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The Anthropology of Moralities

Edited by Monica Heintz

230 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-592-7 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 2009)

ISBN  978-1-78238-319-2 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (September 2013)

eISBN 978-1-84545-938-3 eBook


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Reviews

The significance of this volume and its nine contributions results from displaying a picture that shows the polarization of the ways moralities are being studied but also conveys its theoretical potential for confronting what some sociologists call ‘Durkheim’s dilemma’, i.e. comprehending morality between its social dimension (structure; duty; obligation) and subjective dimension (agency; desirability of the good; creativity).”  ·  Social Anthroplogy/Anthropologie Sociale

”Observing, describing and assessing values cross-culturally, the authors propose various methodological approaches to the study of moralities, illustrated with rich ethnographic accounts, thus offering a valuable guide for students of anthropology, sociology and cultural studies and for professionals concerned with the empirical and cross-cultural study of values.”  ·  International Journal of Anthropology
 

Description

Anthropologists have been keenly aware of the tension between cultural relativism and absolute norms, and nowhere has this been more acute than with regards to moral values. Can we study the Other’s morality without applying our own normative judgments? How do social anthropologists keep both the distance required by science and the empathy required for the analysis of lived experiences? The plurality of moralities has not received an explicit and focused attention until recently, when accelerated globalization often resulted in the collision of different value systems. Observing, describing and assessing values cross-culturally, the authors propose various methodological approaches to the study of moralities, illustrated with rich ethnographic accounts, thus offering a valuable guide for students of anthropology, sociology and cultural studies and for professionals concerned with the empirical and cross-cultural study of values.

Monica Heintz received her PhD in Social Anthropology in Cambridge in 2002, and was appointed Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in 2003. She is currently Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, the author of ‘Be European, Recycle Yourself: Changing Work Ethic in Romania (LIT, 2006) and the editor of Weak State, Uncertain Citizenship: Moldova (Peter Lang, 2008).

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology



Contents

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Introduction: Why There Should Be an Anthropology of Moralities
Monica Heintz

Chapter 2. Norm and Spontaneity: Elicitation with Moral Dilemma Scenarios
Thomas Widlok

Chapter 3. Life History and Personal Experience: The Moral Conceptions of a Muscovite Man
Jarrett Zigon

Chapter 4. Morality, Value and Radical Cultural Change
Joel Robbins

Chapter 5. Accelerated Globalisation and the Conflicts of Values Seen Through the Lens of Transnational Adoption: A Comparative Perspective
Signe Howell

Chapter 6. Morality, Self and Power: The Idea of the Mahalla in Uzbekistan
Johan Rasanayagam

Chapter 7. Moralising Female Sexuality: The Intersections between Morality and Sexuality in Rural Vietnam
Helle Rydstrøm

Chapter 8. Narrative Ethics: The Excess of Giving and Moral Ambiguity in the Lao Vessantara-Jataka
Patrice Ladwig

Chapter 9. Adopting an Obligation: Moral Reasoning about Bougainvillean Children’s Access to Social Services in New Ireland
Karen Sykes

Chapter 10. Between Facts and Norms: Towards an Anthropology of Ethical Practice
Mark Goodale

References
Notes on Contributors
Index

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