In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization

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Taylor & Francis, Jun 21, 2017 - Social Science - 300 pages

Anthropology is a kind of debate between human possibilities—a dialectical movement between the anthropologist as a modern man and the primitive peoples he studies. In Search of the Primitive is a tough-minded book containing chapters ranging from encounters in the field to essays on the nature of law, schizophrenia and civilization, and the evolution of the work of Claude LÚvi-Strauss. Above all it is reflective and self-critical, critical of the discipline of anthropology and of the civilization that produced that discipline. Diamond views the anthropologist who refuses to become a searching critic of his own civilizations as not merely irresponsible, but a tool of Western civilization. He rejects the associations which have been made in the ideology of our civilization, consciously or unconsciously, between Western dominance and progress, imperialism and evolution, evolution and progress.

 

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Contents

Civilization and Progress
1
2 The Politics of Field Work
36
3 Anthropology in Question
68
4 The Search for the Primitive
86
5 Plato and the Definition of the Primitive
130
6 The Uses of the Primitive
150
7 Schizophrenia and Civilization
168
8 The Rule of Law versus the Order of Custom
189
9 Job and the Trickster
209
the Myth of Structuralism
217
11 What History Is
247
Epilogue
261
Notes
266
Index
277
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About the author (2017)

Stanley Diamond was professor of anthropology in the graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, USA. He was the founder and editor of Dialectical Anthropology and a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, USA.

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