Objects and Imagination
Perspectives on Materialization and Meaning
Fuglerud, Ø. & Wainwright, L. (eds)
Despite the wide interest in material culture, art, and aesthetics, few studies have considered them in light of the importance of the social imagination - the complex ways in which we conceptualize our social surroundings. This collection engages the “material turn” in the arts, humanities, and social sciences through a range of original contributions on creativity in diverse global and contemporary social settings. The authors engage with everyday objects, art, rituals, and ethnographic exhibitions to analyze the relationship between material culture and the social imagination. What results is a better understanding of how the material embodies and influences our idea of the social world.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Occupation in the East
The Daily Lives of German Occupiers in Warsaw and Minsk, 1939-1944
Following their occupation by the Third Reich, Warsaw and Minsk became home to tens of thousands of Germans. In this exhaustive study, Stephan Lehnstaedt provides a nuanced, eye-opening portrait of the lives of these men and women, who constituted a surprisingly diverse population—including everyone from SS officers to civil servants, as well as ethnically German city residents—united in its self-conception as a “master race.” Even as they acclimated to the daily routines and tedium of life in the East, many Germans engaged in acts of shocking brutality against Poles, Belarusians, and Jews, while social conditions became increasingly conducive to systematic mass murder.
Subject: WWII History
Oceanic Socialities and Cultural Forms
Ethnographies of Experience
Hoëm, I. & Roalkvam, S. (eds)
In anthropology, theoretical approaches attempting to come to terms with experiences of social interaction, often inspired by phenomenology, have come to the fore in opposition to the previously favored emphasis on symbolic and social structures. These essays attempt a new kind of ethnographic description of social life that treats structure and practice as aspects of the same reality. This is achieved through attention to indigenous conceptualizations of the way society itself is generated.
With Jonathan Friedman and Fredrik Barth providing overviews, this series of innovative ethnographies highlights ways of forming social relations specific to Oceania as a cultural area, exemplifying a new kind of comparative approach and making a major contribution to general social theory.
Subject: General Anthropology
Of Life and Health
The Language of Art and Religion in an African Medical System
Tengan, A. B.
An anthropological study of the health system of the Dagara people of northern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso, Of Life and Health develops a cultural and epistemological lexicon of Dagara life by examining its religious, ritual, and artistic expressions. Consisting of ethnographic descriptions and analyses of six Dagara cultic institutions, each of which deals with different aspects of sustaining and transmitting life, the volume gives a holistic account of the Dagara knowledge system.
Subjects: General Anthropology Religion
Sowing Dissent and Reclaiming Identity in a Japanese Farming Village
Wood, D. C.
Following the Second World War, a massive land reclamation project to boost Japan’s rice production capacity led to the transformation of the shallow lagoon of Hachirogata in Akita Prefecture into a seventeen-thousand-hectare expanse of farmland. In 1964, the village of Ogata-mura was founded on the empoldered land inside the lagoon and nearly six hundred pioneers from across the country were brought to settle there. The village was to be a model of a new breed of highly mechanized, efficient rice agriculture; however, the village’s purpose was jeopardized when the demand for rice fell, and the goal of creating an egalitarian farming community was threatened as individual entrepreneurialism took root and as the settlers became divided into political factions that to this day continue to struggle for control of the village. Based on seventeen years of research, this book explores the process of Ogatamura’s development from the planning stages to the present. An intensive ethnographic study of the relationship between land reclamation, agriculture, and politics in regional Japan, it traces the internal social effects of the village’s economic transformations while addressing the implications of national policy at the municipal and regional levels.
Subjects: Environmental Studies General Anthropology
Oikos and Market
Explorations in Self-Sufficiency after Socialism
Gudeman, S. & Hann, C. (eds)
Self-sufficiency of the house is practiced in many parts of the world but ignored in economic theory, just as socialist collectivization is assumed to have brought household self-sufficiency to an end. The ideals of self-sufficiency, however, continue to shape economic activity in a wide range of postsocialist settings. This volume’s six comparative studies of postsocialist villages in Eastern Europe and Asia illuminate the enduring importance of the house economy, which is based not on the market but on the order of the house. These formations show that economies depend not only on the macro institutions of markets and states but also on the micro institutions of families, communities, and house economies, often in an uneasy relationship.
