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Humanity is at a crossroads. We face mounting inequality, escalating political violence, warring fundamentalisms and an environmental crisis of planetary proportions. How can we fashion a world that has room for everyone, for generations to come? What are the possibilities, in such a world, of collective human life? These are urgent questions, and no discipline is better placed to address them than anthropology. It does so by bringing to bear the wisdom and experience of people everywhere, whatever their backgrounds and walks of life. In this passionately argued book, Tim Ingold relates how a field of study once committed to ideals of progress collapsed amidst the ruins of war and colonialism, only to be reborn as a discipline of hope, destined to take centre stage in debating the most pressing intellectual, ethical and political issues of our time. He shows why anthropology matters to us all. Introducing Polity's Why It Matters series: In these short and lively books, world-leading thinkers make the case for the importance of their subjects and aim to inspire a new generation of students.
At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. Virtuous Waters is the first study of mineral waters and bathing in Mexico. It traces the evolving ideas about these waters, from European contact to the present, in order to shed new light on human-environment relations in the modern world. Our relation to water is among the most urgent of global issues, as increasing scarcity and pollution threaten food shortages, deteriorating public health, and the collapse of aquatic ecosystems. Drawing on ideas from political ecology, the author brings together an analysis of the shifts in the concept of water, with a material history of environments, infrastructures and bathing. The book analyzes a range of issues concerning complex "water cultures" that have formed around Mexican groundwaters over time, and suggests that this understanding might also help us comprehend and confront the water crisis that is coming to a head in the twenty first century.
First Published in 1996. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
This book provides a conceptually and empirically rich introduction to religious indifference on the basis of original anthropological, historical and sociological research. Religious indifference is a central category for understanding contemporary societies, and a controversial one. For some scholars, a growing religious indifference indicates a dramatic decline in religiosity and epitomizes the endpoint of secularization processes. Others view it as an indicator of moral apathy and philosophical nihilism, whilst yet others see it as paving the way for new forms of political tolerance and solidarity. This volume describes and analyses the symbolic power of religious indifference and the conceptual contestations surrounding it. Detailed case studies cover anthropological and qualitative data from the UK, Germany, Estonia, the USA, Canada, and India analyse large quantitative data sets, and provide philosophical-literary inquiries into the phenomenon. They highlight how, for different actors and agendas, religious indifference can constitute an objective or a challenge. Pursuing a relational approach to non-religion, the book conceptualizes religious indifference in its interrelatedness with religion as well as more avowed forms of non-religion.
Mini-set E: Sociology & Anthropology re-issues 10 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1995 and covers topics such as japanese whaling, marriage in japan, and the japanese health care system. For institutional purchases for e-book sets please contact [email protected] (customers in the UK, Europe and Rest of World)
The hard work required to make God real, how it changes the people who do it, and why it helps explain the enduring power of faith How do gods and spirits come to feel vividly real to people-as if they were standing right next to them? Humans tend to see supernatural agents everywhere, as the cognitive science of religion has shown. But it isn't easy to maintain a sense that there are invisible spirits who care about you. In How God Becomes Real, acclaimed anthropologist and scholar of religion T. M. Luhrmann argues that people must work incredibly hard to make gods real and that this effort-by changing the people who do it and giving them the benefits they seek from invisible others-helps to explain the enduring power of faith. Drawing on ethnographic studies of evangelical Christians, pagans, magicians, Zoroastrians, Black Catholics, Santeria initiates, and newly orthodox Jews, Luhrmann notes that none of these people behave as if gods and spirits are simply there. Rather, these worshippers make strenuous efforts to create a world in which invisible others matter and can become intensely present and real. The faithful accomplish this through detailed stories, absorption, the cultivation of inner senses, belief in a porous mind, strong sensory experiences, prayer, and other practices. Along the way, Luhrmann shows why faith is harder than belief, why prayer is a metacognitive activity like therapy, why becoming religious is like getting engrossed in a book, and much more. A fascinating account of why religious practices are more powerful than religious beliefs, How God Becomes Real suggests that faith is resilient not because it provides intuitions about gods and spirits-but because it changes the faithful in profound ways.
