To understand why people do what they do, understand their cultures and compare them to highlight similarities and differences. Monographs of the American Ethnological Society, At least, this is true of the anthropology that attends to evidence.
Why do Americans not eat dogs? You are not currently authenticated. By the time he finished the first lecture, I was hooked.
All is culture, and cultures are different in different times and different places. He earned his PhD at Columbia University in And he argues that we should respect evidence rather than judge arguments by our concepts Thus, there is no universal history, but various histories.
By now a senior scholar, his work grew in scope as he turned to a search for universal structures of kinship and political order.
He was of Russian Jewish descent but grew up in a secular, non-practicing family. The imprint specializes in small pamphlets on unconventional subjects in anthropology, critical theory, philosophy, and current events. The economic historian Karl Polanyi was another influence.
An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology. This in turn led me back to Thailand in search of comparative data from the valleys. In contrast Sahlins argued that each culture may have different types of rationality that make sense of the world by focusing on different patterns and explain them within specific cultural narratives, and that assuming that all cultures lead to a single rational view is a form of eurocentrism.
At other times, the structure of the conjuncture, a potent or fortuitous mixture of forces, enables people to transform history. Poverty is not a certain small amount of goods, nor is it just a relation between means and ends; above all it is a relation between people.
His major critique of sociobiology is contained in The Use and Abuse of Biology. As opposed to "formalists," substantivists insist that economic life is produced through cultural rules that govern the production and distribution of goods, and therefore any understanding of economic life has to start from cultural principles, and not from the assumption that the economy is made up of independently acting, "economically rational" individuals.
Although his focus has been the entire PacificSahlins has done most of his research in Fiji and Hawaii. I did fieldwork in Thailand, and when I returned inI found generations of anthropologists avidly devouring one another in the "Thailand controversy," rather than weighing accessible and available facts or mobilizing for effective common political action against the interminable war.
This leads cultures to develop in different ways specific evolutionas various elements are introduced to them in different combinations and on different stages of evolution. The inside of a jail is a good place to learn about the power of culture, the culture of power, and the artifacts of both.
Foundations of American Anthropology Series. Overall, Sahlins is considered a key thinker who theorized the interaction of structure and agency, a critic of reductive theories of human nature, an exponent of culture as a key concept in anthropology, and a politically engaged intellectual opposed to militarism and imperialism.
According to Sahlins, postmodernism "seems to lobotomize some of our best graduate students to stifle their imagination for fear of making some interesting structural connection or comparative generalization.
However, as the various cultures are not isolated, there is interaction and a diffusion of their qualities like technological inventions. As a result, readers who are new to his work would do well to begin with anthologies of his essays.
After receiving his Ph. What to one people may be the return of an explorer may to another be the reason to kill a god. Influenced by Polanyi, it provides an account of the substantivist school of economic anthropology. Earlier evolutionary models, by contrast, claimed that culture arose as an adaptation to the natural environment.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Understanding History as Culture and Vice Versa. Rather, the experience of "mutuality of being" that we call kinship is a cultural phenomenon.
He and his colleagues synthesized the trends of evolutionary, Marxist, and ecological anthropology, moving them into the mainstream of anthropological thought.
Sometimes their position gives them power by placing them at the top of a political hierarchy. Sahlins received a bachelor of arts and master of arts degree in anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He argues that because culture is bred into our genetic make-up in the process of our evolution, we cannot help but be creatures of our cultures.
View freely available titles:Marshall Sahlins About. Contact Information. Culture in Practice: Selected Essays.
Zone Press. Ethnographic Experience and Sentimental Pessimism: Why Culture is Not a Disappearing Object. In L. Daston, ed., Biographies of Scientific Objects.
University of Chicago Press, Essays that span the career of a prominent anthropologist and address the fundamental questions of the mint-body.come in Practice collects the academic and political writings from the s through the s of anthropologist Marshall Sahlins/5.
Marshall Sahlins. Culture in Practice: Selected Essays. New York: Zone Books, Pp. $ WRITING A BOOK REVIEW, cultural anthropologist Marshall Sahlins tells us (p. ), can be as much an act of aggression as ignoring a person, being excessively polite, or engaging in a Yanamamo chest.
Essays that span the career of a prominent anthropologist and address the fundamental questions of the field. Culture in Practice collects the academic and political writings from the s through the s of anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. More than a compilation, Culture in.
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Culture in Practice collects the academic and political writings from the s through the s of anthropologist Marshall Sahlins.Download