Herzfeld argues that "modern" bureaucratically regulated societies are no more "rational" or less "symbolic" than the societies traditionally studied by anthropologists. He suggests that we cannot understand national bureaucracies divorced from local-level ideas about chance, personal character, social relationships and responsibility.
"Herzfeld's book is extremely ambitious and will be of interest to any anthropologist concerned with the study of bureaucracy, organizational and institutional control, symbols and their power, and social conflict. . . . Thoughtful and challenging."—Helen B. Schwartzman, American Ethnologist
About the Author
Michael Herzfeld is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and has taught at several other universities worldwide. He is the author of many books.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Social Production of Indifference
1. One World or Two?
2. The Roots of Indifference
3. The Creativity of Stereotypes
4. The Language Fetish
5. Retrospective Fatalities