Cultures and Social Intelligence guides readers to become more aware of the power and complexities of cultures and social influences in their everyday lives. Our social intelligence, the sum total of this understanding, shows us how our cultures are related to our families, beliefs, social classes, and societies, as well as how we can change our cultures and ourselves. Increasing our social intelligence brings more meanings and purposes into our lives, and makes us critical about our ongoing cultural affinities. As we become more socially intelligent, we are freer and more independent from our cultures, as well as more effective in contributing to the common good. We gain the courage needed to let go of our most contradictory or most unproductive cultural identities, choose more authentic cultures, and work with others to build alternative cultures. Becoming more objective about our cultures, through increasing our social intelligence, makes us stronger and healthier. Furthermore, because social intelligence is learned, we can pass on this valuable know-how to others, especially to members of the next generations.
C. Margaret Hall is Professor of Sociology in the Sociology Department, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. In addition to research and teaching, she has practiced clinical sociology in a variety of settings. Hall was born and raised in the north of England. She married a U.S. citizen, and after living in London, Paris, Brussels, and New York moved to Washington, D.C. She and her husband have three married daughters and seven grandchildren.