Anthropology today seems to shy away from the big, comparative questions that ordinary people in many societies find compelling. Questions of Anthropology brings these issues back to the centre of anthropological concerns.Individual essays explore birth, death and sexuality, puzzles about the relationship between science and religion, questions about the nature of ritual, work, political leadership and genocide, and our personal fears and desires, from the quest to control the future and to find one's 'true' identity to the fear of being alone. Each essay starts with a question posed by individual ethnographic experience and then goes on to frame this question in a broader, comparative context. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Questions of Anthropology presents an exciting introduction to the purpose and value of Anthropology today.
Table of Contents
Preface, Jonathan Parry, LSE1. What Does It Mean To Be Alone? Catherine Allerton, LSE2. How Do We Know Who We Are? Janet Carsten, Edinburgh University3. What Is Going To Happen Next? Charles Stafford, LSE4. Why, Exactly, Is The World As It Is? Eva Keller, University of Zurich5. How Does Ritual Matter? Fenella Cannell, LSE6. What Makes People Work? Olivia Harris, LSE7. What Kind Of Sex Makes People Happy? Laura Rival, Oxford University8. How Do Women Give Birth? Michael Lambek, University of Toronto/LSE9. What Happens After Death? Rita Astuti, LSE10. How Does Genocide Happen? Michael Stewart, UCL11. Why Are Some People Powerful? Luke Freeman, LSE12. How Do We Know What Is True? Christina Toren, University of St AndrewsAfterword
Rita Astuti is co-author of Constraints On Conceptual Development. Jonathan Parry is author of Death in Banaras. Charles Stafford is author of Separation and Reunion in Modern China. All the editors teach Anthropology at the London School of Economics.