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Logos, trademarks, national insignia, brand names, celebrity images, design patents, and advertising texts are vibrant signs in a consumer culture governed by a regime of intellectual property laws. In The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties, professor of law and cultural anthropologist Rosemary J. Coombe brings an illuminating ethnographic approach to an analysis of authorship and the role law plays in shaping the various meanings that animate these protected properties in the public sphere. Although such artifacts are ubiquitous in contemporary culture, little attention has been paid to the impact of intellectual property law in everyday life or to how ownership of specific intellectual properties is determined and exercised. Drawing on a wide range of cases, disputes, and local struggles, Coombe examines these issues and dismantles the legal assumption that the meaning and value of a text or image is produced exclusively by an individual author or that authorship has a single point of origin. In the process, she examines controversies that include the service of turbanned Sikhs in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the use of the term Olympic in reference to the proposed gay Olympic Games. Other chapters discuss the appropriation of such celebrity images as the Marx brothers, Judy Garland, Dolly Parton, James Dean, and Luke Skywalker; the conflict over team names such as the Washington Redskins; and the opposition of indigenous peoples to stereotypical Native American insignia proffered by the entertainment industry. Ultimately, she makes a case for redefining the political in commodified cultural environments. Significant for its insights into the political significance of current intellectual property law, this book also provides new perspectives on debates in cultural anthropology, cultural studies, and political theory. It will therefore interest both a wide scholarly and a general audience.
Hirsch argues that children in the U.S. are being deprived of the basic knowledge that would enable them to function in contemporary society.
My studies in anthropology had not entirely prepared me. From something theoretical and exciting, anthropology abruptly became something difficult to live.
Cultural Mobility is a blueprint and a model for understanding the patterns of meaning that human societies create. Drawn from a wide range of disciplines, the essays collected here under the distinguished editorial guidance of Stephen Greenblatt share the conviction that cultures, even traditional cultures, are rarely stable or fixed. Radical mobility is not a phenomenon of the twenty-first century alone, but is a key constituent element of human life in virtually all periods. Yet academic accounts of culture tend to operate on exactly the opposite assumption and to celebrate what they imagine to be rooted or whole or undamaged. To grasp the shaping power of colonization, exile, emigration, wandering, contamination, and unexpected, random events, along with the fierce compulsions of greed, longing, and restlessness, cultural analysis needs to operate with a new set of principles. An international group of authors spells out these principles and puts them into practice.
People develop as participants in cultural communities, says Ragoff (psychology, U. of California-Santa Cruz), and their development can be understood only in light of the changing cultural practices and circumstances of their communities. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Ambitious and elegant, this book builds a bridge between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology. Michael Tomasello is one of the very few people to have done systematic research on the cognitive capacities of both nonhuman primates and human children. The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition identifies what the differences are, and suggests where they might have come from. Tomasello argues that the roots of the human capacity for symbol-based culture, and the kind of psychological development that takes place within it, are based in a cluster of uniquely human cognitive capacities that emerge early in human ontogeny. These include capacities for sharing attention with other persons; for understanding that others have intentions of their own; and for imitating, not just what someone else does, but what someone else has intended to do. In his discussions of language, symbolic representation, and cognitive development, Tomasello describes with authority and ingenuity the "ratchet effect" of these capacities working over evolutionary and historical time to create the kind of cultural artifacts and settings within which each new generation of children develops. He also proposes a novel hypothesis, based on processes of social cognition and cultural evolution, about what makes the cognitive representations of humans different from those of other primates. Lucid, erudite, and passionate, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition will be essential reading for developmental psychology, animal behavior, and cultural psychology.
With the rapid growth of knowledge concerning ethnic and national group differences in human behaviors in the last two decades, researchers are increasingly curious as to why, how, and when such differences surface. The field is ready to leapfrog from a descriptive science of group differences to a science of cultural processes. The goal of this book is to lay the theoretical foundation for this exciting development by proposing an original process model of culture. This new perspective discusses and extends contemporary social psychological theories of social cognition and social motivation to explain why culture matters in human psychology. We view culture as a loose network of imperfectly shared knowledge representations for coordinating social transactions. As such, culture serves different adaptive functions important for individuals' goal pursuits. Furthermore, with the increasingly globalized and hyper-connected multicultural space, much can be revealed about how different cultural traditions come into contact.