Subject: General Anthropology
Oil and Sovereignty
Petro-Knowledge and Energy Policy in the United States and Western Europe in the 1970s
In the decades that followed World War II, cheap and plentiful oil helped to fuel rapid economic growth, ensure political stability, and reinforce the legitimacy of liberal democracies. Yet waves of price increases and the use of the so-called “oil weapon” by a group of Arab oil-producing countries in the early 1970s demonstrated the West’s dependence on this vital resource and its vulnerability to economic volatility and political conflicts. Oil and Sovereignty analyzes the national and international strategies that American and European governments formulated to restructure the world of oil and deal with the era’s disruptions. It shows how a variety of different actors combined diplomacy, knowledge creation, economic restructuring, and public relations in their attempts to impose stability and reassert national sovereignty.
Subjects: Postwar History Economic History Political Economy
Oligarchs and Oligopolies
New Formations of Global Power
Kapferer, B. (ed)
As corporate practices are becoming more fused with state processes, the state itself is increasingly taking on a corporate structure, as well as a more overt oligarchic character. Evidence of this can be seen in the growing domination of political organizations and institutions by close-knit social groups (familial dynasties, closed associations, or personal networks) that seek exclusive control over economic resources.
These new forms of state power that are emerging are not reducible to the past, and the nation-state, as the essays in this volume show, is giving way to a political-economic formation that has multiple state-like effects and is able to act in ways systemic with deterritorializing global processes.
Exploring these processes in different concrete locations from North America to Russia, West Africa, and Australia, the authors show that current configurations of global, imperial, and state power cannot be understood without examining their relation to formations of oligarchic control. They bring us closer to an understanding of the ways in which the nation-state is being transformed by globalization.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Olympic Games as Performance and Public Event
The Case of the XVII Winter Olympic Games in Norway
Klausen, A. (ed)
Sports, and in particular the Olympic Games, are enjoying a rapid increase in interest among social scientists worldwide, who see them as important "public events." This volume offers the first analysis of the Winter Olympic Games, primarily based on the Lillehammer Games of 1994. The authors identify "olympism" as a key agent in the modernization process and, more specifically, ask how the winter games, as a mega-event, relate to Norwegian culture and ethos.
The authors of these specially commissioned papers examine various aspects of this encounter, including problems such as gender as related to nature and culture, masculinity and heroism, national identity and invention of tradition, the impact of venue construction on a traditional cultural landscape, the ideological criticism of the I.O.C. as it emerged, dramatically, before the opening of the Games and the conflict between the Norwegians and the Greeks over the ritual status of the two flames used during the torch relay, one from Olympia and one from Morgedalin Telemark, "the cradle of skiing."
Subjects: Performance Studies General Anthropology
On Perpetual Peace
A Timely Assessment
Dieter Senghaas today is the world's leading figure in the field of conflict research, conflict management research, and the study of the prerequisites of lasting peace. The fact that virulent conflict within what Senghaas calls the OECD world, essentially the European Union, has become unthinkable over the past half-century encourages him in the face of violent conflict in many parts of the world to be reasonably optimistic about the prospect for our planet as a whole.
Subjects: Peace & Conflict Studies Development Studies
Text and Commentary
Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) never completed his Doctoral thesis on prayer. Yet his scarcely mentioned introduction (Books I and II) of 176 pages and privately printed in 1909, can be seen as some of his most important work. His argument that much of prayer is a social act will be of great interest to anthropologists, sociologists and theologians.
Here, the first English translation to be published, is preceded by a general introduction by W.S.F.Pickering and finally a specific commentary on Mauss's use of ethnographic material.
Towards an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition
Turner, B. & Schlee, G. (eds)
Retaliation is associated with all forms of social and political organization, and retaliatory logics inform many different conflict resolution procedures from consensual settlement to compensation to violent escalations. This book derives a concept of retaliation from the overall notion of reciprocity, defining retaliation as the human disposition to strive for a reactive balancing of conflicts and injustices. On Retaliation presents a synthesized approach to both the violence-generating and violence-avoiding potentials of retaliation. Contributors to this volume touch upon the interaction between retaliation and violence, the state’s monopoly on legitimate punishment and the factors of socio-political frameworks, religious interpretations and economic processes.
Subjects: General Anthropology Peace & Conflict Studies
On the Edges of Whiteness
Polish Refugees in British Colonial Africa during and after World War II
From 1942 to 1950, nearly twenty thousand Poles found refuge from the horrors of war-torn Europe in camps within Britain’s African colonies, including Uganda, Tanganyika, Kenya and Northern and Southern Rhodesia. On the Edges of Whiteness tells their improbable story, tracing the manifold, complex relationships that developed among refugees, their British administrators, and their African neighbors. While intervening in key historical debates across academic disciplines, this book also gives an accessible and memorable account of survival and dramatic cultural dislocation against the backdrop of global conflict.
