Thinking Through Things

Author : Amiria Henare
ISBN : 9781135392727
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81.81 MB
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Drawing upon the work of some of the most influential theorists in the field, Thinking Through Things demonstrates the quiet revolution growing in anthropology and its related disciplines, shifting its philosophical foundations. The first text to offer a direct and provocative challenge to disciplinary fragmentation - arguing for the futility of segregating the study of artefacts and society - this collection expands on the concerns about the place of objects and materiality in analytical strategies, and the obligation of ethnographers to question their assumptions and approaches. The team of leading contributors put forward a positive programme for future research in this highly original and invaluable guide to recent developments in mainstream anthropological theory.
Category: Social Science

Not Quite Shamans

Author : Morten Axel Pedersen
ISBN : 0801461413
Genre : History
File Size : 51.80 MB
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The forms of contemporary society and politics are often understood to be diametrically opposed to any expression of the supernatural; what happens when those forms are themselves regarded as manifestations of spirits and other occult phenomena? In Not Quite Shamans, Morten Axel Pedersen explores how the Darhad people of Northern Mongolia's remote Shishged Valley have understood and responded to the disruptive transition to postsocialism by engaging with shamanic beliefs and practices associated with the past. For much of the twentieth century, Mongolia's communist rulers attempted to eradicate shamanism and the shamans who once served as spiritual guides and community leaders. With the transition from a collectivized economy and a one-party state to a global capitalist market and liberal democracy in the 1990s, the people of the Shishged were plunged into a new and harsh world that seemed beyond their control. "Not-quite-shamans"-young, unemployed men whose undirected energies erupted in unpredictable, frightening bouts of violence and drunkenness that seemed occult in their excess- became a serious threat to the fabric of community life. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in Northern Mongolia, Pedersen details how, for many Darhads, the postsocialist state itself has become shamanic in nature. In the ideal version of traditional Darhad shamanism, shamans can control when and for what purpose their souls travel, whether to other bodies, landscapes, or worlds. Conversely, caught between uncontrollable spiritual powers and an excessive display of physical force, the "not-quite-shamans" embody the chaotic forms-the free market, neoliberal reform, and government corruption-that have created such upheaval in peoples' lives. As an experimental ethnography of recent political and economic transformations in Mongolia through the defamiliarizing prism of shamans and their lack, Not Quite Shamans is an attempt to write about as well as theorize postsocialism, and shamanism, in a new way.
Category: History

Decolonizing Conservation

Author : Dean Sully
ISBN : 9781315430591
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49.12 MB
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This book argues for an important shift in cultural heritage conservation, away from a focus on maintaining the physical fabric of material culture toward the impact that conservation work has on people’s lives. In doing so, it challenges the commodification of sacred objects and places by western conservation thought and attempts to decolonize conservation practice. To do so, the authors examine conservation activities at Maori marae—meeting houses—located in the US, Germany, and England and contrasts them with changes in marae conservation in New Zealand. A key case study is the Hinemihi meeting house, transported to England in the 1890s where it was treated as a curiosity by visitors to Clandon Park for over a century, and more recently as a focal point of cultural activity for UK Maori communities. Recent efforts to include various Maori stakeholder communities in the care of this sacred structure is a key example of community based conservation that can be replicated in heritage practice around the world.
Category: Social Science

The Objects Of Evidence

Author : Matthew Engelke
ISBN : 9781405192965
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.2 MB
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Part of The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Special Issue Book Series, the contributors to this volume share the conviction that anthropology can no longer afford to ignore the importance of the concept of evidence, either for the ways in which anthropologists carry out their work (methodology) or present and justify their findings (epistemology). Demonstrates that evidence is something that all anthropologists must possess Shows how the collection of evidence in the field is still, without doubt, one of the main ingredients of what Bronislaw Malinowski once referred to as ′the ethnographer s magic′ Reveals how the concept of evidence has received little sustained attention in print especially when compared to related concepts, such as ′fieldwork′, ′truth′, ′facts′, and ′knowledge′ Argued from a variety of theoretical perspectives and a rarity in its ability to orchestrate some many different and vibrant paradigms and points of view
Category: Social Science

