Anthropologists have been keenly aware of the tension between cultural relativism and absolute norms, and nowhere has this been more acute than with regards to moral values. Can we study the Other’s morality without applying our own normative judgments? How do social anthropologists keep both the distance required by science and the empathy required for the analysis of lived experiences? The plurality of moralities has not received an explicit and focused attention until recently, when accelerated globalization often resulted in the collision of different value systems. Observing, describing and assessing values cross-culturally, the authors propose various methodological approaches to the study of moralities, illustrated with rich ethnographic accounts, thus offering a valuable guide for students of anthropology, sociology and cultural studies and for professionals concerned with the empirical and cross-cultural study of values.
The nature of the currently emerging European society, which includes the economic and social transformation of Eastern and Central European countries, has been hotly debated. At its center is the relationship between markets and civil society within political and social contexts. The contributors to this volume offer perspectives from various disciplines (the social sciences, conceptual history, law, economics) and from several European countries in order to explore the ways in which markets influence various forms of civil society, such as individual freedom, social cohesion, economic effectiveness and democratic governance, and influence the construction of a civil society in a broader sense.
The on-going constitutionalization of Europe has led to various changes in media and communications, opening up areas of debate regarding the role of traditional and new media in developing a specific European public sphere as part of the wider European Project. This timely volume addresses the little understood relationship between old and new media, communications policy at the European level, issues of regulation and competition within the EU, the role of the European Parliament in media policymaking, and the questions emerging about the sustainability of traditional public service broadcasting. To understand the concrete significance of these debates two contributions address specific practical areas, i.e. the potential of online environments and specific developments in European media contexts, such as channel strategies, web-related services, iDTV and community networks. Consequently, Mediating Europe provides an original and important contribution to understanding the role of the media in shaping a European public sphere.
While some scholars have said that there is no such thing as culture and have urged to abandon the concept altogether, the contributors to this volume overcome this impasse by understanding cultures and their representations for what they ultimately are – rhetorical constructs. These senior, international scholars explore the complex relationships between culture and rhetoric arguing that just as rhetoric is founded in culture, culture is founded in rhetoric. This intersection constitutes the central theme of the first part of the book, while the second is dedicated to the study of figuration as a common ground of rhetoric and anthropology. The book offers a compelling range of theoretical reflections, historical vistas, and empirical investigations, which aim to show how people talk themselves and others into particular modalities of thought and action, and how rhetoric and culture, in this way, are co-emergent. It thus turns a new page in the history of academic discourse by bringing two disciplines – anthropology and rhetoric – together in a way that has never been done before.
As the transition from socialism to a market economy gathered speed in the early 1990s, many people proclaimed the final success of capitalism as a practice and neoliberal economics as its accompanying science. But with the uneven achievements of the “transition”—the deepening problems of “development,” persistent unemployment, the widening of the wealth gap, and expressions of resistance—the discipline of economics is no longer seen as a mirror of reality or as a unified science. How should we understand economics and, more broadly, the organization and disorganization of material life? In this book, international scholars from anthropology and economics adopt a rhetorical perspective in order to make sense of material life and the theories about it. Re-examining central problems in the two fields and using ethnographic and historical examples, they explore the intersections between these disciplines, contrast their methods and epistemologies, and show how a rhetorical approach offers a new mode of analysis while drawing on established contributions.
Inspired by the Rhetoric Culture Project, this volume focuses on the use of imagery, narrative, and cultural schemes to deal with predicaments that arise during the course of life. The contributors explore how people muster their resources to understand and deal with emergencies such as illness, displacement, or genocide. In dealing with such circumstances, people can develop new rhetorical forms and, in the process, establish new cultural resources for succeeding generations. Several of the contributions show how rhetorical cultural forms can themselves create emergencies. The contributors bring expertise from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology and communications studies, underlining the volume’s wider relevance as a reflection on the human condition.
Around 1800 roughly three per cent of the human population lived in urban areas; by 2030 this number is expected to have gone up to some seventy per cent. This poses problems for traditional religions that are all rooted in rural, small-scale societies. The authors in this volume question what the possible appeal of these old religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam could be in the new urban environment and, conversely, what impact global urbanization will have on learning and on the performance and nature of ritual. Anthropologists, historians and political scientists have come together in this volume to analyse attempts made by churches and informal groups to adapt to these changes and, at the same time, to explore new ways to study religions in a largely urbanized environment.
How is law mobilized and who has the power and authority to construct its meaning? This important volume examines this question as well as how law is constituted and reconfigured through social processes that frame both its continuity and transformation over time. The volume highlights how power is deployed under conditions of legal pluralism, exploring its effects on livelihoods and on social institutions, including the state. Such an approach not only demonstrates how the state, through its various development programs and organizational structures, attempts to control territory and people, but also relates the mechanisms of state control to other legal modes of control and regulation at both local and supranational levels.
The communist German Democratic Republic, founded in 1949 in the Soviet-occupied zone of post-war Germany is, for many people, epitomized by the Berlin Wall; Soviet tanks and surveillance by the secret security police, the Stasi, appear to be central. But is this really all there is to the GDR¹s history? How did people come to terms with their situation and make new lives behind the Wall? When the social history of the GDR in the 1960s and 1970s is explored, new patterns become evident. A fragile stability emerged in a period characterized by 'consumer socialism', international recognition and détente. Growing participation in the micro-structures of power, and conformity to the unwritten rules of an increasingly predictable system, suggest increasing accommodation to dominant norms and conceptions of socialist 'normality'. By exploring the ways in which lower-level functionaries and people at the grass roots contributed to the formation and transformation of the GDR from industry and agriculture, through popular sport and cultural life, to the passage of generations and varieties of social experience the contributors collectively develop a more complex approach to the history of East Germany.
Analyzing both historical contexts and geographical locations, this volume explores the continuous reformation of state power and its potential in situations of violent conflict. The state, otherwise understood as an abstract and transcendent concept in many works on globalization in political philosophy, is instead located and analyzed here as an embedded part of lived reality. This relationship to the state is exposed as an integral factor to the formation of the social – whether in Africa, the Middle East, South America or the United States. Through the examination of these particular empirical settings of war or war-like situations, the book further argues for the continued importance of the state in shifting social and political circumstances. In doing so, the authors provide a critical contribution to debates within a broad spectrum of fields that are concerned with the future of the state, the nature of sovereignty, and globalization.