By Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jane Marie Todd, Maurice Olender
Anthropology Confronts the issues of the fashionable World is the 1st English translation of a sequence of lectures Claude Lévi-Strauss added in Tokyo in 1986. Written with an eye fixed towards the long run as his personal unique occupation used to be drawing to an in depth, this quantity offers a synthesis of the author’s significant principles approximately structural anthropology, a box he helped identify. Critiquing insights of his previous writings at the dating among race, heritage, and civilization, Lévi-Strauss revisits the social matters that by no means ceased to fascinate him.
He starts with the statement that the cultural supremacy loved through the West for over centuries is at an finish. worldwide wars and genocides within the 20th century have fatally undermined Western religion in humanity’s development via medical development. Anthropology, although, could be the motor vehicle of a brand new “democratic humanism,” broadening conventional frameworks that experience constrained cross-cultural understandings of the human , and offering a foundation for inquiries into what different civilizations, comparable to these of Asia, can teach.
Surveying an international close to the twenty-first century, Lévi-Strauss assesses a few of the dilemmas of cultural and ethical relativism a globalized society faces—ethical dimensions of financial inequality, the increase of other types of spiritual fundamentalism, the promise and peril of genetic and reproductive engineering. A laboratory of concept starting onto the long run, Anthropology Confronts the issues of the fashionable World is a vital addition to the canon of 1 of the twentieth-century’s so much influential theorists.
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Extra info for Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World
The attention and respect that the anthropologist grants to the differences between cultures and to those proper to each culture constitute the essential aspect of his approach. The anthropologist therefore 42 THE END OF THE W EST ’ S C ULTURAL SUPRE M A C Y does not seek to draw up a list of recipes that evÂ�ery society could consult depending on its mood, evÂ�ery time it perceived an imperfection or a gap within itself. The formulas proper to each society cannot simply be transposed to any other.
Similarly, a specialist in ancient Japanese literature will point out that Japanese writers portray travel as a painful, wrenching experience and remain haunted by the obsession with the return home. FiÂ�nally, at a more prosaic level, the Japanese cook, it appears, does not say, as one would in Europe, “drop into the frying oil” but rather “lift out” or “pull out” (ageru) of the frying oil. The anthropologist will refuse to consider these minor facts inÂ�deÂ�penÂ�dent variables or isolated peculiarities.
The means available to anthropology are at once more external and more internal (we could also say, both cruder and more reÂ�fined) than those of its predecessors, philology and hisÂ�tory. To penetrate soÂ�ciÂ� eties that are not easily accessible, the anthropologistÂ€must place himself very much on the outside, as physical anthropology, prehisÂ�tory, and technology do. But, by virtue of the ethnologist’s idenÂ�tiÂ�fiÂ�caÂ�tion with the group, whose existence he shares, and by the importance he will attach—for lack of other means of information—to the slightest nuances of the indigenous people’s mental life, he also places himself very much on the inside.