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The anthropological study of class and consciousness

Author: E Paul Durrenberger
Publisher: Boulder : University Press of Colorado, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Presenting prehistoric, historic, and ethnographic data from Mongolia, China, Iceland, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, this book offers a first step toward examining class as a central issue within anthropology. Contributors to this volume use the methods of historical materialism, cultural ecology, and political ecology to understand the realities of class and how they evolve. Five central ideas unify the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: E Paul Durrenberger
ISBN: 9781607321569 1607321564 9781607321576 1607321572
OCLC Number: 733227851
Description: x, 317 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Thinking political communities: the state and social stratification among ancient nomads of Mongolia / William Honeychurch --
Dividing land and creating class: the development of a landlord-tenant political economy in Medieval Iceland / Douglas Bolender --
Fried's evolutionary model, social stratification, and the Nuosu in Southwest China / Ann Maxwell Hill --
Class and consciousness in the "antiglobal" South: on poverty, climate change, and the illusion of creating wealth / Paul Trawick --
Crash, collapse, and catastrophe in Postindustrial North America / Dimitra Doukas --
Class and consciousness: the American farmer's daughter / Barbara J. Dilly --
Immigrant heterogeneity and class consciousness in New Rural US destinations / David Griffith --
Class consciousness in a complicated setting: race, immigration status, nationality, and class on the US-Mexico border / Josiah Heyman --
Difference and dispossession: considerations on the making and unmaking of a labor elite at Saturn / Sharryn Kasmir --
Do hair and class gel? / Kate Golterman --
Dreams, illusions, and realities: conclusions / E. Paul Durrenberger.
Responsibility: edited by E. Paul Durrenberger.

Abstract:

Presenting prehistoric, historic, and ethnographic data from Mongolia, China, Iceland, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, this book offers a first step toward examining class as a central issue within anthropology. Contributors to this volume use the methods of historical materialism, cultural ecology, and political ecology to understand the realities of class and how they evolve. Five central ideas unify the collection: the objective basis for class in different social orders; people's understanding of class in relation to race and gender; the relation of ideologies of class to realities of class; the U.S. managerial middle-class denial of class and emphasis on meritocracy in relation to increasing economic insecurity; and, personal responses to economic insecurity and their political implications. Anthropologists who want to understand the nature and dynamics of culture must also understand the nature and dynamics of class. "The Anthropological Study of Class and Consciousness" addresses the role of the concept of class as an analytical construct in anthropology and how it relates to culture. Although issues of social hierarchy have been studied in anthropology, class has not often been considered as a central element. Yet a better understanding of its role in shaping culture, consciousness, and people's awareness of their social and natural world would in turn lead to better understanding of major trends in social evolution as well as contemporary society. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of anthropology, labour studies, ethnohistory and sociology.

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