An Essay on the Anthropology of Power and Symbolism in Complex Society
Author: Abner Cohen
Category: Social Science
Central to this original study, first published in 1974, is that Political Man is also Symbolist Man, that man is two-dimensional. The book explores the possibilities of the systematic study of the dialectical interdependence between power relationships and symbolic action in modern, complex society. The discussion focuses on the processes by which interest groups, that cannot organise themselves formally, manipulate different types of symbolic formations to articulate a number of basic organisational functions: distinctiveness, communication, decision-making, authority, ideology and socialisation. The analysis is worked out in terms of specific case studies of different types of groupings, or ‘invisible organisations’ – ethnic, elitist, religious, ritually secret, cousinhood – which go through processes of cultural metamorphosis, shifting from one symbolic strategy to another, in response to changes in their circumstances. In conclusion, the discussion is brought to bear on the study of stratification in large-scale industrial society generally.
In Two-Dimensional Man, Paul Sahre shares deeply revealing stories that serve as the unlikely inspiration behind his extraordinary thirty-year design career. Sahre explores his mostly vain attempts to escape his "suburban Addams Family" upbringing and the death of his elephant-trainer brother. He also wrestles with the cosmic implications involved in operating a scanner, explains the disappearance of ice machines, analyzes a disastrous meeting with Steely Dan, and laments the typos, sunsets, and poor color choices that have shaped his work and point of view. Two-Dimensional Man portrays the designer's life as one of constant questioning, inventing, failing, dreaming, and ultimately making.
This book tracks the history of the theory of relativity through Einstein’s life, with in-depth studies of its background as built upon by ideas from earlier scientists. The focus points of Einstein’s theory of relativity include its development throughout his life; the origins of his ideas and his indebtedness to the earlier works of Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Mach and others; the application of the theory to the birth of modern cosmology; and his quest for a unified field theory. Treading a fine line between the popular and technical (but not shying away from the occasional equation), this book explains the entire range of relativity and weaves an up-to-date biography of Einstein throughout. The result is an explanation of the world of relativity, based on an extensive journey into earlier physics and a simultaneous voyage into the mind of Einstein, written for the curious and intelligent reader.
Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
Author: Herbert Marcuse
One of the most important texts of modern times, Herbert Marcuse's analysis and image of a one-dimensional man in a one-dimensional society has shaped many young radicals' way of seeing and experiencing life. Published in 1964, it fast became an ideological bible for the emergent New Left. As Douglas Kellner notes in his introduction, Marcuse's greatest work was a 'damning indictment of contemporary Western societies, capitalist and communist.' Yet it also expressed the hopes of a radical philosopher that human freedom and happiness could be greatly expanded beyond the regimented thought and behaviour prevalent in established society. For those who held the reigns of power Marcuse's call to arms threatened civilization to its very core. For many others however, it represented a freedom hitherto unimaginable.
As the mighty spaceship Skylark roamed the intergalactic spaceways, scientist Richard Seaton and his companions found a world of disembodied intelligences. A world of four dimensions where time was insanely distorted and matter obeyed no terrestrial laws - where three-dimensional human intellects had to fight hard to thwart malevolent invisible mentalities...
The aim of this book is to acquaint the reader with what the author regards as the most basic characteristics of quasicrystals structure, formation and stability, properties in relationship with the applications of quasicrystalline materials. Quasicrystals are fascinating substances that form a family of specific structures with strange physical and mechanical properties as compared to those of metallic alloys. This, on the one hand, is stimulating intensive research to understand the most basic properties of quasicrystals in the frame of a generalized crystallography. On the other hand, these properties open the way to technological applications, demonstrated or potential, mostly regarding energy savings. This valuable book discusses those various facets of quasicrystals in five chapters, ending with the authorOCOs own interpretation of the properties with respect to their unique structure."
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.