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aEloquently written. . . . Highly Recommended.a--"G.R. Thursby, Choice"
aLongtime Hare Krishna observer Rochford shows that devotees,
formerly known for their public chanting and controversial
fundraising practices, have largely moved out of the temples, taken
jobs, and established nuclear families. Using survey data and
extensive interviews, Rochford investigates the attitudes of the
original members' children (some of whom suffered abuse in the
early Hare Krishna schools), the changing roles of women, differing
modes of affiliation with the organization, and the increasing
influence of Indian Hindu immigrants in what is formally known as
the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). His
findings are generally clear and convincing, and he lets the
devotees speak for themselves in frequent quotes. . . . This story
of accommodation within a movement that forged its identity through
strict rejection of secular culture provides valuable insight into
how new religions evolve.a
"Burke Rochford is the most notable scholarly interpreter of
Krishna Consciousness in America, and Hare Krishna Transformed is
the most insightful and informative book written on the
organizational evolution of the movement."
Most widely known for its adherents chanting "Hare Krishna" and distributing religious literature on the streets of American cities, the Hare Krishna movement was founded in New York City in 1965 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Formally known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON, it is based on theHindu Vedic scriptures and is a Western outgrowth of a popular yoga tradition which began in the 16th century.
In its first generation ISKCON actively deterred marriage and the nuclear family, denigrated women, and viewed the raising of children as a distraction from devotees' spiritual responsibilities. Yet since the death of its founder in 1977, there has been a growing women's rights movement and also a highly publicized child abuse scandal. Most strikingly, this movement has transformed into one that now embraces the nuclear family and is more accepting of both women and children, steps taken out of necessity to sustain itself as a religious movement into the next generation. At the same time, it is now struggling to contend with the consequences of its recent outreach into the India-born American Hindu community.
Based on three decades of in-depth research and participant observation, Hare Krishna Transformed explores dramatic changes in this new religious movement over the course of two generations from its founding.
Scholars from a variety of disciplines consider cases of convergence in lithic technology, when functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Hominins began using stone tools at least 2.6 million years ago, perhaps even 3.4 million years ago. Given the nearly ubiquitous use of stone tools by humans and their ancestors, the study of lithic technology offers an important line of inquiry into questions of evolution and behavior. This book examines convergence in stone tool-making, cases in which functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Identifying examples of convergence, and distinguishing convergence from divergence, refutes hypotheses that suggest physical or cultural connection between far-flung prehistoric toolmakers. Employing phylogenetic analysis and stone-tool replication, the contributors show that similarity of tools can be caused by such common constraints as the fracture properties of stone or adaptive challenges rather than such unlikely phenomena as migration of toolmakers over an Arctic ice shelf. Contributors R. Alexander Bentley, Briggs Buchanan, Marcelo Cardillo, Mathieu Charbonneau, Judith Charlin, Chris Clarkson, Loren G. Davis, Metin I. Eren, Peter Hiscock, Thomas A. Jennings, Steven L. Kuhn, Daniel E. Lieberman, George R. McGhee, Alex Mackay, Michael J. O'Brien, Charlotte D. Pevny, Ceri Shipton, Ashley M. Smallwood, Heather Smith, Jayne Wilkins, Samuel C. Willis, Nicolas Zayns
"Since I first read, and then taught, Helmreich's extraordinary
essay on alien kinship and the biopolitics of gene transfer in
marine biology and biotechnology in 2003, I have been swimming
eagerly in his alien oceans, waiting for this book, eager to feast.
A multi-sited and deeply sounded ethnography of ocean
microbiologists and their subvisible critters, "Alien Ocean" dunks
the reader in seas of blue-green capital and rampant globalizing
viral traders in gene currency. Tangled in sentiment and science,
salty microbial webs infuse dreadful and promising figures of
aliens and familiars. In this rich study of microbial oceanography
we meet the extremeophiles of a mortal earth--an earth better named
ocean, where deep-sea dwelling, heat-loving archaea are dredged to
tell stories of unlikely kin, extraordinary technology, planktonic
globalizers, and Hawaiian indigenous activists. This is a book
about networks of loves and disciplines that is hard to put
The fear of violent crime dominates Guatemala City. In the midst of unprecedented levels of postwar violence, Guatemalans struggle to fathom the myriad forces that have made life in this city so deeply insecure. Born out of histories of state terror, migration, and US deportation, maras (transnational gangs) have become the face of this new era of violence. They are brutal organizations engaged in extortion, contract killings, and the drug trade, and yet they have also become essential to the emergence of a certain kind of social order. Drawing on years of fieldwork inside prisons, police precincts, and gang-dominated neighborhoods, Anthony W. Fontes demonstrates how gang violence has become indissoluble from contemporary social imaginaries and how these gangs provide cover for a host of other criminal actors. Ethnographically rich and unflinchingly critical, Mortal Doubt illuminates the maras' role in making and mooring collective terror in Guatemala City while tracing the ties that bind this violence to those residing in far safer environs.
