Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood, and Power
Author: Ludek Broz,Daniel Münster
Category: Social Science
Suicide and Agency offers an original and timely challenge to existing ways of understanding suicide. Through the use of rich and detailed case studies, the authors assembled in this volume explore how interplay of self-harm, suicide, personhood and agency varies markedly across site (Greenland, Siberia, India, Palestine and Mexico) and setting (self-run leprosy colony, suicide bomb attack, cash-crop farming, middle-class mothering). Rather than starting from a set definition of suicide, they empirically engage suicide fields-the wider domains of practices and of sense making, out of which realized, imaginary, or disputed suicides emerge. By drawing on ethnographic methods and approaches, a new comparative angle to understanding suicide beyond mainstream Western bio-medical and classical sociological conceptions of the act as an individual or social pathology is opened up. The book explores a number of ontological assumptions about the role of free will, power, good and evil, personhood, and intentionality in both popular and expert explanations of suicide. Suicide and Agency offers a substantial and ground-breaking contribution to the emerging field of the anthropology of suicide. It will appeal to a range of scholars and students, including those in anthropology, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies, suicidology, and social studies of death and dying.
Author: Philipp Zehmisch,Ursula Münster,Jens M. Zickgraf
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
Der Band ehrt die Forschung und Lehre des Ethnologen Frank Heidemann mit Aufsatzen in deutscher und englischer Sprache. DIe Beitrage seiner SchulerInnen, FreundInnen und WegbegleiterInnen reprasentieren sowohl Frank Heidemanns regionalen Schwerpunkt in Sudasien als auch sein breites Forschungsinteresse an Politik- und Medienethnologie, Poststrukturalismus, Postkolonialen Studien, ethnographischem Film und an der Anthropologie der Sinne. DIe Essays zur sozialen Asthetik und Atmosphare vereinen internationale Expertise zu einem hochaktuellen Forschungsfeld, das von Frank Heidemann in der deutschen Ethnologie vertreten wird.
Strathernian Conversations on Ethnography, Knowledge and Politics
Author: Ashley Lebner
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Category: Social Science
Marilyn Strathern is among the most creative and celebrated contemporary anthropologists, and her work draws interest from across the humanities and social sciences. Redescribing Relations brings some of Strathern's most committed and renowned readers into conversation in her honour – especially on themes she has rarely engaged. The volume not only deepens our understanding of Strathern's work, it also offers models of how to extend her relational insights to new terrains. With a comprehensive introduction, a complete list of Strathern's publications and a historic interview published in English for the first time, this is an invaluable resource for Strathern's old and new interlocutors alike.
Jennifer White,Ian Marsh,Michael J. Kral,Jonathan Morris
Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century
Author: Jennifer White,Ian Marsh,Michael J. Kral,Jonathan Morris
Publisher: UBC Press
In Critical Suicidology, a team of international scholars, practitioners, and people directly affected by suicide argue that the field of suicidology has become too focused on the biomedical paradigm: a model that pathologizes distress and obscures the social, political, and historical contexts that contribute to human suffering. The authors take a critical look at existing research, introduce the perspectives of those who have direct personal knowledge of suicide and suicidal behaviour, and propose alternative approaches that are creative and culturally sensitive. In the right hands, this book could save lives.
Author: Rane Willerslev,Dorthe Refslund Christensen
Category: Social Science
Departing from a persisting current in Western thought, which conceives of time in the abstract, and often reflects upon death as occupying a space at life's margins, this book begins from position that it is in fact through the material and perishable world that we experience time. As such, it is with death and our encounters with it, that form the basis of human conceptions of time. Presenting rich, interdisciplinary empirical studies of death rituals and practices across the globe, from the US and Europe, Asia, The Middle East, Australasia and Africa, Taming Time, Timing Death explores the manner in which social technologies and rituals have been and are implemented to avoid, delay or embrace death, or communicate with the dead, thus informing and manifesting humans' understanding of time. It will therefore be of interest to scholars and students of anthropology, philosophy, sociology and social theory, human geography and religion.
Making Visceral Sense of Living in a High-Tech Ecologically Damaged World
Author: Kath Weston
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Social Science
In Animate Planet Kath Weston shows how new intimacies between humans, animals, and their surroundings are emerging as people attempt to understand how the high-tech ecologically damaged world they have made is remaking them, one synthetic chemical, radioactive isotope, and megastorm at a time. Visceral sensations, she finds, are vital to this process, which yields a new animism in which humans and "the environment" become thoroughly entangled. In case studies on food, water, energy, and climate from the United States, India, and Japan, Weston approaches the new animism as both a symptom of our times and an analytic with the potential to open paths to new and forgotten ways of living.
Ritual studies today figures as a central element of religious discourse for many scholars around the world. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, Catherine Bell's sweeping and seminal work on the subject, helped legitimize the field. In this volume, Bell re-examines the issues, methods, and ramifications of our interest in ritual by concentrating on anthropology, sociology, and the history of religions. Now with a new foreword by Diane Jonte-Pace, Bell's work is a must-read for understanding the evolution of the field of ritual studies and its current state.