Archaeology After Interpretation

Author : Benjamin Alberti
ISBN : 9781315434247
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.3 MB
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A new generation of archaeologists has thrown down a challenge to post-processual theory, arguing that characterizing material symbols as arbitrary overlooks the material character and significance of artifacts. This volume showcases the significant departure from previous symbolic approaches that is underway in the discipline. It brings together key scholars advancing a variety of cutting edge approaches, each emphasizing an understanding of artifacts and materials not in terms of symbols but relationally, as a set of associations that compose people’s understanding of the world. Authors draw on a diversity of intellectual sources and case studies, paving a dynamic road ahead for archaeology as a discipline and theoretical approaches to material culture.
Category: Social Science

Truth In Motion

Author : Martin Holbraad
ISBN : 9780226349206
Genre : Religion
File Size : 60.8 MB
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Embarking on an ethnographic journey to the inner barrios of Havana among practitioners of Ifá, a prestigious Afro-Cuban tradition of divination, Truth in Motion reevaluates Western ideas about truth in light of the practices and ideas of a wildly different, and highly respected, model. Acutely focusing on Ifá, Martin Holbraad takes the reader inside consultations, initiations, and lively public debates to show how Ifá practitioners see truth as something to be not so much represented, as transformed. Bringing his findings to bear on the discipline of anthropology itself, he recasts the very idea of truth as a matter not only of epistemological divergence but also of ontological difference—the question of truth, he argues, is not simply about how things may appear differently to people, but also about the different ways of imagining what those things are. By delving so deeply into Ifá practices, Truth in Motion offers cogent new ways of thinking about otherness and how anthropology can navigate it.
Category: Religion

The Challenge Of Epistemology

Author : Christina Toren
ISBN : 0857455168
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57.79 MB
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Epistemology poses particular problems for anthropologists whose task it is to understand manifold ways of being human. Through their work, anthropologists often encounter people whose ideas concerning the nature and foundations of knowledge are at odds with their own. Going right to the heart of anthropological theory and method, this volume discusses issues that have vexed practicing anthropologists for a long time. The authors are by no means in agreement with one another as to where the answers might lie. Some are primarily concerned with the clarity and theoretical utility of analytical categories across disciplines; others are more inclined to push ethnographic analysis to its limits in an effort to demonstrate what kind of sense it can make. All are aware of the much-wanted differences that good ethnography can make in explaining the human sciences and philosophy. The contributors show a continued commitment to ethnography as a profoundly radical intellectual endeavor that goes to the very roots of inquiry into what it is to be human, and, to anthropology as a comparative project that should be central to any attempt to understand who we are.
Category: Social Science

Cambridge Anthropology

Author :
ISBN : UCSC:32106020093693
Genre : Anthropology
File Size : 46.3 MB
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Category: Anthropology

Canoes Of The Grand Ocean

Author : Anne Di Piazza
ISBN : 1407302892
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67.8 MB
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This collection of essays examines the canoes of the Pacific islands. The first section reflects the strangeness of the canoes to early European explorers, looking at their accounts, and at exchanges between islanders and Europeans. There is also a fascinating piece about the importance of the canoe in Polynesian conceptions of space and time. The second section looks at the canoes themselves, their design and construction. The third offers detailed research into the long distance travel of the Lapita expansion, using both phyical experiments and digital modelling to throw more light on the remarkable voyages.
Category: Social Science

The Ontological Turn

Author : Martin Holbraad
ISBN : 9781107103887
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.66 MB
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This book provides the first systematic presentation of anthropology's 'ontological turn', placing it in the landscape of contemporary social theory.
Category: Social Science