Subjects: WWII History Refugee & Migration Studies
On the Geopragmatics of Anthropological Identification
On the Geopragmatics of Anthropological Identification explores the discursive spaces of our speaking position, or what has routinely been referred to in the literature as the poetics and politics of writing culture. At issue here are its problematic underlying notions of cultural identity, authorial subjectivity and postcolonial critique. Contrary to the widespread assumption that cultural studies and the social sciences share a common discourse of culture and society, Allen Chun argues that 'modern' disciplinary practices and axioms have in fact produced inherently incompatible theories. Anthropology's ethical relativism has also created obstacles for a critical theory of culture and society.
On the Margins of Religion
Pine, F. & Pina-Cabral, J. de (eds)
Focusing on places, objects, bodies, narratives and ritual spaces where religion may be found or inscribed, the authors reveal the role of religion in contesting rights to places, to knowledge and to property, as well as access to resources. Through analyses of specific historical processes in terms of responses to socio-economic and political change, the chapters consider implicitly or explicitly the problematic relation between science (including social sciences and anthropology in particular) and religion, and how this connects to the new religious globalisation of the twenty-first century. Their ethnographies highlight the embodiment of religion and its location in landscapes, built spaces and religious sites which may be contested, physically or ideologically, or encased in memory and often in silence. Taken together, they show the importance of religion as a resource to the believers: a source of solace, spiritual comfort and self-willed submission.
Subjects: Religion Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Paradise
Affect, Tourism, Belize
There are beastly forces in Belize. Forces that are actively involved in making paradise impossible. On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Paradise is a collection of seven stories about local lives in the fictional village of Wallaceville. They turn rogue in the face of runaway forces that take the form and figure of a Belize beast-time, which can appear as a comic mishap, social ruin, tragic excess, or wild guesses. Inciting the affective politics of life in the region, this fable of emergence evokes the unnerving uncertainties of life in the tourist state of Belize.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
On the Order of Chaos
Social Anthropology and the Science of Chaos
Mosko, M. S. & Damon, F. (eds)
Over the past two decades, “chaos theory” – the perception of order previously hidden in phenomena of apparent randomness and disorder – has fundamentally transformed the natural sciences. In recent years, numerous scholars in the social sciences and humanities have attempted to adapt the insights of chaos theory to their studies of human cultural and social systems. Several of the world’s leading anthropologists, such as Roy Wagner, Marshall Sahlins, Marilyn Strathern, and Arjun Appadurai – have similarly drawn upon particular elements of chaos theory for their inspiration, but as yet there is no focused, comprehensive treatment of the applicability of chaos theory to anthropology’s distinctive ethnographic and cross-cultural materials. This edited volume fills the gap, with both accessible theoretical discussions of chaos theory applications in anthropology and detailed ethnographic and historical illustrations from Africa and Melanesia.
On the Path to Genocide
Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined
Why did the Armenian genocide erupt in Turkey in 1915, only seven years after the Armenian minority achieved civil equality for the first time in the history of the Ottoman Empire? How can we explain the Rwandan genocide occurring in 1994, after decades of relative peace and even cooperation between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority? Addressing the question of how the risk of genocide develops over time, On the Path to Genocide contributes to a better understand why genocide occurs when it does. It provides a comprehensive and comparative historical analysis of the factors that led to the 1915 Armenian genocide and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, using fresh sources and perspectives that yield new insights into the history of the Armenian and Rwandan peoples. Finally, it also presents new research into constraints that inhibit genocide, and how they can be utilized to attempt the prevention of genocide in the future.
Subjects: Genocide Studies 20th Century History
On the Qualities of Quantity
Monetary Amounts and their Materialities
Schmidt, M. & Ross, S. (eds)
Traditionally viewed as an abstraction, the quantative nature of money is essential in evaluating the relationship between monetary systems and society. On the Qualities of Quantity moves beyond abstraction, exploring the conceptual diversity and everyday enactment of money’s quantity. Drawing from case studies including British jewelers, blood money payments in Germanic law codes, and the quotidian use of money in cosmopolital Moscow, a Western Kenyan village, and socialist Havana, the chapters in this volume offer new theoretical and empirical interpreations of money’s quantative nature as it relates to abstraction, sociality, materiality, freedom, and morality.
Subjects: Sociology Political Economy
On Violence in History
Dwyer, P. &Micale, M. S. (eds)
Is global violence on the decline? Steven Pinker’s highly-publicized argument that human violence across the world has been dramatically abating continues to influence discourse among academics and the general public alike. In this provocative volume, a cast of eminent historians interrogate Pinker’s thesis by exposing the realities of violence throughout human history. In doing so, they reveal the history of human violence to be richer, more thought-provoking, and considerably more complicated than Pinker claims.
