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Infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in India lie at the confluence of multiple cultural conceptions. These `conceptions' are key to understanding the burgeoning spread of assisted reproductive technologies and the social implications of infertility and childlessness in India. This longitudinal study is situated in a number of diverse locales which, when taken together, unravel the complex nature of infertility and assisted conception in contemporary India.
The Political Economy of Conflict and Violence against Women shows how political, economic, social and ideological processes intersect to shape conflict related gender-based violence against women. Through feminist interrogations of the politics of economies, struggles for political power and the gender order, this collection reveals how sexual orders and regimes are linked to spaces of production. Crucially it argues that these spaces are themselves firmly anchored in overlapping patriarchies which are sustained and reproduced during and after war through violence that is physical as well as structural. Through an analysis of legal regimes and structures of social arrangements, this book frames militarization as a political economic dynamic, developing a radical critique of liberal peace building and peace making that does not challenge patriarchy, or modes of production and accumulation.
The media often talk about public opinion, the "American" or
"British" public, or the movie-going public. A public can hold an
opinion and be divided. What is the public and where did it come
from? Is there one public or many? Is the very idea of the public a
The "Cheitharon Kumpapa "is the Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur, a small formerly independent state situated on the Indian border with Myanmar. The "Cheitharon Kumpapa "is a court account of the state, which claims to record events from the founding of the ruling dynasty in 33 CE. This dynasty continued until the abolition of the monarchy after the merger of the state with India in 1949. The document is thus probably the oldest chronicle in the region, written on hand made "Meetei" (Manipuri) paper made from tree bark in locally made ink with a quill or a bamboo pen. All in all it comprises more than 3000 leaves. This volume contains a copy of the original text of the "Cheitharon Kumpapa," which is authorized by the Palace and the English translation from the original composed in archaic Manipuri script ("Meetei Mayek"). Explanatory notes and a glossary complement this interesting source of information. Scholars working on East and South Asia willfind this volume enlightening and the text will be useful for those readers engaged in social anthropology, religious history, archaeology, human geography and linguistics.
As US imperialism continues to dictate foreign policy, Deadly Contradictions is a compelling account of the American empire. Stephen P. Reyna argues that contemporary forms of violence exercised by American elites in the colonies, client state, and regions of interest have deferred imperial problems, but not without raising their own set of deadly contradictions. This book can be read many ways: as a polemic against geopolitics, as a classic social anthropological text, or as a seminal analysis of twenty-four US global wars during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.
This popular and engaging text, now revised in a second edition, offers readers a social perspective on food, food practices, and the modern food system. It engages readers' curiosity by highlighting several paradoxes: how food is both individual and social, reveals both distinction and conformity, and, in the contemporary global era, comes from everywhere but nowhere in particular. With updates and enhancements throughout, the new edition provides an empirically deep, multifaceted, and coherent introduction to this fascinating field. Each chapter begins with a vivid case study, proceeds through a rich discussion of research insights, and ends with discussion questions and suggested resources. Chapter topics include food's role in socialization, identity, health and social change, as well as food marketing and the changing global food system. The new edition gives more focused attention to labor (both paid and unpaid) in all aspects of the food system. In synthesizing insights from diverse fields of social inquiry, the book addresses issues of culture, structure, and social inequality throughout. Written in a lively style, this book will continue to be both accessible and revealing to beginning and intermediate students alike.
Violent Becomings conceptualizes the Mozambican state not as the bureaucratically ordered polity of the nation-state, but as a continuously emergent and violently challenged mode of ordering. In doing so, this book addresses the question of why colonial and postcolonial state formation has involved violent articulations with so-called `traditional' forms of sociality. The scope and dynamic nature of such violent becomings is explored through an array of contexts that include colonial regimes of forced labor and pacification, liberation war struggles and civil war, the social engineering of the post-independence state, and the popular appropriation of sovereign violence in riots and lynchings.
What makes us the people we are? Culture evidently plays a part,
but how large a part? Is culture alone the source of our
identities? Some have argued that human nature is the foundation of
culture, others that culture is the foundation of human identity.
Catherine Belsey now calls for a more nuanced, relational account
of what it is to be human, and in doing so puts forward a
significant new theory of culture.
