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Anthropology seeks to understand the roots of our common humanity, the diversity of cultures and world-views, and the organisation of social relations and practices. As a method of inquiry it embraces an enormous range of topics, and as a discipline it covers a multitude of fields and themes, as shown in this selection of original writings. As an accessible entry point, for upper-level students and first year undergraduates new to the study of anthropology, this reader also offers guidance for teachers in exploring the subject's riches with their students. That anthropology is an immensely expansive inquiry of study is demonstrated by the diversity of its topics - from nature conservation campaigns to witchcraft beliefs, from human evolution to fashion and style, and from the repatriation of indigenous human remains to research on literacy. There is no single 'story of anthropology'. Taken together, these fundamental readings are evidence of a contemporary, vibrant subject that has much to tell us about all the worlds in which we live.
Dancing at the crossroads used to be young people's opportunity to meet and enjoy themselves on mild summer evenings in the countryside in Ireland until this practice was banned by law, the Public Dance Halls Act in 1935. Now a key metaphor in Irish cultural and political life, "dancing at the crossroads" also crystallizes the argument of this book: Irish dance, from Riverdance (the commercial show) and competitive dancing to dance theatre, conveys that Ireland is to be found in a crossroads situation with a firm base in a distinctly Irish tradition which is also becoming a prominent part of European modernity.
Concerns with research ethics have intensified over recent years, in large part as a symptom of "audit cultures" (M. Strathern) but also as a serious matter of engagement with the ethical complexities in contemporary research fields. This volume, written by a new generation of scholars engaged with contemporary global movements for social justice and peace, reflects their efforts in trying to integrate their scholarly pursuits with their understanding of social science, politics and ethics, and what political commitment means in practice and in fieldwork. This is a book of argument and analysis, written with passion, clarity and intellectual sophistication, which touches on issues of vital significance to social scientists and activists in general.
Michel Foucault's seminal The History of Sexuality (1976-1984) has since its publication provided a context for the emergence of critical historical studies of sexuality. This collection reassesses the state of the historiography on sexuality--a field in which the German case has been traditionally central. In many diverse ways, the Foucauldian intervention has governed the formation of questions in the field as well as the assumptions about how some of these questions should be answered. It can be argued, however, that some of these revolutionary insights have ossified into dogmas or truisms within the field. Yet, as these contributions meticulously reveal, those very truisms, when revisited with a fresh eye, can lead to new, unexpected insights into the history of sexuality, necessitating a return to and reinterpretation of Foucault's richly complex work. This volume will be necessary reading for students of historical sexuality as well as for those readers in German history and German studies generally who have an interest in the history of sexuality.
By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting 'difficult' objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities. The aim is to apply a critical approach to the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially nineteenth-century ideas of collecting; and to move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in museums, which are inclusive of acquiring 'difficult' objects. Much of the book engages with the question of the limits to the practice of collecting as a means to think through the implementation of new strategies.
In recent years an increasing number of scholars have incorporated a focus on emotions in their theories of material culture, transnationalism and globalization, and this book aims to contribute to this field of inquiry. It examines how 'emotions' can be theorized, and serves as a useful analytical tool for understanding the interrelated mobility of humans, objects and images. Ethnographically rich, and theoretically grounded case studies offer new perspectives on the relations between migration, material culture and emotions. While some chapters address the many different ways in which migrants and migrant artists express their emotions through objects and images in transnational contexts, other chapters focus on how particular works of art, everyday objects and artefacts can evoke feelings specific to particular migrant groups and communities. Case studies also analyse how artists, academics and policy makers can stimulate positive interaction between migrants and non-migrant communities.
At the heart of this volume is the assertion that Sartrean existentialism, most prominent in the 1940s, particularly in France, is still relevant as a way of interpreting the world today. Film, by reflecting philosophical concerns in the actions and choices of characters, continues and extends a tradition in which art exemplifies the understanding of existentialist philosophy. In a scholarly yet accessible style, the contributors exploit the rich interplay between Sartre's philosophy, plays and novels, and a number of contemporary films including No Country for Old Men, Lost in Translation and The Truman Show, with film-makers including the Dardenne brothers, Michael Haneke, and Mike Leigh. This volume will be of interest to students who are coming to Sartre's work for the first time and to those who would like to read films within an existentialist perspective.
