Search Results: the-value-of-comparison-the-lewis-henry-morgan-lectures

The Value of Comparison

Author: Peter van der Veer

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374226

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 9941

In The Value of Comparison Peter van der Veer makes a compelling case for using comparative approaches in the study of society and for the need to resist the simplified civilization narratives popular in public discourse and some social theory. He takes the quantitative social sciences and the broad social theories they rely on to task for their inability to question Western cultural presuppositions, demonstrating that anthropology's comparative approach provides a better means to understand societies. This capacity stems from anthropology's engagement with diversity, its fragmentary approach to studying social life, and its ability to translate difference between cultures. Through essays on topics as varied as iconoclasm, urban poverty, Muslim immigration, and social exclusion van der Veer highlights the ways that studying the particular and the unique allows for gaining a deeper knowledge of the whole without resorting to simple generalizations that elide and marginalize difference.

The Value of Comparison

Author: Peter van der Veer

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374226

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 9740

In The Value of Comparison Peter van der Veer makes a compelling case for using comparative approaches in the study of society and for the need to resist the simplified civilization narratives popular in public discourse and some social theory. He takes the quantitative social sciences and the broad social theories they rely on to task for their inability to question Western cultural presuppositions, demonstrating that anthropology's comparative approach provides a better means to understand societies. This capacity stems from anthropology's engagement with diversity, its fragmentary approach to studying social life, and its ability to translate difference between cultures. Through essays on topics as varied as iconoclasm, urban poverty, Muslim immigration, and social exclusion van der Veer highlights the ways that studying the particular and the unique allows for gaining a deeper knowledge of the whole without resorting to simple generalizations that elide and marginalize difference.

After Nature

English Kinship in the Late Twentieth Century

Author: Marilyn Strathern

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521426800

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 1976

Central as kinship has been to the development of British social anthropology, this is the first attempt by an anthropologist to situate ideas about English kinship in a cultural context. Marilyn Strathern challenges the traditional separation of Western kinship studies from the study of the wider society. If contemporary society appears diverse, changing and fragmented, these same features also apply to people's ideas about kinship. She views ideas of relatedness, nature and the biological constitution of persons in their cultural context, and offers new insights into the late twentieth-century values of individualism and consumerism. After Nature is a timely reflection at a moment when advances in reproductive technology raise questions about the natural basis of kinship relations.

Marginal Gains

Monetary Transactions in Atlantic Africa

Author: Jane I. Guyer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226311159

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 207

View: 4872

In America, almost all the money in circulation passes through financial institutions every day. But in Nigeria's "cash and carry" system, 90 percent of the currency never comes back to a bank after it's issued. What happens when two such radically different economies meet and mingle, as they have for centuries in Atlantic Africa? The answer is a rich diversity of economic practices responsive to both local and global circumstances. In Marginal Gains, Jane I. Guyer explores and explains these often bewildering practices, including trade with coastal capitalism and across indigenous currency zones, and within the modern popular economy. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Guyer demonstrates that the region shares a coherent, if loosely knit, commercial culture. She shows how that culture actually works in daily practice, addressing both its differing scales of value and the many settings in which it operates, from crisis conditions to ordinary household budgets. The result is a landmark study that reveals not just how popular economic systems work in Africa, but possibly elsewhere in the Third World.

Give a Man a Fish

Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution

Author: James Ferguson

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375524

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 6551

In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens. More than thirty percent of South Africa's population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state. These programs' successes at reducing poverty under conditions of mass unemployment, Ferguson argues, provide an opportunity for rethinking contemporary capitalism and for developing new forms of political mobilization. Interested in an emerging "politics of distribution," Ferguson shows how new demands for direct income payments (including so-called "basic income") require us to reexamine the relation between production and distribution, and to ask new questions about markets, livelihoods, labor, and the future of progressive politics.