Tracing key trends of the global-regional-local interface of power, Ines Duran Matute through the case of the indigenous community of Mezcala (Mexico) demonstrates how global political economic processes shape the lives, spaces, projects and identities of the most remote communities. Throughout the book, in-depth interviews, participant observations and text collection, offer the reader insight into the functioning of neoliberal governance, how it is sustained in networks of power and rhetorics deployed, and how it is experienced. People, as passively and actively participate in its courses of action, are being enmeshed in these geographies of power seeking out survival strategies, but also constructing autonomous projects that challenge such forms of governance. This book, by bringing together the experience of a geopolitical locality and the literature from the Latin American Global South into the discussions within the Global Northern academia, offers an original and timely transdisciplinary approach that challenges the interpretations of power and development while also prioritizing and respecting the local production of knowledge.
Mortuary Dialogues presents fresh perspectives on death and mourning across the Pacific Islands. Through a set of rich ethnographies, the book examines how funerals and death rituals give rise to discourse and debate about sustaining moral personhood and community amid modernity and its enormous transformations. The book's key concept, "mortuary dialogue," describes the different genres of talk and expressive culture through which people struggle to restore individual and collective order in the aftermath of death in the contemporary Pacific.
Bringing together a wealth of research in social and cultural
anthropology, philosophy and related fields, this is the first book
to address the contribution that an understanding of personhood can
make to our interpretations of the past
Applying an anthropological approach to detailed case studies
from European prehistoric archaeology, the book explores the
connection between people, animals, objects, their societies and
environments and investigates the relationship that jointly
produces bodies, persons, communities and artefacts.
The Archaeology of Personhood examines the characteristics that define a person as a category of being, highlights how definitions of personhood are culturally variable and explores how that variation is connected to human uses of material culture.
The book's main theme is the interpretation of the Holocaust and genocide in historiography, philosophy and the contemporary culture of commemoration. Running through the essays is an attempt to understand the Holocaust's relationship to 'modernity'; the need to find ways of understanding genocide through apparently 'non-rational' forms of explanation (especially derived from anthropology); and the desirability of relating the Holocaust to other instances of genocide. The book investigates the ways in which individual thinkers (Malinowski, Arendt, Bataille, Perec, Ricoeur) can help us conceptualise the Holocaust, and also deals with many of the major themes of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in recent years: problems of handling testimony; problems of erecting monuments and museums; the representability of the Holocaust through texts, photographs, monuments and museums; the possibility of understanding why individuals take part in genocide; and the relationship of the Holocaust to colo
For the Orang Rimba of Sumatra - and tropical foragers in general - life in the forest engenders a kind of "connectedness" that is contingent not only on harmonious relations between people, but also between people and the non-human environment, including those supernatural agencies of the forest that people depend on for their spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Exploring this world, anthropologist Ramsey Elkholy treats embodied action and perception as the basis of shared experience and shows how various forms of embodied experience constitute the very foundations of human culture. In a unique methodological contribution, Elkholy adopts a set of body-centered approaches that reflect and capture the day-to-day, moment-to-moment ways in which people engage with the world. Being and Becoming is an important contribution to phenomenological anthropology, hunter-gatherer studies, and to Southeast Asian ethnography more generally.
Through the voices and perspectives of the members of an extended Hawaiian family, or `ohana, this book tells the story of North American imperialism in Hawai`i from the Great Depression to the new millennium. The family members offer their versions of being "Native Hawaiian" in an American state, detailing the ways in which US laws, policies, and institutions made, and continue to make, an impact on their daily lives. The book traces the ways that Hawaiian values adapted to changing conditions under a Territorial regime and then after statehood. These conditions involved claims for land for Native Hawaiian Homesteads, education in American public schools, military service, and participation in the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Based on fieldwork observations, kitchen table conversations, and talk-stories, or mo`olelo, this book is a unique blend of biography, history, and anthropological analysis.
Border regions are often considered to be the neglected margins. In this book, Paul Nugent argues that through a comparison of the Senegambia and the trans-Volta (Ghana/Togo), we can see that the geographical margins have shaped notional centres at least as much as the reverse. Through a study of three centuries of history, this book demonstrates that states were forged through an extended process of converting a topography of settled states and slaving frontiers into colonial borders. It argues that post-colonial states and larger social contracts have been configured very differently as a consequence. It underscores the impact on regional dynamics and the phenomenon of peripheral urbanism. Nugent also addresses the manner in which a variegated sense of community has been forged amongst Mandinka, Jola, Ewe and Agotime populations who have both shaped and been shaped by the border. This is an exercise in reciprocal comparison and shuttles between scales, from the local and the particular to the national and the regional.
