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Anthropology and anarchism: Their effective affinitive

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There is, in many ways an “elective affinity” between anthropology and anarchism. Although anthropology’s subject matter has been diverse, and its conspectus rather broad—as a study of human culture, historically it has always had a rather specific focus—on the study of pre-state societies. But it is quite misleading to portray the anthropology of the past as being simply the study of so-called “primitive” people or the “exotic” other, and thus largely engaged in a kind of “salvage” operation of “disappearing” cultures. This is a rather biased and inaccurate portrait of anthropology, for the discipline has a long tradition of “anthropology at home,” and many important anthropological studies have their location in India, China and Japan. It is thus noteworthy that James Clifford and George Marcus (1986) in what many have regarded as the founding text of literary or post-modern anthropology, are not only rather dismissive of feminist anthropology, but ignore entirely the ethnographic studies of non-“Western” scholars—Srinivas, Kenyatta, Fei and Aiyappan. But in an important sense anthropology is the social science discipline that has put a focal emphasis on those kinds of societies that have been seen as exemplars of anarchy, a society without a state. Indeed, Evans- Pritchard, in his classic study of The Nuer (1940), described their political system as “ordered anarchy.” Harold Barclay’s useful and perceptive little book People without government (1992) is significantly subtitled “The Anthropology of Anarchism,” and Barclay makes the familiar distinction between anarchy, which is an ordered society without government, and anarchism, which is a political movement and tradition that became articulated during the 19th century.

SKU: 41144 Category: Tags: ,
Subtitle: Learning from stateless societies
Author: Morris, Brian
Year: 2018
ISBN: Zonder
Pages: 21
Language: English
Publisher: Sjakoo's zelfkopie
Publisher's city: Amsterdam
Publication date:
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