Racial differences are rooted in biological reality, right? That's certainly what a small group of anthropologists, psychologists and pundits would have you believe. Portraying themselves as brave defenders of the inconvenient truth, this group took the revival of 'race science' from alt-right online message boards into mainstream academic journals. They seek to justify raging social inequalities from poverty to incarceration rates with a simple message: some people are just born to be poor. There's just one problem... race science isn't real. The first Europeans had dark skin and black curly hair. Culture was born in Africa, not Western Europe. Gavin Evans examines the latest research on how intelligence develops and laying out new discoveries in genetics, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to unearth the truth about our shared past. Skin Deep stands up to the pseudo-science deployed to justify colonial rule, the apartheid regime and the vast inequalities that persist today. As race dominates the political agenda, it's time to put the hateful myths about it to bed.
Anthropology is a disciplined inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life. Generations of theorists, however, have expunged life from their accounts, treating it as the mere output of patterns, codes, structures or systems variously defined as genetic or cultural, natural or social. Building on his classic work The Perception of the Environment, Tim Ingold sets out to restore life to where it should belong, at the heart of anthropological concern. Being Alive ranges over such themes as the vitality of materials, what it means to make things, the perception and formation of the ground, the mingling of earth and sky in the weather-world, the experiences of light, sound and feeling, the role of storytelling in the integration of knowledge, and the potential of drawing to unite observation and description. Our humanity, Ingold argues, does not come ready-made but is continually fashioned in our movements along ways of life. Starting from the idea of life as a process of wayfaring, Ingold presents a radically new understanding of movement, knowledge and description as dimensions not just of being in the world, but of being alive to what is going on there.
In this work of daring and immersive contemporary anthropology, Carl Hoffman, who has written about the most dangerous and remote corners of the world, journeys deep inside Donald Trump's rallies seeking to understand the strange and powerful tribe that forms the president's base. This book proceeds from the premise that Donald J. Trump's rallies are a singular and defining force-a kind of Rosetta stone to understanding the Age of Trump. Yet while much remarked upon, the rallies are, in fact, little examined, with the focus almost always on Trump's latest outrageous statement. But who are the tens of thousands of people who fill America's stadiums and arenas? What do they see in Trump? And what curious alchemy-between president and adoring crowd-happens there that might explain Trump's rise? To those on the Left, the rallies are a Black Mass of American politics at which Trump plays high priest, recklessly summoning the darkest forces within the nation. To the MAGA faithful, the rallies are a form of pilgrimage, a joyous ceremony that like all rituals binds people together and makes them feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Both sides would acknowledge that this travelling roadshow (the Wall Street Journal reports there have been more than 550 ticketed campaign events since 2015) is the pressurised, combustible core of Trump's political power, a meeting of the faithful where Trump is unshackled and his rhetoric reaches its most extreme, with downstream consequences for the rest of the nation. To date, no reporter has sought to understand the rallies as a sociological phenomenon examined from the bottom up. In 2019, Carl Hoffman began to do just this and embedded himself in the Trump rallies. He has stood in line for days with crowds of supporters; he has traveled across the country from Minnesota to Texas to Mississippi interviewing hundreds of attendees and immersing himself in their culture. A former contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler, Hoffman has travelled to 80 countries on assignment; he has written about cannibals in New Guinea, Mumbai's railways (the deadliest in the world), and the indigenous tribes of Borneo. Now he trains his unique eye on his own country.