Reinhart Koselleck (1923-2006) was one of most imposing and influential European intellectual historians in the twentieth century. Constantly probing and transgressing the boundaries of mainstream historical writing, he created numerous highly innovative approaches, absorbing influences from other academic disciplines as represented in the work of philosophers and political thinkers like Hans Georg Gadamer and Carl Schmitt and that of internationally renowned scholars such as Hayden White, Michel Foucault, and Quentin Skinner. An advocate of "grand theory," Koselleck was an inspiration to many scholars and helped move the discipline into new directions (such as conceptual history, theories of historical times and memory) and across disciplinary and national boundaries. He thus achieved a degree of international fame that was unusual for a German historian after 1945. This book not only presents the life and work of a "great thinker" and European intellectual, it also contributes to our understanding of complex theoretical and methodological issues in the cultural sciences and to our knowledge of the history of political, historical, and cultural thought in Germany from the 1950s to the present.
In the second half of the twentieth century France played the greatest role - even greater than Germany's - in shaping what eventually became the European Union. By the early twenty-first century, however, in a hugely transformed Europe, this era had patently come to an end. This comprehensive history shows how France coupled the pursuit of power and the furtherance of European integration over a sixty-year period, from the close of the Second World War to the hesitation caused by the French electorate's referendum rejection of the European Union's constitutional treaty in 2005.
The German Empire, its structure, its dynamic development between 1871 and 1918, and its legacy, have been the focus of lively international debate that is showing signs of further intensification as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Based on recent work and scholarly arguments about continuities and discontinuities in modern German history from Bismarck to Hitler, well-known experts broadly explore four themes: the positioning of the Bismarckian Empire in the course of German history; the relationships between society, politics and culture in a period of momentous transformations; the escalation of military violence in Germany's colonies before 1914 and later in two world wars; and finally the situation of Germany within the international system as a major political and economic player. The perspectives presented in this volume have already stimulated further argument and will be of interest to anyone looking for orientation in this field of research.
Despite international congresses and international journals, anthropologies of education differ significantly around the world. Linguistic barriers constrain the flow of ideas, which results in a vast amount of research on educational anthropology that is not published in English or is difficult for international readers to find. This volume responds to the call to attend to educational research outside the United States and to break out of "metropolitan provincialism." A guide to the anthropologies and ethnographies of learning and schooling published in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Slavic languages, Japanese, and English as a second language, show how scholars in Latin America, Japan, and elsewhere adapt European, American, and other approaches to create new traditions. As the contributors show, educators draw on different foundational research and different theoretical discussions. Thus, this global survey raises new questions and casts a new light on what has become a too-familiar discipline in the United States.
Crude Domination is an innovative and important book about a critical topic - oil. While there have been numerous works about petroleum from 'experience-far' perspectives, there have been relatively few that have turned the 'experience-near' ethnographic gaze of anthropology on the topic. Crude Domination does just this among more peoples and more places than any other volume. Its chapters investigate nuances of culture, politics and economics in Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia as they pertain to petroleum. They wrestle with the key questions vexing scholars and practitioners alike: problems of the economic blight of the resource curse, underdevelopment, democracy, violence and war. Additionally they address topics that may initially appear insignificant - such as child witches and lionmen, fighting for oil when there is no oil, reindeer nomadism, community TV - but which turn out on closer scrutiny to be vital for explaining conflict and transformation in petro-states. Based upon these rich, new worlds of information, the text formulates a novel, domination approach to the social analysis of oil.
