Invention of Primitive Society: Transformations of an Illusion

Invention of Primitive Society: Transformations of an Illusion

by Adam Kuper
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Both a critical history of anthropological theory and methods and a challenging essay in the sociology of science, The Invention of Primitive Society shows how, since Darwin, anthropologists have tried to define the original form of human society. The

first generation - from Henry Maine to Lewis Henry Morgan - initiated the search. By the end of the

…  See more details below

Overview

Both a critical history of anthropological theory and methods and a challenging essay in the sociology of science, The Invention of Primitive Society shows how, since Darwin, anthropologists have tried to define the original form of human society. The

first generation - from Henry Maine to Lewis Henry Morgan - initiated the search. By the end of the century, the theory of 'totemism', developed by McLennan, Robertson Smith and Frazer, claimed to describe the initial state of religion and society. These Victorian models were refined

and developed by great theorists, including Engels, Durkheim and Freud, and became the basis of academic anthropology. But, as Adam Kuper points out, there was no original 'primitive society': the search and its goal were illusory, and when we study constructions of the primitive we

study mirror-images of ourselves.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Cites cases from the author's experience and from the literature of clinical neurology and psychiatry demonstrating the unity of the two fields in fostering an understanding of phenomena such as recurrent dreams, enduring memories secondary to catastrophic trauma, and life- long fixations as encountered in fetishism, phobias, and obsessive- compulsive states. Of interest to psychiatrists, neurologists, and psychotherapists, and those in cognitive science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415009027
Publisher:
Routledge
Publication date:
11/28/1988
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >