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Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography

See below for a selection of the latest books from Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography category. Presented with a red border are the Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the Modern Era A Natural and Applied Science Perspective

Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the Modern Era A Natural and Applied Science Perspective

Author: David R. Katerere Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2019

While there is talk of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, old and new challenges bedevil the world - climate change, nutrition and health poverty being at the top of the list. In seeking solutions to these and other problems which afflict the modern era, it is worthwhile to look into our collective past, to the traditions and knowledges of our ancestors. Such knowledge continues to exist in many parts of the world, though now marginalized by homogenous, Eurocentric ontolology and epistemology. This book presents a compilation of reviews, case studies, and primary research attempting to locate the utility of Traditional and Indigenous Knowledges in an increasingly complex world. It assembles chapter authors from across the world to tackle topics ranging from traditional knowledge-based innovations and commercialization, traditional medicine systems as practiced around the world, ethnoveterinary practices, and food innovation to traditional governance and leadership systems, among others. This book is an important resource for policymakers; scholars and researchers of cultural studies, leadership and governance, ethnobotany, anthropology, plant genetic resources and technology innovation; readers interested in the history of knowledge and culture; as well as cultural activists and political scientists. Features: Unique combination of social science and anthropological aspects with natural science perspectives Includes summaries aimed at policymakers to immediately see what would be relevant to their work Combines case studies illuminating important lessons learned with reviews and primary data Multidisciplinary in the scope of the topics tackled and assemblage of contributors Global footprint with contributions from Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, and the West Indies

Civilized to Death The Price of Progress

Civilized to Death The Price of Progress

Author: Christopher Ryan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Sex at Dawn explores the ways in which progress has perverted the way we live: how we eat, learn, feel, mate, parent, communicate, work, and die. Most of us have instinctive evidence the world is ending-balmy December days, face-to-face conversation replaced with heads-to-screens zomboidism, a world at constant war, a political system in disarray. We hear some myths and lies so frequently that they feel like truths: Civilization is humankind's greatest accomplishment. Progress is undeniable. Count your blessings. You're lucky to be alive here and now. Well, maybe we are and maybe we aren't. Civilized to Death counters the idea that progress is inherently good, arguing that the progress defining our age is analogous to an advancing disease. Prehistoric life, of course, was not without serious dangers and disadvantages. Many babies died in infancy. A broken bone, infected wound, snakebite, or difficult pregnancy could be life-threatening. But ultimately, Ryan argues, were these pre-civilized dangers more murderous than modern scourges, such as car accidents, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and a technologically prolonged dying process? At a time when our ecology, our society, and our own sense of selves feels increasingly imperiled, an accurate understanding of our species' long prelude to civilization is vital to a clear sense of the ultimate value of civilization-and its costs. In Civilized to Death, Ryan makes the claim that we should start looking backwards to find our way into a better future.

Hydropolitics The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America

Hydropolitics The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America

Author: Christine Folch Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2019

An in-depth look at the people and institutions connected with the Itaipu Dam, the world's biggest producer of renewable energy Hydropolitics is a groundbreaking investigation of the world's largest power plant and the ways the energy we use shapes politics and economics. Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Dam straddles the Parana River border that divides the two countries that equally co-own the dam, Brazil and Paraguay. It generates the carbon-free electricity that powers industry in both the giant of South America and one of the smallest economies of the region. Based on unprecedented access to energy decision makers, Christine Folch reveals how Paraguayans harness the dam to engineer wealth, power, and sovereignty, demonstrating how energy capture influences social structures. During the dam's construction under the right-wing military government of Alfredo Stroessner and later during the leftist presidency of liberation theologian Fernando Lugo, the dam became central to debates about development, governance, and prosperity. Dams not only change landscapes; Folch asserts that the properties of water, transmuted by dams, change states. She argues that the dam converts water into electricity and money to produce hydropolitics through its physical infrastructure, the financial liquidity of energy monies, and the international legal agreements managing transboundary water resources between Brazil and Paraguay, and their neighbors Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Looking at the fraught political discussions about the future of the world's single largest producer of renewable energy, Hydropolitics explores how this massive public works project touches the lives of all who are linked to it.

Hydropolitics The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America

Hydropolitics The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America

Author: Christine Folch Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2019

An in-depth look at the people and institutions connected with the Itaipu Dam, the world's biggest producer of renewable energy Hydropolitics is a groundbreaking investigation of the world's largest power plant and the ways the energy we use shapes politics and economics. Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Dam straddles the Parana River border that divides the two countries that equally co-own the dam, Brazil and Paraguay. It generates the carbon-free electricity that powers industry in both the giant of South America and one of the smallest economies of the region. Based on unprecedented access to energy decision makers, Christine Folch reveals how Paraguayans harness the dam to engineer wealth, power, and sovereignty, demonstrating how energy capture influences social structures. During the dam's construction under the right-wing military government of Alfredo Stroessner and later during the leftist presidency of liberation theologian Fernando Lugo, the dam became central to debates about development, governance, and prosperity. Dams not only change landscapes; Folch asserts that the properties of water, transmuted by dams, change states. She argues that the dam converts water into electricity and money to produce hydropolitics through its physical infrastructure, the financial liquidity of energy monies, and the international legal agreements managing transboundary water resources between Brazil and Paraguay, and their neighbors Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Looking at the fraught political discussions about the future of the world's single largest producer of renewable energy, Hydropolitics explores how this massive public works project touches the lives of all who are linked to it.

