Society Against the State

Author: Pierre Clastres
Publisher:
ISBN: 0942299019
Release Date: 1989-09-01
Genre: Philosophy

"The thesis is radical," writes Marshall Sahlins of this landmark text in anthropology and political science. "We conventionally define the state as the regulation of violence; it may be the origin of it. Clastres's thesis is that economic expropriation and political coercion are inconsistent with the character of tribal society - which is to say, with the greater part of human history."Can there be a society that is not divided into oppressors and oppressed, or that refuses coercive state apparatuses? In this beautifully written book, Pierre Clastres offers examples of South American Indian groups that, although without hierarchical leadership, were both affluent and complex. In so doing he refutes the usual negative definition of tribal society and poses its order as a radical critique of our own Western state of power.Born in 1934, Pierre Clastres was educated at the Sorbonne; throughout the 1960s he lived with Indian groups in Paraguay and Venezuela. From 1971 until his death in 1979 he was Director of Studies at the fifth section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris and held the Chair of Religion and Societies of the South American Indians there.Robert Hurley is the translator of the History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault and cotranslator of Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.

Archeology of Violence

Author: Pierre Clastres
Publisher: Semiotext
ISBN: NWU:35556041258104
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

Clastres's final, posthumous book on the affirmative role of violence in "primitive societies."

Symbols that Stand for Themselves

Author: Roy Wagner
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226869296
Release Date: 1986-01
Genre: Social Science

This important new work by Roy Wagner is about the autonomy of symbols and their role in creating culture. Its argument, anticipated in the author's previous book, The Invention of Culture, is at once symbolic, philosophical, and evolutionary: meaning is a form of perception to which human beings are physically and mentally adapted. Using examples from his many years of research among the Daribi people of New Guinea as well as from Western culture, Wagner approaches the question of the creation of meaning by examining the nonreferential qualities of symbols—such as their aesthetic and formal properties—that enable symbols to stand for themselves.

Legends of People Myths of State

Author: Bruce Kapferer
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857455178
Release Date: 2011-12-30
Genre: Social Science

The civil war in Sri Lanka and the part that nationalism seemed to play in it inspired the writing of this book some twenty-three years ago. The argument was developed through a comparative analysis of nationalism in Sri Lanka with the author's native Australia. At the time this constituted an innovative approach to comparison in anthropology, as well as to nationalism and its possibilities. It was not based on differences but on the way in which perspectives from within the two nationalisms, when seen side-by-side, could present an understanding of their implication in producing the violence of war, racism, and social exclusion. The book has lost none of its importance and urgency as proven by the chapters in the Appendix, written by top scholars working in Sri Lanka and in Australia. These contributions bring together new material and critically explore the book's themes and their continued relevance to the various trajectories in nationalist processes since the first publication of the book.

Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians

Author: Pierre Clastres
Publisher:
ISBN: WISC:89106400567
Release Date: 2000
Genre: History

Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians is an account of Clastres's first fieldwork in theearly 1960s—an encounter with a small, unique, and now vanished Paraguayantribe.

The cradle of humanity

Author: Georges Bataille
Publisher: Zone Books (NY)
ISBN: STANFORD:36105114577864
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Art

A radically interdisciplinary—anthropological, theological, philosophical, aesthetic—inquiry into the origins of human consciousness, community, and potential.

The Art of Not Being Governed

Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300156522
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Genre: Political Science

For two thousand years the disparate groups that now reside in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that consists of portions of seven Asian countries) have fled the projects of the organized state societies that surround them--slavery, conscription, taxes, corvee labor, epidemics, and warfare. This book, essentially an anarchist history, is the first-ever examination of the huge literature on state-making whose author evaluates why people would deliberately and reactively remain stateless. Among the strategies employed by the people of Zomia to remain stateless are physical dispersion in rugged terrain; agricultural practices that enhance mobility; pliable ethnic identities; devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders; and maintenance of a largely oral culture that allows them to reinvent their histories and genealogies as they move between and around states. In accessible language, James Scott, recognized worldwide as an eminent authority in Southeast Asian, peasant, and agrarian studies, tells the story of the peoples of Zomia and their unlikely odyssey in search of self-determination. He redefines our views on Asian politics, history, demographics, and even our fundamental ideas about what constitutes civilization, and challenges us with a radically different approach to history that presents events from the perspective of stateless peoples and redefines state-making as a form of internal colonialism. This new perspective requires a radical reevaluation of the civilizational narratives of the lowland states. Scott's work on Zomia represents a new way to think of area studies that will be applicable to other runaway, fugitive, and marooned communities, be they Gypsies, Cossacks, tribes fleeing slave raiders, Marsh Arabs, or San-Bushmen.

Ethnicity and Nationalism

Author: Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Publisher: Pluto Press
ISBN: 0745318878
Release Date: 2002-07-20
Genre: Social Science

New expanded edition of a classic anthropology title that examines ethnicity as a dynamic and shifting aspect of social relations.

The Social Life of Achievement

Author: Nicholas J. Long
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781782382218
Release Date: 2013-11-30
Genre: Social Science

What happens when people "achieve"? Why do reactions to "achievement" vary so profoundly? And how might an anthropological study of achievement and its consequences allow us to develop a more nuanced model of the motivated agency that operates in the social world? These questions lie at the heart of this volume. Drawing on research from Southeast Asia, Europe, the United States, and Latin America, this collection develops an innovative framework for explaining achievement's multiple effects-one which brings together cutting-edge theoretical insights into politics, psychology, ethics, materiality, aurality, embodiment, affect and narrative. In doing so, the volume advances a new agenda for the study of achievement within anthropology, emphasizing the significance of achievement as a moment of cultural invention, and the complexity of "the achiever" as a subject position.

Political Order in Changing Societies

Author: Samuel P. Huntington
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300116209
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Political Science

This now classic examination of the development of viable political institutions in emerging nations is an enduring contribution to modern political analysis. The foreword by Fukuyama assesses Huntingdon's achievement.

Revolutions in Reverse

Author: David Graeber
Publisher:
ISBN: 1570272433
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Political Science

Today's capitalist systems appear to be coming apart. But as financial instutions stagger and crumble, leaving chaos in their wake, their seems to be no obvious alternative. Yet there may be good reason to believe that, in generation or so, capitalism will no longer exist for the simple reason that it's impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet. In this collection of essays, anthropolgist David Graeber explores political strategy, global trade, debt,imagination, violence, alienation and creativity looking for a new common sense.

Anthropology Politics and the State

Author: Jonathan Spencer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521777461
Release Date: 2007-07-19
Genre: Social Science

In recent years anthropology has rediscovered its interest in politics. Building on the findings of this research, this book, first published in 2007, analyses the relationship between culture and politics, with special attention to democracy, nationalism, the state and political violence. Beginning with scenes from an unruly early 1980s election campaign in Sri Lanka, it covers issues from rural policing in north India to slum housing in Delhi, presenting arguments about secularism and pluralism, and the ambiguous energies released by electoral democracy across the subcontinent. It ends by discussing feminist peace activists in Sri Lanka, struggling to sustain a window of shared humanity after two decades of war. Bringing together and linking the themes of democracy, identity and conflict, this important new study shows how anthropology can take a central role in understanding other people's politics, especially the issues that seem to have divided the world since 9/11.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465093564
Release Date: 2017-08-15
Genre: Social Science

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.