Devil worship, black magic, and witchcraft have long captivated anthropologists as well as the general public. In this volume, Jean La Fontaine explores the intersection of expert and lay understandings of evil and the cultural forms that evil assumes. The chapters touch on public scares about devil-worship, misconceptions about human sacrifice and the use of body parts in healing practices, and mistaken accusations of children practicing witchcraft. Together, these cases demonstrate that comparison is a powerful method of cultural understanding, but warns of the dangers and mistaken conclusions that untrained ideas about other ways of life can lead to.
Most people in the world today think democracy and gender equality are good, and that violence and wealth inequality are bad. But most people who lived during the 10,000 years before the nineteenth century thought just the opposite. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, biology, and history, Ian Morris explains why. Fundamental long-term changes in values, Morris argues, are driven by the most basic force of all: energy. Humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need--from foraging, farming, and fossil fuels. Each energy source sets strict limits on what kinds of societies can succeed, and each kind of society rewards specific values. But if our fossil-fuel world favors democratic, open societies, the ongoing revolution in energy capture means that our most cherished values are very likely to turn out not to be useful any more. Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels offers a compelling new argument about the evolution of human values, one that has far-reaching implications for how we understand the past--and for what might happen next. Originating as the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, the book includes challenging responses by classicist Richard Seaford, historian of China Jonathan Spence, philosopher Christine Korsgaard, and novelist Margaret Atwood.
Everyday practice of religion is complex in its nature, ambivalent and at times contradictory. The task of an anthropology of religious practice is therefore precisely to see how people navigate and make sense of that complexity, and what the significance of religious beliefs and practices in a given setting can be. Rather than putting everyday practice and normative doctrine on different analytical planes, the authors argue that the articulation of religious doctrine is also an everyday practice and must be understood as such.
YoungGiftedandFat is a critical autoethnography of "performing thin"- on the stage and in life. Sharrell D. Luckett's story of weight loss and gain and playing the (beautiful, desirable, thin) leading lady showcases an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to issues of weight and self-esteem, performance, race, and gender. Sharrell structures her project with creative text, interviews, testimony, journal entries, dialogues, monologues, and deep theorizing through and about the abundance of flesh. She explores the politics of Black culture, and particularly the intersections of her lived and embodied experiences. Her body and body transformation becomes a critical praxis to evidence fat as a feminist issue, fat as a Black-girl-woman issue, and fat as an ideological construct that is as much on the brain as it is on the body. YoungGiftedandFat is useful to any area of research or course offering taking up questions of size politics at the intersections of race and sexuality.
Are humans naturally predisposed to religion and supernatural beliefs? If so, does this naturalness provide a moral foundation for religious freedom? This volume offers a cross-disciplinary approach to these questions, engaging in a range of contemporary debates at the intersection of religion, cognitive science, sociology, anthropology, political science, epistemology, and moral philosophy. The contributors to this original and important volume present individual, sometimes opposing points of view on the naturalness of religion thesis and its implications for religious freedom. Topics include the epistemological foundations of religion, the relationship between religion and health, and a discussion of the philosophical foundations of religious freedom as a natural, universal right, drawing implications for the normative role of religion in public life. By challenging dominant intellectual paradigms, such as the secularization thesis and the Enlightenment view of religion, the volume opens the door to a powerful and provocative reconceptualization of religious freedom.
While books on archaeological and anthropological ethics have proliferated in recent years, few attempt to move beyond a conventional discourse on ethics to consider how a discussion of the social and political implications of archaeological practice might be conceptualized differently. The conceptual ideas about ethics posited in this volume make it of interest to readers outside of the discipline; in fact, to anyone interested in contemporary debates around the possibilities and limitations of a discourse on ethics. The authors in this volume set out to do three things. The first is to track the historical development of a discussion around ethics, in tandem with the development and "disciplining" of archaeology. The second is to examine the meanings, consequences and efficacies of a discourse on ethics in contemporary worlds of practice in archaeology. The third is to push beyond the language of ethics to consider other ways of framing a set of concerns around rights, accountabilities and meanings in relation to practitioners, descendent and affected communities, sites, material cultures, the ancestors and so on.
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