Anthropology And Social Theory

Author: Sherry B. Ortner
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822338642
Size: 11.84 MB
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The award-winning anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner draws on her longstanding interest in theories of cultural practice to rethink key concepts of culture, agency, and subjectivity.

Fear Of Small Numbers

Author: Arjun Appadurai
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822387549
Size: 16.36 MB
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The period since 1989 has been marked by the global endorsement of open markets, the free flow of finance capital and liberal ideas of constitutional rule, and the active expansion of human rights. Why, then, in this era of intense globalization, has there been a proliferation of violence, of ethnic cleansing on the one hand and extreme forms of political violence against civilian populations on the other? Fear of Small Numbers is Arjun Appadurai’s answer to that question. A leading theorist of globalization, Appadurai turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary “war on terror.” Providing a conceptually innovative framework for understanding sources of global violence, he describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile, slippery relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference. Appadurai analyzes the darker side of globalization: suicide bombings; anti-Americanism; the surplus of rage manifest in televised beheadings; the clash of global ideologies; and the difficulties that flexible, cellular organizations such as Al-Qaeda present to centralized, “vertebrate” structures such as national governments. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.

Signal And Noise

Author: Brian Larkin
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822341086
Size: 53.93 MB
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DIVExamines the role of media technologies in shaping urban Africa through an ethnographic study of popular culture in northern Nigeria./div

History And Theory In Anthropology

Author: Alan Barnard
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316101932
Size: 30.18 MB
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Anthropology is a discipline very conscious of its history, and Alan Barnard has written a clear, balanced and judicious textbook that surveys the historical contexts of the great debates and traces the genealogies of theories and schools of thought. It also considers the problems involved in assessing these theories. The book covers the precursors of anthropology; evolutionism in all its guises; diffusionism and culture area theories, functionalism and structural-functionalism; action-centred theories; processual and Marxist perspectives; the many faces of relativism, structuralism and post-structuralism; and recent interpretive and postmodernist viewpoints.

An Introduction To Theory In Anthropology

Author: Robert Layton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521629829
Size: 36.40 MB
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In this innovative introduction, Robert Layton reviews the ideas that have inspired anthropologists in their studies of societies around the world. An Introduction to Theory in Anthropology provides a clear and concise analysis of the theories, and traces the way in which they have been translated into anthropological debates. The opening chapter sets out the classical theoretical issues formulated by Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx and Durkheim. Successive chapters discuss Functionalism, Structuralism, Interactionist theories, and Marxist anthropology, while the final chapters address the competing paradigms of Socioecology and Postmodernism. Using detailed case studies, Professor Layton illustrates the way in which various theoretical perspectives have shaped competing, or complementary, accounts of specific human societies.

Ethnography Through Thick And Thin

Author: George E. Marcus
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691002538
Size: 55.13 MB
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In the 1980s, George Marcus spearheaded a major critique of cultural anthropology, expressed most clearly in the landmark book Writing Culture, which he coedited with James Clifford. Ethnography through Thick and Thin updates and advances that critique for the late 1990s. Marcus presents a series of penetrating and provocative essays on the changes that continue to sweep across anthropology. He examines, in particular, how the discipline's central practice of ethnography has been changed by "multi-sited" approaches to anthropology and how new research patterns are transforming anthropologists' careers. Marcus rejects the view, often expressed, that these changes are undermining anthropology. The combination of traditional ethnography with scholarly experimentation, he argues, will only make the discipline more lively and diverse. The book is divided into three main parts. In the first, Marcus shows how ethnographers' tradition of defining fieldwork in terms of peoples and places is now being challenged by the need to study culture by exploring connections, parallels, and contrasts among a variety of often seemingly incommensurate sites. The second part illustrates this emergent multi-sited condition of research by reflecting it in some of Marcus's own past research on Tongan elites and dynastic American fortunes. In the final section, which includes the previously unpublished essay "Sticking with Ethnography through Thick and Thin," Marcus examines the evolving professional culture of anthropology and the predicaments of its new scholars. He shows how students have increasingly been drawn to the field as much by such powerful interdisciplinary movements as feminism, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies as by anthropology's own traditions. He also considers the impact of demographic changes within the discipline--in particular the fact that anthropologists are no longer almost exclusively Euro-Americans studying non-Euro-Americans. These changes raise new issues about the identities of anthropologists in relation to those they study, and indeed, about what is to define standards of ethnographic scholarship. Filled with keen and highly illuminating observations, Ethnography through Thick and Thin will stimulate fresh debate about the past, present, and future of a discipline undergoing profound transformations.

Culture And Society

Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521359399
Size: 46.48 MB
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This volume brings together the major statements by the leading contemporary scholars of cultural analysis on the relation between culture and society. Part One surveys the range of current analytical debate over culture, focusing on the relationship of culture to social structure and power. While individual contributions differ in defining the nature of culture and its relation to society, they are in agreement in assessing the relative autonomy of culture and the centrality of symbolic analysis. Part Two turns to substantive debates, including those over the role of religion, secular ideology, and mass culture and brings to light disputes about the meaning of modernity. The book testifies to the remarkable development in the past two decades of a cultural paradigm for social and political analysis.

Authentic Indians

Author: Paige Sylvia Raibmon
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 9780822335351
Size: 41.96 MB
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Analyzes cultural adaptation among aboriginal people in the Pacific Northwest, tracing the colonial origins and political implications of ideas about native "authenticity."

Marxist Modern

Author: Donald Lewis Donham
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520213296
Size: 39.49 MB
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"Donham's beautifully written book makes a singular contribution to the emerging literature on global modernities. Donham creatively and seamlessly weaves together an array of textual fragments that enliven and enhance his ethnographic accounts, and together produce a fascinating book and a very good read." --Charles Piot, Duke University

Culture And Power

Author: David Swartz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616165X
Size: 21.52 MB
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Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.