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Reflecting on Reflexivity: The Human Condition as an Ontological Surprise

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Reflecting on Reflexivity

The Human Condition as an Ontological Surprise

Edited by T. M. S. Evens, Don Handelman and Christopher Roberts

324 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-751-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78920-092-8 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (September 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78238-753-4 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Humanness supposes innate and profound reflexivity. This volume approaches the concept of reflexivity on two different yet related analytical planes. Whether implicitly or explicitly, both planes of thought bear critically on reflexivity in relation to the nature of selfhood and the very idea of the autonomous individual, ethics, and humanness, science as such and social science, ontological dualism and fundamental ambiguity. On the one plane, a collection of original and innovative ethnographically based essays is offered, each of which is devoted to ways in which reflexivity plays a fundamental role in human social life and the study of it; on the other—anthropo-philosophical and developed in the volume’s Preface, Introduction, and Postscript—it is argued that reflexivity distinguishes—definitively, albeit relatively—the being and becoming of the human.

T. M. S. (Terry) Evens is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Don Handelman is Sarah Allen Shaine Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the Hebrew University and a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Christopher Roberts is Professor of Humanities and Religion at Lewis and Clark College.

Subject: Theory and Methodology


Terry Evens, Don Handelman, and Christopher Roberts

Introduction: Reflexivity and Selfhood
Terry Evens, Don Handelman, and Christopher Roberts


Chapter 1. Is There a Difference between Doing Good and Doing Good Research: Anthropology and Social Activism, or the Productive Limits of Reflexivity
Terry Evens

Chapter 2. The Ethic of Being Wrong: Taking Levinas into the Field
Don Handelman

Chapter 3. Cosmopolitan Reflexivity: Consciousness and the Non-Locality of Ritual Meaning
Koenraad Stroeken

Chapter 4. Religionist Reflexivity and the Machiavellian Believer
Christopher Roberts


Chapter 5. Wittgenstein's Critique of Representation and the Ethical Reflexivity of Anthropological Discourse
Horacio Ortiz

Chapter 6. Human Cockfighting in the Squared Circle: Thai Boxing as a Matter of Reflexivity
Paul Schissel

Chapter 7. Perfect Praxis in Akidō—A Reflexive Body-Self
Einat Bar-On Cohen


Chapter 8. Tension, Reflection, and Agency in the Life of a Hausa Grain Trader
Paul Clough

Chapter 9. Reflexivity in Intersubjective and Intercultural Borderlinking
René Devisch


Chapter 10. The Latent Effects of the Distribution of Political Reflexivity in Contemporary Democracies
Yaron Ezrahi

Postscript: Reflexivity and Social Science
Terry Evens


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