3rd Edition

Cultural Intimacy Social Poetics and the Real Life of States, Societies, and Institutions

By Michael Herzfeld Copyright 2016
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the third edition of this important and influential book, Michael Herzfeld revisits the idea of ‘cultural intimacy’. The chapters examine a range of topics touching on the relationship between state and citizen, and the notion of ‘national character’. Herzfeld provides a developed theoretical framework and additional clarification of core concepts such as disemia, social poetics and structural nostalgia. The text has been fully updated in light of recent scholarship and events, including comment on Greece and the European Union. There is new material drawn from regions such as Thailand and China, and further consideration of religious intimacy and its impact on cities. The book improves our understanding of how states, societies and institutions function and illustrates the relevance of anthropology to contemporary issues such as globalization, censorship, ethnic conflict and nationalism.

    1. Introducing Cultural Intimacy

    2. New Reflections on the Geopolitics of Cultural Intimacy

    3. Of Definitions and Boundaries

    4. Persuasive Resemblances

    5. The Dangers of Metaphor: From Troubled Waters to Boiling Blood

    6. Cultural Intimacy and the Meaning of Europe

    7. Structural Nostalgia: Time and the Oath in the Mountain Villages of Crete

    8. Social Poetics in Theory and Practice: Regular Guys and Irregular Practices

    9. The Practice of Stereotypes

    10. Afterword: Toward a Militant Middle Ground?


    Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, USA.

    "This new edition of Cultural Intimacy clarifies and expands upon several issues addressed in the original ground-breaking volume. With Cultural Intimacy, Herzfeld established himself as one of the leading theorists in the field of anthropology, having identified and expounded upon a concept which has now become an essential part of the theoretical landscape. By taking this concept in new directions, Herzfeld has made it yet more relevant and meaningful."

    - Peter S. Allen, Rhode Island College

    "In this new edition, Herzfeld makes compelling reading on the unfortunate economic crisis in Greece as it relates to images and imaginings of ‘Europe.’ He has also extended the theoretical analysis into comparative frameworks, and shown the importance of anthropological analysis to fields such as international relations and politics. This is more than an updating of a classic – it is the compelling further development of important concepts to address critical issues of culture and politics."

    - Robert M. Hayden, University of Pittsburgh