Implicit Meanings

Implicit Meanings

Implicit Meanings

'No more sparkling and suggestive work of social science is likely to appear in the near future. This book provides a splendid answer as to why anthropology goes on mattering and also to why no surgery can separate it from sociology '-The Economist from the reviews of the first edition This new edition of a classic work provides an excellent introduction to the thought of anthropologist Mary Douglas. First published to great acclaim in 1975, Mary Douglas has now revised the text to include additional chapters and a new introduction. Implicit Meanings includes writings on the key themes which are associated with Mary Douglas's work and which have had a major influence on anthropological thought, such as: *food *pollution *risk *animals *myth. Among the new pieces inluded in this edition are: The Lele of the Kasai * Techniques of Socrcery Control in Central Africa * The Lele Revisited * Obituary of Godfrey Lienhardt * The Depolitzation of Risk * Rightness of Categories

Essays on the Anthropology of Reason

Essays on the Anthropology of Reason

Essays on the Anthropology of Reason

This collection of essays explains and encourages new reflection on Paul Rabinow's pioneering project to anthropologize the West. His goal is to exoticize the Western constitution of reality, emphasize those domains most taken for granted as universal, and show how their claims to truth are linked to particular social practices, hence becoming effective social forces. He has recently begun to focus on the core of Western rationality, in particular the practices of molecular biology as they apply to our understanding of human nature. This book moves in new directions by posing questions about how scientific practice can be understood in terms of ethics as well as in terms of power. The topics include how French socialist urban planning in the 1930s engineered the transition from city planning to life planning; how the discursive and nondiscursive practices of the Human Genome Project and biotechnology have refigured life, labor, and language; and how a debate over patenting cell lines and over the dignity of life required secular courts to invoke medieval notions of the sacred. Building on an ethnographic study of the invention of the polymerase chain reaction--which enables the rapid production of specific sequences of DNA in millions of copies Rabinow, in the final essay, reflects in dialogue with biochemist Tom White on the place of science in modernity, on science as a vocation, and on the differences between the human and natural sciences.

A Passion for Difference

A Passion for Difference

A Passion for Difference

In this new book Henrietta Moore examines the limitations of the theoretical languages used by anthropologists and others to write about sex, gender, and sexuality. Moore begins by discussing recent feminist debates on the body and the notion of the non-universal human subject. She then considers why anthropologists have contributed relatively little to these debates, suggesting that this reflects the history of anthropology's conceptualization of ""persons"" or ""selves"" cross-culturally. The author also pursues a series of related themes, including the links between gender, identity, and violence; the construction of domestic space and its relationship to bodily practices and the internalization of relations of difference; and the links between the gender of the anthropologist and the writing of anthropology. By developing a specific anthropological approach to feminist post-structuralist and psychoanalytic theory, Moore demonstrates anthropology's contribution to current debates in feminist theory.

Reproducing the Future

Reproducing the Future

Reproducing the Future

These essays, written at the time when the Bill for Human Fertilization and Embryology Act (1990) was going through Parliament, touch on the British debate (on in vitro fertilization, gamete donation and maternal surrogacy) from an anthropological perspective. The implications of the medical developments that lay behind the Act are world-wide and these new procreative possibilities formulate new possibilities for thinking about kinship. The essays are informed by recent re-thinking of models of kinship in Melanesia.

Essays in Anthropology

Essays in Anthropology

Essays in Anthropology

The question of the nature of humanity is one of the most complex of all philosophical and theological inquiries. Where might one look to find a decent answer to this question? Should we turn to an investigation of genetics and DNA for such answers? Should we look to the history of humanity's adaption and evolution? Should we look to humanity's cultural achievements and the form of its social life?In this intriguing and provocative collection of essays, philosopher Robert Spaemann reacts against what he calls "scientistic" anthropology and ventures to take up afresh the quaestio de homine, "the question of man." Spaemann contends that when it comes to the nagging question of what we truly are as human beings, understanding our chemical make-up or evolutionary past simply cannot give us the full picture. Instead, without doing away with the findings of modern evolutionary science, Spaemann offers successive treatments of human nature, human evolution, and human dignity, which paint a full and compelling picture of the meaning of human life. Crucial to any anthropology, he demonstrates, is our future as well as our past. And our relationship to God as well as to our next-door neighbor. All of these themes coalesce in a vital contribution to the question of what it means to be human.

Implicit Meanings

Implicit Meanings

Implicit Meanings

Implicit Meanings was first published to great acclaim in 1975. It includes writings on the key themes which are associated with Mary Douglas' work and which have had a major influence on anthropological thought, such as food, pollution, risk, animals and myth. The papers in this text demonstrate the importance of seeking to understand beliefs and practices that are implicit and a priori within what might seem to be alien cultures.

