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Key Debates in Anthropology

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Overview

Every year, leading social anthropologists meet in Manchester to debate a motion at the heart of current theoretical developments in their subject. Key Debates in Anthropology collects together the first six of these debates, spanning the period from 1988 to 1993. For each debate there are four principal speakers: one to propose the motion, another to oppose it, and two seconders. These debates give unprecedented insight into the process of anthropological theory in the making, as the many contributors both engage with each other's positions and respond to wider intellectual currents of the time. The first debate addresses the disciplinary character of social anthropology: can it be regarded as a science, and if so, is it able to establish general propositions about human culture and social life? The second examines the concept of society, in relation to such terms as individual, community, nation and state. In the third debate the spotlight is turned on the concept of culture, and on the role of culture in people's perception of their environments. The fourth debate focuses on the place of language in the formation of culture, highlighting the problematic distinction between verbal and non-verbal communication. The fifth takes up the question of how we view the past in relation to the present, touching on the difference between history and memory. Finally, in the sixth debate, the concern is with the cross-cultural applicability of the concept of aesthetics. Can there be an anthropology of aesthetics, or is the term so wedded to Western standards of evaluation as to make any such endeavour hopelessly ethnocentric?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415150194
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/6/1996
  • Pages: 320
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Ingold is the Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester

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Table of Contents

Preface
General Introduction 1
1988 debate: Social anthropology is a generalizing science or it is nothing 15
Pt. I The presentations 21
For the motion (1) 21
Against the motion (1) 26
For the motion (2) 30
Against the motion (2) 36
Pt. II The debate 41
1989 debate: The concept of society is theoretically obsolete 55
Pt. I The presentations 60
For the motion (1) 60
Against the motion (1) 67
For the motion (2) 72
Against the motion (2) 76
Pt. II The debate 83
1990 debate: Human worlds are culturally constructed 99
Pt. I The presentations 105
For the motion (1) 105
Against the motion (1) 112
For the motion (2) 118
Against the motion (2) 123
Pt. II The debate 129
1991 debate: Language is the essence of culture 147
Pt. I The presentations 154
For the motion (1) 154
Against the motion (1) 159
For the motion (2) 166
Against the motion (2) 171
Pt. II The debate 176
1992 debate: The past is a foreign country 199
Pt. I The presentations 206
For the motion (1) 206
Against the motion (1) 212
For the motion (2) 218
Against the motion (2) 224
Pt. II The debate 229
1993 debate: Aesthetics is a cross-cultural category 249
Pt. I The presentations 255
For the motion (1) 255
Against the motion (1) 260
For the motion (2) 266
Against the motion (2) 271
Pt. II The debate 276
Index 294
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