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Cosmologies in the Making : A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea - Fredrik Barth

Cosmologies in the Making

A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea

Paperback Published: 23rd April 1990
ISBN: 9780521387354
Number Of Pages: 112

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In examining the changes that have taken place in the secret cosmological lore transmitted in male initiation ceremonies among the Mountain Ok of Inner New Guinea, this book offers a new way of explaining how cultural change occurs. Professor Barth focuses on accounting for the local variations in cosmological traditions that exist among the Ok people, who otherwise share largely similar cultures. Rejecting existing anthropological theory as inadequate for explaining this, Professor Barth constructs a new model of the mechanisms of cultural change, emphasizing the role that individual creativity plays in it, and maintaining that cosmologies can be adequately understood only if they are regarded as knowledge in the process of communication, rather than as fixed bodies of belief.

Industry Reviews

"Barth provides significant theoretical insight into the nature of traditional and cultural variation. His focus on the mechanisms of communication and their effects on cultural symbols and the distribution of knowledge opens up a promising direction for future research." William H. McKellin, Pacific Affairs

Foreword Jack Goody
The problem
An attempt at systematic comparison: descent and ideas of conception
The possible interrelations of sub-traditions: reading sequence from distribution
The context for events of change
The results of process - variations in connotation
Secret thoughts and understandings
The stepwise articulation of a vision
Experience and concept formation
The insights pursued by Ok thinkers
General and comparative perspectives
Some reflections on theory and method
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521387354
ISBN-10: 0521387353
Series: Cambridge Studies in Social Anthropology (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 112
Published: 23rd April 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.54 x 16.97  x 0.76
Weight (kg): 0.18