On Insignificance The Loss of Meaning in the Post-Material Age

On Insignificance The Loss of Meaning in the Post-Material Age

Author: Massimo (University of Turin, Italy) Leone Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2019

Focussing on the anthropological consequences of the disappearing of materiality and sensory embodiment, On Insignificance highlights some of the most perturbing patterns of insignificance that have seeped into our everyday lives. Seeking to explain the semiotic causes of feelings of meaningless, Leone posits that caring for the singularities of the world is the most viable way to resist the alienating effects of the digital bureaucratization of meaning. The book will be of interest to scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, semiotics, aesthetics, communication studies and social theory.

On Insignificance The Loss of Meaning in the Post-Material Age

On Insignificance The Loss of Meaning in the Post-Material Age

Author: Massimo (University of Turin, Italy) Leone Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2019

Focussing on the anthropological consequences of the disappearing of materiality and sensory embodiment, On Insignificance highlights some of the most perturbing patterns of insignificance that have seeped into our everyday lives. Seeking to explain the semiotic causes of feelings of meaningless, Leone posits that caring for the singularities of the world is the most viable way to resist the alienating effects of the digital bureaucratization of meaning. The book will be of interest to scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, semiotics, aesthetics, communication studies and social theory.

Puppets, Gods, and Brands Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan

Puppets, Gods, and Brands Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan

Author: Teri J. Silvio Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2019

The early twenty-first century has seen an explosion of animation. Cartoon characters are everywhere-in cinema, television, and video games and as brand logos. There are new technological objects that seem to have lives of their own-from Facebook algorithms that suggest products for us to buy to robots that respond to human facial expressions. The ubiquity of animation is not a trivial side-effect of the development of digital technologies and the globalization of media markets. Rather, it points to a paradigm shift. In the last century, performance became a key term in academic and popular discourse: The idea that we construct identities through our gestures and speech proved extremely useful for thinking about many aspects of social life. The present volume proposes an anthropological concept of animation as a contrast and complement to performance: The idea that we construct social others by projecting parts of ourselves out into the world might prove useful for thinking about such topics as climate crisis, corporate branding, and social media. Like performance, animation can serve as a platform for comparisons of different cultures and historical eras. Teri Silvio presents an anthropology of animation through a detailed ethnographic account of how characters, objects, and abstract concepts are invested with lives, personalities, and powers-and how people interact with them-in contemporary Taiwan. The practices analyzed include the worship of wooden statues of Buddhist and Daoist deities and the recent craze for cute vinyl versions of these deities, as well as a wildly popular video fantasy series performed by puppets. She reveals that animation is, like performance, a concept that works differently in different contexts, and that animation practices are deeply informed by local traditions of thinking about the relationships between body and soul, spiritual power and the material world. The case of Taiwan, where Chinese traditions merge with Japanese and American popular culture, uncovers alternatives to seeing animation as either an expression of animism or as playing God. Looking at the contemporary world through the lens of animation will help us rethink relationships between global and local, identity and otherness, human and non-human.

Reading Life with Gwich'in An Educational Approach

Reading Life with Gwich'in An Educational Approach

Author: Jan Peter Laurens (University of Aberdeen, UK) Loovers Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2019

This book is based upon more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork and personal experiences with the Teetl'it Gwich'in community in northern Canada. The author provides insight into Gwich'in understandings of life as well as into historical and political processes that have taken place in the North. He outlines the development of an educational approach towards conducting ethnography and writing anthropological literature, starting with the premise `you have to live it'. The book focuses on ways of knowing and collaboration through learning and being taught by interlocutors. Building on the work of Tim Ingold, Loovers investigates the notion of reading life - land, water and weather as well as texts - and analyses the reading of texts as acts of conversations or correspondences.

The Way of the Cross Suffering Selfhoods in the Roman Catholic Philippines

The Way of the Cross Suffering Selfhoods in the Roman Catholic Philippines

Author: Julius Bautista Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2019

Every year during Holy Week in the Philippine province of Pampanga, hundreds of men and women undergo acts of excruciating, self-inflicted pain in ways that evoke the Way of the Cross: the torment and crucifixion that Christ endured in the last days of his earthly existence. Because these Passion rituals are officially disavowed by the Filipino Roman Catholic Church, most observers view them as irrational and extremist mimicry of Christ's painful ordeal. Even scholars conventionally depict them as theatrical spectacle or macabre examples of Filipino folk religion. But what conditions enable ritual actors to submit to such extreme pain? What justifications do they give for going against official prohibitions? What outcomes do they seek in channeling Christian piety in this way? This book addresses these questions through its in-depth analyses of three interconnected ritual acts: the pabasa, a days-long communal chanting of Christ's Passion story; the pagdarame, the public self-flagellation of hundreds of devotees, and the pamamaku king krus, in which steel nails are driven through the palms and feet of ritual practitioners as part of a street play performed in front of tens of thousands of spectators. Author Julius Bautista suggests that such ritual acts manifest the embodied physicality of a suffering selfhood that facilitates the expression of heartfelt sentiments of pity, empathy, trust, and bereavement. By emphasizing these outwardly focused human sensibilities as the wellsprings of ritual agency, he demonstrates that Passion rituals are reinterpretations of the very idea and experience of pain, hardship, and suffering and premised on an appeal for a certain kind of divine intimacy. The author draws on a decade of in-depth and often exclusive interviews with a host of local stakeholders-including ritual practitioners, clerics, scholars, and government officials-and his own participation in a Passion play. Ethnographic insight is considered alongside primary and secondary archival sources, including unpublished, locally produced oral historical accounts and a survey of relevant media coverage. The Way of the Cross makes a welcome contribution to the anthropology of religion by examining the unique ontological contexts in which ritual agents experience God's involvement in their lives.

Puppets, Gods, and Brands Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan

Puppets, Gods, and Brands Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan

Author: Teri J. Silvio Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2019

The early twenty-first century has seen an explosion of animation. Cartoon characters are everywhere-in cinema, television, and video games and as brand logos. There are new technological objects that seem to have lives of their own-from Facebook algorithms that suggest products for us to buy to robots that respond to human facial expressions. The ubiquity of animation is not a trivial side-effect of the development of digital technologies and the globalization of media markets. Rather, it points to a paradigm shift. In the last century, performance became a key term in academic and popular discourse: The idea that we construct identities through our gestures and speech proved extremely useful for thinking about many aspects of social life. The present volume proposes an anthropological concept of animation as a contrast and complement to performance: The idea that we construct social others by projecting parts of ourselves out into the world might prove useful for thinking about such topics as climate crisis, corporate branding, and social media. Like performance, animation can serve as a platform for comparisons of different cultures and historical eras. Teri Silvio presents an anthropology of animation through a detailed ethnographic account of how characters, objects, and abstract concepts are invested with lives, personalities, and powers-and how people interact with them-in contemporary Taiwan. The practices analyzed include the worship of wooden statues of Buddhist and Daoist deities and the recent craze for cute vinyl versions of these deities, as well as a wildly popular video fantasy series performed by puppets. She reveals that animation is, like performance, a concept that works differently in different contexts, and that animation practices are deeply informed by local traditions of thinking about the relationships between body and soul, spiritual power and the material world. The case of Taiwan, where Chinese traditions merge with Japanese and American popular culture, uncovers alternatives to seeing animation as either an expression of animism or as playing God. Looking at the contemporary world through the lens of animation will help us rethink relationships between global and local, identity and otherness, human and non-human.

An Anthropology of the Irish in Belgium Belonging, Identity, and Community in Europe

An Anthropology of the Irish in Belgium Belonging, Identity, and Community in Europe

Author: Sean O'Dubhghaill Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/2019

The first anthropological account of the Irish diaspora in Europe in the 21st century, this book provides a culture-centric examination of the Irish diaspora. Focusing less on an abstract or technical definition of Irish self-identification, the author allows members of this group to speak through vignettes and interview excerpts, providing an anthropological lens that allows the reader to enter a frame of self-reference. This book therefore provides architecture to understand how diasporic communities might understand their own identities in a new way and how they might reconsider the role played by mobility in changing expressions of identity. Providing firsthand, experiential and narrative insight into the Irish diaspora in Europe, this volume promises to contribute an anthropological perspective to historical accounts of the Irish overseas, theoretical works in Irish studies, and sociological examinations of Irish identity and diaspora.

What Happens to People in a Competitive Society An Anthropological Investigation of Competition

What Happens to People in a Competitive Society An Anthropological Investigation of Competition

Author: Svein Olaf Thorbjornsen Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2019

In this book, author Svein Olaf Thorbjornsen probes the question: What is at stake for human beings in a society dominated by competition, particularly economic competition? Is competition endemic to human nature? Does it preserve the dignity and intrinsic value of the human being? Does it secure better living conditions? In a way, the answer to these queries is a simple yes. It can allow for superior satisfaction of fundamental needs; legitimate self-love and self-realization; and encourage positive feelings upon mastering a skill. At the same time, however, competition can also contribute to a strong materialistic self-interest and support classicism, social ranking, and elitism: other human beings become only means to a personal success, thus jeopardizing fellowship and collaboration. In a hyper-competitive environment, some of the same positive human values mentioned above-self-love, self-realisation, individuality, and freedom-can be viewed to pose a threat to the realisation of one's potential and to one's true humanity. These competing, contradictory aspects of competition are presented and discussed from perspectives across varying disciplines, from social anthropology and economics to history, ethics, philosophy and theology.