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New Directions in Anthropology
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A Venetian Island
Environment, History and Change in Burano
272 pages, 36 figures, 4 maps, 11 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-920-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2003)
ISBN 978-1-84545-156-1 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (December 2005)
eISBN 978-1-78238-614-8 eBook
“…an absorbing study…[that] opens up fascinating potential for comparative analysis.” · JRAI
"…a significant contribution to the anthropology of the lagoon, previously not studied in English-language anthropology. The careful and fascinating account of lace-making is also an important contribution to the study of craft and skill, particularly gendered skill that remains underdeveloped in the English-language anthropology of Italy and indeed of Europe. More broadly, this book successfully offers a poignant portrait of a tiny community that is at once proud of its unique skills and achievements, and dismayed and humiliated by its continuing exclusion from the wealth and power of the city, with "a deep-rooted sense of [its] own marginality" · H-Environment
"The work has qualities that could make it a model for anthropologists dissatisfied with the attempt to create an 'urban anthropology' but unwilling to continue the traditional obsession with remote communities." · Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University
Since the extensive floods of 1966, inhabitants of Venice's laguna areas have come to share in, and reflect upon, concerns over pressing environmental problems. Evidence of damage caused by industrial pollution has contributed to the need to recover a common culture and establish a sense of continuity with "truly Venetian traditions."
Based on ethnographic and archival data, this in-depth study of the Venetian island of Burano shows how its inhabitants develop their sense of a distinct identity on the basis of their notions of gender, honor and kinship relations, their common memories, their knowledge and love of their environment and their special skills in fishing and lace making.
Lidia Sciama is a former Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, University of Oxford, where she is currently a Research Associate.
Subject: Environmental Studies (General) Anthropology (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality
Area: Southern Europe
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