Anthropology is particularly well suited to explore the contemporary predicament in the coming of age of young men. Its grounded and comparative empiricism provides the opportunity to move beyond statistics, moral panics, or gender stereotypes in order to explore specific aspects of life course transitions, as well as the similar or divergent barriers or opportunities that young men in different parts of the world face. Yet, effective contextualization and comparison cannot be achieved by looking at male youths in isolation. This volume undertakes to contextualize male youths' circumstances and to learn about their lives, perspectives, and actions, and in turn illuminates the larger structures and processes that mediate the experiences entailed in becoming young men. The situation of male youths provides an important vantage point from which to consider broader social transformations and continuities. By paying careful attention to these contexts, we achieve a better understanding of the current influences encountered and acted upon by young people.
Out of a film culture originally starved of funds have emerged rich and eclectic works by film-makers that are now achieving the international recognition that they deserve: Barbara Albert, Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, and Stefan Ruzowitzky, to give four examples. This comprehensive critical anthology, by leading scholars of Austrian film, is intended to introduce and make accessible this much under-represented phenomenon. Although the book covers the full development of the Austrian new wave it focuses on the period that has brought it global attention: 1998 to the present. New Austrian Film is the only book currently available on this topic and will be an essential reference work for academics, students and filmmakers, interested in modern Austrian film.
The overwhelming majority of historical work on the late Habsburg Monarchy has focused primarily on national movements and ethnic conflicts, with the result that too little attention has been devoted to the state and ruling dynasty. This volume is the first of its kind to concentrate on attempts by the imperial government to generate a dynastic-oriented state patriotism in the multinational Habsburg Monarchy. It examines those forces in state and society which tended toward the promotion of state unity and loyalty towards the ruling house. These essays, all original contributions and written by an international group of historians, provide a critical examination of the phenomenon of "dynastic patriotism" and offer a richly nuanced treatment of the multinational empire in its final phase.
Beer is an ancient alcoholic drink which, although produced through a more complex process than wine, was developed by a wide range of cultures to become internationally popular. This book is the first multidisciplinary, cross-cultural collection about beer. It explores the brewing processes used in antiquity and in traditional societies; the social and symbolic roles of beer-drinking; the beliefs and activities associated with it; the health-promoting effects as well as the health-damaging risks; and analyses the modern role of large multinational companies, which own many of the breweries, and the marketing techniques that they employ.
Astronomers around the world are pointing their telescopes toward the heavens, searching for signs of intelligent life. If they make contact with an advanced alien civilization, how will humankind respond? In thinking about first contact, the contributors to this volume present new empirical and theoretical research on the societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Archaeologists and astronomers explore the likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, using scientific insights to estimate such elusive factors as the longevity of technological societies. Sociologists present the latest findings of novel surveys, tapping into the public's attitudes about life beyond Earth to show how religion and education influence beliefs about extraterrestrials. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, journalism, and religious studies offer innovative solutions for bridging the cultural gap between human and extraterrestrial civilizations, while recognizing the tremendous challenges of communicating at interstellar distances. At a time when new planets are being discovered around other stars at an unprecedented rate, this collection provides a much needed guide to the human impact of discovering we are not alone in the universe.
In the post-Soviet period morality became a debatable concept, open to a multitude of expressions and performances. From Russian Orthodoxy to Islam, from shamanism to Protestantism, religions of various kinds provided some of the first possible alternative moral discourses and practices after the end of the Soviet system. This influence remains strong today. Within the Russian context, religion and morality intersect in such social domains as the relief of social suffering, the interpretation of history, the construction and reconstruction of traditions, individual and social health, and business practices. The influence of religion is also apparent in the way in which the Russian Orthodox Church increasingly acts as the moral voice of the government. The wide-ranging topics in this ethnographically based volume show the broad religious influence on both discursive and everyday moralities. The contributors reveal that although religion is a significant aspect of the various assemblages of morality, much like in other parts of the world, religion in postsocialist Russia cannot be separated from the political or economic or transnational institutional aspects of morality.
