Insects and Human Life

Overview

What is the cultural importance of insects? Why do we spend a good deal of time and money in the West trying to exterminate insects? How are human-insect relations far more subtle in other societies? From bathtub-invaders to protein-source, insects play a multi-faceted role that has not previously been recognized. To investigate this fully, Brian Morris spent years in Malawi. Here, as in many tropical regions, insects have a profound impact on agriculture, the household, disease, and hence on oral literature, ...

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Overview

What is the cultural importance of insects? Why do we spend a good deal of time and money in the West trying to exterminate insects? How are human-insect relations far more subtle in other societies? From bathtub-invaders to protein-source, insects play a multi-faceted role that has not previously been recognized. To investigate this fully, Brian Morris spent years in Malawi. Here, as in many tropical regions, insects have a profound impact on agriculture, the household, disease, and hence on oral literature, music, art, folklore, recreation, and religion. Much of the complexity of human-insect relations rests on paradox: insects may represent the source of contagion, but are also integral to many folk remedies. Weaving science with personal observations, Morris demonstrates an intimate knowledge of virtually every aspect of human-insect relations. It is the first study of this uncharted territory--the insect world that surrounds us and how we relate to it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Morris' The Power of Animals:
"Although based upon examination of a single culture, Morris incorporates ecological and anthropological concepts that expand this study of attitudes to nature to create a comprehensive ethnographic analysis, both informative and very readable."—Choice

"Deserves to become an anthropological landmark, setting the stage for a new generation of ethnographies that give proper weight and significance to people's interactions and interrelations with other animals and the natural world. The cultural depth and richness that emerges from Morris's approach makes other comparable studies seem shallow in comparison."—Anthrozoos

Praise for Morris' Animals and Ancestors:
"Morris defends with great wit and intelligence his "philosophical" background and the methodology he uses...well researched, well edited, offers a valuable bibliography, and is written in a language that attracts attention, avoiding academic jargon...an example of ethnography at its best."—Zeitschrift für Ethnologie

Choice on The Power of Animals

Although based upon examination of a single culture, Morris incorporates ecological and anthropological concepts that expand this study of attitudes to nature to create a comprehensive ethnographic analysis, both informative and very readable.
Anthrozoos on The Power of Animals

Deserves to become an anthropological landmark, setting the stage for a new generation of ethnographies that give proper weight and significance to people's interactions and interrelations with other animals and the natural world. The cultural depth and richness that emerges from Morris's approach makes other comparable studies seem shallow in comparison.
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie on Animals and Ancestors

Morris defends with great wit and intelligence his "philosophical" background and the methodology he uses...well researched, well edited, offers a valuable bibliography, and is written in a language that attracts attention, avoiding academic jargon...an example of ethnography at its best.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845200756
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/21/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Morris is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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Table of Contents

Folk Classifications of Insects
• Insects as Food
• Bees and Beekeeping
• Insects and Agriculture
• Household Pests and Locust Swarms
• Insects and Disease
• Cultural Entomology

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