Earth Beings

Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds

Author: Marisol de la Cadena

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375265

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 6975

Earth Beings is the fruit of Marisol de la Cadena's decade-long conversations with Mariano and Nazario Turpo, father and son, runakuna or Quechua people. Concerned with the mutual entanglements of indigenous and nonindigenous worlds, and the partial connections between them, de la Cadena presents how the Turpos' indigenous ways of knowing and being include and exceed modern and nonmodern practices. Her discussion of indigenous political strategies—a realm that need not abide by binary logics—reconfigures how to think about and question modern politics, while pushing her readers to think beyond "hybridity" and toward translation, communication that accepts incommensurability, and mutual difference as conditions for ethnography to work.

Kinship and the Social Order

The Legacy of Lewis Henry Morgan

Author: Meyer Fortes

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351510037

Category: Social Science

Page: 362

View: 4785

One of the world's most eminent social anthropologists draws upon his many years of study and research in the field of kinship and social organization to review the development of anthropological theory and method from Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) to anthropologists of the 1960s. It is the central argument of this book that the structuralist theory and method developed by British and American anthropologists in the study of kinship and social organization is the direct descendant of Morgan's researches. The volume starts with a re-examination of Morgan's work. Professor Fortes demonstrates how a tradition of misinterpretation has disguised the true import of Morgan's discoveries. He follows with a detailed analysis of the work of Rivers and Radcliffe-Brown and the generation of anthropologists inspired by them. The author states his own point of view as it has developed in the framework of modern structuralist theory, with ethnographic examples examined in depth. He shows that the social relations and institutions conventionally grouped under the rubric of kinship and social organization belong simultaneously to two complementary domains of social structure, the familial and the political. Meyer Fortes' contribution to the field of anthropology can best be understood in the context of balance of forces between these domains of the personal and public. In the latter part of the book, he gives detailed attention to the principal conceptual issues that have confronted research and theory in the study of kinship and social organizations since Morgan's time. He shows that kinship institutions are autonomous, not mere by-products of economic requirements, and demonstrates the moral base of kinship in the rule of amity.

Comparing Ethnographies

Local Studies of Education Across the Americas

Author: Kathyrn Anderson-Levitt,Elsie Rockwell

Publisher: American Educational Research Association

ISBN: 0935302689

Category: Education

Page: 256

View: 9775

Comparing Ethnographies presents cross-national comparisons that give researchers and students a fresh look at familiar concepts. How does it matter, for example, to think in terms of "majorities" rather than "minorities, "migrants" rather than "immigrants, or"intercultural education" rather than "multicultural education"? How does indigenous education or the work of teachers look different to ethnographers from differnt countries of the Americas? This engaging new volume edited by Kathryn Anderson-Levitt and Elsie Rockwell includes essays from experts throughout the Americas which help readers understand and learn from ethnographic educational research conducted across the Western Hemisphere, and also includes a practical guide to finding the relevant literature.

Death in Banaras

Author: Jonathan P. Parry

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521466257

Category: Religion

Page: 314

View: 5420

A study of Hindu death rituals and the sacred specialists who perform them in the Indian city of Banaras.

Key Terms in Material Religion

Author: S. Brent Plate

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472595475

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 9882

Material religion is a rapidly growing field, and this volume offers an accessible, critical entry into these new areas of research. Each "key term" uses case studies and is accompanied by a color image Â? an object, practice, space, or site. The entries cut across geographies, histories, and traditions, offering a versatile and engaging text for the classroom. Key topics covered include: - Icon, ritual, magic, gender, race - Sacred, spirit, technology, - Space, belief, body, brain - Taste, touch, smell, sound, vision Each entry demonstrates in clear and jargon-free prose how the key term figures prominently in understanding the materiality of religion. Written by leading international scholars, all entries are linked by the ways materiality stands at the forefront of the understanding of religion, whether that comes from humanistic, social scientific, artistic, curatorial, or other perspectives. Brent Plate brings his expertise and extensive teaching experience to the comprehensive introduction which introduces students to the themes and methods of the material cultural study of religion. Key Terms in Material Religion provides a much-needed resource for courses on theory and method in religious studies, the anthropology of religion, and the ever-increasing number of courses focused on material religion.