Subject: General History
One Sound, Two Worlds
The Blues in a Divided Germany, 1945-1990
For all of its apparent simplicity—a few chords, twelve bars, and a supposedly straightforward American character—blues music is a complex phenomenon with cultural significance that has varied greatly across different historical contexts. One Sound, Two Worlds examines the development of the blues in East and West Germany, demonstrating the multiple ways social and political conditions can shape the meaning of music. Based on new archival research and conversations with key figures, this comparative study provides a cultural, historical, and musicological account of the blues and the impact of the genre not only in the two Germanys, but also in debates about the history of globalization.
Optimizing the German Workforce
Labor Administration from Bismarck to the Economic Miracle
During the twentieth century, German government and industry created a highly skilled workforce as part of an ambitious program to control and develop the country’s human resources. Yet, these long-standing efforts to match as many workers as possible to skilled vocations and to establish a system of job training have received little scholarly attention, until now. The author’s account of the broad support for this program challenges the standard historical accounts that focus on disagreements over the German political-economic order and points instead to an important area of consensus. These advances are explained in terms of political policies of corporatist compromise and national security as well as industry’s evolving production strategies. By tracing the development of these policies over the course of a century, the author also suggests important continuities in Germany’s domestic politics, even across such different regimes as Imperial, Weimar, Nazi, and post-1945 West Germany.
Subject: Economic History
Order and Disorder
Benda-Beckmann, K. von & Pirie, F. (eds)
Disorder and instability are matters of continuing public concern. Terrorism, as a threat to global order, has been added to preoccupations with political unrest, deviance and crime. Such considerations have prompted the return to the classic anthropological issues of order and disorder. Examining order within the political and legal spheres and in contrasting local settings, the papers in this volume highlight its complex and contested nature. Elaborate displays of order seem necessary to legitimate the institutionalization of violence by military and legal establishments, yet violent behaviour can be incorporated into the social order by the development of boundaries, rituals and established processes of conflict resolution. Order is said to depend upon justice, yet injustice legitimates disruptive protest. Case studies from Siberia, India, Indonesia, Tibet, West Africa, Morocco and the Ottoman Empire show that local responses are often inconsistent in their valorization, acceptance and condemnation of disorder.
Subjects: General Anthropology Religion
Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes
An Anthropology of Everyday Religion
Schielke, S. & Debevec, L. (eds)
Everyday practice of religion is complex in its nature, ambivalent and at times contradictory. The task of an anthropology of religious practice is therefore precisely to see how people navigate and make sense of that complexity, and what the significance of religious beliefs and practices in a given setting can be. Rather than putting everyday practice and normative doctrine on different analytical planes, the authors argue that the articulation of religious doctrine is also an everyday practice and must be understood as such.
Subjects: Religion General Anthropology Sociology
Film, Architecture, and the Work of Béla Tarr
The “organic” is by now a venerable concept within aesthetics, architecture, and art history, but what might such a term mean within the spatialities and temporalities of film? By way of an answer, this concise and innovative study locates organicity in the work of Béla Tarr, the renowned Hungarian filmmaker and pioneer of the “slow cinema” movement. Through a wholly original analysis of the long take and other signature features of Tarr’s work, author Thorsten Botz-Bornstein establishes compelling links between the seemingly remote spheres of film and architecture, revealing shared organic principles that emphasize the transcendence of boundaries.
Subjects: Film Studies General Cultural Studies
Orientpolitik, Value, and Civilization
Adler, J. & Fardon, R. (eds) (Steiner, F.)
This is the first collection of Franz Steiner's keynote papers on comparative economics and the classification of labor,complemented by major unpublished texts on politics, civilization, and cultural criticism. This enables a complete re-evaluation of Steiner's thought. His ideas on truth, value, and civilization are highly critical of Western culture and offer perhaps the earliest critique of Orientalism in British anthropology. Equally significant is the inclusion of Steiner's unpublished lectures on Aristotle and Simmel, the latter probably being the first lecture series devoted to Simmel's ideas by a British-based anthropologist, as well as hitherto unedited political writings.
Another side to Steiner's thought is shown by his aphorisms, often caustic texts and newly translated from the German, as well as by verse translations of his poems relevant to his scholarship. These include an extract from his autobiographical poem, "Conquest", that places his anthropological writings into a personal and ultimately religious framework.A detailed introduction, based on new research, provides a thorough study of Steiner's ideas and establishes the wider intellectual context, thus rounding off a most remarkable collection of texts by one of the most remarkable anthropologists of this century.