Through historical studies of some of the work of Montesquieu, Comte, Durkheim, Boas, Morgenthau, Aron and Bourdieu, Derek Robbins examines the changing and competing conceptualisations of the political and the social in the Western European intellectual tradition. He suggests that we are now experiencing a new 'dissociation of sensibility' in which political thought and its consequences in action have become divorced from social and cultural experience. Developing further the ideas of Bourdieu which he has presented in books and articles over the last twenty years, Robbins argues that we need to integrate the recognition of cultural difference with the practice of international politics by accepting that the 'field' of international political discourse is a social construct which is contingent on encounters between diverse cultures. 'Everything is relative' (Comte) and 'everything is social' (Bourdieu), not least international politics.
Joseph Margolis, known for his considerable contributions to the philosophy of art and aesthetics, pragmatism, and American philosophy, has focused primarily on the troublesome concepts of culture, history, language, agency, art, interpretation, and the human person or self. For Margolis, the signal problem has always been the same: how can we distinguish between physical nature and human culture? How do these realms relate? The Cultural Space of the Arts and the Infelicities of Reductionism identifies a conceptual tendency that can be drawn from the work of the twentieth century's best-known analytic philosophers of art: Arthur Danto, Richard Wollheim, Kendall Walton, Nelson Goodman, Monroe Beardsley, Noël Carroll, and Jerrold Levinson, among others. This trend threatens to impoverish our grasp and appreciation of the arts by failing to do justice to the culturally informed nature of the arts themselves. Through his analysis, Margolis sets out to retrieve an adequate picture of the essential differences between physical nature and human culture& mdash;particularly through language, history, meaning, significance, the emergence of the human self or person, and the essential features of human life& mdash;all to explain how such difference bears on our perception of paintings and literature. Clearly argued and provocatively engaging, Margolis's work reestablishes what is essential to a productive encounter with art.
Cultural Tourism in a Changing World provides an in-depth analysis of the key political and social debates in the field of cultural tourism, drawing on a range of international examples to exemplify the issues raised. The authors highlight the complex dynamism of cultural tourism and its potential to transform destinations and peoples in a rapidly changing world.
In this collaboratively authored work, five distinguished sociologists develop an ambitious theoretical model of "cultural trauma"--and on this basis build a new understanding of how social groups interact with emotion to create new and binding understandings of social responsibility. Looking at the "meaning making process" as an open-ended social dialogue in which strikingly different social narratives vie for influence, they outline a strongly constructivist approach to trauma and apply this theoretical model in a series of extensive case studies, including the Nazi Holocaust, slavery in the United States, and September 11, 2001.
