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Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis
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The Retreat of the Social
The Rise and Rise of Reductionism
Edited by Bruce Kapferer
132 pages, Pocket Size 4.25” x 7”
ISBN 978-1-84545-175-2 $14.95/£11.95 Pb Published (September 2005)
eISBN 978-1-78238-719-0 eBook
The powerful individualist and subjectivist turn in anthropology - a turn that cannot be easily separated from larger political processes of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism - is one factor resulting in notions of the social and of society as becoming little else than empty shells of small or no analytical value.
The essays presented here, all by leading anthropologists, take a variety of positions on the matter of the retreat of the social. All demonstrate that if anthropology and other social sciences are to fulfill the task of a critical understanding of the diverse realities in which we all must live, these disciplines will find it impossible to so do without a strong concept of the social.
Bruce Kapferer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Bergen. He has held academic positions in Zambia, Manchester, Adelaide, London, and Queensland and carried out extensive fieldwork in Zambia, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, and South Africa.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Introduction: The Social Construction of Reductionist Thought and Practice
Chapter 1. The Relocation of the Social and the Retrenchment of the Elites
Chapter 2. Legends of Fordism: Between Myth, History, and Foregone Conclusions
Chapter 3. More Power to You, or Should It Be Less?
Christopher C. Taylor
Chapter 4. Methodological Individualism and Sociological Reductionism
Chapter 5. Reductionism and Misunderstanding Human Sociality
Chapter 6. Theories and Ideologies in Anthropology
Chapter 7. Death of the Indian Social
Chapter 8. When Nothing Stands Outside the Self
Chapter 9. From Bell Curve to Power Law: Distributional Models between National and World Society
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