the typical rules of interpretation and action that are common, acknowledged and dominant;. Contextualization: In order to find out, under which social conditions they are produced, we relate these cognitive and normative patterns to the social context of actor constellations, cultures, opportunity structures and constraints, in which they appear;.

Explanation: Taking into consideration already established explanation frames and theories, we try to explain, why these rules are reproduced or changed in the social context that we analyze, and what the social consequences of these rules are. The CMA, as we use it, does not work with cases, but with dimensions, that enables a cross-comparison of interviews with the help of encoded sequences.

Our interpretation was carried out with the help of the content analysis software MAXQDA 4 that supports the encoding of sequences. It is executed both by interpretational groups with a heterogeneous structure and by native speakers. Where the interviews have been carried out in English or have been translated into English the interpretation is executed by groups composed of international team members. The reliability of encoding and interpretation is checked several times and showed satisfactory results for the focus of interest that is, the main cognitive and normative patterns of argumentation and interpretation.

In parallel, a linkage could be established between encoded passages at several important points in such a way that the narratives framing the patterns of interpretation became identifiable. As a result, CMA turned out to be applicable internationally and was practicable and efficient. The aim of the next chapter 4 is therefore to show case, how this method is applied practically in concrete scientific research. The case study: a lesson in analyzing neoliberal mindsets of top-managers in Brazil.

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As pointed out in the chapter before, the interpretation process of CMA is based on eight steps: selection, reformulation, abstraction, the abstraction of order, comparison, identification of rules, contextualization and finally, explanation. The purpose of this section is to show, how the CMA method can be used in comparative research and in this case, particularly in an international context.

Our intention is to present some aspects of CMA using concrete examples from our research on economic elites. The sampling method was proportional quota sampling. Furthermore, in the selection of interviewees, an age cohort design was implemented, comparing three age groups: CEOs and Ex-CEOs born between and older generation , between and and CEOs born between and younger generation.

Using practical examples, Fisher offers concrete suggestions for examining international relations issues from a perspective revealing the significance of hidden forces at work in global events. Mindsets is a powerful tool for anyone-from those involved in training or an academic program to military officers addressing changing military missions to professionals pursuing foreign area specialization programs.

Even to the average reader interested in international affairs. Glen Fisher, a sociologist and applied anthropologist, spent twenty-two years in the foreign service. Visit Seller's Storefront. Thank you for your interest in our books! Our store policies adhere to the policies set forth by AbeBooks. We strive to keep our descriptions accurate and our shipping fast. We are available to answer any questions you may have prior to ordering about the product or shipping.

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