Essays in Anthropology

Essays in Anthropology

Essays in Anthropology


Sounding the Limits of Life

Sounding the Limits of Life

Sounding the Limits of Life

What is life? What is water? What is sound? In Sounding the Limits of Life, anthropologist Stefan Helmreich investigates how contemporary scientists—biologists, oceanographers, and audio engineers—are redefining these crucial concepts. Life, water, and sound are phenomena at once empirical and abstract, material and formal, scientific and social. In the age of synthetic biology, rising sea levels, and new technologies of listening, these phenomena stretch toward their conceptual snapping points, breaching the boundaries between the natural, cultural, and virtual. Through examinations of the computational life sciences, marine biology, astrobiology, acoustics, and more, Helmreich follows scientists to the limits of these categories. Along the way, he offers critical accounts of such other-than-human entities as digital life forms, microbes, coral reefs, whales, seawater, extraterrestrials, tsunamis, seashells, and bionic cochlea. He develops a new notion of "sounding"—as investigating, fathoming, listening—to describe the form of inquiry appropriate for tracking meanings and practices of the biological, aquatic, and sonic in a time of global change and climate crisis. Sounding the Limits of Life shows that life, water, and sound no longer mean what they once did, and that what count as their essential natures are under dynamic revision.

Writing Anthropology

Writing Anthropology

Writing Anthropology

In Writing Anthropology, fifty-two anthropologists reflect on scholarly writing as both craft and commitment. These short essays cover a wide range of territory, from ethnography, genre, and the politics of writing to affect, storytelling, authorship, and scholarly responsibility. Anthropological writing is more than just communicating findings: anthropologists write to tell stories that matter, to be accountable to the communities in which they do their research, and to share new insights about the world in ways that might change it for the better. The contributors offer insights into the beauty and the function of language and the joys and pains of writing while giving encouragement to stay at it—to keep writing as the most important way to not only improve one’s writing but to also honor the stories and lessons learned through research. Throughout, they share new thoughts, prompts, and agitations for writing that will stimulate conversations that cut across the humanities. Contributors. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Jane Eva Baxter, Ruth Behar, Adia Benton, Lauren Berlant, Robin M. Bernstein, Sarah Besky, Catherine Besteman, Yarimar Bonilla, Kevin Carrico, C. Anne Claus, Sienna R. Craig, Zoë Crossland, Lara Deeb, K. Drybread, Jessica Marie Falcone, Kim Fortun, Kristen R. Ghodsee, Daniel M. Goldstein, Donna M. Goldstein, Sara L. Gonzalez, Ghassan Hage, Carla Jones, Ieva Jusionyte, Alan Kaiser, Barak Kalir, Michael Lambek, Carole McGranahan, Stuart McLean, Lisa Sang Mi Min, Mary Murrell, Kirin Narayan, Chelsi West Ohueri, Anand Pandian, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Noel B. Salazar, Bhrigupati Singh, Matt Sponheimer, Kathleen Stewart, Ann Laura Stoler, Paul Stoller, Nomi Stone, Paul Tapsell, Katerina Teaiwa, Marnie Jane Thomson, Gina Athena Ulysse, Roxanne Varzi, Sita Venkateswar, Maria D. Vesperi, Sasha Su-Ling Welland, Bianca C. Williams, Jessica Winegar

Anthropology with an Attitude

Anthropology with an Attitude

Anthropology with an Attitude

This book collects published and unpublished work over the last dozen years by one of today’s most distinguished and provocative anthropologists. Johannes Fabian is widely known outside of his discipline because his work so often overcomes traditional scholarly boundaries to bring fresh insight to central topics in philosophy, history, and cultural studies. The first part of the book addresses questions of current critical concern: Does it still make sense to search for objectivity in ethnography? What do we gain when we invoke "context” in our interpretations? How does literacy change the work of the ethnographer, and what are the boundaries between ethnology and history? This part ends with a plea for recuperating negativity in our thinking about culture. The second part extends the work of critique into the past by examining the beginning of modern ethnography in the exploration of Central Africa during the late nineteenth century: the justification of a scientific attitude, the collecting of ethnographic objects, the presentation of knowledge in narration, and the role of recognition--given or denied--in encounters with Africans. A final essay examines how the Congolese have returned the "imperial gaze” of Belgium by the work of critical memory in popular history. The ten chapters are framed by two meditations on the relevance of theory and the irrelevance of the millennium.