Arguing that the focus in global urban studies on cities such as New York, London, Tokyo in the global North, Mexico City and Shanghai in the developing world, and other major nodes of the world economy, has skewed the concept of the global city toward economics, this volume gathers a diverse group of contributors to focus on smaller and less economically dominant cities. It highlights other important and relatively ignored themes such as cultural globalization, alternative geographies of the global, and the influence of deeper urban histories (particularly those relating to colonialism) in order to advance an alternative view of the global city.
Coming of Age in Chicago explores a watershed moment in American anthropology, when an unprecedented number of historians and anthropologists of all subfields gathered on the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition fairgrounds, drawn together by the fair's focus on indigenous peoples. Participants included people making a living with their research, sporadic backyard diggers, religiously motivated researchers, and a small group who sought a "scientific" understanding of the lifeways of indigenous peoples. At the fair they set the foundation for anthropological inquiry and redefined the field. At the same time, the American public became aware, through their own experiences at the fair, of a global humanity, with reactions that ranged from revulsion to curiosity, tolerance, and kindness. Curtis M. Hinsley and David R. Wilcox combine primary historical texts, modern essays, and rarely seen images from the period to create a volume essential for understanding the significance of this event. These texts explore the networking of thinkers, planners, dreamers, schemers, and scholars who interacted in a variety of venues to lay the groundwork for museums, academic departments, and expeditions. These new relationships helped shape the profession and the trajectory of the discipline, and they still resonate more than a century later.
First published in 1967, this book gives some of the fruits of the author's study of Tikopia ways of thought as the result of three field expeditions. Most Polynesians became Christians more than a century ago but Tikopia had a substantial pagan population until quite recent years. This book of essays describes rites and beliefs of a people who still maintained their traditional institutions remote from civilization. Studies of totemism, of magic and of beliefs in the fate of the soul in the afterworld, not only throw new light on Polynesian attitudes but also contribute some novel ideas to the interpretation of standard theoretical problems in social anthropology. Studies of rumour, suicide, and a new essay on spirit mediumship, also provide links between social anthropology and psychology. A general review based on the author's visit in 1966 describes the modern position after the adoption of Christianity.
This book undertakes a critique of the pervasive notion that human beings are separate from and elevated above the nonhuman world and explores its role in the constitution of modernity. The book presents a socio-material analysis of the British milk industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It traces the dramatic development of the milk trade from a cottage industry into a modernised and integrated system of production and distribution, examining the social, economic and political factors underpinning this transformation, and also highlighting the important roles played by various nonhumans, such as microbes, refrigeration technologies, diseases, and even cows themselves. Milk as a substance posed deep social and material problems for modernity, being hard to transport and keep fresh as well as a highly fertile environment for the growth of bacteria and the transmission of diseases such as tuberculosis from cows to humans. Milk, Modernity and the Making of the Human demonstrates how the resulting insecurities and dilemmas posed a threat to the nature/culture divide as milk consumption grew along with urbanization, and had therefore to be managed by emergent forms of scientific and sanitary knowledge and expertise. Milk, Modernity and the Making of the Human is an ideal volume for any researcher interested in the hybrid socio-material, economic and political factors underpinning the transformation of the milk industry.
Ethnographers rely on three related activities to conduct research in the field: observation, conversation, and participation. Observing others in their environments and using this data to inform and share conclusions is an essential part of any fieldworker's toolkit. However, many ethnographers' observational muscles tend to be their weakest. Fortunately, Christena Nippert-Eng's Watching Closely: A Guide to Ethnographic Observation provides a practical, interactive guide for improving one's powers of observation. The book includes nine exercises for practicing observational skills, including a preparatory briefing and post-exercise discussion. Nippert-Eng also offers a weblink to sample responses from her previous students, providing an additional resource beyond the text itself. Beyond the traditional tenets of field work, Watching Closely encourages readers to pursue more creative ways of collecting and analyzing data, such as sketching, diagramming, and photography, as well as developing more concrete expectations for the potential uses and meanings of ethnographic data. Engaging and accessible, Watching Closely offers a guide for readers to not only strengthen their core skills and mindset as fieldworkers, but also to produce research that is more scientifically rigorous and persuasive. From social and behavioral scientists to user-centered designers and architects, undergraduate students to experienced fieldworkers, a vast array of readers will reap the benefits of learning more about how we observe.
What does it mean to grow up as an evangelical Christian today? What meanings does 'childhood' have for evangelical adults? How does this shape their engagements with children and with schools? And what does this mean for the everyday realities of children's lives? Based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork carried out in three contrasting evangelical churches in the UK, Anna Strhan reveals how attending to the significance of children within evangelicalism deepens understanding of evangelicals' hopes, fears and concerns, not only for children, but for wider British society. Developing a new, relational approach to the study of children and religion, Strhan invites the reader to consider both the complexities of children's agency and how the figure of the child shapes the hopes, fears, and imaginations of adults, within and beyond evangelicalism. The Figure of the Child in Contemporary Evangelicalism explores the lived realities of how evangelical Christians engage with children across the spaces of church, school, home, and other informal educational spaces in a de-christianizing cultural context, how children experience these forms of engagement, and the meanings and significance of childhood. Providing insight into different churches' contemporary cultural and moral orientations, the book reveals how conservative evangelicals experience their understanding of childhood as increasingly countercultural, while charismatic and open evangelicals locate their work with children as a significant means of engaging with wider secular society. Setting out an approach that explores the relations between the figure of the child, children's experiences, and how adult religious subjectivities are formed in both imagined and practical relationships with children, this study situates childhood as an important area of study within the sociology of religion and examines how we should approach childhood within this field, both theoretically and methodologically.
Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas (1925-1929) is a prescient work of mixed media assemblage, made up of hundreds of images culled from antiquity to the Renaissance and arranged into startling juxtapositions. Warburg's allusive atlas sought to illuminate the pains of his final years, after he had suffered a breakdown and been institutionalized. It continues to influence contemporary artists today, including Gerhard Richter and Mark Dion. In this illustrated exploration of Warburg and his great work, Georges Didi-Huberman leaps from Mnemosyne Atlas into a set of musings on the relation between suffering and knowledge in Western thought, and on the creative results of associative thinking. Deploying writing that delights in dramatic jump cuts reminiscent of Warburg's idiosyncratic juxtapositions, and drawing on a set of sources that ranges from ancient Babylon to Walter Benjamin, Atlas, or the Anxious Gay Science is rich in Didi-Huberman's trademark combination of elan and insight.
Interdisciplinary perspectives on cultural evolution that reject meme theory in favor of a complex understanding of dynamic change over time How do cultures change? In recent decades, the concept of the meme, posited as a basic unit of culture analogous to the gene, has been central to debates about cultural transformation. Despite the appeal of meme theory, its simplification of complex interactions and other inadequacies as an explanatory framework raise more questions about cultural evolution than it answers. In Beyond the Meme, William C. Wimsatt and Alan C. Love assemble interdisciplinary perspectives on cultural evolution, providing a nuanced understanding of it as a process in which dynamic structures interact on different scales of size and time. By focusing on the full range of evolutionary processes across distinct contexts, from rice farming to scientific reasoning, this volume demonstrates how a thick understanding of change in culture emerges from multiple disciplinary vantage points, each of which is required to understand cultural evolution in all its complexity. The editors provide an extensive introductory essay to contextualize the volume, and Wimsatt contributes a separate chapter that systematically organizes the conceptual geography of cultural processes and phenomena.Any adequate account of the transmission, elaboration, and evolution of culture must, this volume argues, recognize the central roles that cognitive and social development play in cultural change and the complex interplay of technological, organizational, and institutional structures needed to enable and coordinate these processes.Contributors: Marshall Abrams, U of Alabama at Birmingham; Claes Andersson, Chalmers U of Technology; Mark A. Bedau, Reed College; James A. Evans, U of Chicago; Jacob G. Foster, U of California, Los Angeles; Michel Janssen, U of Minnesota; Sabina Leonelli, U of Exeter; Massimo Maiocchi, U of Chicago; Joseph D. Martin, U of Cambridge; Salikoko S. Mufwene, U of Chicago; Nancy J. Nersessian, Georgia Institute of Technology and Harvard U; Paul E. Smaldino, U of California, Merced; Anton T\u00f6rnberg, U of Gothenburg; Petter T\u00f6rnberg, U of Amsterdam; Gilbert B. Tostevin, U of Minnesota.
As our world becomes increasingly permeable, and as human populations are rapidly converging and transitioning within a global interconnectedness, it is vital that we look to, and learn from, those most adept at the adaptation, creation, and contesting of culture: adolescents. This text is designed to bridge critical gaps in the understanding of the daily lives, identity development, and experiences of adolescents in diverse cultures around the world. Cultural context is predictive of developmental uniqueness; comparisons provide insights into how social structures and relationships influence the manifestation of individual patterns of development and experience. In quantitative and qualitative detail, the contributors relate the nature of adolescent life to cultural, biological, ecological, demographic, and social variables. The findings of this book will be relevant not only to other social anthropologists, but also to sociologists and developmental/educational psychologists.
These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are - or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Helene Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking. Drawing on an extensive and indepth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking - who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all - is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so. Each chapter focuses on a description of the functioning and coordination of different elements or media that create his presence, agency, identity, and competencies. Attentive to Hawking's daily activities, including his lecturing and scientific writing, Mialet's ethnographic analysis powerfully reassesses the notion of scientific genius and its associations with human singularity. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Stephen Hawking or an extraordinary life in science.
Images of Chinese teens with their heads buried in books for hours on end, preparing for high-stakes exams, dominate understandings of Chinese youth in both China and the West. But what about young people who are not on the path to academic success? What happens to youth who fail the state's high-stakes exams? What many-even in China-don't realize is that up to half of the nation's youth are flunked out of the academic education system after 9th grade. Class Work explores the consequences for youth who have failed these exams, through an examination of two urban vocational schools in Nanjing, China. Through a close look at the students' backgrounds, experiences, the schools they attend, and their trajectories into the workforce, T.E. Woronov explores the value systems in contemporary China that stigmatize youth in urban vocational schools as "failures," and the political and economic structures that funnel them into working-class futures. She argues that these marginalized students and schools provide a privileged window into the ongoing, complex intersections between the socialist and capitalist modes of production in China today and the rapid transformation of China's cities into post-industrial, service-based economies. This book advances the notion that urban vocational schools are not merely "holding tanks" for academic failures; instead they are incipient sites for the formation of a new working class.
In the first decade of the twentieth-century, many composers rejected the principles of tonality and regular beat. This signaled a dramatic challenge to the rationalist and linear conceptions of music that had existed in the West since the Renaissance. The `break with tonality', Neo-Classicism, serialism, chance, minimalism and the return of the `sacred' in music, are explored in this book for what they tell us about the condition of modernity. Modernity is here treated as a complex social and cultural formation, in which mythology, narrative, and the desire for `re-enchantment' have not completely disappeared. Through an analysis of Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Boulez and Cage, 'the author shows that the twentieth century composer often adopted an artistic personality akin to Max Weber's religious types of the prophet and priest, ascetic and mystic. Twentieth Century Music and the Question of Modernity advances a cultural sociology of modernity and shows that twentieth century musical culture often involved the adoption of `apocalyptic' temporal narratives, a commitment to `musical revolution', a desire to explore the limits of noise and sound, and, finally, redemption through the rediscovery of tonality. This book is essential reading for those interested in cultural sociology, sociological theory, music history, and modernity/modernism studies.
U.S. involvement in the Middle East has brought the region into the media spotlight and made it a hot topic in American college classrooms. At the same time, anthropology-a discipline committed to on-the-ground research about everyday lives and social worlds-has increasingly been criticized as "useless" or "biased" by right-wing forces. What happens when the two concerns meet, when such accusations target the researchers and research of a region so central to U.S. military interests? This book is the first academic study to shed critical light on the political and economic pressures that shape how U.S. scholars research and teach about the Middle East. Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar show how Middle East politics and U.S. gender and race hierarchies affect scholars across their careers-from the first decisions to conduct research in the tumultuous region, to ongoing politicized pressures from colleagues, students, and outside groups, to hurdles in sharing expertise with the public. They detail how academia, even within anthropology, an assumed "liberal" discipline, is infused with sexism, racism, Islamophobia, and Zionist obstruction of any criticism of the Israeli state. Anthropology's Politics offers a complex portrait of how academic politics ultimately hinders the education of U.S. students and potentially limits the public's access to critical knowledge about the Middle East.
Originally published in 1892 by the Fine Art Society in London and simultaneously in Yokohama, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, this book shows the context and growing interest in the arts and crafts of this newly discovered burgeoning country with such artistry central to its everyday life. The work looks at every aspect of Japanese art and looks at its relation to Japanese culture and society.
First published in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
This volume is an exploration of the ways in which political economy as a mode of analysis moves anthropology toward a vital, politically engaged form of scholarship. It advances the understanding of the struggles of ordinary people in the face of capitalist change. In the current economic moment when such changes are tumultuous and the instabilities of capitalism are starkly revealed, this book responds to the urgent need for theoretical and methodological approaches for understanding the forces that shape our contemporary world. Through ethnographic investigations of the quotidian, and through the thematic of politics, history and livelihoods, which distinguish Marxist political economy in the field of anthropology, the authors here reveal the increasing complexity of everyday lives. Using examples derived from fieldwork carried out across diverse geographical locations, the authors pay particular attention to historical conditions shaping the peoples life trajectories. In so doing the authors engage critically, and with differing emphases, with political economy and Marxism as a mode of inquiry. This book illustrates the productive tension between observations emerging from the field and theoretical debates that is generated by anthropological ethnography.
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