Talking to the dead and communication with 'the other side' is often presented as a taboo in an increasingly technological and medically advanced world. However, practices of spiritualism and mediumship continue to remain popular and in high demand within contemporary Western societies. This book analyses the practices of today’s mediums, who insist on standing at the threshold between life and death, interpreting signs and passing on communications, and asks how such concepts and practices are perceived by contemporary society. Using first-hand material gathered from alternative fairs, mediumistic congresses, séances, and interviews with both practitioners and clients, as well as thorough textual analysis, Anne Kalvig provides a clear overview of the various forms of consumption of mediumship in Western society and places these within a socio-cultural, religious and historical context. She also raises questions as to the controversies surrounding spiritualism and its representation and relationship with popular culture and the media. This book will be of interest to researchers in the field of sociology, religious studies, folklore, media studies and anthropology as well as to anyone interested in the upsurge of contemporary spiritualism, psychic phenomena and the paranormal.
Peter Bjerregaard,Anders Emil Rasmussen,Tim Flohr Sørensen
Explorations in Transformation, Transition and Transience
Author: Peter Bjerregaard,Anders Emil Rasmussen,Tim Flohr Sørensen
Category: Social Science
‘Passing’ is a common euphemism for the death of a person, as he or she is said to ‘pass away’ or ‘pass on’. This open-ended saying has at its heart a notion of transformation from one state to another, which in turn grants the possibility of grasping or approximating the passage of time and the materiality of death and decay. This book begins with the idea that since all material things - whether animals, human beings, objects or buildings - undergo some form of passing, then the specific transformation in these passages and the materiality actively given to it can offer us a grasp of otherwise precarious temporalities. It examines how human beings strive to relate to the temporal dimension of death and decay, by giving new shape and direction to being and by examining its natural transformations. Focusing on the materiality of passing, and thereby the relationship between embodiment, temporality and death, Materialities of Passing offers rich case studies from Europe, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and the Russian Far East for exploring the material, spatial and directional aspects of the very interface between life and death. As such, it will appeal to scholars of anthropology, death studies, archaeology, philosophy and cultural studies.
Anjali Arondekar considers the relationship between sexuality and the colonial archive by posing the following questions: Why does sexuality (still) seek its truth in the historical archive? What are the spatial and temporal logics that compel such a return? And conversely, what kind of “archive” does such a recuperative hermeneutics produce? Rather than render sexuality’s relationship to the colonial archive through the preferred lens of historical invisibility (which would presume that there is something about sexuality that is lost or silent and needs to “come out”), Arondekar engages sexuality’s recursive traces within the colonial archive against and through our very desire for access. The logic and the interpretive resources of For the Record arise out of two entangled and minoritized historiographies: one in South Asian studies and the other in queer/sexuality studies. Focusing on late colonial India, Arondekar examines the spectacularization of sexuality in anthropology, law, literature, and pornography from 1843 until 1920. By turning to materials and/or locations that are familiar to most scholars of queer and subaltern studies, Arondekar considers sexuality at the center of the colonial archive rather than at its margins. Each chapter addresses a form of archival loss, troped either in a language of disappearance or paucity, simulacrum or detritus: from Richard Burton’s missing report on male brothels in Karáchi (1845) to a failed sodomy prosecution in Northern India, Queen Empress v. Khairati (1884), and from the ubiquitous India-rubber dildos found in colonial pornography of the mid-to-late nineteenth century to the archival detritus of Kipling’s stories about the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
In The Space of Boredom Bruce O'Neill explores how people cast aside by globalism deal with an intractable symptom of downward mobility: an unshakeable and immense boredom. Focusing on Bucharest, Romania, where the 2008 financial crisis compounded the failures of the postsocialist state to deliver on the promises of liberalism, O'Neill shows how the city's homeless are unable to fully participate in a society that is increasingly organized around practices of consumption. Without a job to work, a home to make, or money to spend, the homeless—who include pensioners abandoned by their families and the state—struggle daily with the slow deterioration of their lives. O'Neill moves between homeless shelters and squatter camps, black labor markets and transit stations, detailing the lives of men and women who manage boredom by seeking stimulation, from conversation and coffee to sex in public restrooms or going to the mall or IKEA. Showing how boredom correlates with the downward mobility of Bucharest's homeless, O'Neill theorizes boredom as an enduring affect of globalization in order to provide a foundation from which to rethink the politics of alienation and displacement.
Throughout history mankind has struggled to reconcile itself with the inescapability of its own mortality. This book explores the themes of immortality and survivalism in contemporary culture, shedding light on the varied and ingenious ways in which humans and human societies aspire to confront and deal with death, or even seek to outlive it, as it were. Bringing together theoretical and empirical work from internationally acclaimed scholars across a range of disciplines, Postmortal Society offers studies of the strategies adopted and means available in modern society for trying to ‘cheat’ death or prolong life, the status of the dead in the modern Western world, the effects of beliefs that address the terror of death in other areas of life, the ‘immortalisation’ of celebrities, the veneration of the dead in virtual worlds, symbolic immortality through work, the implications of understanding ‘immortality’ in chemical-neuronal terms, and the apparent paradox of our greater reverence for the dead in increasingly secular, capitalist societies. A fascinating collection of studies that explore humanity’s attempts to deal with its own mortality in the modern age, this book will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers and scholars of cultural studies with interests in death and dying.
