BaumannGrammars | eBooks | Non-Fiction

BaumannGrammars

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Buy and Download Description From an anthropological perspective, debates on identity/alterity in the early twenty-first century face an increasingly clear dilemma. On the one hand, various notions of identity/alterity (or difference) inform vast segments and fields of the humanities and the social sciences. By consequence and at least partially as an adaptation and reaction to that situation, references to identity/ alterity (or difference) have proliferated in major anthropological works as well. In one way or another, these 'imports' from wider interdisciplinary fields inform a wide range of recent debates inside anthropology, primarily among junior scholars. On the other hand, a closer inspection of more established usages of these terms by senior anthropologists reveals sobering results. In a recent study, Boston-based Brazilian anthropologist Paulu Pinto (2002) examined a wide spectrum of such conventional usages by anthropologists and other social scientists. Although that spectrum includes works by authors such as Frederik Barth, Abner Cohen, and Pierre Bourdieu, Pinto concludes quite convincingly that in practice, the ensuing concepts of identity are few, and moreover, they do not relate well to debates outside anthropology, or for that matter sociology. Inside anthropology, such accumulated conceptual reflections and elaborations by senior scholars on 'identity/alterity' therefore are dispersed and somewhat isolated from wider debates and from their more recent 'import' into the field. From an anthropological perspective, debates on identity/alterity in the early twenty-first century face an increasingly clear dilemma. On the one hand, various notions of identity/alterity (or difference) inform vast segments and fields of the hu
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