The Anthropology of Empathy

Author: Douglas W. Hollan
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857451033
Release Date: 2011-08-30
Genre: Social Science

Exploring the role of empathy in a variety of Pacific societies, this book is at the forefront of the latest anthropological research on empathy. It presents distinct articulations of many assumptions of contemporary philosophical, neurobiological, and social scientific treatments of the topic. The variations described in this book do not necessarily preclude the possibility of shared existential, biological, and social influences that give empathy a distinctly human cast, but they do provide an important ethnographic lens through which to examine the possibilities and limits of empathy in any given community of practice.

Mimesis and Pacific Transcultural Encounters

Author: Jeannette Mageo
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785336256
Release Date: 2017-10-01
Genre: Social Science

How do images circulating in Pacific cultures and exchanged between them and their many visitors transform meanings for all involved? This fascinating collection explores how through mimesis, wayfarers and locales alike borrow images from one another to expand their cultural repertoire of meanings or borrow images from their own past to validate their identities.

Objects and Imagination

Author: Øivind Fuglerud
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781782385677
Release Date: 2015-02-28
Genre: Social Science

Despite the wide interest in material culture, art, and aesthetics, few studies have considered them in light of the importance of the social imagination - the complex ways in which we conceptualize our social surroundings. This collection engages the "material turn" in the arts, humanities, and social sciences through a range of original contributions on creativity in diverse global and contemporary social settings. The authors engage with everyday objects, art, rituals, and ethnographic exhibitions to analyze the relationship between material culture and the social imagination. What results is a better understanding of how the material embodies and influences our idea of the social world.

Christian Politics in Oceania

Author: Matt Tomlinson
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857457462
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Religion

The phrase “Christian politics” evokes two meanings: political relations between denominations in one direction, and the contributions of Christian churches to debates about the governing of society. The contributors to this volume address Christian politics in both senses and argue that Christianity is always and inevitably political in the Pacific Islands. Drawing on ethnographic and historical research in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji, the authors argue that Christianity and politics have redefined each other in much of Oceania in ways that make the two categories inseparable at any level of analysis. The individual chapters vividly illuminate the ways in which Christian politics operate across a wide scale, from interpersonal relations to national and global interconnections.

A National Strategy for the Study of the Pacific

Author: Samantha Rose
Publisher:
ISBN: 0646515713
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Australia

"This Report was commissioned by the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS) at its first Annual General Meeting in January 2006. A workshop in Canberra in 2004 and the subsequent first conference of the Association in Brisbane in January 2006 identified a malaise in Australia in teaching and research on the Pacific and called for a program to revive and enhance the excellence in teaching and research that had once marked Australia as the leader in the field. AAAPS also acknowledged the increasing concern in Australia about security, good governance, stability and development in the neighbouring region, which includes two territories formerly under Australian colonial control - Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The need for a review of teaching and research grew from the sense of falling behind felt among the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in universities, but equally among archives, libraries, galleries and museums." --Preface.

The Shadow Side of Fieldwork

Author: Athena McLean
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470766330
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Social Science

The Shadow Side of Fieldwork draws attention to the typically hidden or unacknowledged aspects of ethnographic fieldwork encounters that nevertheless shape the resulting knowledge and texts. Addressing these invisible, elusive, unspoken or mysterious elements introduces a distinctive rigor and responsibility to ethnographic research. Luminaries in anthropology dare to explore the 'unspeakable' and 'invisible' in the ethnographic encounter Considers personal and professional challenges (ethical, epistemological, and political) faced by researchers who examine the subjectivities inherent in their ethnographic insights Explores the value, and limitations, of addressing the personal in ethnographic research Includes a critical discussion of the anthropologist’s self in the field Introduces imaginative rigor to ethnographic research to heighten confidence in anthropological knowledge

Empathy and Fairness

Author: Novartis Foundation
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470030592
Release Date: 2007-01-11
Genre: Medical

