Arguing with Anthropology: An Introduction to Critical Theories of the Gift

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Psychology Press, 2005 - Social Science - 244 pages
Arguing with Anthropology is a fresh and wholly original guide to key elements in anthropology, which teaches the ability to think, write and argue critically. Using the classic 'question of the gift' as a master-issue for discussion, and drawing on a rich variety of Pacific and global ethnography, it provides a unique course in methods, aims, knowledge, and understanding. The book's highly original hypothetical approach takes gift-theory - the science of obligation and reciprocity - as the paradigm for a virtual enquiry which explores how the anthropological discipline has evolved historically, how it is applied in practice and how it can be argued with critically. By asking students to participate in projected situations and dilemmas, and in arguments about the form and nature of enquiry, it offers working practice of dealing with the obstacles and choices involved in anthropological study.

* From an expert teacher whose methods are tried and tested
* Comprehensive and fun course ideal for intermediate-level students
* Clearly defines the functions of anthropology, and its key theories and arguments
* Effectively teaches core study skills for exam success and progressive learning.
 

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Contents

A sceptical introductionto theories og gift exchnsge TO THEORIES OF GIFT EXCHANGE
1
Modernist nostalgia
14
Gathering thoughts in fieldwork
33
Keeping relationships meeting obligations
54
Exchanging people giving reasons
71
Postmodern reflections historical of subjectivity
90
Debt in postcolonial society
92
Mistaking how and when to give
107
Envisioning bourgeois subjects
128
Giving beyond reason
146
A present without nostalgia
164
Virtually real exchange
166
Interests in cultural property
182
Giving anthropology away
200
References and suggested readings
217
Index
232

Postmodern relections critiques of subjectivity
126

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