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The Conundrum of Cultural Difference, From Tunisia to Japan
292 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-622-5 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Published (October 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-623-2 eBook
“This is a serious and pivotal book that shows the limits of Foucault’s rejection of universalism and humanism. Lazreg’s book allows us to re-read Foucault within his boundaries.” · Massimiliano Tomba, University of Padua.
Foucault lived in Tunisia for two years and travelled to Japan and Iran more than once. Yet throughout his critical scholarship, he insisted that the cultures of the “Orient” constitute the “limit” of Western rationality. Using archival research supplemented by interviews with key scholars in Tunisia, Japan and France, this book examines the philosophical sources, evolution as well as contradictions of Foucault’s experience with non-Western cultures. Beyond tracing Foucault’s journey into the world of otherness, the book reveals the personal, political as well as methodological effects of a radical conception of cultural difference that extolled the local over the cosmopolitan.
Marnia Lazreg is professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her latest publications include Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad (Princeton, 2008); and Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women (Princeton, 2009).
Subject: Sociology General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Area: Asia Africa
Chapter 1. The Chinese Encyclopedia and the Challenge of Difference
Chapter 2. Madness and Cultural Difference
Chapter 3. Foucault and Kant’s Cosmopolitan Anthropology
Chapter 4. Foucault’s Negative Anthropology
Chapter 5. Foucault’s Anthropology of the Iranian Revolution
Chapter 6. The Heterotopia of Tunisia
Chapter 7. The Enigma of Japan
Chapter 8. Japan and Foucault’s Anthropological Bind
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