What does it mean to know something - scientifically, anthropologically, socially? What is the relationship between different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing? How is knowledge mobilised in society and to what ends? Drawing on ethnographic examples from across the world, and from the virtual and global "places" created by new information technologies, Anthropology and Science presents examples of living and dynamic epistemologies and practices, and of how scientific ways of knowing operate in the world. Authors address the nature of both scientific and experiential knowledge, and look at competing and alternative ideas about what it means to be human. The essays analyze the politics and ethics of positioning "science", "culture" or "society" as authoritative. They explore how certain modes of knowing are made authoritative and command allegiance (or not), and look at scientific and other rationalities - whether these challenge or are compatible with science.
Though archaeologists have long acknowledged the work of social anthropologists, anthropologists have been much less eager to repay the compliment. This volume argues that the time has come to recognise the insights archaeological approaches can bring to anthropology. Archaeology's rigorous approach to evidence and material culture; its ability to develop flexible research methodologies; its readiness to work with large-scale models of comparative social change, and to embrace the latest technology all means that it can offer valuable methods that can enrich and enhance current anthropological thinking. Cross-disciplinary and international in scope, this exciting volume draws together cutting-edge essays on the relationship between the two disciplines, arguing for greater collaboration and pointing to new concepts and approaches for anthropology. With contributions from leading scholars, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of archaeology, anthropology and related disciplines.
The modern world is saturated with images. Scientific knowledge of the human body (in all its variety) is highly dependent on the technological generation of visual data – brain and body scans, x-rays, diagrams, graphs and charts. New technologies afford scientists and medical experts new possibilities for probing and revealing previously invisible and inaccessible areas of the body. The existing literature has been successful in mapping the impact and implications of new medical technologies and in marrying the visual and the body but thus far has focused only narrowly on particular kinds of technology or taken only a purely textual/visual (cultural studies) approach to images of the body. Combining approaches from three of the most dynamic and popular fields of contemporary social anthropology – the study of the visual, the study of the technological and the study of the human body – this volume draws these together and interrogates their intersection using insights from ethnographic approaches. Offering a fascinating and wide range of perspectives, the chapters in this volume bring an innovative focus that reflects the authors' shared interest in 'the body' and visualising technologies.
Epistemology and Praxis in Contemporary Anthropology
Author: Association of Social Athropologists. Conference
Publisher: Psychology Press
Category: Social Science
With fourteen articles written by well-known anthropologists, this book addresses the theme of representation in anthropology and explores the directions in which anthropology is moving following the debates of the 1980s.
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.
This is an investigation of arts and aesthetics in their widest senses and experiences, presenting a variety of perspectives which range from the metaphysical to the political. Moving beyond art as an expression of the inner mind and invention of the individual self, the volume bridges the gap between changing perceptions of contemporary art and aesthetics, and maps globalizing currents in a number of contexts and regions. The volume includes an impressive variety of case studies offered by established leaders in the field and original and emerging scholarly talent covering areas in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Rwanda, and Germany, as well as providing transnational or diasporic perspectives. From the contradictory demands made on successful artists from the south in the global art world such as Anish Kapoor, to images of war and puppetry created by female political prisoners, the volume compels creative and political interpretations of the ever-changing and globalizing terrain of arts and aesthetics.
Joanna Overing,Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth
Traditional East Asian healthcare systems have moved rapidly from the fringes of healthcare systems in the West towards the centre over the past 50 years. This change of status for traditional medicines presents their practitioners with both opportunities and challenges as the focus shifts from one of opposition towards one of integration into biomedically dominated healthcare systems. Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Healthcare examines the opportunities and challenges of integrating East Asian medicine into Western healthcare systems from an interdisciplinary perspective. Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPherson bring together contributions from acknowledged experts from a number of different disciplines - including clinical researchers, Chinese Medicine practitioners, historians, medical anthropologists, experts in the social studies of science, technology and medicine - to examine and debate the impact of the evidence-based medicine movement on the ongoing modernization of East Asian medicines. The book considers the following questions: •What are the values, goals and ethics implicit within traditional East Asian medical practices? • What claims to effectiveness and safety are made by East Asian medical practices? •What is at stake in subjecting these medical practices to biomedical models of evaluation? • What constitutes best practice? How is it to be defined and measured? • What are the ideologies and politics behind the process of integration of East Asian medical practices into modern health care systems? • What can we learn from a variety of models of integration into contemporary healthcare?
In the early twentieth century, the field of anthropology transformed itself from the “welcoming science,” uniquely open to women, people of color, and amateurs, into a professional science of culture. The new field grew in rigor and prestige but excluded practitioners and methods that no longer fit a narrow standard of scientific legitimacy. In Rhetoric in American Anthropology, Risa Applegarth traces the “rhetorical archeology” of this transformation in the writings of early women anthropologists. Applegarth examines the crucial role of ethnographic genres in determining scientific status and recovers the work of marginalized anthropologists who developed alternative forms of scientific writing. Applegarth analyzes scores of ethnographic monographs to demonstrate how early anthropologists intensified the constraints of genre to define their community and limit the aims and methods of their science. But in the 1920s and 1930s, professional researchers sidelined by the academy persisted in challenging the field’s boundaries, developing unique rhetorical practices and experimenting with alternative genres that in turn greatly expanded the epistemology of the field. Applegarth demonstrates how these writers’ folklore collections, ethnographic novels, and autobiographies of fieldwork experiences reopened debates over how scientific knowledge was made: through what human relationships, by what bodies, and for what ends. Linking early anthropologists’ ethnographic strategies to contemporary theories of rhetoric and composition, Rhetoric in American Anthropology provides a fascinating account of the emergence of a new discipline and reveals powerful intersections among gender, genre, and science.
`This excellent text will introduce advanced students - and remind senior researchers - of the availability of a broad range of techniques available for the systematic analysis of social data that is not numeric. It makes the key point that neither quantitative nor qualitative methods are interpretive and at the same time demonstrates once and for all that neither a constructivist perspective nor a qualitative approach needs to imply abandonment of rigor. That the chapters are written by different authors makes possible a depth of expertise within each that is unusually strong' - Susanna Hornig Priest, Texas A&M University; Author of `Doing Media Research' Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound off
Ontology, Reflexivity, and the Making of Anthropological Knowledge
Author: Katherine Swancutt,Mireille Mazard
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Foreword : the anthropology of ontology meets the writing culture debate. Is reconciliation possible? / Rane Willerslev -- Introduction : anthropological knowledge making, the reflexive feedback loop, and conceptualizations of the soul / Katherine Swancutt And Mireille Mazard -- The algebra of souls : ontological multiplicity and the transformation of animism in southwest china / Mireille Mazard -- Recursivity and the self-reflexive cosmos : tricksters in Cuban and Brazilian spirit mediumship practices / Diana Espãrto Santo -- Spirit of the future : movement, kinetic distribution, and personhood among Siberian Eveny / Olga Ulturgasheva -- The art of capture : hidden jokes and the reinvention of animistic ontologies in Southwest China / Katherine Swancutt -- Narratives of the invisible : autobiography, kinship, and alterity in native Amazonia / Vanessa Elisa Grotti and Marc Brightman -- Technological animism : the uncanny personhood of humanoid machines / Kathleen Richardson -- Postscript : anthropologists and healers and radical empiricists / Edith Turner