On the Order of Chaos: Social Anthropology and the Science of Chaos

On the Order of Chaos: Social Anthropology and the Science of Chaos

by Fred Damon, Frederick H. Damon
     
 

ISBN-10: 184545023X

ISBN-13: 9781845450236

Pub. Date: 09/28/2005

Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated

Over the past two decades, “chaos theory” – the perception of order previously hidden in phenomena of apparent randomness and disorder – has fundamentally transformed the natural sciences. In recent years, numerous scholars in the social sciences and humanities have attempted to adapt the insights of chaos theory to their studies of human

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Overview

Over the past two decades, “chaos theory” – the perception of order previously hidden in phenomena of apparent randomness and disorder – has fundamentally transformed the natural sciences. In recent years, numerous scholars in the social sciences and humanities have attempted to adapt the insights of chaos theory to their studies of human cultural and social systems. Several of the world’s leading anthropologists, such as Roy Wagner, Marshall Sahlins, Marilyn Strathern, and Arjun Appadurai – have similarly drawn upon particular elements of chaos theory for their inspiration, but as yet there is no focused, comprehensive treatment of the applicability of chaos theory to anthropology’s distinctive ethnographic and cross-cultural materials. This edited volume fills the gap, with both accessible theoretical discussions of chaos theory applications in anthropology and detailed ethnographic and historical illustrations from Africa and Melanesia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845450236
Publisher:
Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Prologue
Ch. 1Introduction : a (re)turn to chaos : chaos theory, the sciences, and social anthropological theory1
Ch. 2From Levi-Strauss to chaos and complexity47
Ch. 3Fractal figurations : homologies and hierarchies in Kabre culture64
Ch. 4"Pity" and "ecstasy" : the problem of order and differentiated difference across Kula societies79
Ch. 5Fractality and the exchange of perspectives108
Ch. 6Fluids and fractals in Rwanda : order and chaos136
Ch. 7Peace, war, sex, and sorcery : nonlinear analogical transformation in the early escalation of North Mekeo sorcery and chiefly practice166
Ch. 8Afterword : order is what happens when chaos loses its temper206

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