Yuval Noah Harari's bestselling phenomenon now in a beautifully packaged new special edition. Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. 'Unbelievably good. Jaw dropping from the first word to the last' Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2 PATTERNS OF LIFE: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS
Presenting twenty-nine original chapters - each written by an expert in the field - this Handbook examines the history of kinship theory and the directions in which it has moved over the past few years. Using examples from across the globe (Africa, India, South America, Malaysia, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and North America), this Handbook highlights the power of kinship theory to address questions of broad anthropological significance. How have recent advances in reproductive medicine fundamentally altered our understanding of biological properties? How has globalization brought in its wake new ways of imagining human relatedness? What might recent shifts in state welfare policies tell us about those relations of power that define the difference between 'functional' versus 'dysfunctional' families? Addressing these and many other timely concerns, this volume presents the results of cutting edge research and demonstrates that the study of kinship is likely to remain at the core of anthropological inquiry.
Recent years have witnessed an explosive growth in the literature published about Japan. Yet it seems that the more that is written about Japan and Japanism - its culture, society, people - the more mysterious it becomes. As well as exploring issues relating to advertising, tourism, women, festivals and the art world, the book depicts how the study of Japanese society contributes to anthropological theory and understanding. The editors use the term 'unwrapping' to provide insights into Japanese culture and relate these insights to broader problems and questions prevalent in contemporary anthropological discourse. The issues explored include the contribution of applied anthropology to theory; the relationship between tourism and nostalgia; the interplay of marginality and belonging; the role of advertising in gender relations; status in the art world and the place of Japanese genres of writing within anthropology texts.
From being an important centre which attracted a large number of merchants during the feudal period, Shingu, on the northern shores of Kyushu is today a suburb of Fukuoka City. Fishing is a slowly-dying occupation and this volume analyses how the fishermen adjust to changing circumstances. Although Japan is the largest fishing nation in the world, when originally published this book was the first to be published in English which focussed on the composition and role performance of the crews and larger net-groups. This analysis has been set in an historical perspective, showing how the vertical structures during the Tokugawa period have changed to more egalitarian structures where much energy is spent to hinder the development of any new hierarchy.
The question of `postmodernity' that has swept Western academic and intellectual circles raises critical comparative questions. Do societies that have not experienced the same historical development as the West pass inevitably through modernity into postmodernity, or can they skip such stages altogether? Japan, the only non-Western society to develop independently a fully-fledged capitalist-industrialist economy, poses such fundamental questions to social theory. Is Japan in fact `unique' and as such is it a society which escapes the net of conventional sociological abstractions? The book questions how special Japanese society really is, the limitations of Western social theory in grasping the fullness of this dynamic and a complex Asian society, and inquires as to how Japan in turn may speak to social theory and deepen and broaden the principles on which social theory attempts to explore and categorize the social and cultural worlds.
This book approaches its subject from two angles. First, there is a detailed and descriptive analysis of the social organisation of, and place of marriage in, one community in Kyushu. To this extent, the study is a regional one and provides valuable ethnographic information. The second angle, however, is to analyse this material in the light of other historical ethnographical writings on Japan, which puts the regional material in a national context, and brings together a great deal of information about Japanese marriage hitherto unpublished in English.
In the 1970s and 80s Japan experienced some deep-rooted social changes which affected attitudes to health care services among both professionals and consumers alike. Health Care in Japan provides an introduction to and overview of health and medical services in Japan at that time. It describes the historical development of modern medical care; the social, political, and cultural factors which have influenced the development of the system for the provision of health and medical services. It also discusses and analyses those aspects of the health care system which are of concern to the government and assesses how the existing system of health care will meet the needs of Japanese society in the future.
A series of journeys to Alaska's remote roadless villages, during a time of great historical transition, brings us this enduring portrait of a place and its people. Alutiiq, Yup'ik, Inupiaq, and Athabascan subjects reveal themselves as entirely contemporary individuals with deep longings and connection to the land and to their past. Tom Kizzia's account of his travels off the Alaska road system, first published in 1991, has endured with a sterling reputation for its thoughtful, poetic, unflinching engagement with the complexity of Alaska's rural communities. Wake of the Unseen Object is now considered some of the finest nonfiction writing about Alaska. This new edition includes an updated introduction by the author, looking at what remains the same after thirty years and what is different--both in Alaska, and in the expectations placed on a reporter visiting from another world.
How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? The diversity of languages today is varied, but it is steadily declining. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Anderson answers the above questions by looking at the science behind languages. Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, he demonstrates how languages are not uniformly distributed around the world; just as some places are more diverse than others in terms of plants and animal species, the same goes for the distribution of languages. Exploring the basis for linguistic classification and raising questions about how we identify a language, as well as considering signed languages as well as spoken, Anderson examines the wider social issues of losing languages, and their impact in terms of the endangerment of cultures and peoples. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
What is a focus group? Why do we use them? When should we use them? When should we not? Focus Groups for the Social Science Researcher provides a step-by-step guide to undertaking focus groups, whether as a stand-alone method or alongside other qualitative or quantitative methods. It recognizes the challenges that focus groups encounter and provides tips to address them. The book highlights three unique, inter-related characteristics of focus groups. First, they are inherently social in form. Second, the data emerge organically through conversation; they are emic in nature. Finally, focus groups generate data at three levels of analysis: the individual, group, and interactive level. The book builds from these three characteristics to explain when focus groups can usefully be employed in different research designs. This is an essential text for students and researchers looking for a concise and accessible introduction to this important approach to data collection.
Is culture a luxury? In this era of austerity, the value of the arts has been a topic of heated debate in Greece, where the country's economic troubles have led to drastic cuts in public funding and much contention over the significance of cultural institutions and government-funded arts initiatives. At issue in these debates are larger questions regarding the very notions of publicness, hierarchies of value, and functions of the state that structure collective life. Beginning with the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, How to Be Public tracks this turbulence as it unfolded in the Greek film world in the early years of the crisis. Investigating the different forms of citizenship and collectivity being negotiated in cinema's social spaces, this book considers how the arts and cultural production may illuminate the changing conditions of, and possibilities for, public and collective life in the neoliberal era.
First published in 1985, this Routledge Revival is a lively and colourful account of life in the Japanese countryside, as seen through the eyes of an anthropologist who did fieldwork there for four years. Part journal, part ethnographic observation, part social and moral commentary, this very personal and sensitive book depicts not only the intricate relationships among the valley people, but also those between them and the anthropologist who has come from the outside world to study them. The book has a dual purpose: to portray the intimate, day-to-day lives of people living in a remote part of Japan, and to describe how one anthropologist tries - and eventually fails - to "become at one" with his informants. Throughout, the book questions the premises of participant observation, which has become a mainstay of modern anthropology.
Mini-set D: Politics re-issues works originally published between 1920 & 1987 and examines the government, political system and foreign policy of Japan during the twentieth century.
Across Africa the narrative of "Africa rising" has taken root in a burgeoning middle class. Ambitious and increasingly affluent, this group symbolizes the values and hopes of the new Africa, and they are regarded as important agents of both economic development and democratic change. This narrative, however, obscures the complex and often ambiguous role that this group actually plays in African societies.
The Rise Of Africa's Middle Class brings together a diverse range of economists, political scientists, and development experts to provide a much needed corrective, overturning the received wisdom within development circles and providing a fresh new perspective on social transformations in contemporary Africa. Featuring a wide array of case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa and covering highly topical issues, including black middle-class support for the ANC in South Africa and anti-government activism in Nigeria, this collection of essays is a timely, on-the-ground look at the realities behind the idea of Africa rising.
In this influential work, first published in English in 1963, Durkheim and Mauss claim that the individual mind is capable of classification and they seek the origin of the 'classificatory function' in society. On the basis of an intensive examination of forms and principles of symbolic classification reported from the Australian aborigines, the Zuni and traditional China, they try to establish a formal correspondence between social and symbolic classification. From this they argue that the mode of classification is determined by the form of society and that the notions of space, time, hierarchy, number, class and other such cognitive categories are products of society. Dr Needham's introduction assesses the validity of Durkhiem and Mauss's argument, traces its continued influence in various disciplines, and indicates its analytical value for future researches in social anthropology.
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