Anthropology and the Will to Meaning (Anthropology, Culture and Society Series): A Postcolonial Critique

Anthropology and the Will to Meaning (Anthropology, Culture and Society Series): A Postcolonial Critique

by Vassos Argyrou
     
 

ISBN-10: 0745318606

ISBN-13: 9780745318608

Pub. Date: 05/20/2002

Publisher: Pluto Press

Anthropology, the study of societies and cultures different from our own, is based on the humanist assumption that difference does not mean otherness and inferiority. In this book, Vassos Argyrou puts forward a powerful critique of both modern and postmodern anthropology that reveals the self-centered logic of anthropological humanism, offering the controversial…  See more details below

Overview

Anthropology, the study of societies and cultures different from our own, is based on the humanist assumption that difference does not mean otherness and inferiority. In this book, Vassos Argyrou puts forward a powerful critique of both modern and postmodern anthropology that reveals the self-centered logic of anthropological humanism, offering the controversial conclusion that the anthropological project is forever doomed to failure.At the heart of the book is the idea that anthropologists are driven to produce knowledge not by a desire for power, as it is often assumed, but a by desire for meaning. Interpretation of Other societies and cultures allows them to construct an image of a symbolically unified, ethically ordered and hence meaningful world. Vassos Argyrou shows this assumption to be untenable because differentiation and distinction are in the nature of human being. He further argues that, paradoxically, by trying to uphold Sameness, anthropologists reproduce, inadvertently but inevitably, its contrary.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745318608
Publisher:
Pluto Press
Publication date:
05/20/2002
Series:
Anthropology, Culture and Society
Pages:
136
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.47(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction: Of Scholars, Gamblers and Thieves1
2Has There Ever Been a Crisis in Ethnological Representation?10
The Ethnographer as "Man"11
The Ethnological Representation Par Excellence19
3The Salvation Intent28
The Three Strategies of Redemption28
Christian Ethnology and Victorian Anthropology34
Twentieth-Century Paradigms43
The Ethnological Complicity56
4What the Natives Don't Know60
The Sociocultural Unconscious60
Heterodox Consciousness74
The "Heroisation" of the Thinking Subject82
5The Ethnological Will to Meaning92
The Impossible92
Sameness and the Beyond105
The Will to Meaning112
At the End of the Game117
Notes120
References123
Index127

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