Empathy is the process that allows us to share the feelings and emotions of others, in the absence of any direct emotional stimulation to the self. Humans can feel empathy for other people in a wide array of contexts: for basic emotions and sensation such as anger, fear, sadness, joy, pain and lust as well as for more complex emotions such as guilt, embarrassment and love. It has been proposed that, for most people, empathy is the process that prevents us doing harm to others. Although empathy seems to be an automatic response of the brain to others’ emotional reactions, there are circumstances under which we do not share the same feeling as others. Imagine, for example, that someone who does the same job as you is paid twice as much. In this case, that person might be very satisfied with their extra salary, but you would not share this satisfaction. This case illustrates the ubiquitous feeling of fairness and justice. Our sense of fairness has also become the focus of modern economic theories. In contrast to the prominent self-interest hypothesis of classic economy assuming that all people are exclusively motivated by their self-interest, humans are also strongly motivated by other-regarding preferences such as the concern for fairness and reciprocity. The notion of fairness is not only crucial in personal interaction with others in the context of families, workplace or interactions with strangers, but also guides people’s behaviour in impersonal economic and political domains. This book brings together work from a wide range of disciplines to explain processes underlying empathy and fairness. The expert contributors approach the topic of empathy and fairness from different viewpoints, namely those of social cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, evolutionary anthropology, economics and neuropathology. The result is an interdisciplinary and unitary framework focused on the neuronal, developmental, evolutionary and psychological basis of empathy and fairness. With its extensive discussions and the high calibre of the participants, this important new book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in this topic.

Dancing Skeletons

Author: Katherine A. Dettwyler
Publisher: Waveland Press
ISBN: 9781478611585
Release Date: 2013-09-26
Genre: Social Science

One of the most widely used ethnographies published in the last twenty years, this Margaret Mead Award winner has been used as required reading at more than 600 colleges and universities. This personal account by a biocultural anthropologist illuminates not-soon-forgotten messages involving the sobering aspects of fieldwork among malnourished children in West Africa. With nutritional anthropology at its core, Dancing Skeletons presents informal, engaging, and oftentimes dramatic stories that relate the author’s experiences conducting research on infant feeding and health in Mali. Through fascinating vignettes and honest, vivid descriptions, Dettwyler explores such diverse topics as ethnocentrism, culture shock, population control, breastfeeding, child care, the meaning of disability and child death in different cultures, female circumcision, women’s roles in patrilineal societies, the dangers of fieldwork, and facing emotionally draining realities. Readers will laugh and cry as they meet the author’s friends and informants, follow her through a series of encounters with both peri-urban and rural Bambara culture, and struggle with her as she attempts to reconcile her very different roles as objective ethnographer, subjective friend, and mother in the field. The 20th Anniversary Edition includes a 13-page “Q&A with the Author” in which Dettwyler responds to typical questions she has received individually from students who have been assigned Dancing Skeletons as well as audience questions at lectures on various campuses. The new 23-page “Update on Mali, 2013” chapter is a factual update about economic and health conditions in Mali as well as a brief summary of the recent political unrest.

Ownership and Appropriation

Author: Veronica Strang
Publisher: Berg
ISBN: 9781847888402
Release Date: 2011-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Through detailed case studies covering a wide range of related issues, Ownership and Appropriation provides a new approach to this key anthropological topic.

Language Culture and Society

Author: Christine Jourdan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139452519
Release Date: 2006-05-11
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

Language, our primary tool of thought and perception, is at the heart of who we are as individuals. Languages are constantly changing, sometimes into entirely new varieties of speech, leading to subtle differences in how we present ourselves to others. This revealing account brings together eleven leading specialists from the fields of linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and psychology, to explore the fascinating relationship between language, culture, and social interaction. A range of major questions are discussed: How does language influence our perception of the world? How do new languages emerge? How do children learn to use language appropriately? What factors determine language choice in bi- and multilingual communities? How far does language contribute to the formation of our personalities? And finally, in what ways does language make us human? Language, Culture and Society will be essential reading for all those interested in language and its crucial role in our social lives.

The Passions

Author: P. M. S. Hacker
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118951873
Release Date: 2017-12-18
Genre: Philosophy

