Anthropology and the Individual : A Material Culture Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Anthropology and the Individual
A Material Culture Perspective

Edited By

Daniel Miller

ISBN 9781847884947
Published October 1, 2009 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

Anthropology is usually associated with the study of society, but the anthropologist must also understand people as individuals. This highly original study demonstrates how methods of social analysis can be applied to the individual, while remaining entirely distinct from psychology and other perspectives on the person. Contributors draw on approaches from material culture to create fascinating portraits of individuals, offering analytical insights that convey ethnographic encounters with often extraordinary people from Turkey, Spain and Britain to Albania, Cuba, Jamaica, Mali, Serbia and Trinidad. Exploring relationships to places and spaces such as social networking sites, to persons such as parents, to ethical concerns such as fairness and to concepts such as the ideology of struggle, Anthropology and the Individual shows how the study of the individual can provide insights into society without losing a sense of the particularity of the person.

Table of Contents

1. Individuals and the Aesthetic of OrderD. Miller2. Trading in Fake Brands, Self-creating as an IndividualM. Crãciun3. 'Making Things Come Out': Design, Originality and the Individual in a Bogolan Artisan CommunityB. Olesen4. Building and Ordering Transnationalism: The 'Greek House' in Albania as a Material ProcessD. Dalakoglou5. The Christian and the Taxi-driver: Poverty and Aspiration in Rural JamaicaD. Miller6. How Madrid Makes IndividualsM. Murray7. Aesthetics of the Self: Digital Mediations H. Horst8. Unmaking Family Relationships: Belgrade Mothers and Their Migrant ChildrenI. Bajiæ9. Fashioning Individuality and Social Connectivity Among Yoruba Women in LondonJ. Botticello10. Creating Order Through Struggle in Revolutionary Cuba A. Pertierra11. Food, Family, Art and God: Aesthetic Authority in Public Life in TrinidadG. Hosein

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Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology, University College London.


...the portraits all contain a wealth of knowledge and rich data that will make this book a useful secondary source for those working in the areas it touches on, both geographical and theoretical. - Abby Loebenberg, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK