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ISBN: 9780199263332

Published:

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Hardback

AU$133.95

NZ$182.99

Ceremonial Animal

A New Portrait of Anthropology

Wendy James


Adapting Wittgenstein's concept of the human species as 'a ceremonial animal', Wendy James writes vividly and readably. Her new overview advocates a clear line of argument: that the concept of social form is a primary key to anthropology and the human sciences as a whole. Weaving memorable ethnographic examples into her text, James brings together carefully selected historical sources as well as references to current ideas in neighbouring disciplines such as archaeology, paleoanthropology, genetics, art and material culture, ethnomusicology, urban and development studies, politics, economics, psychology, and religious studies. She shows the relevance of anthropology to pressing world issues such as migration, humanitarian politics, the new reproductive technologies, and religious fundamentalism.

Wendy James's engaging style will appeal to specialist and non-specialist alike. The Foreword is written by Michael J. Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto.

A new portrait of anthropology as a whole

A reassessment of the history and direction of the discipline

A reaffirmation of the importance of social form in individual and collective life

Neatly bridges earlier American cultural and British social approaches

A new synthesis of the discipline by a senior anthropologist

Written in an engaging and lively style

An excellent and timely work

FOREWORD
By Michael J. Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
THE QUEST FOR PATTERN
1: Key Questions in Anthropology
2: Dialogues with Grand Theory
SHAPE AND RHYTHM IN SOCIAL FORMS
3: Species, Space, and Time
4: Daughters of the Dance
5: On Ritual and Social Memoey
LANGUAGE AND THE MAKING OF PERSONS
6: Language and Social Engagement
7: The Dialectics of Gender and Generation
8: Human Bodies, Social Persons, and Selves
PRACTICE AND POLITICS IN THE CEREMONIAL ARENA
9: Place, Home, and Habitus
10: Work, Wealth, and Exchange
11: Theatres of Power, War, and Peace
LARGE-SCALE MODERN FORMS
12: The New Spaces: Cities and Popular Culture
13: The Modern Person and 'The Market'
14: States, 'Nations', and the Struggles of the People
CONCLUDING ESSAY
15: Anthropology as a Human Science: Conversations with History and Religion
Notes
Select Bibliography

Wendy James , Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford

Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Khartoum, Sudan, 1964-69; research and visiting positions in Oxford, aarhus (Denmark, and Bergen (Norway), 1969-72; University Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford, and Fellow of St Cross College, 1972; appointed Professor in 1996. Fellow of the British Academy, 1999; President, Royal Anthropological Institute, 2001-; Vice-President, British Institute in Eastern Africa, 2001-. (For list of publications see APF).