In Search of the Primitive : A Critique of Civilization book cover
1st Edition

In Search of the Primitive
A Critique of Civilization

ISBN 9780878555826
Published May 18, 2017 by Routledge
300 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Anthropology is a kind of debate between human possibilities—a dialectical movement between the anthropologist as a modern man and the primitive peoples he studies. In Search of the Primitive is a tough-minded book containing chapters ranging from encounters in the field to essays on the nature of law, schizophrenia and civilization, and the evolution of the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss. Above all it is reflective and self-critical, critical of the discipline of anthropology and of the civilization that produced that discipline. Diamond views the anthropologist who refuses to become a searching critic of his own civilizations as not merely irresponsible, but a tool of Western civilization. He rejects the associations which have been made in the ideology of our civilization, consciously or unconsciously, between Western dominance and progress, imperialism and evolution, evolution and progress.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Eric R. Wolf

1. Introduction: Civilization and Progress
2. The Politics of Field Work
3. Anthropology in Question
4. The Search for the Primitive
5. Plato and the Definition of the Primitive
6. The Uses of the Primitive
7. Schizophrenia and Civilization
8. The Rule of Law versus the Order of Custom
9. Job and the Trickster
10. The Inauthenticity of Anthropology: the Myth of Structuralism
11. What History Is


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Stanley Diamond was professor of anthropology in the graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, USA. He was the founder and editor of Dialectical Anthropology and a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, USA.