1st Edition

Anthropology, Development and Modernities Exploring Discourse, Counter-Tendencies and Violence

Edited By Alberto Arce, Norman Long Copyright 2000
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    While the diffusion of modernity and the spread of development schemes may bring prosperity, optimism and opportunity for some, for others it has brought poverty, a deterioration in quality of life and has given rise to violence. This collection brings an anthropological perspective to bear on understanding the diverse modernities we face in the contemporary world. It provides a critical review of interpretations of development and modernity, supported by rigorous case studies from regions as diverse as Guatemala, Sri Lanka, West Africa and contemporary Europe.
    Together, the chapters in this volume demonstrate the crucial importance of looking to ethnography for guidance in shaping development policies. Ethnography can show how people's own agency transforms, recasts and complicates the modernities they experience. The contributors argue that explanations of change framed in terms of the dominantdiscourses and institutions of modernity are inadequate, and that we give closer attention to discourses, images, beliefs and practices that run counter to these yet play a part in shaping them and giving them meaning.
    Anthropology, Development and Modernities deals with the realities of people's everyday lives and dilemmas. It is essential reading for students and scholars in anthropology, sociology and development studies. It should also be read by all those actively involved in development work.

    Preface Acknowledgements 1 Reconfiguring modernity and development from an anthropological perspective 2 Creating or regulating development: representing modernities through language and discourse 3 Modernisation without the market? The case of the ‘Soviet East’ 4 Islamisms and the decivilising processes of globalisation 5 The spectacle of modernity: blood, microscopes and mirrors in colonial Tanganyika 6 Development discourse and its subversion: decivilisation, depoliticisation and dispossession in West Africa 7 On the anticipation of violence: modernity and identity in Southern Sri Lanka 8 At the frontiers of the modern state in post-war Guatemala 9 Vital force, avenging spirits and zombies: discourses on drug addiction among Surinamese Creole migrants in Amsterdam 10 Consuming modernity: mutational processes of change 11 Exploring local/global transformations: a view from anthropology


    Alberto Arce and Norman Long are both based in the Department of Sociology at Wageningen University in the the Netherlands. Alberto Arce's research focuses on agricultural and environmental issues. Norman Long has developed an actor-oriented and interface approach to studying development and social change. Both have published widely.