Anthropology

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Anthropology

Postby BadgerJelly on January 16th, 2018, 12:59 pm 

I am going to start reading three texts tomorrow. If you have read them, or want to read them, then let me know if you're up for a discussion about them in any capacity.

The three texts are ...

1) The Sacred And The Profane - Mircea Eliade

2) Structural Anthropology - Claude Levi-Strauss

3) The Interpretations Of Cultures - Clifford Geertz

Going to try and skim them all tomorrow and then gradually get more deeply into them over the next couple of few weeks before my holiday (again ... life it SO hard! :D)
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Re: Anthropology

Postby BadgerJelly on January 21st, 2018, 2:29 am 

Had a read through introductions of each and scanned the contents a little.

All three of these are very good already!

Eliade has a more holistic approach and is very clear that he is taking a broader view of the distinction he is looking at.

Levi-Strauss is more ... er ... verbose. It reads with a hint of pretention to it (in the intro at least), but it's good stuff and certainly requires more concentration to deal with the style.

Geertz is probably the most accessible. The most "charismatic" of the three works by my judgement.

I'm VERY happy with my choices because in each intro they seem to be echoing each other, but from rather different perspectives. Eliade taking on a macroscopic approach, Geertz a microscopic approach, and Levi-Strauss ... not quite sure yet.

The genealogical order of these works goes Eliade, then Levi-Strauss, and then Geertz.

If all goes to plan I'll be digging well into these over the next 3 months and hope to produce some kind of "essay."

The other project I will take on after this will be related. It will involve more of an aesthetic investigation and will be reading Aristotle, Schiller and Tolstoy as a starter in that area.

Also, now have Logical Investigations by Husserl and Aion by Jung. Not quite sure if I am in any position to bring them into another written work just yet so will likely take on more of a psychological essay followed by neuro/logical application to psychology and look into psychologism.

All combined (hopefully before I die!) I should be able to put together a work that combines all these areas of interest.

Cannot wait for the unexpected distractions along the way too :D
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Re: Anthropology

Postby Forest_Dump on January 21st, 2018, 7:26 am 

As I think I mentioned, I didn't read that work by Eliade but I read Geertz (and try to practice thick description) and pretty much every thing by Levi-Strauss although of course they are not really compatable.
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Re: Anthropology

Postby BadgerJelly on January 22nd, 2018, 12:34 am 

Hope we get a chance to discuss some of these guys thoughts. I believe you'd find Eliade's book useful. It is less than half the size of the other two books and, as he says in the intro, is trying to get across the idea of "profane" acts that are essentially connected to "sacred" acts.

He appears to be equating memory, a kind of nostalgia, as being a sacred/profane acting out. Very much a behavioral view it seems. It reminds me of something Derren Brown (a famous illusionist in the UK) talked about in one of his books; that is how we "pantomime", meaning act out certain roles as if someone is watching us even when they are not, the example Brown gives is how we announce and play out a role when we realaise we've forgotten something. We don't simply turn around and walk back into the room to pick up the item. Instead we dramatise the moment even if no one is around to watch us. I cannot quite put my finger on the connection here but it runs really deep through so many things that are currently holding my interest.

One thing that gets me more than anything is the striking correlation between Jung and Eliade. Will have to look at where those tow agreed and disagreed.

Here is something I found that Eliade said about Jung:

In his journal Eliade recounts his first meeting with Jung at a dinner in an Ascona restaurant [1950]:

...He is a captivating old gentleman, utterly without conceit, who is as happy to talk as he is to listen.

What could I write down here first of this long conversation? Perhaps his bitter reproaches of‘official science’?

In university circles he is not taken seriously.‘Scholars have no curiosity,’ he says with Anatole France.‘Professors are satisfied with recapitulating what they learned in their youth and what does not cause any trouble...

http://jungcurrents.com/mircea-eliade-and-carl-jung
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Re: Anthropology

Postby BadgerJelly on January 25th, 2018, 3:26 am 

Dump -

What are Levi-Strauss' most important work/s in terms of neuro anthropology (especially in the area of "language" - linguistics, mythos and brain function.)???
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Re: Anthropology

Postby Forest_Dump on January 25th, 2018, 8:42 am 

L.-S. believed that there are "structures" hard-wired into the brain (hense structuralism) and there were expressed as binary oppositions or dichotomies. So he studied and wrote about these oppositions as they come out in language and certain artifacts. For example, in one book (The Way of the Masks) he looked at NW coast masks and some of the oppositions expressed in the masks. He found contrasts between light coloured, fair, feminine water masks and those of "big foot" which were the opposite. The title of some his other books expresses the same ideas (Honey and Ashes; The Raw and the Cooked, etc.)

L-S was originally a Marxist and he subsumed Marxism under structuralism and argued that classes and the class struggle were a natural hard-wired structure. You could also say that L-S's structures were the logical fore-runner to memes, particularly since, like memes, they were dependent on the language they were expressed in. One more recent commentator I read (sorry don't remember the source) noted we are in the post-structural world because structuralism (like memes I would argue) have never been disproven but neither have they been solidly identified. L-S definitely carried te search further than anyone else but there have some interesting developments of the idea. Some have argued that gender divisions of labour, etc., reflect structures and this has been carried further in archaeology etc.
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Re: Anthropology

Postby BadgerJelly on January 25th, 2018, 10:51 am 

I say Jung's archetypes were the forerunner. I've not read it all yet, but it almost screams Jungian archetypes. I was quite surprised to find that (don't know why it surprised me, just had a certain presumption about what to expect I guess.)

I had never thought about "avuncular" thing before. It also slots into Jungian animus and anima quite blatantly. Pretty much finished looking over first part ... going to skip to part three "Magic and Religion" next.

Again, I recommend "The Sacred and The Profane," its a thousand times more readable than "Shamanism" and much shorter.

I wonder if you could recommend something that gives a good account of story telling techniques? How oral tradition is passed down from generation to generation? Anything that has been studied in that area would be invaluable to me (note: I don't care how dry or boring it is, I just need some reasonably solid accounts of that kind of thing.)

Thanks for your time btw
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