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Starry Nights: Critical Structural Realism in Anthropology

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Volume 1

Loose Can(n)ons

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Starry Nights

Critical Structural Realism in Anthropology

Stephen P. Reyna

220 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-461-0 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (April 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78533-244-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (April 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-245-6 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Starry Nights is Reyna’s grand attempt to develop a thoroughly holistic and galactic model that will supplement the theoretical architecture of anthropologists as they explore the modern world and should be required reading in any graduate-level theory course in anthropology.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“This is an important and timely collection of essays by one of the leading exponents of a scientific, materialist anthropology… I could see the usefulness of this collection in seminars on theory at the graduate and undergraduate level.” • David Sutton, Southern Illinois University


Starry Nights: Critical Structural Realism in Anthropology offers nothing less than a reinventing of the discipline of anthropology. In these six essays – four published here for the first time – Stephen Reyna critiques the postmodern tenets of anthropology, while devising a new strategy for conducting research. Combative and clear, Starry Nights provides an important critique of mainstream anthropology as represented by Geertz and the postmodern legacy, and envisions a mode of anthropological research that addresses social, cultural and biological questions with techniques that are theoretically rigorous and practically useful.

Stephen P. Reyna is a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Salle and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. 

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology





Chapter 1. Literary Anthropology and the Case against Science
Chapter 2. What Is Th eory? Something, Time-Being, Art


Chapter 3. Dialectics of Force: Contradiction, Logics, and Conservation of Délires


Chapter 4. Right and Might: Of Approximate Truths and Moral Judgments
Chapter 5. Perpetual Peace? Dreaming in the Time-Being of Empire


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