Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification / Edition 1

Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification / Edition 1

by Bruce Lincoln
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
Select a Purchase Option (Older Edition)
  • purchase options
    $36.73 $53.00 Save 31% Current price is $36.73, Original price is $53. You Save 31%.
    Note: Access code and/or supplemental material are not guaranteed to be included with textbook rental or used textbook.
  • purchase options


Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification / Edition 1

In this bold theoretical work, Bruce Lincoln explores the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification hold human societies together -- and how, in times of crisis, they can be used to take a society apart and reconstruct it. Without overlooking the role of coercive force in the maintenance (or overthrow) of social structures, Lincoln argues his thesis with compelling illustrations drawn from such diverse areas as Platonic philosophy, the Upanishads of India, ancient Celtic banquets, professional wrestling, and the Spanish Civil War. This wide-ranging interdisciplinary study offers challenging new insights into the complex dynamics of social cohesion and change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195079098
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/28/1992
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.25(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.54(d)

Table of Contents

Force and Discourse3
Myth, Ritual, and Ideology5
Classification and Counterclassification7
Sentiment and Society8
On the Writing of this Book11
Part IMyth
1Myth, Sentiment, and the Construction of Social Forms15
The Putney Debates and the Power of the Past15
Trotsky and the Spanish Revolution17
Ancestral Invocations and Segmentary Lineages18
Myth and the Construction of Social Borders21
Toward a Redefinition of History and Myth23
2The Politics of Myth27
The Instrumentality of the Past27
Variation and Contestation29
Myth, Countermyth, and the Iranian Revolution32
3Competing Uses of the Future in the Present38
The Flat Earth and Social Egalitarianism38
Mountains, Law, and Order42
The Instrumentality of the Future45
Part IIRitual
4Ritual, Rebellion, Resistance: Rethinking the Swazi Ncwala53
On Ritual and Social Stability53
The Ncwala Summarized53
Scholarly Approaches to the Ncwala57
The Problem of the Right-hand Insila59
The King's Powers of Execution61
Aspects of the Reign of Sobhuza II63
The Afternoon of the Great Day66
Domination, Resistance and the Politics of the Colonial Ncwala71
5Banquets and Brawls: Aspects of Ceremonial Meals75
The Royal Feast at Tara75
Battles over the "Champion's Portion"81
Beef and Liberty84
6Festivals and Massacres: Reflections on St. Bartholomew's Day89
Ritual and the Deconstruction of Social Forms89
Background to a Massacre90
A Royal Wedding: The Failed Ritual of Social Integration93
A Ritual Massacre: The Feast of St. Bartholomew, 157296
Analysis of a Socioritual Drama98
7Revolutionary Exhumations in Spain103
On the Brink of Civil War: July 1936103
The Spanish Church and Anticlerical Violence in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries110
Millennial Antinomianism114
Rituals of Collective Obscenity116
Sanctity, Corruption, Profanophany124
Part IIIClassification
8The Tyranny of Taxonomy131
The Classificatory Logic of a Domestic Arrangement131
Taxonomic Structure and Hierarchic Rank133
Multimodular Classification136
9The Dialectics of Symbolic Inversion142
A Provocative Inversion and the Disruption of Society: Duchamp's Fountain142
Inversion, Counterinversion, and Political Reform: Menenius Agrippa and the Plebeian Secession145
Dialectic Manipulations and Preservation of the Status Quo: "All-Star Wrestling"148
10The Uses of Anomaly160
Places Outside Space and Moments Outside Time160
Social Bonds and Interstitial Categories162
Anomaly and Danger164
Androgynes, Toadstools, and Others166
Unconcluding Postscripts171

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews