The paper deals with the contemporary state of semiotic ethnology in Poland (connected with New Polish Ethnology group), its internal and external influences, its specifics, subjects and its reaction to the other theoretical propositions. The “neotribe” of New Polish Ethnology was established by few younger scholars, ethnologists in the early 1980s, in an opposition to the dominant stream of positivistic ethnology. Today they have become classics of Polish anthropology, masters that have educated a new generation of (...) their students, and lead some anthropological institutes. The most inspiring set of theories that influenced the group and its heirs was taken from Soviet semiotics of culture (Lotman, Uspensky, Toporov, Ivanov), and French structural-semiotics (Levi-Strauss, Barthes), but there are some individual differences also. On that basis they have developed a specific scope, aim and methods of interpretation with as its key terms myth and mythical thinking. They have explained many cultural events (relation we-others, body image, commercials, and anthropology itself) within the framework ofmythical thinking, making it the most productive and attractive frame of interpretation within Polish humanities and social sciences. In the 1990s they had to face critical ethnography, deconstruction and postmodern anthropology and they did it with perfect flexibility that even strengthened their project, because the potential of reflexivity and self-consciousness lied within semiotics from its beginning. (shrink)
In this study of space and power and knowledge in France from the 1830s through the 1930s, Rabinow uses the tools of anthropology, philosophy, and cultural criticism to examine how social environment was perceived and described. Ranging from epidemiology to the layout of colonial cities, he shows how modernity was revealed in urban planning, architecture, health and welfare administration, and social legislation.
This groundbreaking work considers one of the central themes of archaeology, time, which until recently has been taken for granted. It considers how time is used and perceived by archaeology and also how time influences the construction of identities. The book presents case studies, eg, transition from hunter gather to farming in early Neolithic, to examine temporality and identity. Drawing upon the work of Martin Heidegger, Thomas develops a way of writing about the past in which time is seenm as (...) central to the emergence of the identities of peoples and things. He questions the modern western distinction between nature and culture, mind and body, object and subject, and argues that in some senses the temporal structure of human beings, artefacts and places are similar. (shrink)
Although abortion remains one of the most controversial issues of our age, to date most studies have centered on the debate in Western countries. This book discusses abortion in a non-Western, non-Christian context - in Thailand, where, although abortion is illegal, over 200,000 to 300,000 abortions are performed each year by a variety of methods. The book, based on extensive original research in the field, examines a wide range of issues, including stories of the real-life dilemmas facing women, popular representations (...) of abortion in the media, the history of the debate in Thailand and its links to politics. Overall, the work both highlights the voices of women and their subjective experiences and perceptions of abortion, and in addition places these 'women's stories' in an analysis of broader socio-political gender and the power relations - national and international - that structure sexuality and women's reproductive health decisions. (shrink)
Using Greek ethnography as a mirror for an ethnography of anthropology itself, this book reveals the ways in which the discipline of anthropology is ensnared in the same political and social symbolism as its object of study. The author pushes the comparative goals of anthropology beyond the traditional separation of tribal object from detached scientific observer, and offers the discipline a critical source of reflexive insight based on empirical ethnography rather than on ideological speculation alone.
Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a `chronological series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? Is it fraught with `meaning'? Can we discern its trends? What determines its course? In short, can a substantial and coherent philosophy of history be devised that offers answers to these questions? These issues, which have intrigued -and bedeviled - historians for centuries, are explored in this thoughtful book.
Learning the truth: memorizing the Koran in an Egyptian kuttâb -- The context of truth practices: legislating the sharîa at the shopfloor level -- Telling the truth: the judge and the law in family matters -- The truth about oneself: three Arab channels and their self-presentation -- Speaking the truth: advocacy video clips against terror -- Narratives of truth: documenting the mind in a psychiatric hospital -- Conclusion: Truth: a matter of language game and practical achievement.
In this pathbreaking study, Micaela di Leonardo reveals the face of power within the mask of cultural difference. From the 1893 World's Fair to Body Shop advertisements, di Leonardo focuses on the intimate and shifting relations between popular portrayals of exotic Others and the practice of anthropology. In so doing, she casts new light on gender, race, and the public sphere in America's past and present. "An impressive work of scholarship that is mordantly witty, passionately argued, and takes no prisoners."--Lesley (...) Gill, News Politics "[Micaela] di Leonardo eloquently argues for the importance of empirical, interdisciplinary social science in addressing the tragedy that is urban America at the end of the century."--Jonathan Spencer, Times Literary Supplement "In her quirky new contribution to the American culture brawl, feminist anthropologist Micaela di Leonardo explains how anthropologists, 'technicians of the sacred,' have distorted American popular debate and social life."--Rachel Mattson, Voice Literary Supplement "At the end of di Leonardo's analyses one is struck by her rare combination of rigor and passion. Simply, [she] is a marvelous iconoclast."--Matthew T. McGuire, Boston Book Review. (shrink)
The last decade has seen the transformation of the study of sexuality from a marginalized effort to a fully respected discipline at many major universities. There are numerous publications devoted solely to the topic and queer theory, a force to be reckoned with, has its own celebrities. Nonetheless, queer studies is considered to be the brainchild of the humanities, with the social sciences slowly coming around to apply its principles to empirical research. Long, Slow Burn, a powerful collection of essays (...) by Kath Weston, argues that social science has been talking about sex all along; to deny this one would have to overlook Kinsey's pioneering sex research in the 1950s, or the psychiatrist Evelyn Hooker's pathbreaking study of homosexuality, but also in the "sex talk" that lies at the heart of classic debates on kinship, inequality, cognition, and other foundational topics in the social sciences. What is different now, Weston claims, is the way sexuality has been isolated from other contemporary issues. Long, Slow Burn lays out a radically different approach to the study of sexuality. Not content with its ghettoization as a contained subfield, Weston refuses to draw an artificial line around sexuality. Her essays do not attempt to make sexuality a discrete object of study. Rather, each essay "sexes up" a conventional subject, such as kinship, race or labor, proving that once you start paying attention to sexuality, you can never look at social issues in the same way again. Long, Slow Burn offers an intervention, an attempt to see sexuality as it permeates the multiple fibers of our social fabric. It demonstrates that sexuality has always been a part of the social sciences, but more importantly, is the key to their future. (shrink)
In hospital rooms across the country, doctors, nurses, patients, and their families grapple with questions of life and death. Recently, they have been joined at the bedside by a new group of professional experts, bioethicists, whose presence raises a host of urgent questions. How has bioethics evolved into a legitimate specialty? When is such expertise necessary? How do bioethicists make their decisions? And whose interests do they serve? Renowned sociologist Charles L. Bosk has been observing medical care for thirty-five years. (...) In What Would You Do? he brings his extensive experience to bear on these questions while reflecting on the ethical dilemmas that his own ethnographic research among surgeons and genetic counselors has provoked. Bosk considers whether the consent given to ethnographers by their subjects can ever be fully voluntary and informed. He questions whether promises of confidentiality and anonymity can or should be made. And he wonders if social scientists overestimate the benefits of their work while downplaying the risks. Vital for practitioners of both the newly prominent field of bioethics and the long-established craft of ethnography, What Would You Do? will also engross anyone concerned with how our society addresses difficult health care issues. (shrink)
Introduction -- The muse of paralysis -- Horizon of conquest: Eugene Fromentin's Algerian narratives -- Slow progress: Jean Paulhan and Madagascar -- Frustration: Michel Leiris -- Atopia: Roland Barthes -- The wake of Ulysses.
The scope of existential anthropology -- How to do things with stones -- Knowledge of the body -- The migration of a name: Alexander in Africa -- The man who could turn into an elephant -- Custom and conflict in Sierra Leone: an essay on anarchy -- Migrant imaginaries: with Sewa Koroma in southeast London -- The stories that shadow us -- Foreign and familiar bodies: a phenomenological exploration of the human-technology interface -- The prose of suffering -- On autonomy: (...) an ethnographic and existential critique -- Where thought belongs: an anthropological critique of the project of philosophy -- Epilogue. (shrink)
In search of salvation on the Stroganov estates -- Faith, family, and land after emancipation -- Youth : exemplars of rural socialism -- Elders : Christian ascetics in the Soviet countryside -- New risks and inequalities in the household sector -- Which khoziain? whose moral community? -- Society, culture, and the churching of Sepych -- Separating post-Soviet worlds? : priestly baptisms and priestless funerals.
André Schaeffner (1895-1980), auteur du grand ouvrage Origine des instruments de musique paru en 1936, propose une réflexion sur l’instrument de musique qui est loin d’être confinée au seul champ de l’ethnologie. La considération de la musique de son temps, notamment en l’œuvre de Stravinsky, la méditation sur l’origine du théâtre et sur la tragédie, avec Nietzsche, contribuent à forger une conception de l’instrument qui est inséparable d’une philosophie de la musique. En explorant le thème central des « origines corporelles (...) » de la musique, cet article présente trois aspects principaux au vu desquels André Schaeffner s’avère problématiser le statut de l’instrument en relation avec le corps sonore et rythmicien : le refus du dualisme entre la voix et l’instrument, le refus d’une origine manuelle des instruments, enfin l’idée d’une organologie du théâtre. (shrink)