Dispossession describes the condition of those who have lost land, citizenship, property, and a broader belonging to the world. This thought-provoking book seeks to elaborate our understanding of dispossession outside of the conventional logic of possession, a hallmark of capitalism, liberalism, and humanism. Can dispossession simultaneously characterize political responses and opposition to the disenfranchisement associated with unjust dispossession of land, economic and political power, and basic conditions for living? In the context of neoliberal expropriation of labor and livelihood, dispossession opens up a performative condition of being both affected by injustice and prompted to act. From the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to the anti-neoliberal gatherings at Puerta del Sol, Syntagma and Zucchotti Park, an alternative political and affective economy of bodies in public is being formed. Bodies on the street are precarious - exposed to police force, they are also standing for, and opposing, their dispossession. These bodies insist upon their collective standing, organize themselves without and against hierarchy, and refuse to become disposable: they demand regard. This book interrogates the agonistic and open-ended corporeality and conviviality of the crowd as it assembles in cities to protest political and economic dispossession through a performative dispossession of the sovereign subject and its propriety.
Kinship, Love, and Life Cycle in Contemporary Havana, Cuba is an ethnographic analysis of gender, kinship, and love in contemporary Cuba. The book documents how low-income Havana residents negotiate their social relations through gendered caring practices over the life cycle from birth to death.
Modern archaeology has amassed considerable evidence for the disposal of the dead through burials, cemeteries and other monuments. Drawing on this body of evidence, this book offers fresh insight into how early human societies conceived of death and the afterlife. The twenty-seven essays in this volume consider the rituals and responses to death in prehistoric societies across the world, from eastern Asia through Europe to the Americas, and from the very earliest times before developed religious beliefs offered scriptural answers to these questions. Compiled and written by leading prehistorians and archaeologists, this volume traces the emergence of death as a concept in early times, as well as a contributing factor to the formation of communities and social hierarchies, and sometimes the creation of divinities.
From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism
Author: Marc Edelman,Angelique Haugerud
Category: Social Science
The Anthropology of Development and Globalization is a collection of readings that provides an unprecedented overview of this field that ranges from the field’s classical origins to today’s debates about the “magic” of the free market. Explores the foundations of the anthropology of development, a field newly animated by theories of globalization and transnationalism Framed by an encyclopedic introduction that will prove indispensable to students and experts alike Includes readings ranging from Weber and Marx and Engels to contemporary works on the politics of development knowledge, consumption, environment, gender, international NGO networks, the IMF, campaigns to reform the World Bank, the collapse of socialism, and the limits of “post-developmentalism” Fills a crucial gap in the literature by mingling historical, cultural, political, and economic perspectives on development and globalization Present a wide range of theoretical approaches and topics
War on Autism examines autism as a historically specific and powerladen cultural phenomenon that has much to teach about the social organization of a neoliberal western modernity. Bringing together a variety of interpretive theoretical perspectives including critical disability studies, queer and critical race theory, and cultural studies, the book analyzes the social significance and productive effects of contemporary discourses of autism as these are produced and circulated in the field of autism advocacy. Anne McGuire discusses how in the field of autism advocacy, autism often appears as an abbreviation, its multiple meanings distilled to various “red flag” warnings in awareness campaigns, bulleted biomedical ”facts” in information pamphlets, or worrisome statistics in policy reports. She analyzes the relationships between these fragmentary enactments of autism and traces their continuities to reveal an underlying, powerful, and ubiquitous logic of violence that casts autism as a pathological threat that advocacy must work to eliminate. Such logic, McGuire contends, functions to delimit the role of the “good” autism advocate to one who is positioned “against” autism.
Acclaim for the first edition: 'The volume is a remarkable contribution to economic anthropology and will no doubt be a fundamental tool for students, scholars, and experts in the sub-discipline.' – Mao Mollona, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 'This excellent overview would serve as an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classroom use. . . Because of the clarity, conciseness, and accessibility of the writing, the chapters in this volume likely will be often cited and recommended to those who want the alternative and frequently culturally comparative perspective on economic topics that anthropology provides. Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.' – K.F. Rambo, Choice The first edition of this unique Handbook was praised for its substantial and invaluable summary discussions of work by anthropologists on economic processes and issues, on the relationship between economic and non-economic areas of life and on the conceptual orientations that are important among economic anthropologists. This thoroughly revised edition brings those discussions up to date, and includes an important new section exploring ways that leading anthropologists have approached the current economic crisis. Its scope and accessibility make it useful both to those who are interested in a particular topic and to those who want to see the breadth and fruitfulness of an anthropological study of economy. This comprehensive Handbook will strongly appeal to undergraduate and post-graduate students in anthropology, economists interested in social and cultural dimensions of economic life, and alternative approaches to economic life, political economists, political scientists and historians.