The essays in this provocative collection exemplify the innovations that have characterized the relatively new field of late ancient studies. Focused on civilizations clustered mainly around the Mediterranean and covering the period between roughly 100 and 700 CE, scholars in this field have brought history and cultural studies to bear on theology and religious studies. They have adopted the methods of the social sciences and humanities--particularly those of sociology, cultural anthropology, and literary criticism. By emphasizing cultural and social history and considerations of gender and sexuality, scholars of late antiquity have revealed the late ancient world as far more varied than had previously been imagined. The contributors investigate three key concerns of late ancient studies: gender, asceticism, and historiography. They consider Macrina's scar, Mary's voice, and the harlot's body as well as Augustine, Jovinian, Gregory of Nazianzus, Julian, and Ephrem the Syrian. Whether examining how animal bodies figured as a means for understanding human passion and sexuality in the monastic communities of Egypt and Palestine or meditating on the almost modern epistemological crisis faced by Theodoret in attempting to overcome the barriers between the self and the wider world, these essays highlight emerging theoretical and critical developments in the field. Contributors. Daniel Boyarin, David Brakke, Virginia Burrus, Averil Cameron, Susanna Elm, James E. Goehring, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, David G. Hunter, Blake Leyerle, Dale B. Martin, Patricia Cox Miller, Philip Rousseau, Teresa M. Shaw, Maureen A. Tilley, Dennis E. Trout, Mark Vessey
Why do civilizations rise and fall? What are the origins and purpose of art? How does technology shape society? Did culture direct human evolution? Is the Internet an agent of democracy or dictatorships? An immensely powerful but little-understood force that impacts society, art, politics, and even human biological development, culture is the very stage on which human experience plays out. But what is it, exactly? What are its rules and origins? In this fascinating volume, John Brockman, editor and publisher of Edge, presents short, accessible explorations of culture's essential aspects, by today's most influential scientists and thinkers. Contributors and topics include Jared Diamond on why societies collapse and how we can make better decisions to protect our own future Denis Dutton on the origins of art Daniel C. Dennett on the evolution of cultures Jaron Lanier on the ominous impact of the Internet Nicholas Christakis on the structure and rules of social networks, both "real" and online Clay Shirky and Evgeny Morozov on the new political reality of the digital era Brian Eno on what cultures value Stewart Brand on the responsibilities of human power Douglas Rushkoff on the next Renaissance W. Daniel Hillis on the Net as a global "knowledge web"
The author explores the conflicts in generations and how the ideas of the 1970s are causing changes in the 1980s.
Leontis presents an overview of the culture and traditions of Greece that is aimed at general readers and students. He provides information on the land, people, history, religion, society, leisure, holidays, food, language and literature, music and dance, media, theater, cinema, and architecture and art of the country, focusing on the language as the center of the culture. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
For students and general readers, Gold (Latin American literature, U. of New Hampshire) describes the culture and customs of Honduras. She covers the country's national identity and regional and linguistic diversity, indigenous peoples, religion, daily life, food, dress, sports, media, literature and oral tradition, traditional artistry and handcrafts, and visual and performing arts. She includes information about individuals and contributions not easily accessible in English and gives less attention to topics extensively documented in English elsewhere, such as the Mayan civilization of Copán. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kislenko (history, Ryerson U., Canada) presents general readers with this overview of the geography, history, culture, and customs of Laos. A chronology opens the text, followed by chapters on religion and thought; literature; art; architecture and design; theater, dance, music, and film; cuisine and traditional dress; gender, courtship, marriage, and family; festivals; and social customs. A glossary and a chronology of Lao Kings supplement the text. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Jamie Koh is a former journalist and writer who specializes in Asian history and culture, and she teams with former history teacher and museum educator Stephanie Ho to present students and general readers with this survey of the cultures and customs of Singapore and Malaysia. The authors provide chapters on religious thought, the arts, entertainment, housing and architecture, food and fashion, marriage and family life and leisure activities in these two independent yet closely related countries. A concluding chapter on the future of Singapore and Malaysian culture addresses the impact of modernization and globalization as well as this region's demographic shift toward multiculturalism. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Torstrick and Faier present a concise volume for students and general readers focusing on contemporary culture and life of the Arab Gulf countries, within an historical context. The authors seek to dispel the stereotypical ideas about the Arab Gulf states by introducing readers to the richness and diversity of life in these countries. The text includes a chronology followed by chapters on the land, people and a brief historical overview; religion and world view; literature and media; settlement, architecture, and material culture; food, dress, and personal adornment; gender, marriage, and family; customs, folklore, and daily life; and music and dance. Also included are a glossary of terms, a bibliography of print materials, and list of useful websites for readers interested in additional information. Torstrick teaches anthropology at Indiana U., South Bend; formerly with Zayed U. in Dubai, Faier is currently an independent scholar with an educational background in cultural anthropology. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Roney (history, Sacred Heart U., Fairfield, Connecticut) presents an introductory overview of the culture and customs of the Netherlands, for students and general readers. Through eight chapters, Roney examines the geography, people, and history of the country; religious choices and philosophies; social and lifestyle issues regarding health and social welfare, tolerance for problems and controversial issues (prostitution and sex trade, euthanasia, reproductive rights, sexual orientation choices, drugs), family, gender, and education; holidays and leisure; housing; cuisine and fashion; literature from the medieval and Renaissance periods to the present day; performing arts and media; and the country's rich visual arts history.
