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Bodies and Persons : Comparative Perspectives from Africa and Melanesia - Michael Lambek

Bodies and Persons

Comparative Perspectives from Africa and Melanesia

By: Michael Lambek (Editor), Andrew Strathern (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 28th March 1998
ISBN: 9780521621946
Number Of Pages: 314

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Large-scale comparisons are out of fashion in anthropology, but this book suggests a bold comparative approach to broad cultural differences between Africa and Melanesia. Its theme is personhood, which is understood in terms of what anthropologists call 'embodiment'. These concepts are applied to questions ranging from the meanings of spirit possession, to the logics of witchcraft and kinship relations, the use of rituals to heal the sick, 'electric vampires', and even the impact of capitalism. There are detailed ethnographic analyses, and suggestive comparisons of classic African and Melanesian ethnographic cases, such as the Nuer and the Melpa. The contributors debate alternative strategies for cross-cultural comparison, and demonstrate that there is a surprising range of continuities, putting in question common assumptions about the huge differences between these two parts of the world.

"This is a valuable contribution to comparative ethnography." Religious Studies Review "Lambek and Strathern have produced a rich and fascinating volume...This volume should interest all who are concerned with Africa, Melanesia, comparison, person/body, and contemporary anthropological theory. It is an example of what the best of edited volumes should be." Pacific Affairs Winter 01

Introduction
Transcending Dichotomies:
Its a boy, Its a girl!: reflections on sex and gender in Madagascar and beyond
Modernity and formative personhood in Melanesia
Refiguring the person: the dynamics of affects and symbols in an African spirit possession cult
Body and mind in mind, body and mind in body: some anthropological interventions in a long conversation
Transitions, Containments, Decontainments:
Treating the affect by remodelling the body in a Yaka healing cult
To eat for another: taboo and the elicitation of bodily form among the Kamea of Papua New Guinea
Electric vampires: Haya rumors of the commodified body
From Exchange to History:
Creative possessions: spirit mediumship and millennial economy among Gebusi of Papua New Guinea
Dis-embodiment and concealment among the Atbalmin of Papua New Guinea
Melpa and Nuer ideas of life and death: the rebirth of a comparison
Afterword
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521621946
ISBN-10: 0521621941
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 314
Published: 28th March 1998
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.64