Cultural Models

The theoretical underpinning of much of my research lay in cultural models theory. This treats culture as generative phenomena that have adaptive properties. Culture is performed, shared, transmitted, flexible and robust. Following the work of cognitive, environmental and evolutionary anthropologists, cultural models theory provides a theoretical entry point to combine ethnographic observations and experimental design. It allows us to deal with emergence and structure in coherent ways that can be both explanatory and predictive, without imposing a rigid theoretical straight jacket on our understanding of the complexity of human social organisation and behaviour.

Significant publications

Lyon, Stephen M, and Muhammad A Z Mughal. 2019. “Cultural Models of Nature and Divinity in a Rain Fed Farming Village of Punjab, Pakistan.” In Primary Food Producers, Climate Change, and Cultural Models of Nature, edited by Giovanni Bennardo. London: Routledge.
Lyon, Stephen M. 2019. Political Kinship in Pakistan: Descent, Marriage and Government Stability. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Lyon, Stephen M. 2017. “On Brothers and Sisters: South Asian and Japanese Idea Systems and Their Consequences.” World Cultures 22 (1).
Lyon, Stephen M, Mark A Jamieson, and Michael D Fischer. 2015. “Persistent Cultures: Miskitu Kinship Terminological Fluidity.” Structure and Dynamics: EJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences 8 (1).
Fischer, M.D., S.M. Lyon, D. Sosna, and D. Henig. 2013. “Harmonizing Diversity: Tuning Anthropological Research to Complexity.” Social Science Computer Review 31 (1).
Ruiter, J. de, G. Weston, and S.M. Lyon. 2011. “Dunbar’s Number: Group Size and Brain Physiology in Humans Reexamined.” American Anthropologist 113 (4): 557–68.
Lyon, S.M. 2010. “Motivation and Justification from Dreams: Muslim Decision-Making Strategies in Punjab, Pakistan.” History and Anthropology 21 (3): 263–76.
Lyon, Stephen M, and Michael D Fischer. 2006. “Anthropology and Displacement: Culture, Communication and Computers Applied to a Real World Problem.” Anthropology in Action 13 (3): 40–53.
Fischer, M.D., D. Read, and S.M. Lyon. 2005. “Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal: Introduction.” Cybernetics and Systems 36 (8).
Lyon, S.M. 2005. “Culture and Information: An Anthropological Examination of Communication in Cultural Domains in Pakistan.” Cybernetics and Systems 36 (8).
Lyon, S. 2004. “Modeling Context in Punjabi Conflict Resolution: Social Organizations as Context Agents.” Cybernetics and Systems 35 (2–3).