Osthandel and Ostpolitik
German Foreign Trade Policies in Eastern Europe from Bismarck to Adenauer
Spaulding, R. M.
German Foreign Trade Policies in Eastern Europe from Bismarck to Adenauer.
Subject: 20th Century History
Other People's Anthropologies
Ethnographic Practice on the Margins
Boškovic, A. (ed)
Anthropological practice has been dominated by the so-called "great" traditions (Anglo-American, French, and German). However, processes of decolonization, along with critical interrogation of these dominant narratives, have led to greater visibility of what used to be seen as peripheral scholarship. With contributions from leading anthropologists and social scientists from different countries and anthropological traditions, this volume gives voice to scholars outside these "great" traditions. It shows the immense variety of methodologies, training, and approaches that scholars from these regions bring to anthropology and the social sciences in general, thus enriching the disciplines in important ways at an age marked by multiculturalism, globalization, and transnationalism.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Our Common Denominator
Human Universals Revisited
Since the politicization of anthropology in the 1970s, most anthropologists have been reluctant to approach the topic of universals—that is, phenomena that occur regularly in all known human societies. In this volume, Christoph Antweiler reasserts the importance of these cross-cultural commonalities for anthropological research and for life and co-existence beyond the academy. The question presented here is how anthropology can help us approach humanity in its entirety, understanding the world less as a globe, with an emphasis on differences, but as a planet, from a vantage point open to commonalities.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Out of Albania
From Crisis Migration to Social Inclusion in Italy
King, R. & Mai, N.
Analysing the dynamics of the post-1990 Albanian migration to Italy, this book is the first major study of one of Europe’s newest, most dramatic yet least understood migrations. It takes a close look at migrants’ employment, housing and social exclusion in Italy, as well as the process of return migration to Albania. The research described in the book challenges the pervasive stereotype of the “bad Albanian” and, through in-depth fieldwork on Albanian communities in Italy and back in Albania, provides rich insights into the Albanian experience of migration, settlement and return in both their positive and their negative aspects.
Subject: Refugee & Migration Studies
Out of Place
Madness in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea
The Kakoli of the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the focus of this study, did not traditionally have a concept of mental illness. They classified madness according to social behaviour, not mental pathology. Moreover, their conception of the person did not recognise the same physical and mental categories that inform Western medical science, and psychiatry in particular was not officially introduced to PNG until the late 1950s. Its practitioners claimed that it could adequately accommodate the cultural variation among Melanesian societies. This book compares the intent and practice of transcultural psychiatry with Kakoli interpretations of, and responses to, madness, showing the reasons for their occasional recourse to psychiatric services. Episodes involving madness, as defined by the Kakoli themselves, are described in order to offer a context for the historical lifeworld and praxis of the community and raise fundamental questions about whether a culturally sensitive psychiatry is possible in the Melanesian context.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology
Out of the Study and Into the Field
Ethnographic Theory and Practice in French Anthropology
Parkin, R.& de Sales, A. (eds)
Outside France, French anthropology is conventionally seen as being dominated by grand theory produced by writers who have done little or no fieldwork themselves, and who may not even count as anthropologists in terms of the institutional structures of French academia. This applies to figures from Durkheim to Derrida, Mauss to Foucault, though there are partial exceptions, such as Lévi-Strauss and Bourdieu. It has led to a contrast being made, especially perhaps in the Anglo-Saxon world, between French theory relying on rational inference, and British empiricism based on induction and generally skeptical of theory. While there are contrasts between the two traditions, this is essentially a false view. It is this aspect of French anthropology that this collection addresses, in the belief that the neglect of many of these figures outside France is seriously distorting our view of the French tradition of anthropology overall. At the same time, the collection will provide a positive view of the French tradition of ethnography, stressing its combination of technical competence and the sympathies of its practitioners for its various ethnographic subjects.
Ownership and Nurture
Studies in Native Amazonian Property Relations
Brightman, M., Fausto, C. & Grotti, V. (eds)
The first book to address the classic anthropological theme of property through the ethnography of Amazonia, Ownership and Nurture sets new and challenging terms for anthropological debates about the region and about property in general. Property and ownership have special significance and carry specific meanings in Amazonia, which has been portrayed as the antithesis of Western, property-based, civilization. Through carefully constructed studies of land ownership, slavery, shamanism, spirit mastery, aesthetics, and intellectual property, this volume demonstrates that property relations are of central importance in Amazonia, and that the ownership of persons plays an especially significant role in native cosmology.
Subject: General Anthropology