9780804717915 / 0804717915

Culture Through Time: Anthropological Approaches


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Publisher:Stanford University Press, 1991



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About the book:

Anthropological literature has traditionally been static and synchronic, only occasionally according a role to historical processes. but recent years have seen a burgeoning exchange between anthropology and history, each field taking on a powerful new dimension in consequence. Just what this means for anthropologists has not been clear, and this collection (eight core papers plus introduction and final commentary) introduces focus and direction to this interface between anthropology challenges several basic assumptions long held by anthropologists. Researchers can no longer be satisfied with approaches epitomized in 'the ethnographic present'. Society may be a bounded entity, but culture cannot be treated as such; a culture should be examined as it has interacted with other cultures and with its environment over time. Many traditionalists in anthropology, faced with these disturbing new challenges, fear the disintegration of the discipline; but these thoughtful papers demonstrate, on the contrary, its vitality, growth, and promise. In this volume, major figures in symbolic/semiotic anthropology offer various approaches to examining culture through time - culture mediated by history and history mediated by culture - in its complexity and dynamics. The eight core papers focus on particular cultures in various locales: Hawaii, Nepal, Spain, Japan, Israel, India, and Indonesia. No artifical unity - theoretical, thematic, or epistemological - has been imposed. The strength of the volume derives from a complementary diversity and tension, as each player, drawing on a particular culture, offers an original way of penetrating that culture's historical dimensions.<

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