In his new book, Michal Jan Rozbicki undertakes to bridge the gap between the political and the cultural histories of the American Revolution. Through a careful examination of liberty as both the ideological axis and the central metaphor of the age, he is able to offer a fresh model for interpreting the Revolution. By establishing systemic linkages between the histories of the free and the unfree, and between the factual and the symbolic, this framework points to a fundamental reassessment of the ways we think about the American Founding.Rozbicki moves beyond the two dominant interpretations of Revolutionary liberty--one assuming the Founders invested it with a modern meaning that has in essence continued to the present day, the other highlighting its apparent betrayal by their commitment to inequality. Through a consistent focus on the interplay between culture and power, Rozbicki demonstrates that liberty existed as an intricate fusion of political practices and symbolic forms. His deeply historicized reconstruction of its contemporary meanings makes it clear that liberty was still understood as a set of privileges distributed according to social rank rather than a universal right. In fact, it was because the Founders considered this assumption self-evident that they felt confident in publicizing a highly liberal, symbolic narrative of equal liberty to represent the Revolutionary endeavor. The uncontainable success of this narrative went far beyond the circumstances that gave birth to it because it put new cultural capital--a conceptual arsenal of rights and freedoms--at the disposal of ordinary people as well as political factions competing for their support, providing priceless legitimacy to all those who would insist that its nominal inclusiveness include them in fact.
Bringing together for the first time the best of twenty-five years of unique critical work, Warren Susman takes us on a startling tour through the conflicts and events which have transformed the social, political, and cultural face of America in this century. Probing a rich panoply of images from the mass media and advertising, testing prevalent intellectual and economic theories, linking the revolutions in communications and technology to the rise of a new pantheon of popular heroes. Susman documents and analyzes the process through which the older, Puritan-republican, producer-capitalist culture has given way to the leisure-oriented, consumer society we now inhabit: the culture of abundance.
Ever since she discovered a love for drag racing, it's full speed ahead for Jayd Jackson... Fed up with the way her school's handling Cultural Awareness Day, Jayd and her crew decide to form the first African Student Union. Now some notorious haters are out for blood. But that's not the only multicultural activity Jayd's got cooking. On the boy front, Jayd discovers she loves being behind the wheel of her friends' hot rods, but she can't deny her attraction for Emilio, the new Latino sophomore at South Bay High. Emilio seems to be crushin' hard on Jayd too. And now that Jayd may be South Bay's last virgin, she wonders if it's time to take things to the next level. But her magical grandmother thinks Jayd's already moving too fast--and if she doesn't slow down, she's sure to get burned.
What is culture? Why should we preserve it, and how? In this book renowned philosopher Roger Scruton defends Western culture against its internal critics and external enemies, and argues that rumours of its death are seriously exaggerated. He shows our culture to be a continuing source of moral knowledge, and rebuts the fashionable sarcasm which sees it as nothing more than the useless legacy of 'dead white European males'. He is robust in defence of traditional architecture and figurative painting, critical of the fashionable relativists and urgent in his plea for our civilization, which more than ever stands in need of the self-knowledge and self-confidence that are the gift of serious culture.
In response to the irregular warfare challenges facing the U. S. in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005, General James Mattis#151;then commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command#151;established a new Marine Corps cultural initiative. The goal was simple: teach Marines to interact successfully with the local population in areas of conflict. The implications, however, were anything but simple: transform an elite military culture founded on the principles of "locate, close with, and destroy the enemy" into a "culturally savvy" Marine Corps. Culture in Conflict: Irregular Warfare, Culture Policy, and the Marine Corps examines the conflicted trajectory of the Marine Corps' efforts to institute a radical culture policy into a military organization that is structured and trained to fight conventional wars. More importantly, however, it is a compelling book about America's shifting military identity in a new world of unconventional warfare.
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