Dramas of Nationhood

The Politics of Television in Egypt

Author: Lila Abu-Lughod

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226001982

Category: Social Science

Page: 324

View: 1198

How do people come to think of themselves as part of a nation? Dramas of Nationhood identifies a fantastic cultural form that binds together the Egyptian nation—television serials. These melodramatic programs—like soap operas but more closely tied to political and social issues than their Western counterparts—have been shown on television in Egypt for more than thirty years. In this book, Lila Abu-Lughod examines the shifting politics of these serials and the way their contents both reflect and seek to direct the changing course of Islam, gender relations, and everyday life in this Middle Eastern nation. Representing a decade's worth of research, Dramas of Nationhood makes a case for the importance of studying television to answer larger questions about culture, power, and modern self-fashionings. Abu-Lughod explores the elements of developmentalist ideology and the visions of national progress that once dominated Egyptian television—now experiencing a crisis. She discusses the broadcasts in rich detail, from the generic emotional qualities of TV serials and the depictions of authentic national culture, to the debates inflamed by their deliberate strategies for combating religious extremism.

The Fame of Gawa

A Symbolic Study of Value Transformation in a Massim (Papua New Guinea) Society

Author: Nancy D. Munn

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822312703

Category: Social Science

Page: 331

View: 2387

This new edition of the critically acclaimed The Fame of Gawa—originally published in 1986—makes available for the first time this important work in paperback. The Fame of Gawa is concerned with fundamental practices of value creation on Gawa, a small island off the southeast coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, the inhabitants of which participate in the long-distance kula shell exchange ring. Integrating various aspects of the study of society and culture--including the sociocultural construction of space and time, self-other relations and the body, and moral and political problems of hierarchy and equality—Nancy D. Munn shows that it is through achieving fame in the wider inter-island world that the Gawan community asserts its own internal viablity.

Description and Comparison in Cultural Anthropology

Author: Ward H. Goodenough

Publisher: CUP Archive

ISBN: 9780521237406

Category: Social Science

Page: 173

View: 4166

How are different cultures to be described and compared? This book provides a clear and concise discussion of the theoretical issues involved in ethnographic description and comparative study. Taking up the classic problems in the study of of social organisation, Professor Goodenough describes the major issues in the cross-cultural study of kinship and the family, revealing the kinds of constants, both formal and functional, on which such study must be based. The result is new definitions of marriage, family and parenthood for use in cross-cultural analysis and a greater understanding of this form of analysis itself. The statement on the interdependence of description and comparison in cultural anthropology and its implications for a science of culture, provides fresh insights into cross-cultural analysis for both the theoretical and the practical anthropologist.

Territories of Difference

Place, Movements, Life, Redes

Author: Arturo Escobar

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822389436

Category: Social Science

Page: 455

View: 2370

In Territories of Difference, Arturo Escobar, author of the widely debated book Encountering Development, analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. His analysis is based on his many years of engagement with a group of Afro-Colombian activists of Colombia’s Pacific rainforest region, the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN). Escobar offers a detailed ethnographic account of PCN’s visions, strategies, and practices, and he chronicles and analyzes the movement’s struggles for autonomy, territory, justice, and cultural recognition. Yet he also does much more. Consistently emphasizing the value of local activist knowledge for both understanding and social action and drawing on multiple strands of critical scholarship, Escobar proposes new ways for scholars and activists to examine and apprehend the momentous, complex processes engulfing regions such as the Colombian Pacific today. Escobar illuminates many interrelated dynamics, including the Colombian government’s policies of development and pluralism that created conditions for the emergence of black and indigenous social movements and those movements’ efforts to steer the region in particular directions. He examines attempts by capitalists to appropriate the rainforest and extract resources, by developers to set the region on the path of modernist progress, and by biologists and others to defend this incredibly rich biodiversity “hot-spot” from the most predatory activities of capitalists and developers. He also looks at the attempts of academics, activists, and intellectuals to understand all of these complicated processes. Territories of Difference is Escobar’s effort to think with Afro-Colombian intellectual-activists who aim to move beyond the limits of Eurocentric paradigms as they confront the ravages of neoliberal globalization and seek to defend their place-based cultures and territories.

