Partial Connections

Overview

This book challenges the routine ways in which anthropologists have thought about the complexity and quantity of their materials. Marilyn Strathern focuses on a problem normally regarded as commonplace: that of scale or proportion. She combines a wide-ranging interest in current theoretical issues with a minute attention to the cultural details of social life, attempting to conserve a sense of proportion between them. Strathern gives equal weight to two areas of contemporary debate. One concerns the writing of ...
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Partial Connections

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Overview

This book challenges the routine ways in which anthropologists have thought about the complexity and quantity of their materials. Marilyn Strathern focuses on a problem normally regarded as commonplace: that of scale or proportion. She combines a wide-ranging interest in current theoretical issues with a minute attention to the cultural details of social life, attempting to conserve a sense of proportion between them. Strathern gives equal weight to two areas of contemporary debate. One concerns the writing of anthropology and the representation of societies where all lives seem complex, the other the future of cross-cultural comparison in a field where "too much" seems known. The ethnographic focus of this book, Melanesian anthropology, exemplifies the levels and contexts through which Melanesianists have managed the complexity of their own accounts while, at the same time, unfolding an indigenous commentary on proportion and the mixing of forms. She reveals unexpected replications in modes of thought and in the presentation of images that remain to be explained. In doing so, Strathern has fashioned a unique contribution to the anthropological corpus. "Partial Connections" is volume 3 in the Association for Social Anthropology of Oceania Special Publications series.

Author Biography: Marilyn Strathern is professor of social anthropology and head of department at the University of Manchester, England. Among her many writings are "The Gender of the Gift" (University of California Press, 1988) "Kinship at the Core" (Cambridge University Press, 1981), and "Women In Between" (Academic Press, 1972).

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This is a thoughtful work about difficult matters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847676972
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/9/1991
  • Series: Asao Special Publications , #3
  • Edition description: 2ND ED.
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Strathern is professor of social anthropology at the University of Cambridge, England. She is the 2003 recipient of the Viking Fund Medal in Anthropology. Among her many writings are The Gender of the Gift (University of California Press) Kinship at the Core (Cambridge University Press), and Women In Between (Rowman & Littlefield).

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Table of Contents

Writing Anthropology
Acknowledgements
1 Writing Anthropology 1
1 Ethnography as evocation 5
2 Complex society, incomplete knowledge 17
1 Feminist critique 29
2 Intrusions and comparisons 41
2 Partial Connections 57
1 Full of trees, full of flutes 61
2 Center and periphery 77
1 Historical critique 91
2 Prosthetic extensions 105
Footnotes 121
References 135
Index to Proper Names 151
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