Chomskyan views (even if not endorsed by Chomsky himself) applied to culture can be found in cognitive anthropology, especially people like Pascal Boyer, Scott Atran, and Dan Sperber. Sperber’s “Explaining Culture: A Naturalist Approach” is a wonderful book. Similarly to Levi-Strauss, but with a different theory of mind, Sperber stresses the universal cognitive mechanisms underlying the diversity of cultural representations.
But the fact that these are marginal figures in cultural anthropology has much to do with the type of explanation that is dominant in the different sciences. Chomsky’s cognitivist attack on behaviorist theories of language acquisition was also crucially an attack on “externalist” or “environmentalist” explanations as applied to language.
The type of explanation has to fit the underlying causal nature of the explanandum. Externalist explanations may be appropriate for some phenomena, but may not be for others, and are probably inappropriate for cognitive processes and linguistic behavior. To the extent that social scientists have tended to look for externalist or environmental explanations, i.e. social structures, for whatever they wish to explain, including mental life, they run afoul of Chomskyan theory. This is true of behaviorism, Mead’s social behaviorism, habitus, any variations of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and so on.
Another thing, Chomsky’s nativist theory of the language faculty has clear affinities with his rationalism, but can and must also be evaluated independently of these methodological assumptions. Empiricist/pragmatist views about language learning generally don’t hold a candle to generative grammar. I think an important thing about Bergesen’s challenge to sociological theory’s assumptions about linguistic/mental phenomena (see also his critique of “Durkheim’s Theory of Mental Categories”) is that if a Chomskyan story about mental phenomena is true, then true social theories must be consistent with it. So shouldn’t we be forced to accept Chomskyan principles, even if most of our disciplines’ underlying epistemology is empiricist?______________________________________________________________________________________apartamentos amueblados panama