Tragic Spirits

Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia

Author: Manduhai Buyandelger

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022601309X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 8561

The collapse of socialism at the end of the twentieth century brought devastating changes to Mongolia. Economic shock therapy—an immediate liberalization of trade and privatization of publicly owned assets—quickly led to impoverishment, especially in rural parts of the country, where Tragic Spirits takes place. Following the travels of the nomadic Buryats, Manduhai Buyandelger tells a story not only of economic devastation but also a remarkable Buryat response to it—the revival of shamanic practices after decades of socialist suppression. Attributing their current misfortunes to returning ancestral spirits who are vengeful over being abandoned under socialism, the Buryats are now at once trying to appease their ancestors and recover the history of their people through shamanic practice. Thoroughly documenting this process, Buyandelger situates it as part of a global phenomenon, comparing the rise of shamanism in liberalized Mongolia to its similar rise in Africa and Indonesia. In doing so, she offers a sophisticated analysis of the way economics, politics, gender, and other factors influence the spirit world and the crucial workings of cultural memory.

The Modern Spirit of Asia

The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India

Author: Peter van der Veer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400848555

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 2272

The Modern Spirit of Asia challenges the notion that modernity in China and India are derivative imitations of the West, arguing that these societies have transformed their ancient traditions in unique and distinctive ways. Peter van der Veer begins with nineteenth-century imperial history, exploring how Western concepts of spirituality, secularity, religion, and magic were used to translate the traditions of India and China. He traces how modern Western notions of religion and magic were incorporated into the respective nation-building projects of Chinese and Indian nationalist intellectuals, yet how modernity in China and India is by no means uniform. While religion is a centerpiece of Indian nationalism, it is viewed in China as an obstacle to progress that must be marginalized and controlled. The Modern Spirit of Asia moves deftly from Kandinsky's understanding of spirituality in art to Indian yoga and Chinese qi gong, from modern theories of secularism to histories of Christian conversion, from Orientalist constructions of religion to Chinese campaigns against magic and superstition, and from Muslim Kashmir to Muslim Xinjiang. Van der Veer, an outspoken proponent of the importance of comparative studies of religion and society, eloquently makes his case in this groundbreaking examination of the spiritual and the secular in China and India.

Indigenous Mestizos

The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, Peru, 1919-1991

Author: Marisol de la Cadena

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822324201

Category: History

Page: 408

View: 5176

A study of how Cuzco’s indigenous people have transformed the terms “Indian” and “mestizo” from racial categories to social ones, thus creating a de-stigmatized version of Andean heritage.

The World Until Yesterday

What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846148154

Category: Social Science

Page: 512

View: 4864

From the author of No.1 international bestseller Collapse, a mesmerizing portrait of the human past that offers profound lessons for how we can live today Visionary, prize-winning author Jared Diamond changed the way we think about the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Now he returns with another epic - and groundbreaking - journey into our rapidly receding past. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window onto how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature. Drawing extensively on his decades working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Diamond explores how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from childrearing to conflict resolution to health, and discovers we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies to the surprising benefits of multilingualism. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how to live well today. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a #1 international bestseller. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.

Communitas

The Anthropology of Collective Joy

Author: E. Turner

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137016426

Category: Philosophy

Page: 258

View: 5736

Communitas is inspired fellowship; a group's pleasure in sharing common experiences; being 'in the zone' - as in music, sport, and work; the sense felt by a group when their life together takes on full meaning. The experience of communitas, almost beyond strict definition and with almost endless variations, often appears unexpectedly.

Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice

Author: Catherine Bell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199760381

Category: Religion

Page: 270

View: 5768

Ritual studies today figures as a central element of religious discourse for many scholars around the world. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, Catherine Bell's sweeping and seminal work on the subject, helped legitimize the field. In this volume, Bell re-examines the issues, methods, and ramifications of our interest in ritual by concentrating on anthropology, sociology, and the history of religions. Now with a new foreword by Diane Jonte-Pace, Bell's work is a must-read for understanding the evolution of the field of ritual studies and its current state.

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