Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Military AnthropologySoldiers, Scholars and Subjects at the Margins of Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Montgomery McFate

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190680176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190680176.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

Gregory Bateson and Information Operations

Gregory Bateson and Information Operations

(p.119) 4 Gregory Bateson and Information Operations
Military Anthropology

Montgomery McFate

Oxford University Press

Gregory Bateson was an anthropologist who conducted fieldwork in New Guinea; worked for the OSS; introduced the concept of cybernetics into social science; developed the double bind theory of schizophrenia; and was a figure in the 1970s California counterculture. What can we learn from the life and legacy of Gregory Bateson with relevance to information operations? This chapter suggests how three of Bateson’s concepts might be employed. The first concept discussed is Bateson’s idea of the premise, cultural ‘facts’ considered to be true and axiomatic for members of a culture that weave together to create a coherent, intrinsic logic. The second concept with applicability to information operations is Bateson’s concept of schismogenesis, the patterns inherent in a social system that produce either equilibrium or disequilibrium and which, Bateson believed, could be manipulated to produce intended effects. The third and final concept considered in this chapter is the frame, a heuristic mechanism for organizing experience and guiding action that affects how we understand the world and how the world understands us.

Keywords:   Gregory Bateson, anthropology, information operations, Culture, Premise, Frame, Schizmogenesis, OSS, New Guinea

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .