Author: Richard G. Fox
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Release Date: 2002-05-01
Genre: Social Science
Culture is a vexed concept within anthropology. From their earliest studies, anthropologists have often noted the emotional attachment of people to their customs, even in cases where this loyalty can make for problems. Do anthropologists now suffer the same kind of disability with respect to their continuing emotional attachment to the concept of culture? This book considers the state of the culture concept in anthropology and finds fault with a 'love it or leave it' attitude. Rather than pledging undying allegiance or summarily dismissing it, the volume argues that anthropology can continue with or without a concept of culture, depending on the research questions being asked, and, furthermore, that when culture is retained, no single definition of it is practical or necessary. Offering sensible solutions to a topic of hot debate, this book will be essential reading for anyone seeking to learn what a concept of culture can offer anthropology, and what anthropology can offer the concept of culture.
Author: Fred Dallmayr
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Release Date: 2010-04-01
In addition to war, terrorism, and unchecked military violence, modernity is also subject to less visible but no less venomous conflicts. Global in nature, these "culture wars" exacerbate the tensions between tradition and innovation, virtue and freedom. Internationally acclaimed scholar Fred Dallmayr charts a course beyond these persistent but curable dichotomies in Integral Pluralism: Beyond Culture Wars. Consulting diverse fields such as philosophy, literature, political science, and religious studies, Dallmayr equates modern history with a process of steady pluralization. This process, which Dallmayr calls "integral pluralism," requires new connections and creates ethical responsibilities. Dallmayr critically compares integral pluralism against the theories of Carl Schmitt, the Religious Right, international "realism," and so-called political Islam. Drawing on the works of James, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Merleau-Ponty, Integral Pluralism offers sophisticated and carefully researched solutions for the conflicts of the modern world.
Author: Philippe Descola
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Social Science
Philippe Descola has become one of the most important anthropologists working today, and Beyond Nature and Culture has been a major influence in European intellectual life since its French publication in 2005. Here, finally, it is brought to English-language readers. At its heart is a question central to both anthropology and philosophy: what is the relationship between nature and culture? Culture—as a collective human making, of art, language, and so forth—is often seen as essentially different from nature, which is portrayed as a collective of the nonhuman world, of plants, animals, geology, and natural forces. Descola shows this essential difference to be, however, not only a specifically Western notion, but also a very recent one. Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world and theoretical understandings from cognitive science, structural analysis, and phenomenology, he formulates a sophisticated new framework, the “four ontologies”— animism, totemism, naturalism, and analogism—to account for all the ways we relate ourselves to nature. By thinking beyond nature and culture as a simple dichotomy, Descola offers nothing short of a fundamental reformulation by which anthropologists and philosophers can see the world afresh.
Literary culture has become a form of popular culture over the last fifteen years thanks to the success of televised book clubs, film adaptations, big-box book stores, online bookselling, and face-to-face and online book groups. This volume offers the first critical analysis of mass reading events and the contemporary meanings of reading in the UK, USA, and Canada based on original interviews and surveys with readers and event organizers. The resurgence of book groups has inspired new cultural formations of what the authors call "shared reading." They interrogate the enduring attraction of an old technology for readers, community organizers, and government agencies, exploring the social practices inspired by the sharing of books in public spaces and revealing the complex ideological investments made by readers, cultural workers, institutions, and the mass media in the meanings of reading.
Author: John Brockman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1996-05-07
This eye-opening look at the intellectual culture of today--in which science, not literature or philosophy, takes center stage in the debate over human nature and the nature of the universe--is certain to spark fervent intellectual debate.
Debates over the headscarf and niqab, so-called 'sharia-tribunals', Female Genital Operations and forced marriages have raged in Europe and North America in recent years, raising the question - does accommodating Islam violate women's rights? The book takes issue with the terms of this debate. It contrasts debates in France over the headscarf and in Canada over religious arbitration with the lived experience of a specific group of Muslim women: Somali refugee women. The challenges these women eloquently describe first-hand demonstrate that the fray over accommodating culture and religion neglects other needs and engenders a democratic deficit. In Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture, new theoretical perspectives recast both the story told and who tells the tale. By focusing on the politics underlying how these debates are framed and the experiences of women at the heart of these controversies, women are considered first and foremost as democratic agents rather than actors in the 'culture versus gender' script. Crucially, the institutions and processes created to address women's needs are critically assessed from this perspective. Breaking from scholarship that focuses on whether the accommodation of culture and religion harms women, Bassel argues that this debate ignores the realities of the women at its heart. In these debates, Muslim women are constructed as silent victims. Bassel pleads compellingly for a consideration of women in all their complexity, as active participants in democratic life. The book will appeal to students and scholars throughout the social sciences, particularly of sociology, political science and women's studies.