A survey of astonishing breadth and penetration. No cognitive neuroscientist should ever conduct an experiment in the domain of the emotions without reading this book, twice. Parashkev Nachev, Institute of Neurology, UCL There is not a slack moment in the whole of this impressive work. With his remarkable facility for making fine distinctions, and his commitment to lucidity, Peter Hacker has subtly characterized those emotions such as pride, shame, envy, jealousy, love or sympathy which make up our all too human nature. This is an important book for philosophers but since most of its illustrative material comes from an astonishing range of British and European literature, it is required reading also for literary scholars, or indeed for anyone with an interest in understanding who and what we are. David Ellis, University of Kent Human beings are all subject to boundless flights of joy and delight, to flashes of anger and fear, to pangs of sadness and grief. We express our emotions in what we do, how we act, and what we say, and we can share our emotions with others and respond sympathetically to their feelings. Emotions are an intrinsic part of the human condition, and any study of human nature must investigate them. In this third volume of a major study in philosophical anthropology which has spanned nearly a decade, one of the most preeminent living philosophers examines and reflects upon the nature of the emotions, advancing the view that novelists, playwrights, and poets – rather than psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists – elaborate the most refined descriptions of their role in human life. In the book’s early chapters, the author analyses the emotions by situating them in relation to other human passions such as affections, appetites, attitudes, and agitations. While presenting a detailed connective analysis of the emotions, Hacker challenges traditional ideas about them and criticizes misconceptions held by philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive neuroscientists. With the help of abundant examples and illustrative quotations from the Western literary canon, later sections investigate, describe, and disentangle the individual emotions – pride, arrogance, and humility; shame, embarrassment, and guilt; envy and jealousy; and anger. The book concludes with an analysis of love, sympathy, and empathy as sources of absolute value and the roots of morality. A masterful contribution, this study of the passions is essential reading for philosophers of mind, psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, students of Western literature, and general readers interested in understanding the nature of the emotions and their place in our lives.

Homegirls

Author: Norma Mendoza-Denton
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118910870
Release Date: 2014-01-21
Genre: Social Science

In this ground-breaking new book on the Norteña and Sureña (North/South) youth gang dynamic, cultural anthropologist and linguist Norma Mendoza-Denton looks at the daily lives of young Latinas and their innovative use of speech, bodily practices, and symbolic exchanges that signal their gang affiliations and ideologies. Her engrossing ethnographic and sociolinguistic study reveals the connection of language behavior and other symbolic practices among Latina gang girls in California, and their connections to larger social processes of nationalism, racial/ethnic consciousness, and gender identity. An engrossing account of the Norte and Sur girl gangs - the largest Latino gangs in California Traces how elements of speech, bodily practices, and symbolic exchanges are used to signal social affiliation and come together to form youth gang styles Explores the relationship between language and the body: one of the most striking aspects of the tattoos, make-up, and clothing of the gang members Unlike other studies – which focus on violence, fighting and drugs – Mendoza-Denton delves into the commonly-overlooked cultural and linguistic aspects of youth gangs

Works and Lives

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804717478
Release Date: 1988
Genre: Social Science

The illusion that ethnography is a matter of sorting strange and irregular facts into familiar and orderly categories—this is magic, that is technology—has long since been exploded. What it is instead, however, is less clear. That it might be a kind of writing, putting things to paper, has now and then occurred to those engaged in producing it, consuming it, or both. But the examination of it as such has been impeded by several considerations, none of them very reasonable. One of these, especially weighty among the producers, has been simply that it is an unanthropological sort of thing to do. What a proper ethnographer ought properly to be doing is going out to places, coming back with information about how people live there, and making that information available to the professional community in practical form, not lounging about in libraries reflecting on literary questions. Excessive concern, which in practice usually means any concern at all, with how ethnographic texts are constructed seems like an unhealthy self-absorption—time wasting at best, hypochondriacal at worst. The advantage of shifting at least part of our attention from the fascinations of field work, which have held us so long in thrall, to those of writing is not only that this difficulty will become more clearly understood, but also that we shall learn to read with a more percipient eye. A hundred and fifteen years (if we date our profession, as conventionally, from Tylor) of asseverational prose and literary innocence is long enough.

Mortuary Dialogues

Author: David Lipset
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785331725
Release Date: 2016-06-30
Genre: Social Science

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.

Engaging with Strangers

Author: Debra McDougall
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785330216
Release Date: 2016-01-30
Genre: Social Science

The civil conflict in Solomon Islands (1998-2003) is often blamed on the failure of the nation-state to encompass culturally diverse and politically fragmented communities. Writing of Ranongga Island, the author tracks engagements with strangers across many realms of life-pre-colonial warfare, Christian conversion, logging and conservation, even post-conflict state building. She describes startling reversals in which strangers become attached to local places, even as kinspeople are estranged from one another and from their homes. Against stereotypes of rural insularity, she argues that a distinctive cosmopolitan openness to others is evident in the rural Solomons in times of war and peace.