Across Africa, funerals and events remembering the dead have become larger and even more numerous over the years. Whereas in the West death is normally a private and family affair, in Africa funerals are often the central life cycle event, unparalleled in cost and importance, for which families harness vast amounts of resources to host lavish events for multitudes of people with ramifications well beyond the event. Though officials may try to regulate them, the popularity of these events often makes such efforts fruitless, and the elites themselves spend tremendously on funerals. This volume brings together scholars who have conducted research on funerary events across sub-Saharan Africa. The contributions offer an in-depth understanding of the broad changes and underlying causes in African societies over the years, such as changes in religious beliefs, social structure, urbanization, and technological changes and health.
Drawing from extended fieldwork in La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean, the author suggests an innovative re-reading of different concepts of magic that emerge in the global cultural economics of tourism. Following the making and unmaking of the tropical island tourism destination of La Réunion, he demonstrates how destinations are transformed into magical pleasure gardens in which human life is cultivated for tourist consumption. Like a gardener would cultivate flowers, local development policy, nature conservation, and museum initiatives dramatise local social life so as to evoke modernist paradigms of time, beauty and nature. Islanders who live in this 'human garden' are thus placed in the ambivalent role of 'human flowers', embodying ideas of authenticity and biblical innocence, but also of history and social life in perpetual creolisation.
Based on interviews and the voluminous materials in the archives of the SED, the Stasi and central and regional authorities, this volume focuses on several contrasting minorities (Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, 'guest' workers from Vietnam and Mozambique, football fans, punks, and skinheads) and their interaction with state and party bodies during Erich Honecker's rule over the communist system. It explores how they were able to resist persecution and surveillance by instruments of the state, thus illustrating the limits on the power of the East German dictatorship and shedding light on the notion of authority as social practice.
The "managerial revolution," or the rise of management as a distinct and vital group in industrial society, might be identified as a major development of the modernization processes, similar to the scientific and industrial revolutions. Studying "transnational" or "global" corporate management at the post-millennium moment provides a suitable focal point from which to investigate globalized (post)modernity and capitalism especially, and as such this book offers an anthropology of global capitalism at its moment of crisis. This study provides ethnographically rich descriptions of managerial practices in a set of international corporate investment projects. Drawing also on historical and statistical data, it renders a comprehensive perspective on management, corporations, and capitalism in the late modern globalized economy. Cross-disciplinary in outlook, the book spans the fields of organization, business, and management, and asserts that now, in this period of financial crisis, is the time for anthropology to yet again engage with political economy.
Assessing the impact of fin-de-siècle Jewish culture on subsequent developments in literature and culture, this book is the first to consider the historical trajectory of Austrian-Jewish writing across the 20th century. It examines how Vienna, the city that stood at the center of Jewish life in the Austrian Empire and later the Austrian nation, assumed a special significance in the imaginations of Jewish writers as a space and an idea. The author focuses on the special relationship between Austrian-Jewish writers and the city to reveal a century-long pattern of living in tension with the city, experiencing simultaneously acceptance and exclusion, feeling "unheimlich heimisch" (eerily at home) in Vienna.
Why are we obsessed with calculating our selections? The author argues that competitive trade nurtures calculative reason, which provides the ground for most discourses on economy. But market descriptions of economy are incomplete. Drawing on a range of materials from small ethnographic contexts to global financial markets, the author shows that economy is dialectically made up of two value realms, termed mutuality and impersonal trade. One or the other may be dominant; however, market reason usually cascades into and debases the mutuality on which it depends. Using this cross-cultural model, the author explores mystifications of economic life, and explains how capital and derivatives can control an economy. The book offers a different conception of economic welfare, development, and freedom; it presents an approach for dealing with environmental devastation, and explains the growing inequalities of wealth within and between nations.
Screening the East considers German filmmakers' responses to unification. In particular, it traces the representation of the East German community in films made since 1989 and considers whether these narratives challenge or reinforce the notion of a separate East German identity. The book identifies and analyses a large number of films, from internationally successful box-office hits, to lesser-known productions, many of which are discussed here for the first time. Providing an insight into the films' historical and political context, it considers related issues such as stereotyping, racism, regional particularism and the Germans' confrontation with the past.
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